Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Toronto Small Press Book Fair

If you live in Toronto mark your calendars! The Toronto Small Press Book Fair is on June 7th.

Where: Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre, 750 Spadina Avenue (corner of Spadina/Bloor). Hours: 12pm-5pm

Don't miss it. There's going to be loads of great magazines and cool stuff!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


I'm back from a too-short vacation (aren't they always too short?) and what is the first thing I read in my in box? A rejection letter from a magazine I submitted a short story to a few months ago. What a drag. But, alas, that is the life of a writer. To be fair, the magazine in question published a story of mine a few years ago so it's not all bad. The vacation was fun (thanks for asking). We were planning on going to Ottawa but couldn't find a hotel room, everything was booked up because of the Ottawa marathon. So we stayed here in Toronto and did touristy things which was actually kind of fun. I didn't get much reading done, mostly because vacationing with my non-stop husband always feels like I've entered an adventure race. But I did snag a copy of the latest Bust magazine as we raced by a magazine stand (Amy Sedaris is on the cover!) and snuck peeks at it as we zoomed around the city on the subway.

Probably because I was too busy to write anything else, I started writing haikus in my head and then jotting them down later in my moleskine. Years ago I went through a phase where I wrote a haiku a day. It's actually kind of fun. I like the restrictions of the 5 syllable, 7 syllable, 5 syllable format. It's like exercise for your brain. I've decided to keep it up for a while. I may even share some of them here. If you feel like taking the haiku-a-day challenge then please join me!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Seven Years in Tibet

With Tibet in the news so much lately I decided to finally read Seven Years in Tibet. Written by Heinrich Harrer, it is the story of his escape from a POW camp in India during WWII and his harrowing journey to neutral Tibet. After two years he finally makes it to the forbidden city of Lhasa, the capital of Tibet where he lives happily for the next several years, learning the language and culture of Tibet. Eventually he even becomes the Dalai Lama's tutor. He reluctantly flees when the Chinese invade and wrote this book almost immediately after to plea Tibet's case to rest of the world.

This reads like an adventure story and if you are interested in learning more about Tibet I'd recommend the book. However if you are interested in the bits about the Dalai Lama be warned, he doesn't come into the story until the last fifty pages or so. I learned quite a bit from Heinrich Harrer's book and feel even more strongly that the Chinese should leave Tibet.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Fiery First Fiction

I just stumbled onto this. What a great way to promote first time authors! Check it out.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Computers Drive Me Nuts

Or at least this one does. I spend oodles of time last night trying to set up a link list for this poor little blog. It took me some time, like hours, but I eventually realized there is a pop up window my computer is blocking. Apparently with this pop up it is very easy to make a list of links, even for a computer retard like myself. I then spent some time trying to bribe my computer into allowing the pop up window to, well, pop up. Despite getting it to allow pop ups for this site, it still squashed the window every time it tried to pop up. I even changed the template of my blog hoping that would solve my problem, but alas it didn't so I changed it all back then fell into bed. And this dear reader is why I prefer books to computers.

Sorry for the rant but I just had to get that out!

Sunday, May 4, 2008


"Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore?"

~Henry Ward Beecher

Friday, May 2, 2008

Cousin Rosamund

I finished reading Rebecca West's Cousin Rosamund the other day. It is the sequel to The Fountain Overflows and This Real Night. Both This Real Night and Cousin Rosamund were unfinished at the time of West's death. This Real Night was published from a typed manuscript, but Cousin Rosamund needed a bit of help from West secretary, Diana Stainforth, herself a novelist. Stainforth was able to put together the final third of Cousin Rosamund using West's notes. Because of this the book ends rather abruptly, though satisfactorily for this reader. However, I would only recommend This Real Night and Cousin Rosamund to the people who, like me, fell in love with the Aubrey family. Interestingly, in the afterword by Victoria Glendinning it is revealed West intended the series to be a quartet. A synopsis of the final unwritten book, written by West, is included. I would urge all fans to track that down. It tells what West wanted to say about the role of art and also what she intended the characters of Rosamund and Richard Quin to mean, as well as summing up what happens to many of the characters. Though I wish the four books had been completed by West during her lifetime, I am grateful for what exists. These are novels I will return to, the characters within them added to my list of fictional friends.

Aren't fictional friendships wonderful? Only true book lovers understand them. For only true book lovers know the comfort of these friendships which are steady, dependable and unchanging, as real life friendships rarely are.