April 4, 2008

Two readings and a name change: I was privileged to appear as a reader at two recent events. The first, Java Knights, is a recurring evening at the nearly-famed Gladstone Hotel (probably the closest Toronto ever came to having a Chelsea Hotel, though as far as I know nobody famous ever OD'd there.) The last Tuesday of every month is a queer-themed night (this one on queer literature.) I was thrilled to see people emerging from the sleet and rain and wind to fill all the seats in the Art Bar and hear five of us read from our books. The other readers included Pat Capponi, David D'Heane, Todd Klinck and Debra Anderson (the latter of whom I was among the first to publish in the Church-Wellesley Review). Check out the link for upcoming events: http://gaywest.905host.net/files/javaknights.php. Hosted by CIUT's Bryen Dunn, it's fun and well-attended, so you never know who you might meet there.

The second evening took place in London at UWO's Pride Library, a dedicated wing in the DB Weldon Library, one of only two queer-themed libraries in the world (the other being in India.) It felt a little like walking into Oscar Wilde's drawing room--plush chaises lounges in exotic coverings, an orchid-covered table and books books books. The only thing missing were the peacock feathers. The library started off a decade ago in the office of James Miller, UWO's professor of medieval literature, and has since grown and been given a room of its own. Although it's getting to be well-stocked, they're always looking for donations: http://www.uwo.ca/pridelib/. Of all the readings I've done, this one was the most enjoyable. The audience (including many women who had come to hear Nairne Holtz read from her literary-thriller, The Skin Beneath) was highly attentive and asked some great questions afterwards. I also noted a couple of writing celebs in the group, including PA Brown (LA Heat) and Emma Donoghue (Landing, Slammerkin, etc.)

And finally, if you're familiar with my Blog you'll note I've changed it's name. Perhaps I'm just getting more realistic (or more Realist), but having taken stock of all that's been in my life, and all I've missed (children, a steady pay cheque, RSP contributions, to name a few) I've decided (in as non-bitter a way as possible) that A Writer's Half-Life is a more apt description of what I and others like me really have. But would I give it up? Not for a second!

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