March 27th, 2017
From Josée Sigouin
307. Jazz instrumentals
308. Kekou’s dark chocolate-ginger sorbet
309. Riding a bike in a breezy dress on a sizzling day
310. Plain Greek yogourt mixed with cranberry sauce
311. Rediscovering an obscure song from decades ago
312. Banana sices dressed with fresh mint
313. Nina Simone
314. Cold-brewed green tea
315. Breakfast on the balcony
316. Mozzarella melted on a hot-cross bun, with a side of apple
317. A riot of colours – garden, painting, collage, fabric, etc.
318. Clementine sections dipped in Greek yoghourt & pumpkin seeds
319. Melody Gardot
320. Beets – the redder, the better
321. A riot of colours – garden, painting, collage, fabric, etc.
322. Night-scented stocks
323. Ataulfo mango slices sprinkled with Thai basil flower buds
And from me, because why not:
324. Seeing anybody learn anything brand new (but especially a cat)
325. Succeeding at paperwork
328. spumoni ice cream
329. going to bed when you’re really tired
330. finding something I thought I’d lost
331. how Lily Tomlin looks better and better as she ages–maybe that will happen to us all?
March 25th, 2017
Oh boy. We had the launch party on Wednesday evening and despite me being pretty intense about the whole thing–I showed up over an hour early “just in case,” and then when everything appeared to be fine went out to dinner with friends but didn’t eat–it was really a lovely, loving evening. The M&S publicity staff did a great job setting up a party with wine and cheese and books and chairs for all who wanted them, and my brilliant editor Anita Chong made a lovely speech where she put the brilliance all on me (lies!) I was truly touched by how many friends, old and new, came out to wish the book well on its journey into the world. It was pretty great to have my family there, and as a special favour I had asked my in-laws to extend their vacation in Toronto half a week to be there too, and they did it, and even baked me a cake. And my brother- and sister-in-law even managed to get my niece there for part of the evening, no mean feat with a two year old. I laughed, I didn’t really cry too much, there was a lot of gorgeous cheese, and I received many hugs. It was intense, but great–and then some friends drove me off to finally get some food and I kind of slowly and gently collapsed. One cannot do too many evenings like that in a lifetime, but I’m glad this one happened happened.
Then I spent Thursday evening frantically working on the lecture I gave Friday at Laurentian University (Barrie campus) on the women in media/gender studies themes in my novel. They are most certainly there, but it is not necessarily a novelist’s role to pull them out or identify them, so it was a bit challenging to talk about my process with the book and stay in line with the the syllabus’s goals, but the class seemed to go well and I certainly enjoyed talking to the youth, so we’ll count it a win.
I’m taking this weekend off from book stuff, but on Tuesday I fly to Vancouver for more. Wednesday is a “media day,” in which I do interviews around Vancouver. Since those are local outlets, I don’t know that I’ll be able to share any of the results here, but if I can, you know I will. Then that evening I am very much looking forward to returning to the Incite reading series presented by the Vancouver Writers Festival and the Vancouver Public Library, where I’ll be reading with Janet McNulty and Lori McNulty. Hooray!
After spending Thursday frolicking in Vancouver (please don’t rain) I’ll be back in Toronto Friday morning to prepare for my Friday evening event at the Ontario Writers’ Conference Festival of Authors. That is in Pickering, suburban friends–please stop by if you are free. I have to admit that tickets–available on the site–are a bit pricy at $20, but I will try to make it worth your while. Also, I hear there are snacks.
After that, I plan to collapse or else start living in my car in order to defend it from being towed as my parking lot is being torn down and my poor car is homeless. This is really not your concern but is taking up a lot of space in my brain! ANYWAY, elsewhere on the internet there was a nice blog review of So Much Love posted today at Literary Hoarders and yesterday a lovely interview I did with Brad de Roo went up at Canadian Notes and Queries. That one was one of the most thoughtful and well-read interviews I’ve done in recent memory, and it was a real pleasure as a challenge to answer Brad’s questions–I hope you enjoy it.
Things promise to calm down soon–well, by the end of April anyway–and I will make an attempt to talk about something other than myself/my book in my next blog post but really, all this attention for SML is pretty thrilling and I am most certainly grateful for it.
March 20th, 2017
Guys, I’m really excited about the So Much Love launch party tomorrow (Wednesday) night 6-8 pm at Ben McNally Books (366 Bay Street, just south of Queen). There will be drinks and snacks and chat until about 6:30, a speech from the incredible Anita Chong, a speech from me, a short reading, then more chatting and books! It will be very fun, I think, and I have been looking forward to this a long long time–my speech will probably cover how long.
I am also terribly nervous, of course, too. What if no one comes? What if the people who are supposed to bring the wine and cheese forget and everyone was secretly just there for the wine and cheese? What if I read poorly? What if it is all just terribly awkward? But I alternate with great hope for a fabulous evening. I went to the wonderful Kerry Clare‘s launch last week for her exciting new novel Mitzi Bytes which was a wonderful reminder of how much fun a launch can be. Kerry is pretty amazing at enjoying the good that life has to offer, and she has been really drawing me along in celebrating both our books as they launch.
