Showing posts with label anansi. Show all posts
Showing posts with label anansi. Show all posts

March 26, 2013

been there, wrote that, got the t-shirt

It has been a really big few days for this book baby of mine! (And I feel duty bound to record it here...)

The Toronto launch at Type Books was really fun, and the only thing I would have changed would have been to build in some book shopping time for myself because Type is an extremely enticing store.

Before and after the reading, I met some truly lovely people for the first time in person, and there were many friendly faces of friends formerly of Ottawa and Montreal.  It was really nice to see everyone!  I was a little giddy and huggy, and (I hope) more or less coherent when chatting to a number of attendees who were kind enough to buy books to have signed.

And there were mini-eggs!  And a whole bowl of red gummi Big Foots!  And wine and beer and Sun Chips.  Andrew Kaufman was as sweet and hilarious as his novels, and the wonderful Kyle Buckley asked some great conversation-sparking questions.

A photo from Twitter taken during Andrew's reading

The next day, I was on live national television on Canada AM!  This meant getting up at 6 a.m. to get ready (and explore the world of powdered, non dairy creamer via the hotel room coffeemaker), before publicist K drove us out to Scarborough to be on air at 8:40 a.m.

I did my own makeup and hair, but when they asked me if I wanted more makeup, I of course said yes!  The makeup artist let me take some photos of her huge kit, which I loved seeing.

Just out of the frame: approximately 50 MAC lipsticks

I still haven't watched the clip because a) I was there and b) it's much nicer to just believe what all my friends and family said about it, which is that it went really well!  But you can watch it online, if you like.

K, the producer, shared this photo on Twitter 
of Marci Ien and I chatting before the segment.

I also got to visit the House of Anansi office for the first time!  It is a gorgeous, good-vibes place full of extremely nice and stylish employees.  K, publicist extraordinaire, was nice enough to let me leave with a T-shirt* and a bag full of books, both of which made me feel positively gleeful.

Still feeling A-listy after a great trip to Toronto

Somehow, before the day was over, there were also two more photo shoots and an interview, and even more improbably (or is it??), each one was with someone kind, funny, and talented, who did their best to put me at ease.  There was also some extremely rapid shoe shopping, with some excellent results.

The post-live-national-television-appearance red boots.

Descending back into Montreal, a mere 24 hours later.

As soon as I got home, I lost whatever adrenaline was keeping my little cold from turning into a big one.  But I hope to be fully over it in time for this Thursday's Montreal launch for Bone and Bread!

* This Anansi T-shirt is not only in my favourite colours, but specifically in my favourite T-shirt colour (my cool dozen grey t-shirts actually led to the great T-shirt embargo of 2011, though free T-shirts are a notable exception) and it is a high quality Roots t-shirt, which will perfectly complement the Roots sweatpants that make up the usual bottom half of my writing uniform.  Whoop!

November 23, 2012

My novel has a face! Well, two, actually...

Since it’s now up on both the Anansi website as well as on Amazon,  I think I’m allowed to share it:

The cover for my novel!

I can’t tell you who designed it (because I don’t know), but I think they’ve done a lovely job.  I worried, at first, that it doesn’t look very literary as a title, but it’s what’s inside that will have to carry that weight, anyway. 

I’ve always claimed to prefer covers without faces on them because I feel that they overdetermine things somehow, but these faces – well, these faces are pretty amazing.  They don’t look exactly how I imagined the sisters Beena and Sadhana Singh in the novel, but it’s pretty close, especially their expressions and the complex way they’re looking at each other.  If readers end up picturing them this way, that’s just fine.  And don’t you find that even when there’s a close-up photo or a drawing on the front of the book, characters always take on a life of their own inside your head, anyway?   I know exactly what Sara Crewe, Harry Potter, Esther Summerson, Fanny Price, and Emily Starr really look like…outside of illustrations, film or television adaptations….or I feel like I do!

