March 20th, 2017

Launch party tomorrow (and assorted other news)

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

Launch day!

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

Now in book news (no other stuff at all)

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

Book launch

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

Long live 1000 things we like

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:

From Claire

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.
292. Kaytranada

From Fred

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
298. teaspoons
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

From

February 5th, 2017

Hey, whatever happened to 1000 things we like?

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

From RR
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
266. jam
267. pineapple
268. bees
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
274. malls
275. Bellinis
276. the satisfying consistency of chain restaurants
277. meeting new people
278. meeting new cats
279. Brie
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

Now in book news

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!)

Onwards!

January 11th, 2017

1000 Things We Like: Good night edition

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

From Zainab

184. Star Trek Voyager (I see Fred already has TNG listed )
185. Jean Luc Picard
186. Warm desserts
187. Ginger
188. Soft kisses
189. Foot massages
190. Catan
191. Tokyo Bar
192. Montreal
193. Baby laughs/giggles
194. Warm blankets
195. Fire pits
196. Dim Sum
197. Home cooked meals
198. Jurassic Park
199. Gingerbread
200. Calculus
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
206. Vacations
207. Dinosaurs
208. Cheese
209. Montreal Bagels
210. Frittata
211. Getting carded now
212. Reunions
213. Ballet slippers
214. Ballet class
215. The Sound of Music
216. Cuddling
217. Historical Romances
218. Not waxing my legs in the winter
219. Hugs
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
236. binoculars
237. bird t-shirts by Paul Riss
238. Marimekko bags
239. herring
240. cardamom buns
241. dense rye bread
242. the first red-winged blackbird of spring

Frédérique says

242. Almonds
243. Having a very satisfying imaginary conversation in your head
244. Construction paper
245. Icicles
246. Emojis
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!

January 8th, 2017

1000 Things We Like: Cold Sunday Night Edition

Thanks so much for continuing to like things, you guys. The cold, coupled with having to go back to work tomorrow morning, when it will no doubt still be cold, is hell on my morale. So these really cheered me up. Enjoy these likes!

From Frederique Delapree

112. Star Trek: The Next Generation
113. OWL magazine
114. A diverse and well-organised sticker album
115. Calligraphy
116. People with red hair
117. Blue nail polish

From AMT

118. winter clementines
119. dogs snoring
120. the fact that little staplers have appeared multiple times on multiple of these lists
121. sparing amounts of eggnog
123. recycling my christmas tree
124. buying many plane tickets all at once
125. good reviews
126. when people you’ve always liked turn out to also be really successful
127. almond butter
128. right after you’ve vacuumed
129. zipping up very long boots
130. ice skating outside in a new american town and guessing who the other canadian-born skaters are
131. atomic fireball cinnamon candies
132. extra lip balm
133. finding toonies in my american purse(s)
134. very warm socks
135. very warm leg warmers
136. lindy hop
137. watching the dog run in her sleep
138. flavoured coffee (i know.)
139. hugging

From Alison Foster
140. watching people eat ice cream (extra bonus if the person is over 80 years old).
141. The print from my baby’s ear that gets left on my arm from breast-feeding).
142. Ear hair on babies.
143. Listening to a really good song really loudly on repeat for an entire car ride or road trip.
144. Opening up a suitcase that still smells like the last trip you took.
145. Fat cats.
146. Beer.
147. Butter tarts made by my parents.
148. Nice people.
149. Laughing with people.
150. Swimming/floating.
151. Long, hot showers.
152. Sleeping outside in the sun.
153. Learning how to do something.
154. The smell of new clothes.
155. Segue (both in language and the ride-y kind).
156. Segues.
157. Segways.
158. Sleeping.
159. Puns.
160. Online shopping.
161. In-store shopping.
162. Singing/playing music with others.
163. Singing/playing music by myself.
164. Listening to my daughter sing.
165. Sewing.
166. Falling asleep during yoga class.
167. When someone farts during yoga class.
168. Farting during yoga class.
169. Farting in general.
170. Going out for breakfast.
171. Stars.
172. The moon.
173. Science.
174. Math.
175. Art.
176. The relationship between math and art.
177. Making art.
178. Finding things that you’ve lost.
179. Making faces in the mirror.
180. Heated seats.
181. Watching TV with my husband at the end of the day when the kids are asleep.
182. Knowing that there are many more things that I like and that it may take the rest of my life to make a complete list.

January 6th, 2017

1000 Things We Like: into triple digits

Colette Maitland says

78. Chickadees at the bird feeder
79. Multi-coloured Christmas lights
80. Quilts
81. The perfect butter tart

Mark Sampson says

82. My wife
83. New Year’s Eve parties
84. Star Wars nostalgia
85. Donairs
86. The West Wing Weekly Podcast Series
87. Fancy hotel rooms
88. Cask ale
89. Netflix
90. The New Yorker
91. Snow days
92. P.G. Wodehouse novels
93. Homemade biscuits with homemade jam on them.
94. Wine tours
95. Taking a break once I’ve earned it
96. Tweed coats
97. Preprandial cocktails
98. Working with smart people
99. Travelling to new cities and figuring out how to get around

And from me again, just to get us into the triple digits
100. Round numbers
101. The smell of sparklers
102. The smell of babies’ heads
103. Falling asleep on the subway and waking up just at my stop
104. licorice spice tea
105. expensive moisturizers that promise to make me live forever
106. the charity coin collectors where the coin spins around and around
107. seeing I have a new text
108. Gruyere
109. chewing on pens
110. lip balm
111. Weekends

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