24 October 2005

It's late, I'm cold, where's sleep?

Man, it's a little after 2 a.m. and I just woke up from a fitful brief sleep that probably lasted about 20 minutes. In my feverish dream, there was stuff about my dad and mom, as there often is, and my brother Barry was there, wearing a baseball cap with a small American flag sewn onto it. I think the guilt of not having spoken to Barry in a few months is what woke me up. My teeth ache: from grinding: either because it's way cold in my bedroom (I just turned on the space heater) or out of anxiety.

What an exhausting weekend!

Saturday's teen writers' conference went really well, overall, though I rushed through my closing remarks (because everything was behind schedule), and wish I could do them over again. I did include a short excerpt from my novel-in-progress to round off my closing remarks, and that felt good. My opening remarks seemed to get a positive response, and then it was blue pencil session after blue pencil session after blue pencil session. About a dozen of them over the course of the day: a new kid and new writing every 20 minutes. I really enjoyed those: man, there are some mighty confident teenagers out there. Most were very interested in what I had to say, and had questions for me; only a couple seemed disappointed that I had anything to say aside from the fact that they were brilliant.

Angela Rawlings was there to do a poetry workshop, and during the morning intro's she was cutting paper into strips and I was dying to know what she did in her workshop! Mark Truscott was there, too, but strictly in his capacity of hubby to Lisa Heggum, a librarian for teens who's pretty involved in these teen library events. Edo Van Belkom... man, I hadn't seen him in many years, and it was about two decades ago that we'd worked together at York U's Excalibur. He looks the same. The first thing he did was gripe about how we probably wouldn't get paid for a couple of weeks: he griped to everyone around: I would suspect that as a horror-novel writer -- i.e., a writer who actually makes some money sometimes from his writing -- the payment thing was more of a concern than it was for us poets. Great to see Edo. And he didn't call me "Beef Stu" as he used to at Excalibur. Other writers presenting workshops included the playwright Judith Thompson, graphic novelist Marc Ngui, who's such a sweet guy and who was in Yellowknife blazing the trail the year before me, and dub poet Clifton Joseph.

It was a long day.

And so was Sunday.

An all-day Poetry Boot Camp at This Ain't the Rosedale Library. Followed two nights of only four hours' sleep. I had six students this time, which was a few fewer than I'd have liked, but I was out of town so much beforehand that I didn't get to promote it as much as I'd have liked to. But it still went really well: interestingly, Marvynne Jenoff, a poet who has had a few books published, and whose work I remember first noticing when I was in high school, took the Boot Camp. She was a great addition to the group, really raised the bar quality-wise too. Nice also to have another "established" poet to call on when participants were asking for advice on various things. Pretty much good writing all around, and I tried out quite a few different exercises today, some of which I will definitely use again.

But yeah, another long day.

The coming week'll be easier, even with a reading Thursday night and the Small Press Book Fair on Saturday.

Time to hunker down to my novel.

But first time to sleep.

Over and out.

1 Comments:

At October 24, 2005 7:22 pm , Blogger a.raw said...

hey stu,

i know you don't answer your blog comments, but i thought i'd drop you a note anyway.

the strips of paper i cut up were for our opening cut-up poetry exercise. someone snapped a picture of a few finished creations, and it's here: http://www.commutiny.net/workshops.html

xo!

 

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