September 27, 2009

Word On The Street proved as popular this year as ever, only this time it was my turn to read. I always enjoy introducing a new book to an audience, because it gives me a chance to get a feel for how people will react to it.

Today's festival was my second reading from The Honey Locust, after last week's session at Words Alive in Sharon Ontario. It was also my last public reading this month.

As enjoyable as the month has been, with a new book out, a new documentary screened, and a public performance of three new songs at the St Lawrence Centre, I'm exhausted and looking forward to doing very little in the week ahead.

Bake a cake and invite me over, someone.

September 22, 2009

A very busy weekend! It began with the publication of my new novel, The Honey Locust (Cormorant Books), of which I am very proud. It's a beautiful looking book and I think it's my best writing yet.

Then on Saturday, two premieres: my documentary on the life, career and charity work of singer Lilac Cana was followed by a performance of three songs I composed for Lilac. Best yet, I got to accompany her on piano on-stage at the St Lawrence Centre for the Arts. A magical evening.

On Sunday, I read from The Honey Locust for the first time, at Words Alive, a very special literary festival held on the grounds of the Sharon Temple, in Sharon ON.

September 18, 2009

My new book, The Honey Locust, arrived today. It's my fourth book, but this one feels really special, perhaps because it's taken so long to be published. I have never held a newborn baby in my hands and thought, "This is mine; I created this," while marveling at the infinite possibilities that lie ahead for it. And while I don't mean to undervalue the gift of human life (or my other books), I feel something very much like that, as I hold this book and caress it and marvel over its beauty.

September 12, 2009

Another fun night at the Proust and Company salon, featuring the new must-have anthology from editor Caro Soles and MLR Press. It was also Paul Bellini's birthday -- the Big "0". Happy birthday, Paul! And thanks to everyone who came to listen and buy a book.

Here's my take on the collection:

Don Juan & Men edited by Caro Soles (MLR Press 2009)

"What if Don Juan were gay?" is the question posited by this unique collection. Unlike his real-life counterpart, Giacomo Casanova, Don Juan is a fictional character, Byron's epic poem Don Juan and Mozart's opera Don Giovanni (libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte) being among the most famous versions of the legend. Now editor Caro Soles presents us with a convincing collection of short fiction showing the Don's other face as gay seducer. Characterized by fine craftsmanship, as much a nod to editor Soles' qualities as a curator as to the talented writers she's selected, this collection gives a wonderfully varied look at what a gay Don Juan might be like: greedy and generous, sadistic and loving, aggressive and gentle, and most of all, irresistible.

September 1, 2009

A rather remarkable morning at the recording studio today. I spent two hours with singer Lilac Cana and producer Michael Freedman going over the four songs I'd written for Lilac's new CD, Blossom. Of the four, we loved three and decided to scrap one, eventually re-recording the first song we recorded back in spring. There was nothing wrong with the take, but in the intervening months, Lilac and I had found a new tone and tempo for the song, and it made the old take sound lacklustre. I'm quite excited about the collection, which features a young violinist on the third song, Violets, with words by english poet John Moultrie.


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