Here, here, here! (here, here!)

Galiano

March 2015 has been pretty exciting. I have never had such a concentrated period of promotion, and while it is complicated, (what with workchildrenhomeandetc), it is FUN.

I attended the Galiano Literary Festival in early March to which I flew in a SEAPLANE. That was awesome (or more descriptively: a lively, exciting time at a beautiful inn on a gorgeous secluded island with a handful of great authors, excellent hosts, and enthusiastic festival attendees; I had dinner with Elizabeth May, lunch with Arno Kopecky and his lovely fiancée, and drinks with some lads – John Vaillant, Lee Henderson, and Michael Christy – and some hilarious, genius ladies – Chris Fox, Arleen Pare and Jodi Lundgren; I read from my two books to the most beautiful view EVER). Galiano Island Books hosts a wicked good wee festival and I hope you are lucky enough someday to attend. My pal Aaron Shepherd even hopped over for a visit!

I had a crazy trip to Vernon (I will only divulge the details over beer. That you buy me.). It resulted in two of my favourite readings yet, but man, WestJet, please get me there on time next time! I read to a packed house at Gallery Vertigo for the Vertigo Voices series hosted by the great Laisha Rosnau and the great Kevin McPherson Eckhoff. I laughed a lot and the audience laughed at me a lot and I read from the middle long poem in Orient that had yet to be aired out loud to an audience, so good times were had. Also bourbon was had afterwards and smoked meat, so that was exceptional. I read the next day at Okanagan College for Kerri Gilbert’s class, and do you guys know how great OC is? Super great. It’s so compact and cool. It has a gorgeous view as well, but I read in a dungeon lecture theatre (those make us focus, right?) to a patient group of students and others who were very receptive and asked good questions.

Vernon 1I had the pleasure of attending the raucous meeting of writing women who meet in Vernon every 2nd Friday and get up to no good. I may have said some swearwords. And drunk some wine. And then? Then there was a house concert! Fiddle and guitar! Newfoundland songs! I was so glad to get home on a Saturday so I could recuperate before work on Monday.

Dear me, yes thank you to promotional spring. And there is more to come! The house concert is foreshadowing my upcoming trip to St John’s, lucky, lucky me. I’m headed out again in less than two weeks. Here’s the schedule, come hear me, come meet me, come listen to the greats with whom I’m reading!

 

 

 

Ottawa, March 24, 2015, VERSEFEST! 9 pm, Knox Presbyterian Church, 120 Lisgar st

Toronto, March 25, 2015, PIVOT! 8 pm, Press Club, 850 Dundas st w

Montreal, March 26, 2015, ATWATER! 7 pm, Atwater Library, 1200 Atwater Ave

St John’s, March 29, 2015, THE BREAKWATER LAUNCH! 8 pm, Ship Pub, 265 Duckworth st

 

Grayling

grayling-carousel

spring/deep of winter 2009:

I saw an ad for a contest: The Great BC Novel and Novella contest, sponsored by MotherTongue Publishing. For months I’d been studying fiction in my spare time, reading, parsing my favourite novels, breaking down the plot structures of The Old Man and the Sea, Heart of Darkness, Of Mice and Men. I was exhausted but excited. I felt like I’d put poetry behind me after the publication of soft geography (though I was secretly still writing poems, so secretly I didn’t even admit it to myself) and years after I’d finished my writing degree I was learning to write fiction. So I thought about that contest. I thought, ‘if I sit down for an hour a night for three months, I bet I’d have almost 30 000 words. A novella is anything over 10 000 and under 30 000.’ I had a deadline. I sat down in March. In May I had a first draft.

Insert montage of years here and everywhere: crazy and mundane, kids, work, trips, canoe travel, winters, summers, caterpillar invasions, new jobs, birthdays, happiness, tears, etc.

fall 2009:

I made the shortlist for the contest! So exciting. But… what to do with a novella? Who publishes novellas? Not most magazines, not most publishers. Despite shout outs in the media about the novella (Ian McEwan http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/books/2012/10/some-notes-on-the-novella.html) it’s not a publisher’s favourite thing to publish.

spring 2011:

Mothertongue Publishing sends out a note: have you done anything with your novella? Have I? Rewritten it twice, lamented about it, wondered about its worth… you’d like to publish it? Yeeha!

spring/summer/fall 2012:

editing, editing, editing with Jack Hodgins, writer and editor extraordinaire. I send him the draft, he says ‘great draft! Here are 30 pages of single spaced notes.’ I cry, edit, then send it back again. Him: ‘Great draft! Here are 25 pages of notes.’ repeat 7 or 8 times.

spring 2014:

A box arrives in the mail. Grayling. It’s gorgeous. Cover by Annerose Georgeson, publishing credits to Mona at MotherTongue Publishing, book by yours truly. Oh my.

book opening