Sunday, September 21, 2008

THIN AIR 2008 Opening Night!

Okay, I would totally be a dolt if I didn't at least blog a bit about my job, which is totally "writing related" as it pertains to bringing in tons of writers from across Canada and the world, to read, read, read to very appreciative readers of all ages and tastes for a whole darn week each September.

THIN AIR 2008 started tonight with a beautiful Opening Night at the Oodena Ceremonial Circle at the Forks in Winnipeg. Greetings were brought by various government types, and 5 readers read original writings about our place of Winnipeg: Jordan Wheeler, Chandra Mayor, Carol Matas, nereO Eugenio, and Marc Prescott. All wonderful readings, with wonderful sound (thank God for that this year!) and all outside under the starts amid a few literary appreciative mosquitos.

Very cool. We're off to a great start. Now let the Week Begin!
Tomorrow, I get to set up the whole sheebang of the Mainstage, hang out with Kenneth Oppel for a bit (well, okay, maybe not "hang out" but talk with him about his first performance, which I'll be helping to set up for him). I'm looking forward to talking with him, not as a groupie standing in line, but as a professional Arts Administrator ("ahem!") and struggling children's writer myself (well, I'll downplay the last part...I'm sure he hears "I'm a writer too!" all the time).

In any case, we're ready to soar after tonight's Lift Off!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Gone, gone, gone!

Okay, well, the manuscript didn't make it out the door the next day, but it DID make it out the door the next, next day! Thursday, September 4 and it's in the mail to Orca!

Woo-hoo! Now...we wait. Could be 3 to 4 months.

In other news: two weeks till THIN AIR 2008!?! WTF?!?! In three weeks it will pretty well be over. Wow!!

Our media conference went quite well on Wednesday - CTV did a great piece on it for the news. Also, our Watch & Win prize packs were well showcased last week at noon (and I've got one on tape to prove it!).

This weekend's plan: Relax. Try to get the energy back. I'll need it for the weeks to come. Some of our media stuff has taken up lots of my time, time I need to concentrate on my other 5 "jobs" (we all do like 10 different jobs in the office, thanks to having such a small staff). But it should be good. It will mean a few late nights, but that's okay. The payoff is gold.

Next week's Book Launches: Monday, Michael Van Rooy, Wednesday, David Bergen, Thursday, Joan Thomas (which I'll have to miss because it's Tany'as birthday that day...although I'm trying to fit in a book launch for the birthday evening - heh!).

Also, the Prairie Fire board starts up again! Ack! I just remembered I haven't sent them any minutes or agenda for next Tuesday's meeting! Crap! Well, I guess I know what I'm doing for part of my weekend now. Doh.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

It's Finally Going Out the Door!

As Margaret Buffie once told me: eventually you just have to pack it a lunch, and let it out the door!

By "it" I mean my manuscript!!!

Okay, okay, okay. So, I finally kicked my ass enough to write my submission letter, scribbled out and reduced, reduced, reduced my synopsis, and polished up the first 20 pages (4 chapters) of The Ghostcatcher Club and now it really, really IS going out the door!


I'm sending it to Orca Books because they are advertising on their site that they are accepting submissions right now in all genres. Woo-hoo! I can only hope!!
First step is done: submit submission letter with sample chapters and synopsis.
Second step: pray they ask for the whole manuscript! (this could take 3 to 4 months).

I'm also thinking of submitting it to a whole host of other publishing houses (Annick, Random House, KidsCanPress, etc) but I think I'll wait until October now. Mostly because I want to give Orca first crack at asking for the manuscript, but also because I'm friggen busy at the Festival right now!'s actually going out!!!

More and more Book Launches!

I did indeed attend the launch of the Prairie Bridesmaid for Daria Salamon. Wow! Lots of great support for her at that one! McNally Robinson Booksellers (Grant Park) in the Prairie Ink cafe was PACKED and overflowing with peopley goodness. And there were overseers as well in the kids balcony up, up, waaaaay up!

It was a great event. As part of the book's promotion, Daria found musicians who donated fresh, new and original songs to the book - basically a soundtrack! They're available for free download if you buy the book (you get a download code). How cool is that!!

Anyways, I mention them because three of the musicians were at the launch and played songs at the beginning, in the middle and near the end. Interspersed with her readings and playful, fun stories, it was a really, really great event. Much more than just a reading and Q&A!

Tonight, I was at the the launch for Miriam Toew's The Flying Troutman. It was PACKED as well. She was on the central staircase at MNR (Grant Park). She read and talked for a bit (she's very funny), and took lots of Q&A (lots more than I expected). I didn't stay for the signing because, well, she's coming to the Festival and I'll have at least one chance then to get her to sign my book! Tonight I also found out that some of the books have red lettering, and others silver. I have red...not sure if that is more rare, because everyone at McNally's who bought the book had silver (maybe because I received mine earlier? Who knows...).

Next up: Michael Van Rooy and David Bergen! Whew!