Thursday, October 23, 2008

Northern Town Girl Really Knows How To Write Poetry

I was at Rosanna Deerchild's launch tonight for her brand new poetry book "this is a small northern town." It was fabo (as I thought it would be).

Rosanna is such a great person. Very energetic and exciting and...crazy. Yeah, a little bit nuts. ;-)

Her poetry is really, really good. Very visual. It can be hard or sweet. I love hearing poetry read aloud - I get a lot more out of it than just reading it myself. Maybe that's just me.

Jane Munro, a visiting poet at THIN AIR 2008, said that she doesn't feel like her poetry is "finished" until it's been read out loud - truly delivered, to the audience. That's how I feel about poetry. I love hearing it.

Rosanna and I met through the Writers Festival, THIN AIR 2005 to be precise. My first festival, when I was a lowly Advertising Assistant (with lots of production lacky thrown in). I was volunteered to drive Rosanna and Marty Chan up on the Rural Tour that year - heading out to Portage la Prairie and Minnedosa.

Basically, the short of the long is, a few weeks before the festival Rosanna was unsure if she would be able to make the tour at all. I emailed her a few times, and to my recollection (I'm sure she would disagree here - heh!), I was sure she said she wasn't coming.

Well, the early early morning of the tour comes, and I meet Marty at the hotel, and we load into the car, and take off. We're like 10 minutes past the perimeter when my cell phone rings and Tavia is shouting "You forgot Rosanna!"

WTF?!? What do you mean I forgot her?!

Well, I felt kinda bad, obviously! Luckily it all worked out - Charlene jumped in her car and drove Rosanna out to meet us at Portage la Prairie, and we took it from there.

It was a great drive, and great to hang out with her, and hear her poetry for the first time. It's cool to hear some of those poems now, again, in their "final" form, in her new book.

Congratulations Rosanna!!

Rejection stings even when you're kinda expecting it


Well, my query letter came back from Orca books the other day - rejected.

The editor wrote a really nice personal letter, which I really appreciate. I was really hoping this would be the one! But alas, it was not.

BUT! One can not give up hope on one rejection! Stephen King had hundreds, thousands, millions (okay, maybe not MILLIONS, but lots) of rejections before he became famous! I can't give up! I won't give up!

As the Orca editor said, this story wasn't for her, but maybe it will be for some other editor at another publishing house. We can only hope! I plan on sending out about 10-15 query letters in the next two weeks (probably in two weeks after my PBN articles and my editing for Steve's second D&D module for RITE Publishing is finished by November 3).

And then the waiting begins anew...

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Navels and Birds

Well, Ariel Gordon, alumnist of the WWG (that's Wolseley Writers Group) had her book launch tonight at Aqua Books.
Yay Ariel!

I was the only member able to make it out to support her. Frank and David were busy at work, Polly had some pathetic excuse about living in a different city ;-) so it was up to me to carry the WWG flag! Heh!

It was a nice event. It was not only the launch of the chapbook (Navel Gazing) but also the start of the Western Canadian tour for Kerry Ryan and Ariel (four cities in 7 days! Woo-hoo! Or something like that). It should be cool.

Bucking the traditional reading trend, Ariel forced members of her family and a friend to read her poems instead of herself (heh!). Well, I guess "forced" is a little strong. And it was kinda cool. Ariel herself read first and last.

And then, there was a draw to buy her book! Really! She only had 10 available for sale, so people had to put their names in a hat to buy one. And I got one! Yay! Nine were drawn, and the tenth was auctioned off to support the AquaBooksLandsdowne Poetry prize. Cool.

And I'm still waiting to hear back from Orca books in regards to my query letter - hopefully they'll ask to see the manuscript! Hopefully!!

THIN AIR 2008 Over!

Well, it was a week of hard work (well, a year's worth of hard work, culminating into a week of deadly, hard work), but THIN AIR 2008 is over, and it was a rousing success! AGAIN!

It seemed to go a bit smoother this year (although we were super uber understaffed AGAIN!). All of the problems seemed smaller, and more manageable, although we were all very busy.

The writers were great, the audiences were great (and increased I think) and everything was great! Yahoo!

- getting to hang out with Arthur Slade
- telling Art that he was my biggest fan (yes, I really said this after only a minute after meeting brain was getting tired, what can I say. Although it makes for a great story now)
- hanging out a bit with Kenneth Oppel
- listening to Paul Quarrington sing at the AfterWords series
- finding out that Aqua Books is a really good venue for our AfterWords and Pint of Bitter Murder and our Volunteer Appreciation party
- finding out that the Big Ideas series is a big hit!
- meeting Judith Keenan from Bookshorts
- having a movie Matinee at MTYP on Sunday (and selling popcorn!)
- Tanya taking vacation during Festival week so she could keep the house in order and hang out with me every night at Mainstage! Yay!
- meeting (again) lots of really nifty, great, kind, intelligent writers!

Now...we begin the process all over again!