Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Find Yourself In Fiction!

Hello, again!

Now that The Firestarter can officially hold a connection, without setting anything aflame, it's time for some more good news!

Awesome adventure #1: This Saturday (October 1st), W.F.N.B director and local author Lee Thompson will be reading from his novel-in-progress at the Riverview Public Library, followed by a workshop. The reading starts at 1 pm, and is free; the workshop, Find Yourself In Fiction, costs $40 and will run from 2-4 pm.

Awesome adventure #2: The hospital recitation has been confirmed for October 24th, and I'll be reading from my novel-in-progress as part of a presentation on family violence. I've got 30 minutes to fill, so I'd best get to work.

Awesome adventure #3: The Writers Who CARE campaign begins next week. For those who are in the area and are interested, please contact Kathy-Diane Leveille, via her website.

Awesome adventure #4: National Novel Writing Month is just around the corner- if caffeine, sleepless nights, and speed-writing are your thing, check out NaNoWriMo.org for more info. I also applied for a position as an ML (Municipal Liaison), so those of you in the Moncton/Dieppe/Riverview area may see more of me... Lucky you. :)


Signing off,
El Veeb.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Dancin' With Words, and Bad Techno-Romance: Parte Deux.

Ooh, finally!

I've been dying to get on here since Saturday afternoon, but d'you think that my laptop (a.k.a. The Firestarter) can stay connected to the 'net for more than 5 minutes? Not frickin' likely.

The 'pooter is on the fritz again- in fact, the BF has just informed me that he purchased it with a cracked motherboard. Way to go, Travis. Anyway, moving on to the fun part...


Topics ranged in scale from the minuscule (syntax/sentence structure) to the ginormous ('what is the heart of your novel?'), and many laughs were had. We learned how to emulate our writing role-models (it's not considered cheating- there is a difference, you know), shared personal stories, poems, and even read the prep exercises we'd done beforehand; I'll be posting mine shortly, so pop on over to Allpoetry and sign up to let me know how I did. :)

Once again, I cannot even begin to describe what a wonderful teacher Donna is. I don't know if I'll ever be able to do what she does, since I imagine that having to listen to a bunch of writers who, while we don't suck, are nowhere near as gifted as she is must get a bit exhausting. Of course, it's possible for a good teacher to transform even the most-inept student into a prodigy, so there's hope for me yet!

She was also generous enough to pose for a photo-op, so that I can put her picture in the same space as Atwood and Harris. Sadly, with the 'pooter out of commish, I can't post it yet... I do, however, assure you that it will be up as soon as the desktop is up and running. Sometime before Christmas, I hope.

Until next time,
El Veeb.

PS: Hospital recitation date is tentatively set for October 31st. More on that, as details come in.

Friday, September 16, 2011

An Evening Of Epic Proportions!

Good evening (though it probably won't be, by the time I'm done posting this), dear readers!

I've just returned from a 2-week hiatus, which I spent visiting family and friends in Ontario... Since a lot of the relationships in my novel are rooted in my real life (with the exception of bits like the one from tonight's reading, of course), I came back with a ton of ideas and hope that they will produce some potentially-publishable sequences.

But, enough about me... Onto the REAL reason for this post!

Tonight marked a new beginning for the Attic Owl reading series. Having had the entire summer off, it was with great pleasure that I joined the other writers- including award-winning author Donna Morrissey- for a beautiful supper at La Teraz. The meal consisted of risotto, asparagus, bread, and pork medallions so soft that they practically melted in my mouth, and was followed by a scrumptious strawberry shortcake for dessert... A big thank-you to Mario and Jackie, for not making us cook for ourselves. :)

Then, the fun part... the reading!

Since public speaking and I don't mix, it was incredibly nerve-wracking to open for someone like Donna... Still, Chapter 2 (M's first part) was well-received, and I managed to stay upright for the entire recitation. Sharing part of my 8-year work-in-progress, which had never been read by anyone but my mom, was a bit like a coming-out party- both liberating and utterly terrifying, all at once.

One thing I did not anticipate, however, was the crowd's reaction. The novel was written for a younger (read: mid-teens to early twenties) audience, and I definitely hadn't thought that a group comprised mostly of older adults would react so viscerally to it... It was very unexpected, though it gave me hope for my future career- if they liked it, then I don't suck at writing... right?

Also worth noting: I received an invitation to read my excerpt at the Moncton Hospital, to a class that is studying the effects of family violence (a major theme in that particular passage) on children and teens. Psychology has always been a passion of mine, so I'm definitely amped-up about that (if the whole writing thing doesn't work out, perhaps I'll even have a future in it). Unexpected, but a great perk... More on that, as the details come in.

*boots ego out of the window closest to the 'pooter*

Of course, Donna really made this event special. She is amazing, on so many levels, and the first real writing role-model I've had who is more than just a name on a cover. Her advice has been invaluable, and she's a great teacher... I feel sorry for those unable to make it to Saturday's workshop, since you're missing out on a fantastic experience.

(FYI: my bookshelf has also just informed me that it's a tremendous honour to have a signed copy of Sylvanus Now on it, alongside Alias Grace and You Comma Idiot, and I agree with it completely).

Yep, I talk to my bookshelf. Clearly, bedtime was a few hours ago...

Sadly, I still have to wake up in the morning and attempt to find a normal, soul-sucking, 9-5 job- preferably something that involves as few human beings as possible (unless they're writers) and doesn't suck... I guess that rules out office dronery, any position that requires me to cook stuff, and everything else. Just thinking about it is exhausting... yawn.

Until Saturday,