Absent Blogger In Love

It’s also been such a full and plump autumn full of events, mini deadlines (mini meaning not book-length projects but essays, short stories, copyedits of material going to publication, etc.), as well as the Athabasca University WIR work and preps for upcoming Writer’s Studio at SFU in the new year.

I sent the first draft of my first graphic novel to my agent. Got her feedback. Will return to the text to revise– hoping to finish that off in December. We shall see what the writing goddesses decree!

At the end of October I was in Toronto for Impossible Words Reading Series, a writing workshop, IFOA and the World Fantasy Convention. Whirlwind! It was so intensive and exciting and rather exhausting. Whenever I’m in TO and on a hectic work schedule I always make sure to get some body work done at Six Degrees Community Acupuncture! Their community-based model is so inspiring and with a sliding scale rate it’s affordable for so many. My scattered spirit and fast-paced workheart always get calmed and grounded there. High recommend!

I can’t say enough about the lovely time I shared with the Impossible Words folks and the workshop I did with the Toronto Street Writers. The youth were so incredibly keen, thoughtful, energized and creative. I felt so privileged to share that space with them. Marvellous!

The IFOA events were so posh! <wide-eyed>. I had that dissonance thing that happens when I’m in a hotel room with a king-sized bed, Lake Ontario and DT Toronto spread across my window, a bottle of gin on the dresser. Ohboy! I was on an SF panel that was called “From Science to Fiction”. Although I read a great deal of SF I don’t exactly write a lot of it. A couple of distinctly SF stories have been published, but it’s not exactly my area of speciality. So it was with measure of trepidation I approached the panel. Well, I told myself. I didn’t put me on the panel, and I can only speak to what I can about the topic. I’m afraid the panel talk grew a little “heated” shall we say, when I disagreed with one of the comments from a fellow panelist. Yikes! Alas, we can’t all agree with one another and if we can’t share difference of opinions/ideas on a panel discussion (isn’t that one of the points of a panel? to air different ideas/thoughts on a topic?), really, what’s the point of having a panel? Happily I wasn’t upset by the exchange and walked away having learned a few more things about how one might perform a panel:

1) That a panel is still a kind of performance.

2) Don’t get intensely emotionally involved with the engagement.

3) State your thoughts carefully and thoughtfully. Be clear and concise.

4) If someone tries to interrupt you, stop them by telling them you’re not finished yet, and continue speaking until you are finished. This is especially important to do if you are a woman and the person trying to stop you is a man.

So much to learn and grow! ^___^

I stayed at the Westin Harbour Castle hotel during IFOA and one night I was walking through the lobby when I heard the intonations of Japanese. I glanced at the open lounge area and saw four Asian women talking. I continued on past and sent off a postcard. When I returned I saw and heard them again. It was definitely Japanese. If I were my younger me I wouldn’t have done it, but now I’m 45 and there’s very little to be embarrassed about any longer. I walked to their table.

“I’m sorry to trouble you,” (I said in Japanese– the language of courtesy and manners, apologize for being an ass even before you’ve been called one, etc.) “But I couldn’t help overhearing you talking in Japanese, and I wondered if, perhaps, you might be the Japanese Hiromis (there were three of us at IFOA! :D, Hiromi Kawakami and Hiromi Ito) attending the festival? I’m Hiromi Goto, the Japanese Canadian writer.”

And they were!!! Along with the director of The Japan Foundation. I got to sit down with them and share a drink and talk about writing, love, shit, Kumamoto, rifujiku, cultural grammar…. It was so lovely and heartening! It’s lovely to make new connections and I was thrilled to be able to talk to Japanese writers of the same sex. We have so little access to English translation of contemporary Japanese novels written by women in Canada. I think there are far more translation available in the US, but it’s so very hit and miss to find them here. The other Hiromis and I all did book swaps and I’m looking forward to reading their work over the colder season! Yessss!

World Fantasy Convention was busy, thrumming and engaging. I did a reading and a panel, got to meet Jeff and Ann Vander Meer in person (Yay!), attended many panels, wrote notes, and, I must say, it was kinda cool to have David G. Hartwell ask me to sign my book for him…. Talked to so many people! The Cooke Agency (who represent me) had a gorgeous party in their suite. Had lovely conversations there as well.

I’m afraid I didn’t take any photos of these events. I suppose if I switched to a smart phone (as all my friends except Rita Wong entreats me to do) I’d be able to take more photos in a casual and easy way. But whatevs! I still have memory and language. <grin>

Hoping to hunker into writing and writing. I want to live and breathe inside of it as if I were writing inside a womb of my own making…. It will be a womb of one’s own, would it not? Hahahahahahahahaaaa!

(Ha! Agent Sally Harding just happened to send me a photo from the display case at IFOA, so lovely serendipity!)

“Canadian Fantastic Literature”