Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Dear Diary

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I've never written a blog before.

Well, that's not entirely true. A few summers ago, my spouse* was given an opportunity to work on a community arts project with indigenous youth in Panama, and I sent home regular emails about our experiences there, which I then also posted on a Toronto message board. I suppose that could count as a blog. Of course, for those four months, my life was a whole lot more interesting. For one thing, I spent most of my time at the library writing in English, and so never really learned Spanish. And so I was constantly an outsider, barely able to communicate with people except to order food, say hello or give directions to a cab driver. (On one of the final days there, I somehow got in an argument with a cabbie in Spanish and didn't even realize it until after I got out onto the sidewalk again. So somehow I picked up something.) But Panama was also going through a lot of civil unrest. The government was going bankrupt and was being forced to remove pensions. There were regular riots in the streets. High school students were throwing rocks at police officers and random cars. Construction workers on high rise buildings were dropping sheets of glass onto the streets below. A group of soldiers tear-gassed a protest march directly outside our apartment and since we had no real windows (which is stunning to me in a place with such torrential downpours and malaria-carrying mosquitoes), the gas filled the apartment.

Yesterday, by contrast, I painted the outside of my house. Today, I might apply some stain to our steps.

I could tell you some things about that, if you want.

Anyway, that’s probably just a long-winded and scattered way of telling you that I’m long-winded and scattered and that you’re stuck with me for the next month. I suppose this weekend might have been more interesting if the original plan had held together and I had gone back into the studio to work on the new Rock Plaza Central CD (that’s the band I play in, more about that later). It’s really coming together nicely, with songs mostly written in the studio. A new thing for us, as we normally seem to write songs during shows. But as anyone in Toronto knows, this weekend was the air show. And air shows do not lend themselves to anything else that involves sound.

So here we are. I’ll probably talk about my list of recommended websites in the near future, and then who knows. It might not all be interesting, but I promise to keep it mostly true.

* I don't think I've ever used that word before. "Spouse." But "wife" and "partner" have such problems, especially as I work occasionally as an advertising copywriter, and the art directors I would work with would also be referred to as my "partners". I normally tend to refer to Laura as "Laura". From now on, that’s how I plan to do it. Just without the quotes.

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

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Chris Eaton

Chris Eaton is the author of two novels: the inactivist (Insomniac Press, 2003) and The Grammar Architect (Insomniac Press, 2005). He also writes and performs music in the band Rock Plaza Central.

Go to Chris Eaton’s Author Page