My bloggy August adventure!
I had a really bloggy adventure in August. I was invited to act as that month's online writer in residence at Open Book Toronto. That meant posting a blog on whatever topic I wished every couple of days. If you don't know Open Book, check it out.
The first half of my summer was packed with deadlines, and so I didn't get a lot planned in advance: mostly I created a list of about 30 possible topics, most of which I abandoned when the time came. Since I tend to write well to deadline — in fact, I almost need that pressure — it was an exhilarating scramble over those four weeks. In the end, I found it so inspiring, so motivating, I have decided to at least try to keep up the momentum here in Bloggamooga. I think it'll be good for my writing life, which has caused me a lot of struggles especially since I left Toronto six or so years ago.
I'm going to try to write in this space every three days, more or less.
Here is what I wrote about on Open Book. Click and read to your heart's content!
• The aforementioned struggle to find my writing life here in the small town of Cobourg. Plus, my fear of spiders.
• An interview with my awesome American friend debby florence, who lives in Missoula, Montana, and has neat connections with Canadian poetry.
• My wrestling match with my Jewish identity, and a meditation on reclaiming my old family name of Razovsky.
• My first publication as a teenage writer, along with my childhood friends Mark Laba and Steven Feldman.
• A remembrance of the late Toronto literary undergrounder Crad Kilodney, and how he introduced me to an obscure chapbook that has influenced my writing.
• An impassioned defence of why I led a movement to boycott my own latest book of poetry.
• My relationship with science-fiction – and sci-fi writer Robert Sheckley's astounding avant-garde masterwork.
• The true, fish-on-a-bicycle story of my almost entirely ignored anthology of Canadian post-Surrealist poetry.
• An interview with my oldest friend, Mark Laba, an almost entirely ignored literary genius.
• 13 reasons to say goodbye to "closure" — that artificial and overrated and usually uninteresting literary goal.
• An interview with my other awesome American friend — and collaborator — Richard Huttel, a Chicagoan (now an Albuqueran) who also has ties with Canadian poetry.
• 50 exciting ways of distributing your poetry leaflets so that you can change the world.
• An interview with my friend Carolyn Smart, the wonderful and formidable poet, memoirist and writing teacher at Queen's University.
• The influence of legendary Hollywood icon Kim Novak on my writing — and her appearances in my poetry and fiction.
• Why you should tell writers whose work you like that you like their work — plus a tribute to my hero and friend Dave McFadden.
Enjoy! I sure enjoyed writing these.
Over and out.