Sonnet Challenge

I have a new writing project: I’ve challenged myself to try to write a sonnet every day. It’s an exercise, partly in writing skills (like doing scales on the piano), and partly in mindfulness: writing a poem is a particular way of paying attention to the everyday things that surround us. The sonnets are going up, one at a time, here.

Let’s see how long I can keep it up!

Theatre review for Orwell’s 1984

Last fall I went to a fascinating stage adaptation of Orwell’s novel 1984. I never loved the novel as a teenager, but in my twenties I discovered Orwell’s non-fiction—Homage to Catalonia, Down and Out in Paris and London, and I haven’t yet managed The Road to Wigan Pier, but it is climbing my to-be-read pile—and every one of them blew my mind. This production at Théâtre du Trident in Québec City seemed like the perfect chance to tackle the classic dystopia once again, and see if I’d grown up enough to enjoy it. To add the experience, I’d just finished a stint as lighting technician for Quebec Art Company’s production of La Cage aux Folles, which involved a lot of on-the-job learning for me. Lessons such as: I really should have memorized those formulas for converting between amps, volts and watts from first-year physics, and electrocution is no fun. So, going to see 1984 also meant relaxing into a safe comfortable seat and watching a professional take over.

Then I pitched the idea of writing a review to my dear friend and editor at Albion Magazine, and she did her usual brilliant job putting out this winter’s issue. The full review can be read here.

“Unrequited” project goes to ExpoZine Montreal 14-15 November

So, in the past few months I’ve been working on a collaborative zine project with a couple of friends, Pablo and Kirsten (a “zine” is a small, self-published book, put together old-school style with a photocopier and a stapler). The theme of our project is “Unrequited.” Basically, we interviewed each other about the people we’ve had crushes on over the years, and the silly things we did to try to get their attention. Next, we each produced a zine in a totally different style. Mine was comics. Here is the cover and first three pages, just to give you a taste (click on the image to zoom in): Continue reading

Dorothy L. Sayers, and the World Wildlife Fund

My essay about the early detective novels of Dorothy L. Sayers has just appeared in Albion Magazine. You can go read it here. A lot has been written about Dorothy Sayers’ feminism, and quite rightly so, but I wanted to look at how this feminism intersected with ideas of class and the economic realities between the wars. Since I’m Canadian and know very little about the British class system, I am infinitely indebted to the editor for helping me not to say anything silly.

I also discovered that an article I wrote for the World Wildlife Fund about climate change and microscopic organisms is still available online here. Have a glimpse of my day-job, distilled (I hope) for the general non-scientist public.

“Mumbai Marriage” and some theatre dates

My short story “Mumbai Marriage” has just come out in the Singapore-based feminist journal Junoesq. Go on and check it out! It does feature what I have regretfully concluded is one of my major themes, namely, Bad Things Happen to Small, Fluffy Creatures, so please be warned.

Also, for readers who live in or around Quebec City who might be interested in my other artistic endeavours, I am involved in this season’s QAC production of Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. Yes, I play Rosencrantz. I have so many lines to learn. Show dates are 17-19 April (plus 16 April if you happen to volunteer for Jeffrey Hale Community Services), so mark it on your calendar.