June 10th, 2013

Greetings from Thunder Bay

I forgot the dooie (technical term) that imports photos from my camera to my computer, so this post will lack the most important aspect of Thunder Bay: visual beauty. It is full of trees and rocks and beaches and every time you turn around, there’s Lake Superior flashing blue and enormous at you. There’s also a number of mountains, a gorge, a waterfall… Imagine if Niagara Falls were 20 minutes away from the Grand Canyon… It’s like that here.

Also: wildlife! It is very exciting here, to the point where i have a hard time concentrating on conversations that happen in cars, because if you look out the window long and hard enough you might see: a momma deer nursing her fawn; an adolescent bear thinking about crossing the road, deciding against, then lumbering off. Or a moose! A ring-tail hawk! Baby goslings! Photos of some of the above to come–some moved too fast for me to capture on camera.

Other things they have in Thunder Bay: nice houses owned by non-rich people; Finnish pancakes; a nearby crossing to Minnesota; friendly people, including my lovely host Jaime; a farmers’ market; a steakhouse with a salad bar (love!), and much more. I am having a good time here, as you can probably tell. Soon it will be time for a tour of the university here, Lakehead, but in the meantime I just thought you’d like to know how nice Thunder Bay is, and that you should probably come visit if you get the chance.

Photos to come in a future post!

October 26th, 2012

Back and last of the 1000 Things

So I went to Vancouver and it was awesome, but caused me some confusing days with the wrong number of hours in them, as well as a lot of time slouched up against an airplane window while a broad-shouldered man tried really hard not to squash me. So I’m tired but I met a lot of amazing folks, heard brilliant readings, and ate as much salmon as humanly possible without being an embarrassment (I don’t think). So let’s get a bit closer to polishing off this liking list while I’m in such a good mood.

First, from Fred,

942) Becky’s cat channel (RR says: aw, thanks!)

And from Jane,

943) paper warm from the printer

And now me, with a heavily west-coast tinged bunch

944) candied salmon
945) Walking along and suddenly seeing a body of water where you didn’t expect one
946) farmers markets
947) tiered tea trays
948) holding a baby who doesn’t mind
949) Irish accents in general and Anakana Schofield‘s in particular
950) Anakana’s novel, Malarky
951) Really good huggers, like VIWF’s head honcho, Hal Wake. In the midst dozens of authors, staff and volunteers, hundreds of audience members, too many potential problems to count, and basically a perfectly awesome festival, he still found time to hug like he meant it.
952) When Alice the kitten stands on the palm of my hand
953) Not even starting to fret that it won’t work out before it does in fact work out
954) GIFs
955) Zsuzsi Gartner
956) Angie Abdou
957) Caroline Adderson
958) Biting into a chocolate-covered cookie to discover it’s actually a chocolate-covered cream puff
959) When my suitcase is first one to hit the baggage carousel (I swear, this actually happened for my return to Toronto)
960) Toronto, city of my love
961) Fluffy pillows
962) My brother
963) Blogging
964) Swiss Chalet (less than an hour to go!)

October 1st, 2012

What I’ve Been Up To

I was doing so well at the regular posting for a while there, but seem to have fallen off last week. Do I have excuses? Not really, but here’s what I was doing instead of blogging:

1) On Tuesday night, I went to the Bibliobash, where my fellow Biblioasis authors were reading. I was late, because of my evening class, and so missed all the actual readings, but still managed to a) get Alice Peterson’s excellent collection signed, purchase CP Boyko’s new one and c) chat up the authors. I meant to buy the new Chekov translation by David Helwig, but due to a miscommunication, didn’t–next time!

2) Following that, I had a migraine for 48 hours (unrelated…I think). For those familiar with migraines, mine are not the worst kind–some people see auras, throw up, and basically have to be alone in a silent dark room until things improve. My migraines are usually of the sort I can function through, albeit not cheerfully. The worst-case scenario is fairly serious pain, shaking hands, nausea, and an inability to concentrate, which is where we were on Wednesday, a day on which I slept for close to 16 hours. It was sort of glorious, in a way. The worst of the pain had abated by evening, but it took another day to shake it completely.

