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Showing posts from April, 2011

Announcing my first book of poetry – plus the WriteNow!@King experience

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At the beginning of April, my poetry manuscript, When the Earth, was accepted for publication. The night I found out, my husband poured me a scotch and I was so calm. I expected to stay calm, but by the next morning, the excitement was intense. Nerve-wracking and thrilling.   
My poetry editor explained that it's not too late to add some additional poems to the manuscript - but I have a fairly small window. My book is already available for preorder! 
In the midst of all this, I had my first speaking engagement coming up at WriteNow!@King – the writers’ group that meets at the King City Library. It took a lot more time to plan the talk than I imagined – from handouts to researching hot leads. I did get a bit side-tracked in my research, but it was worth it.

I had one link that looked interesting about how to make a free book trailer. Free book trailer? Fantastic. But I thought I'd better check it out thoroughly before I recommended it to the group. The result? I made a book tr…

Quattro Books Launch and a host of other happenings

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There’s so much going on lately.
First off, I experienced my first Quattro Launch last Tuesday night. The author readings were spectacular – it was their night. Even the author introductions were riveting.
John Calabro introduced Vanessa Smith, author of the novella Grace. We learned how John met Vanessa at a writer’s festival. John read Vanessa's blog and found her to be a talented writer. As it turned out, Vanessa was working on her story Grace, which John asked to see. The rest is history.
A.F. Moritz introduced poet Luciano Iacobelli, author of Book of Disorders. We learned from Moritz that Luciano lives in such an eclectic apartment that it should be called a “togetherment”. Moritz ended by saying that Luciano is a poet who addresses the reality that thought and passion are not separate – but one.
With incredible ease and charm, Beatriz Hausner introduced poet Rob Rolfe, author of Saugeen. Apparently Rob’s book needed little to no editing – but then again, Rob is a seasoned…

Workshop for Blocked Poets

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Last week, Luciano Iacobelli of Quattro Books held a workshop for blocked poets at the Toronto Reference Library.

“We’re going to produce a lot of nonsense today,” Luciano announced. Out of the nonsense – he assured us – something would emerge.
Luciano gave us permission to have fun. “Language is Plasticine; it’s Lego; it’s like sand in a sandbox,” he told us.
He wanted us to get out of our usual way of approaching writing and be ready to experiment. He asked us to be aware of what we’re telling ourselves, even before we begin writing. What is our “editor-self” or “censor” saying? In order to quiet this censor, we have to give ourselves permission to write badly.
Our first exercise began with a free write. The censor was not invited. We had to write whatever came into our heads and keep writing no matter what.
Luciano coached us through several other writing exercises, including one that I found one particularly challenging. We had to pick a phrase from the writing we’d done so far a…

From Poetry to Fiction and Back Again

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Who are my favourite poets? I tend to think in terms of specific poems that I like, instead of poets.

Here are two poems worth taking the time to enjoy: "Little Ache" by Li-Young Lee and "Failing and Flying" by Jack Gilbert. I was happy to find these on the net. I'm guilty of not always remembering who wrote what, and I thought I'd never find them again. 
In the poetry group I work with, we read poems that inspire us - before we begin writing. It's a great way to tap into your creativity.
Many of the poems I like are not by "famous" people. There's a myth going around that people in general don't read literary journals...but they have some of the best content. Edgy, innovative and surprising.

If reading a journal, I always read the poetry first. Mostly poetry seduces me away from fiction. I make more time to write poetry. So fiction is always taking second place. 
I have a few abandoned novels - or let's be honest - failed novels. …

Keeping It Real

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I recently took a workshop on marketing your wares as a writer. As writers, we've been told that we need to play our part in selling our books – that publishers expect writers to promote their own work. Of course. I get it. And this isn't exactly new news. Everyone in the arts is expected to get out there and promote themselves. I've always agreed that a writer should get behind their work and do what they can to sell their books. Well, why not? We have to.

However, lately I've been thinking about this whole thing and I feel like I don't want to spend all my time marketing/promoting instead of writing. A little bit of promo work suits me just fine. But too much, and I'll start to lose my focus. I want to write. The business side of writing is important. I do do it. I send out my work in hopes of publication. I promote events that I'll be reading at... but I can't turn into a marketing machine. It just doesn't feel right for me. I'd rather writ…