It’s pretty surreal to see something you’ve invented start to take a physical shape in the world.  And eerie, too, to think of all the hours and hours (and years and years) I’ve spent working on it distilled into a single image that people will see (if I’m lucky) in the 11 seconds it apparently takes to make them decide whether or not to pick it up in the bookstore. 

August 14, 2012

Nine out of nine, plus links

I’ve been reading Nine Stories on the metro lately, which I always thought I’d read before, but apparently I only ever read the first one.  In "Teddy," the last one, I encountered this sentence last night, which I really enjoyed: 

“His smile was not unpersonable, but it was social, or conversational, and related back, however indirectly, to his own ego.”

There’s so much great writing that doesn’t strictly abide by the show, don’t tell principle, especially on a sentence-by-sentence basis.  This exuberant kind of writing that doesn’t skimp on the descriptors lends itself to comedy much better, I think, than its spare counterpart, and the mere abundance of words doesn't (IMO) make it any less literary.  Of course, it's Salinger we're talking about, and as always, anyone really good can break any kind of rule set out to help the rest of us mere mortals along. 
Another thing I’ve been wondering about Salinger as I’ve been reading this…what, exactly, does kittenish mean?  Or what did it used to mean at the time he was writing?  I always thought it meant something along the lines of weak and cute, but I’ve seen it in a few sentences where it appears to be otherwise.*
And.....I like this list of "books to savour" from Flavorwire – not least because I have been savouring two of them for months now.  Bleak House (which I’ve read before) is the go-to book on the Kindle app on my phone for reading before bed.  And Gilead by Marilynne Robinson is one of several books I’ve been reading while doing my edits…both the last round and this round....which gives you a clue of just how slowly I've been savouring it.  Gilead in particular is not a book with a ton of forward plot momentum (and therefore perhaps maybe not the best thing to be reading while trying to cobble my ending back together…hmmm).  But it is full of rather wonderful passages like this:

"A great part of my work has been listening to people, in that particular intense privacy of confession, or at least unburdening, and it has been very interesting to me.  Not that I thought of these conversations as if they were a contest, I don't mean that.  But as you might look at a game more abstractly---where is the strength, what is the strategy?  As if you had no interest in it except in seeing how well the two sides bring each other along, how much they can require of each other, how the life that is the real subject of it all is manifest in it.  By "life" I mean something like "energy" (as the scientists use the word) or "vitality," and also something very different.  When people come to speak to me, whatever they say, I am struck by a kind of incandescence in them, the "I" whose predicate can be "love" or "fear" or "want," and whose object can be "someone" or "nothing" and it won't really matter, because the loveliness is just in that presence, shaped around "I" like a flame on a wick, emanating itself in grief and guilt and joy and whatever else.  But quick, and avid, and resourceful.  To see this aspect of life is a privilege of the ministry which is seldom mentioned."

I think you'll agree that it's not exactly action-packed, in the usual sense.  Very easy to enjoy...and put down...and pick back up without needing to remember what has already happened.  (So far: nothing really <-- awesome!)

Also, Salty Ink is back (you know you missed it), and to celebrate, they are doing a pretty nifty book giveaway.
While I’m linking like crazy, I might as well point you (as well as myself...there are a few things I've been meaning to get) to Anansi’s summer reading sale. Two weeks left!

* I am too lazy to go and look for these sentences right now, so just trust me. 
** Trying to pull up "House of Anansi" (which I have "Liked") on Facebook in order to get that graphic, I had to type all the way to "house of anan" because of some TV show called House of Anubis that has 299,894 likes.***
*** I was about to write something like the following: Not to rush to judgement, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say House of Anubis sucks, just based on their lame name and userpic.  But then I went to the page and saw a bunch of attractive/creepy teens in private school (boarding school? dare I hope?) uniforms, so maybe (probably) this show is actually terribly awesome.  See below.

Disaffected and possibly spooky private school kids