She even wrote this lovely review on her blog, which made me really happy. So I do kind of believe that the launch will be fun, though probably not as fun as Kerry’s because she read a ventriloquist sex scene and who can top that?
But still, I am hopeful of good times–so please come if you are in town and interested. No need to RSVP, especially not for regrets–just turn up if you like!
March 14th, 2017
So Much Love is real and available for your reading pleasure in stores, online, and–I believe–in libraries today. You can get a hard copy or digital in myriad formats, and then you can read it and see what I’ve been working on all this time–and even tell me what you think? I fixed my contact page so I’m easy to write to!
This isn’t the celebration I was anticipating for this book–things are challenging for me right now and I haven’t been able to do the obvious thing, go to a bookstore and visit my book out in the world. There have been some reports that it is truly out there, though–even on tables, even actually purchased by actual humans! So I’m semi-satisfied with that, though hopefully I’ll get out there myself soon.
But lots of stuff is upcoming, book-wise–perhaps I will eventually have seen enough of my book, though right now that doesn’t seem possible. A few highlights:
March 22, Book launch in Toronto!! There’s a complete list of events in the right sidebar, so I’ll mainly refrain from mentioning events I’ve talked about previously, but this is the big one, and I’m very excited. If you’re in Toronto and enjoy books, snacks, short readings, and–possibly–me, please consider stopping by.
April 2, 11am, I’ll be on the radio on Out in the Open with Piya Chattopadhyay. This isn’t even book-related–it’s an episode about personal transformation–but I think being on the radio is amazing, so here we are. I hope you can listen!
April 4, Reading for the Toronto Review of Books with Jessica Westhead, Heather Birrell, Antanas Sileika, and the one and only Mark Sampson.
April 25, Books and Brunch with Different Drummer Books at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Aldershot, with Trevor Cole and Kyo Maclear.
Before all of that, though, I’m finally going to make it out to a bookstore to celebrate another book, Mitzi Bytes by my dear friend Kerry Clare. In addition to being a very talented writer, Kerry is also the best Enjoyer of Events I have ever encountered, and sharing a book birthday with her has really helped me engage with the spirit of the thing. I also read Mitzi in draft (as Kerry did for SML) and can vouch that it is funny, wise, and surprising–can’t wait to read it in its final form. I will be raising all the glasses on Thursday, and speeding through the book soon after. You should too!
March 6th, 2017
My book is coming out in 8 days! There will be launches and interviews and actual humans reading it. I’m really excited. My life outside of the book is really challenging and sad of late, so I’m more determined than ever to enjoy the good bits of launching So Much Love into the universe. And there are a lot of good bits! I completely understand that some writers don’t enjoy promoting a book, but to me it is a reward. Finally getting to connect with readers and see how the book resonates with them is one of the sweetest plums of the writing life as far as I’m concerned–so much of writing is solitary, it’s thrilling to get to read aloud to real humans, or do an interview or Q&A and be asked insightful questions, or just have pieces online or in print and hear what people are thinking about them. So here’s some fun stuff…
–my Gritlit reading is booked for Thursday April 6, 9:30pm, with Iain Reid
–this sweet blog review at The Candid Cover. I know I shouldn’t google myself, and as often as not it yields something depressing or annoying, but this is a nice ray of sunshine!
–way off in the future, a reading at the Word Feast Festival in Fredericton in September
–a short piece posted at The Litter I See Project (which technically is a glimpse of what my next project might be, fyi)
There’s more stuff that isn’t fully fixed yet, like a reading in May with the fabulous Kerry Clare (whose book is also out in 8 days–preordered yet??) and maybe something cool in Montreal! Stay tuned…
February 13th, 2017
Guys, I’m having a book launch–like really, actually, getting celebrate my book in the flesh with people who supported me to get to this point, plus anyone else who is interested in the book or some free cheese. Please come!
The above is in Toronto, since that is where I live, but I’ll also be hitting the road at least a little bit to promote the book and connect with readers in other regions. It’ll be fun!
Here’s the schedule, if you are curious. Please note that the starred events aren’t public ones, and that this plan is still a work in progress–new events will be added, so if you are sad I’m not doing an event close to you, please let me know! I can’t promise it’ll work out, but knowing people will come to an event is definitely a deciding factor in the event existing or not, so it’s worth getting in touch!
March 22: Book launch!
*March 24: Guest Lecture at Laurentian University at Georgian College in Barrie
March 29: Incite reading series in Vancouver with Lori McNulty and Janet Rogers
*April 3: Guest Lecture at St. Jerome’s University in Waterloo
April 6-9: GritLit Festival in Hamilton
April 19: Pivot at the Steady in Toronto
April 22: Toronto launch of Making Room with Amy Jones and Ayelet Tsabari (technically, this isn’t an SML date, as I’ll be reading from an older story included in their anthology. But I’m including it anyway!)