3) On the weekend, we went to stay in a fancy hotel, a treat given to us as a very lovely wedding gift. Since the hotel was in Toronto, we figured we didn’t need to bother with tourism or posh restaurants, so we spent the whole time in the hotel. Swam in the pool, examined the fancy piano bar, then ordered pizza and watched 4 hours of televisions–we don’t have TV at home, and the lost art of channel surfing is sorely missed. The best part was re-watching *Edward Scissorhands* after an interval of 20 years. It’s still so gorgeous and moving, but the ending???? SPOILER ALERT: Winona Ryder decides their love is too difficult so she leaves Edward all alone in his house at the top of the hill. Then she returns to her normal surburban life for FIFTY MORE YEARS, with only a slight tinge of regret. Why is she not a really horrible person??? Why????? Ahem.

4) Throughout all of this, I was reading Pasha Malla’s People Park, an extremely overwhelming experience. Were it not for my abiding love of Malla’s first book, I would not have touched *People Park*–500-page alternative realities are not my friends, normally. Just a personal preference, not a judgement. So perhaps it was for lack of context that I was so overwhelmed by People Park–so wildly ambitious, so diverse and imaginative, so *weird.* I don’t know if it was brilliant or terrible or what. I’m leaning towards brilliant, but I would really like to talk this through with someone, only no one I know has read it yet. I tried reviews online, but seem to stick with effusions or excoriations without much explanation or examples. I know, I know, reviews aren’t tutorials, but you’d think someone could help a girl out here. Did *you* read People Park? Any thoughts?

September 13th, 2012

Reading in Ottawa

We briefly interrupt the 1000 Things We Like listing to bring you this shameless self-promotion. Well, promotion for lots of others, too, but if you click on this poster to make it big enough to read (why do you thwart me, WordPress image sizing?) and look way down, you’ll see I’m doing the last reading of the fall at the Ottawa Public Library on November 24. Tremendously looking forward to it! If you’re in town, please consider it (or any of the others)! Note, online signup required (here’s the link)

August 22nd, 2012

I dos done!

We did it–we got married. And once we had, we looked like this

This was a very good day. (photo courtesy of my friend Kimberly)

And then we went to Costa Rica on our honeymoon, where we did a whole lot of reading on the beach (4 books and assorted magazines!) and swimming in the ocean. And met this really nice cat

EDIT: You can see my wedding ring in this video (when I pet the cat)!!

And then came back and retrieved our own cat and did a bunch of laundry and went back to work and started planning a bridal shower for someone else (the cycle of life continues).

You see why I warned you there’d be no Rose-coloured in August?

But I’m back now and hoping to complete a bunch of posts on here soon, and maybe even kick off some new series. Thanks for your patience during this hectic–but very happy–time.

April 1st, 2012

Maritime University Tour with Amy Jones

…was so fun! As the last major block of touring I’ll do for *The Big Dream* (there are still some one-offs to come this spring/summer [and maybe fall]), it was so delightful to have lovely venues, warm hosts, engaged audiences, and a stellar reading companion (basically constant companion). Here are some of the highlights:

The Halifax waterfront--a bit chilly, still lovely.

Amy at the Waterfront--also looking a bit chilly, but entirely lovely.

Post-St. Mary's reading, at the Bistro, with Alexander MacLeod, Amy, Zach Wells, me, and Brian Bartlett

This is one of Amy's mom's THREE cats, Ben. It is a very happy household.


Professor Wanda Campbell starting off the readings at Acadia University.

Amy, batting cleanup at Acadia.

The whole gang from the University of New Brunswick creative-writing team had dinner with us. So friendly!

Me, doing air-quotes, at the UNB reading.

