New and Old Friends…

This has been a heartwarming week, for a few reasons…

I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Ben Barry, a socially conscious entrepeneur and journalist for Report on Business. He was curious about my self-promotional strategies and the ways they are similar to small business marketing tactics. Click here to check out his column.

On Thursday, I travelled to Thunder Bay, Ontario, which is geographically the centre of Canada. I was met by the very hospitable Carol Anne, Margaret and Terri from Northern Woman’s Bookstore and I did a reading there on Friday night. I enjoyed the friendly feminists I met there–thanks to all of you who came to the event.

Finally, I read at one of PEN Canada’s panels at Word on the Street today. I had a chance to meet with a few people I’d only before connected up with on Facebook and an old friend, Dwayne,  from my undergrad days, surprised me by attending the reading. I chatted with Mary Lou Dickinson at the Inanna booth and signed a few copies of Stealing Nasreen there.

Stay tuned for news about my upcoming readings in Vancouver and Victoria…

Oh yes…and don’t forget to vote for MMP!

Reading, Writing and MMP

It’s been a productive week of writing: a little more story development, editing and a few more pages tapped out on the keyboard. Once in a while writing feels easy–I fall into some kind of “zone” and time and words flow well. Most of the time, however, it is a disciplined practice of staying in my chair and not getting distracted away. This week I experienced mostly the latter!

A did two readings at wonderful events this week too. The first was a presentation/reading at the Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention’s AGM. The second was an event for the LGBTTTIQ CAMH Working Group, called “Queer Within These Walls”.  Thanks to all of you who came out and supported these events.

Coming up this week is a reading in Thunder Bay, Ontario, at the Northern Woman’s Bookstore on Friday September 28th, 7:30pm.

Also, I will be at Toronto’s Word on the Street on Sunday September 30th at 12:15 at the Diaspora Dialogues tent in Queen’s Park and will be doing book signings at the Inanna table at 1pm.  If you are in the area, please come by!

On a different note…those of you in Ontario will know that we’re having an election and referendum on October 10th. The Ontario Citizens’ Assembly has recommended that we change our system to MMP, or Mixed Member Proportional. This could be an exciting change to our system, one that promotes better representation and democracy. Find our more about it so that you can make an informed choice in our referendum!

Readings coming up this week

Ramadan Mubarak and Shanah Tova everyone!

3578-queerflyerweb-2.jpgThis week, I will be reading at a noon-time event at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health: “Queer Within These Walls”, Wednesday September 19th, 12-1pm at 33 Russell Street, Cafeteria, Toronto. The event is open to all and free, so come check it out. Along with Debra Anderson and Pat Capponi, I’ll be reading and doing book signing. Hope to see you there!

The day before, Tuesday September 18th, I’ll be on Annemarie Shrouder’s CKLN show at 2pm. You can listen live on the internet at www.clkn.fm or go to 88.1 FM on your dial or Rogers Cable 947.

Reading at the St. Christopher House Literacy Program’s 30th Anniversary Party

If you spend any time in Toronto’s downtown west neighbourhoods, you’ll probably be a little familiar with St Christopher House (http://www.stchrishouse.org/), a local social service agency that serves the city’s homeless, new immigrants and kids.

At Ossington and Dundas, one of St. Chris’s original locations, there is a literacy program that was started in 1977. Last night, previous and current staff and participants came together to celebrate their 30th anniversary. I was asked to read there.

The vibe within their hidden courtyard, where people played a gigantic game of Scrabble, ate BBQ and listened to performers was welcoming, grassroots and celebratory. I talked to some of the workers, chatted with a previous participant who is now an author, and sold a few books while eating a huge piece of chocalate anniversary cake. Thanks to Jo at St. Chris for inviting me to the party. 

a new year starting…

I think many of us, trained for so many years by our school system, view September as a kind of new year. Even if we aren’t students or academics, September can signal the ending of a relaxed summer and the beginning of new projects, new responsibilities or the end of holidays.

This September brings the return of my more regular writing schedule. The summer was filled with the excitement of a book launch, travelling, touring, interviews, and promotion, and I only managed to write a little bit, here and there. Now that the book promotion is slowing a little bit (I’m still doing quite a few readings this month–check out “where I’m reading next” for details), I will have time for my daily writing routine again.

And I’m very glad for that…I’m working on the second novel (still no title in mind) and am about 1/2 way through its first draft. There is still lots of writing and editing to do on it. I’ll keep you posted…