April 27: Bibliobash in support of the Toronto Public Libary
February 12th, 2017
I wondered if 1000 Things We Like 2017 might peter out due to lack of interest, but you guys really rallied–nice work. Here are some things you like:
284. Ziploc bags
285. dead leaves
From Paul S
286. Forgetting everything except the present at the pinnacle of a long run.
287. Being incapsulated by music at a perfect concert.
288. Landing safely and smoothly after a turbulent flight.
289. Having your dog sleep on your chest.
290. A significant other massaging your scalp with their fingertips.
291. A pleasant forest trail dappled with mid-afternoon sunlight through the canopy.
293. Ginger Tea
294. Hans Rosling (RIP, but check out his Ted Talk)
295. going to the ballet
296. downhill skiing (I just recently rediscovered this)
297. the song “New York Minute” by Don Henley
299. cleaning out your purse
300. Contigo travel mugs (quality stuff)
301. Drake’s third mixtape (So Far Gone)
302. Photos taken in 1987
303. Beach holidays
304. Reading Wikipedia articles about Space Travel
305. Paintings of Napoleon
306. Cherry pie
February 5th, 2017
It’s been a while–dark times, but also busy times. Don’t worry, there actually are still things to like. To whit:
From Joe Dague
260. the album Graceland, by Paul Simon
261. Against Me
262. new sheets
263. watching a cat figure something out
264. when my niece gives me orders: “Becca, come!” “Becca, lie down!”
265. licorice allsorts
269. Pokemon Go, even in the cold
270. Evees (the cutest Pokemon, for my money)
271. just a tiny nap on the subway
272. hugging someone wearing a parka–so cuddly!
273. getting home after a long day
276. the satisfying consistency of chain restaurants
277. meeting new people
278. meeting new cats
280. wondering what a candy labelled in a foreign language will taste like
281. running, briefly
282. watching snow from indoors
283. when a broken thing is fixed
What do you like?
January 22nd, 2017
So Much Love is still 7 weeks and 2 days from being available, but little things are happening and it is all very exciting/unnerving. Like
–if you would like to win a copy, you can enter to do so on Goodreads. There’s 50 (!) copies available and the contest closes on February 16. Good luck!
–if you would like to know more about the writing process/me writing in general, you could read my interview with Koom Kankesan at Open Book. Koom and I went to school together in 1999 (!) and have stayed in touch since, and both published books. It’s been a wild ride!
–if you want to read a list of amazing upcoming books that includes mine, you could read 49th Shelf’s Spring Fiction Preview. There is so much goodness upcoming (my husband Mark Sampson also has a book on the list called The Slip. It is very good!)
January 11th, 2017
Tonight I don’t particularly need cheering up, as i had a lovely time at the Brockton Reading Series and it’s not even cold in my apartment (or outside of it–I walked home without a hat!) Nevertheless, seeing the list expand and with such great things–both things I like too and those I don’t yet, because it’s nice to be reminded of the possibilities.
From Johnny Pigeau
183. Watching my cat bathe himself
184. Star Trek Voyager (I see Fred already has TNG listed )
185. Jean Luc Picard
186. Warm desserts
188. Soft kisses
189. Foot massages
191. Tokyo Bar
193. Baby laughs/giggles
194. Warm blankets
195. Fire pits
196. Dim Sum
197. Home cooked meals
198. Jurassic Park
201. Snail Mail that is not a bill
202. Notifications that you have a package waiting
203. Deep dish pizza
204. Metal water bottles
205. British TV shows
209. Montreal Bagels
211. Getting carded now
213. Ballet slippers
214. Ballet class
215. The Sound of Music
217. Historical Romances
218. Not waxing my legs in the winter
220. Holding hands
221. Lip gloss
222. Red Lipstick
223. Names of paint eg Western Navajo
Julia Zarankin says
224. novels by Marilynne Robinson
225. holding a magnolia warbler in my hand
226. watching a displaying American woodcock
227. eating my mom’s borscht
228. letters in the mail
229. watching the mailman’s truck arrive
230. usable beautiful pottery
231. buying the ideal mug
232. writing letters
233. Chekhov’s Lady with a Lapdog
234. early Woody Allen movies
235. the first cup of coffee of the day
237. bird t-shirts by Paul Riss
238. Marimekko bags
240. cardamom buns
241. dense rye bread
242. the first red-winged blackbird of spring
243. Having a very satisfying imaginary conversation in your head
244. Construction paper
247. Toddler sneezes
248. Beauty Blenders (they work!)
249. Lesser awards shows (like People’s Choice or Golden Globes)
250. Justin Bieber’s Sorry (Yes, I said it!)
251. Very sharp kitchen knives
252. A hard copy of your local paper
253. The feeling of autonomy and control that driving a car provides
254. Logic puzzles in Tele 7 Jeux magazine
255. Pâté and baguette
256. The shape of the Orangina bottle
257. Lisa Frank stationery
258. A big map of the world
259. Top hats
We are more than one quarter of the way there!! Liking stuff is so easy once you get started!! Keep’em coming, guys!