The past few months I’ve been fortunate enough to visit Vancouver three times to take part in literary events (and I got to hang with my best friend, too who, luckily, has a spare room and delicious food). Lucky me. In addition to sharing a bit from The Pull of the Moon, I’ve met some new-to-me writers, some hard-working organizers and some new readers, a couple of whom have even written interviews and reviews. Cheers to that!
The first event was Real Vancouver Writers Series, RVWS, which just celebrated its 5th Anniversary this weekend. I attended in late November, and read to a fun-loving, jam-packed audience at Index Art Gallery in East Vancouver, alongside these fine writers: Phinder Dulai, Christine Lowther, Matt Rader, Trish Kelly and Ian Weir, hosted by the inimitable Sean Cranbury and Dina Del Bucchia.
The second reading was in January, at the Railway Club, where I was one of the Strangers on a Train at Langara’s new reading series. Phinder Dulai was there once more, along with Aaron Peck, Kevin Chong and Amy Sture. A full house and good, cold cider on tap, plus Heather Jessup’s lovely MC’ing made this a great night in an iconic locale.
And lastly, The Vancouver Writers’ Festival holds a twice-monthly reading series called “Incite,” and on Feb. 25th, I was honoured to share the stage with Marguerite Pigeon and Susan Juby. We were gallantly introduced by Hal Wake, then each of us took a turn speaking and reading before we entered the Q & A stage, on stage, together. It was completely unplanned, but all of us read pieces that featured male anatomy, with two of us boldly spelling the “P” word out (Marguerite and me) and one of us (Susan) just one word away. Good times. We behaved ourselves, otherwise. (No, Ma, it wasn’t me saying it, it was my narrator!!)
In February, I was also one of the featured readers at Planet Earth Poetry’s Fiction night in Victoria, alongside the wise George Szanto, who’s also got a recent book out with Brindle & Glass. I loved having the time to read a full story (“Crossing Over”), especially to an engaged audience who laughed at the right times.
Here I am, reading said story. First time with the reading glasses in public. Great for seeing the words; not so great for seeing anything else in the room. Ah well. At least I didn’t spill anything.
I think I’ve got the month of March away from the mic… but I’ll be doing mini workshops at The Malahat Review’s WordsThaw event on March 21st, and also sitting in the audience at their stellar events. I’ve even got a seat in Phil Hall’s poetry workshop, which follows beautifully from a one-day workshop I attended last month with poet Kate Braid, on poetic forms. It seems I might have written a ghazal today. The transition from fiction to poetry for me seems to mean breaking the habit of thinking and writing in sentences. (I’m working on it; I’m also working on some fresh stories. Can’t. Stop. The. Stories.)
The Pull of the Moon even travels without me. Below, it’s got a sweet view of Havana, Cuba. (Thanks, MH!)
Oh, and I just booked my flight to go east to read in a few Ontario locations, as well as visit my eastern family and friends, in early May. I can hardly wait for that. As long as they’re still talking to me after my inability to stop posting photos of my flowers in this cray-cray early spring. Stay warm, rest of Canada. It is years like these that I really believe we should get this whole Cascadia thing going. My heart goes out to you. No, really.