It's been another busy week, with an author power-lunch with writer Michael Rowe (one of my favourite people to kvetch with), a book signing at the Book Expo at the Metro Convention Centre, and silly good fun with writer Peter Dube (here on a writers grant from Quebec) and poet Billeh Nickerson (just bumming around while on leave from Vancouver.) That's the fun part of being a writer.
It's been a powerhouse week. First an Author's Brunch and then the Book Lovers Ball, and now the end of the rough draft of my latest book.
This one's a mystery (I'm keeping the title to myself for now), but not comical like the Bradford Fairfax series. I had the inspiration for it last summer while attending a BBQ with a band of rock musicians, but was unable to get started on it till recently.
I began the draft on Jan 18 and have worked on it sporadically but quickly since then. It's not a record by any means: that belongs to Vanished In Vallarta, due this summer from Cormorant Books. That one was roughed out in 14 days straight.
I'll sit on this new one for the next two weeks and take it with me to work on in Mexico in March.
Had a terrific night at the Book Lovers Ball V at the Fairmount Royal York, held in aid of the Toronto Library Foundation. It was a star-studded event, with names like Peter C Newman, Wayson Choy, Nino Ricci, Richard Gwynne, Anne Michaels, Dionne Brand, Allan Stratton, Andrew Pyper, and many others, for a total of 55 celebrity authors. I felt a bit outclassed, but loved it nonetheless. I got to sit with John Farrell of the TPL, as well as folks from fashion houses Farley Chatto and Indiva, who were responsible for two of eight fashion segments on book themes (Sherlock Holmes and Slumdog Millionaire), featuring some fantastic creations and terrific choreography. I’d happily do it all again tomorrow night.
Happy 79th, James Dean! Yikes, can you imagine? Not really.
Had a great time yesterday at an Author's Brunch fundraiser for the Dayne Ogilvie Grant for Emerging LGBT Writers, sponsored by the Writers' Trust. Dayne and I were colleagues at Xtra! in the early-90s. He was an editor, writer and arts patron, so it's fitting that this grant should be established in his name by his good friend, Robin Pacific.
Writers Wayson Choy, Maureen Hines, Brian Francis and Zoe Whittall were there, along with many other enthusiastic supporters of the arts. It was a friendly, homey crowd. I read briefly from The Honey Locust, my new literary novel published by Cormorant Books.
The wine was pretty good, too.
This month I finally finished my new video. Driving With Rusty is a composite of archival stage show footage and interview material with the late-Rusty Ryan. Rusty was a founding member of The Great Imposters and a protege of Craig Russell. In 1992, he performed in my one-man show, Driving To Tatamagouche, at the Fringe of Toronto Festival. I had intended to make a documentary on his life and career, but it remained unfinished when he died in 2003. At last, there is a tribute to his talent and inimitable sense of humour.