Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

jwesthead's blog

Deer in the Bloglights No More!

Blogging is hard!

Before Open Book Toronto so kindly asked me aboard, I had very limited blogging experience, having written exactly two posts for other people’s online homes (one on notebook love, for Rebecca Rosenblum, and the other on Giller crashing, for The New Quarterly).

My own website doesn’t have a blog component. I do get excited about updating my pages occasionally—I’m all proud of myself for knowing how to do basic HTML, which sounds so much fancier and more computery than it is.

Bucket O’ Literary Oration Advice

At a reading I attended once, a writer brought what appeared to be an entire manuscript with him to the stage. Then he told a joke about how he was going to read the whole thing to us, haha! It was not a funny joke, though we laughed out of anxious politeness. Then he started reading, and reading, and reading…and we began to feel afraid. As he made his way through his enormous pile (which he didn’t read all of, but still far too much of), he would fling each page away with a disdainful flick of his wrist. Paper fluttered down around him, drifting on the breeze of our quiet sighs of desperation before coming to rest in a new pile, which he left for the next reader to deal with.

One and a Half Men: The King of Awkward (An Interview with Nathaniel G. Moore)

Nathaniel G. Moore is an enigma to many. Including me, though I’ve known him since 1999. From evidence I have been stealthily gathering over the past decade-and-a-half, here are the three main conclusions I have drawn about him:

1) He is a bit wacky.

Social Awkwardness Dread: Part 2 of 2

(PHOTO by Derek Wuenschirs)

“What is or was your most dreaded awkward social situation?” continued...

Social Awkwardness Dread: Part 1 of 2

All right, here it is: I am break-into-a-sweat-all-over-and-roll-my-eyes-up-into-the-back-of-my-head neurotic about forgetting people’s names. The mere idea of the possibility of this horrible socially awkward situation happening can send me over the edge.

This is how it plays out: I’ll glimpse someone I recognize across the room at a party, and if their name doesn’t immediately pop into my brain, I’ll quickly escape from their line of sight and start muttering to myself, Jaclyn? No. Jadeen? Nope. Jardina? No, dammit! Jacinda? Bingo! Yesss. Then I’ll feel triumphant and confidently reassured, armed with a name at the ready whether or not I actually speak to the person in question.

Our Alaskan Cruise: A Fictional Photo Essay (Part 2 of 2)

(Photos by Derek Wuenschirs. Click on the thumbnails to enlarge.)

The band played all of our favourite songs. We watched from afar, cheered them on silently, clapped for their performance in our minds. We did not sit close because we did not want to spook them. They were all going to get free bowls of clam chowder out of this, at the end.

Our Alaskan Cruise: A Fictional Photo Essay (Part 1 of 2)

(Photos by Derek Wuenschirs. Click on the thumbnails to enlarge.)

On the first night, we ordered Baked Alaska for dessert. Our waiter served it, then stood by and waited for us to laugh. When we only smiled politely, he was angry that we did not get the joke.

The Zines Are Back In Town…But They Never Actually Left!

This past Sunday afternoon, I attended a backyard barbeque. But this was no ordinary outdoor summer fête. In addition to the regulation burgers and dogs and potato salad (and grilled bacon and bowl of red Nibs), there was a keg of Steam Whistle, delicious complimentary mini donuts (!) from our hosts Wade and Karen, a live band…and something else.

Ardent Eavesdropping

Ardent Eavesdropping

When I first started jotting down notes for this post, I was on a plane to Calgary and couldn’t figure out how to turn off the seatback TV that was blaring in my face (to my relief, I learned eventually to dim the brightness all the way). I switched around trying to find the least distracting channel, and settled on a tennis match. I don’t know anything about tennis, so I had zero interest in the onscreen action. And all that back-and-forth running and swatting turned out to be a fitting backdrop for a post about other people’s conversations.

To the Death (Match)!

As an ode to Gastro-Porn Princess Natalie Zed, who stole the show, here is my review of last night's Literary Death Match in the form of a grocery-store-flyer collage:

Editor's note: Click on the collage for a better look. The image can be further enlarged by clicking on the icon with four arrows that will appear.

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