November 27th, 2011

Things Happening

So I went out west to do a bunch of readings and had an amazing time–but I also was in 4 timezones in 4 days, and am now very tired. So this recap will be brief–but with links elsewhere, and a few pictures.

Before I left, the November Quill and Quire went online, including that review of *The Big Dream*. Also the December print edition of Q&Q came out, and if you should read it you might see a gang interview on the short story with me, Jessica Westhead, D. W. Wilson, Alexander MacLeod, and Michael Christie. You should read that interview, because it’s definitely interesting, but you should also take a look at the picture of us (sadly minus the east-coast dwelling Mr. MacLeod) looking confused and friendly, as your garden variety short-story writer often does. (Bonus: there’s an extra picture in the table of contents).

Then on Sunday the Winnipeg Free Press ran a short interview with me by Ariel Gordon, in advance of my appearance there with Ray Robertson on Thursday. But before that, Calgary and Vancouver. Here are some highlights:

Ray reading from his essay collection "Why Not?" at Pages on Kensington in Calgary.

A veritable fiesta of breakfast cereal at my hosts' home in Calgary.

Gorgeous weather in Vancouver.

Me, baffled in Vancouver because I couldn't find the Ocean--where are you, Ocean?

Cathy Stonehouse reading at the Incite series in Vancouver.

Post-reading socializing with awesome friends in Winnipeg.

And home again, home again, jiggety-jig (what is that line from, anyway?)

November 20th, 2011

Readings this week

Lots of book stuff going on this week, in some places I’m not usually in. So perhaps you’d like to join me…

Tuesday November 22, Calgary, Ray Robertson and I will be reading at Pages on Kensington

Wednesday, November 23, Vancouver, Ray, Cathy Stonehouse and I will be reading at the Vancouver Public Library as part of the Incite reading series

Also on Wednesday, Waterloo, you could attend The New Quarterly’s 30th birthday party, with readings, music, wine, and awesomeness. I won’t physically be there, sadly, due to the aforementioned Vancouver appointment. But I will be in spirit, my books (signed!) will be there as part of the silent auction, and I sent a few paragraphs that might get read if there’s a lull in the evening. I think of it as similar to sending a telegram to be read at a wedding when one can’t be there, and truly this is a similar happy occasion.

Thursday, November 24, Winnipeg, Ray and I read at McNally Robinson’s Grant Park.

And then a probably very tired and happy Rebecca goes home, to conquer the mountain of work that will have built up in her absence, and hug her little kitten. It promises to be a very good week.

October 10th, 2011

Tour and Thanksgiving

So the WOSS tour ended on Friday night with a lovely reading at Cafe Bettina in Montreal, hosted by Kathleen Winter and attended by many lovely folks, including a few that maybe weren’t aware that a reading was going to take place until it actually did.

I got the train home at sunrise yesterday (a rather rosy dawn over the “Farine Five Roses” sign) to celebrate several days of Thanksgiving with lots and lots of people, and lots of food. I have to get back to that in a moment, but since I am thankful for the opportunity to go on this tour, this post fits today, so below is a picture by our loyal fan/tour photographer Ray Boudreau, of the team at the Hamilton reading:

And here is a link to a little video that was shown on Windsor Today, taken on the first night of the tour. It really amazes me that the power of video-editing has made us all look so sane and calm. Thanks, Jeff!!

It was a wonderful experience, the WOSS tour. But now for some family, some kitten playing, and (yet more) pie.

October 5th, 2011

WOSS on!

After readings in Windsor, London, and Hamilton, the WOSS crew is back in Toronto tonight, reading at Type Books on Queen at 6pm (yes, well before the Coachhouse event!) Should be a fun night–hope you can stop by!

Tomorrow night is the Ottawa reading and then Friday in Montreal–if you’re interested in those events, look right for details.

Here’s us pub-dining in Windsor with our Biblio-escort, Tara. Note candy necklaces for all!

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