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Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Readings, readings, readings

I haven't posted for ages. It seems like most blogs are full of irritable excuses for not blogging. Here's mine: work has been busy. When I come home I don't feel like looking at a computer screen. When I look at a computer screen, I feel anxious about the fact that I'm not getting any writing done. When I get some writing done, I feel anxious about other things. Antisocial behaviour, for example, or: is my full time job interfering with my chosen career, even though it's career-related? Or: should I really be eating this?

I just sneezed about twelve times in a row. That's because I just vacuumed, which kicked up a bunch of cat dander, and apparently all of it went straight up my nose. Sneezing is very distracting.

We held a great big conference at work (the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association, or AMPA, as it is affectionately known, or GRAMPA, as it is more affectionately known). We also had a launch party/reading, and I was concerned about it because I wanted it to be fun. I also talked the "conference committee" into featuring readings at the conference's kick-off banquet, despite a certain amount of resistance from people who don't like readings. Or more specifically, people who don't like the idea of readings. Anyway, there were plently of readings to handle last week and I wanted all of them to go well, mostly because I care about my job (and want to make AMPA the coolest organization ever for the lit. community), and partly because I wanted to show the resistant people that readings don't necessarly suck.

The readings totally didn't suck. Sandra Vida and Christian Bok read at the launch party, and they were a great contrast for each other, and they were both extremely lovable. Sandra shared a magazine story about her experiences in the Glasgow art scene. Christian launched into "chapter I" from Eunoia and ended with Ubu Hubbub (later, Sandra told me it reminded her of watching bp nichol at the New Gallery...eee, she is cool). I was standing behind the publisher of Canadian Cowboy Country, an Edmontonian AMPA board member who was in town for the conference--and he loved it. Colleen (my lovely boss) was horrified by how fast the wine disappeared. Pages was stuffed all the way down the stairs. I love it when Pages fills up like that. AMPA was giving away discount coupons for cultural mag. subscriptions. Hopefully those will catch on. These magazines, for those interested parties, are selling one year subscriptions for 25% off: Alberta Views, Beyond, dANDelion, Expression, filling Station, FreeFall, Galleries West, Legacy and Prairie Journal. These are GOOD magazines. Go here: www.albertamagazine.com to find my email address. If I post the address here it will become spammier than it already is.

As to the banquet...Chris Ewart and Jill Hartman read. They killed. Chris read from Sunny Day; Jill read some St. Ampede poems (with f-bombs excised) I was so proud I could have eaten my hands. They got fawned over and everything. This was my first experiment with taking readings out of book/coffee shops and sticking them into a new environment. I'm going to do it as often as I can. People love readings, they just don't realize it. Who doesn't like being read stories? Yay, Calgary writers. Yay, open minded business people. Yay yay yay.

I had some poems rejected by The Malahat Review today. Humph. I saw Natalee Caple speak to the Writers Guild of Alberta a couple of weeks ago, and she said when she had work rejected, she'd sulk for a bit, have a smoke and send it right back out again. I wish I smoked. Well, not really. But it would make certain situations seem more purposeful. It's tough being angsty yet relatively vice free.

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