Sarnia and readings next week

I’m in Sarnia, sitting in a comfy chair in Coffee Lodge, killing time until I catch my train home. Last night I read at the Sarnia Public library to a small but enthusiastic group who braved a snowstorm for the sake of literature! I met a few members of the local gay group, Sarnia Pride  and received a warm welcome at the Sarnia Bookkeeper, a lovely local independent where I went to sign books afterwards.

Next week brings two more readings. The first is with Shyam Selvadurai at Ryerson on April 3rd at 4pm for RyePride. Later that night I will be a A Feast of Authors, 6-9pm and will be reading at the Early Years Centre Stage around 9pm. For more info about the event, go to:

Coming up this week…

You are invited to an upcoming Stealing Nasreen

book reading in Sarnia

Thursday, March 27th 7:00-8:30pm

Sarnia Public Library, 124 Christina Street South

Followed by a Q&A and book signing.

Copies of Stealing Nasreen will be available for sale.

Endorsed bySarnia Lambton Pride 

Copies of Stealing Nasreen can also be found at The Sarnia Book Keeper 

See the report by the The Sarnia Observer

My Comfort Inn Writing Retreat

I accompanied my partner to Waterloo this week, and while she was busy doing work stuff on Thursday, I stayed back at our hotel room with my laptop. Now, I’m not sure whether it was the power of the Waterloo Comfort Inn or that I had nothing else to do in that characterless room, but I had an amazingly productive writing day. I imagined I would get some good, distraction-free writing time, but never expected the day to pass so quickly, and to pump out two weeks worth of pretty good pages.

I’ve only been to one other writing retreat before. That was a week in December 2006 when I went to Mexico. I committed half my day to completing Stealing Nasreen revisions (and the rest of the day to being a tourist in very lovely Zihuatenejo). The work was fine, but revisions and new writing are two very different processes. So, I never expected to work so fast in one day in Waterloo.

This says something to me about the truth to that old cliche of the writer going into seclusion to complete a project. I always thought it was a rather romantic proposition that would be hard to incorporate into my busy life. But one day in writer’s heaven (even it was in an overpriced, drab hotel with a view of a four lane road in Southern Ontario) has had me thinking otherwise.

Speaking of which, any hotel owners out there who’d like to offer me a free room now and again? B&B operators? Cottage owners? (seriously!)

Happy International Women’s Day!

There’s much to celebrate this IWD…

I attended and did a book reading at a great celebration for IWD yesterday at the Noor Cultural Centre called “Sisters’ Doing It For Themselves, Muslim Women Organizing”.  There were fabulous performers there including Rosina Kazi from LAL, and Farheen Beg.  Selma Al-Nadhir (the younger sister of Alwy, who was unjustly killed by the police this past Hallowe’en) spoke eloquently and courageously about the Justice for Alwy Campaign.

And there is much to struggle against too…

In contrast to this wonderful energy this week was Toronto Rob Ford’s racist remarks about “orientals” and his refusal to publicly apologize for these comments (he felt he was “complimenting” Asians). If you are as angry as I am about this, write him an e-mail at telling him. I’m going to turn my anger into action tomorrow, as I join the Toronto IWD march and hand out “Rob Ford: Resign” stickers. You can also join the Facebook page decrying this boor’s racism.

This is how IWD has always been …a mixture of celebration and fighting back…

February is over!

Thank the universe that February is finally over! It’s been a month of too much snow and cold and not enough sunshine…

But holing up makes for good writing time, and February has taken me to the 3/4 point of my second novel (the draft anyway!).

So on to March…here are a  couple of public appearances/readings I’ll be doing:

I’ll be attending a Q&A session at the next downtown DesiLit Book Club meeting on Wednesday March 5th.

I’ll be reading at the Sisters Doing it For Themselves event (I’m slotted in for 9:20) at the Noor Centre on Thursday March 6th.

And I will be visiting the Sarnia Public Library on March 27th, 7pm. Books will be available for sale there, and can also be found at the Sarnia Book Keeper. This event is endorsed by Sarnia Lambton Pride.