Archive for July, 2008

Summer Leacock Festival Reading

Sunday, July 27th, 2008

This past Friday night I joined two great Canadian writers for a public reading as part of the Leacock Summer Festival in Orillia.  The festival is Ontario’s largest summer literary gathering and this year’s edition was another great success.

The Friday night program was held at Swanmore Hall, just steps away from the home of Stephen Leacock.  Scott Gardiner, who was shortlisted for this year’s Leacock Medal, opened the program with a reading from his hilarious political satire, King John.  This is a wonderful book made even better by Scott’s outstanding reading.  Reading aloud is not easy but when it’s done well, the story comes alive.  Next on the bill was Drew Hayden Taylor, a very funny aboriginal writer who certainly knows how to handle himself at the microphone.  He had the audience in stitches reading from a selection of his works including his newest book Me Sexy.

I spoke third, which was a little intimidating given how much laughter Scott and Drew triggered.  The capacity crowd seemed to enjoy the four brief selections I read.  All in all, it was a great evening.  Thanks to Fred Addis and Bruce Meyer, the festival organizers, for inviting me.  This was a good warm up for the many other speaking and reading gigs that are being lined up for me in the fall when TBLP is re-released by McClelland & Stewart.

Reading in a different way…

Friday, July 18th, 2008

Well after several months of debating with myself, I broke down today and bought the Sony Reader PRS-505.  I love books and reading so much that I wanted to experience how we might be reading and storing books in the future.  This little device uses very cool electronic ink technology that makes the experience almost like reading regular ink on paper.  What’s more, no power is consumed after the page appears on the screen, and only a small amount of power is used to turn the pages.  In fact, a full battery charges gives you 7500 page turns (or more than 20 readings of TBLP!).  I’ve already downloaded several books from the Sony eBook Store.  The device holds about 160 full-length books in its memory.  With the slick insertion of a standard SD card, you can literally carry thousands of books with you in this slim, sleek, and light little wonder.  I’ve only had this new toy for a couple of hours so I can hardly offer a well-informed review, but I’ll keep you posted.

My CEO TV Debut…

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

About a month ago, the good folks at CEO TV shot a segment about TBLP and my day job as a PR professional. They also sent a camera crew up to Orillia for the Leacock Award weekend to help round out the segment. Well, it aired nationally on Global a week or so ago and in case you need a laugh, you can watch it here…

I’m back online after two weeks up north…

Sunday, July 13th, 2008

I’ve just returned from the family cottage on Georgian Bay where I’ve just spend two weeks offline with my family. It was wonderful despite an unusually high mosquito count. I read several books, swam, slept, ate, and watched movies at night with my two sons. It was strange being completely discounted for two weeks (although my BlackBerry worked sporadically if I stood at the highest point on our property and stuck my BB in the air like the Statue of Liberty’s torch) but I managed. My in-laws arrived from Nova Scotia and we had a great visit. We saw some wildlife when we dropped off our recycling one day and my mother-in-law took this great shot.

We also took them on a day trip to Orillia to visit the Stephen Leacock Museum. Here are a couple of shots showing me sitting in Leacock’s library and the display in the Leacock Medal Room showcasing books and artifacts from the 61 year history of the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour.

I’ll be back to Orillia on July 25th to do a public reading at the Summer Leacock Festival. I have to read for 30 minutes so I’ll need to decide which sections to present. My heart rate is slightly elevated already.

By the way, here’s the great Hamilton Spectator article by Mark Leslie Lefebvre that I mentioned in an earlier post. Thanks Mark!

Stay tuned for more information about all the events I’ll be doing in the fall to coincide with the release of the McClelland & Stewart edition of TBLP.

It’s nice to be back…