Queer Within These Walls

dsc00057.jpgdsc00049.jpgDebra Anderson, Pat Capponi and I did a second QWTW event, this one a lunchtime event at George Brown College in Toronto and co-sponsored by the Positive Space Committee, the Assaulted Women’s and Children’s Counsellor/Advocate Program and General Education and Access.

Once again, I appreciated reading with these wonderful writers and responding to audience questions. Debra read excerpts from Code White, her novel about a dyke who is institutionalized in a mental health hospital. Pat read from This Stop Sunnyside, her mystery set in Parkdale. 

I read scenes about Shaffiq’s fascination with reading confidential case files left on desks and Nasreen’s pseudo-therapeutic interactions with her boss. We’re scheduled to do another event like this, sometime in April for Queer Health Matters. Stay tuned…

Peterborough and Winter (arrgh)

I had a blast at Trent University this past week. I facilitated a writing workshop and a self-care workshop for marginalized communities for the Trent Queer Collective on Wednesday and then did a public reading there. Trent has a reputation for attracting smart, creative and activist-oriented people and my brief interaction with students held up that reputation.

And Peterborough seemed to be a friendly place too. On the way out of the parking lot, I got stuck in some deep snow (oh! how tired I am of this winter!) and within 5 minutes, during which I skidded myself even deeper into the parking lot, half a dozen strangers, all men, showed up and started pushing, shoveling and salting  me out (I must have been sweating out some powerful damsel in distress pheromones). 

Speaking of pheromones, this week was Valentine’s Day. I headed to Body Blitz with my girlfriend and another couple for some pampering in the “water circuit”, a real treat on a cold winter day. We went from the salt bath to the steam room to the cold pool (apparently good for the thyroid, otherwise I would have skipped that part) and then to the green tea hot pool. Very nice…

Like lots of Torontonians who are suffering through the two metre high snowdrifts and lack of sunshine, I look for ways to get through the season without falling too deeply into SAD. I am very appreciative for our upcoming “Family Day” (hey, I’ll take an extra statutory holiday whatever its called and whoever created it just so he will get re-elected).

Another upcoming highlight in February: my reading with Pat Capponi and Debra Anderson at Queer Within These Walls on Feb 21st (see the posting below for details). We’re reading on themes of living and working within mental health institutions.

February news: a glossary, readings and a contest

Happy February everyone! Here’s some news to share: 
NEW! A Stealing Nasreen Glossary is now available! 

Upcoming Readings:
Feb 13th 5:30-7:00pm, at Traill College, Trent University, Snr Common Room, Scott House, 310 London Street, Peterborough. Organized by the Trent Queer Collective. Wheelchair accessible.

Feb 21st, 12-1pm, Queer Within These Walls – A Literary Lunch Event on All are welcome to this FREE & wheelchair accessible event! Featuring three local queer writers who will read from their novels on themes of working and living within mental health institutions. Come see Debra Anderson, Farzana Doctor, & Pat Capponi, at George Brown College – St. James Campus, (200 King St. E., 4th Floor Foyer). Short Q & A afterwards. Books will be on sale and authors will be available to sign books. Co-sponsored by the George Brown College Positive Space Campaign, the Assaulted Women’s & Children’s Counsellor/Advocate Program (A.W.C.C.A.) & General Education and Access. For more info call For more info call (416) 415-5000 Ext.4069 or email positivespace@georgebrown.ca or visit www.georgebrown.ca/positivespace

And another contest from Open Book:

Enter Open Book’s February contest for a chance to win a $100 gift certificate to The Beguiling (601 Markham Street, www.beguiling.com , Toronto’s incredible bookstore specializing in graphic novels. To enter the contest you have simply to answer the following question: If you had to spend Valentine’s Day with a character from Canadian fiction, which one would you choose? Explanations are welcome, but not essential.

Send in your answer by email to info@openbooktoronto.com  with the subject line “Beguiled”. Your name will be entered in a draw for the gift certificate, and the lucky winner’s name will be selected on February 22. After the contest closes, Open Book will post a list of all the suggested characters.Thanks to everyone who nominated Stealing Nasreen to the Open Book Overlooked Booklist. Stealing Nasreen made it to the list! Go to www.openbook.com for more details.