Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

cbforrest's blog

Fathers. Trying, trying, trying.

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

Of course F. Scott Fitzgerald was talking about all of us when he typed those beautiful final lines to his novel, The Great Gatsby. And by that I mean I certainly recognize he wasn’t speaking exclusively about fathers or men, or the particular cargo we carry with us across the days of our enterprise. But I will tell you that’s precisely how that line has always rested with me, more than a closing epitaph from Nick Carraway to Jay Gatsby, it apparently sums up the always difficult love of men for other men and our shared lineage in this seemingly endless fumbling at manhood and fatherhood.

Fathers. Trying, trying, trying.

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

Of course F. Scott Fitzgerald was talking about all of us when he typed those beautiful final lines to his novel, The Great Gatsby. And by that I mean I certainly recognize he wasn’t speaking exclusively about fathers or men, or the particular cargo we carry with us across the days of our enterprise. But I will tell you that’s precisely how that line has always rested with me, more than a closing epitaph from Nick Carraway to Jay Gatsby, it apparently sums up the always difficult love of men for other men and our shared lineage in this seemingly endless fumbling at manhood and fatherhood.

Boxing legend Chuvalo punches out his life story: wins, losses, and knockouts

When I was fourteen, an entire wall of my bedroom was plastered with glossy centerfolds. But rather than scantily clad women, the photos were a who’s-who of boxing’s golden era: guys like Roberto Duran, Sugar Ray Leonard, Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini, Marvin Hagler, and Canadians Shawn O’Sullivan and Willie de Witt … with a hallowed place for this country’s most fabled pugilist, George Chuvalo.

“As a writer you make your own weather”: Irish crime writer Eoin McNamee on style, voice, and the imperative to be renegade

There is perhaps no greater, more perplexing, and ultimately rewarding journey for the writer than the long enterprise to discover one’s voice – or at least the voice we’re most comfortable using in public. We are influenced by our teachers and mentors, by what we like and what we read, and most of us necessarily stumble through early years of unconscious imitation. And then one day, like hearing our voice played back to us on a tape recorder, we say “is that me, is that what I really sound like?”

Irish author Eoin McNamee has greatly influenced my writing not so much in terms of attempted imitation – for to borrow a Leonard Cohen phrase, I can hear him typing several floors above me – but by seeing a new set of blueprints set down for storytelling.

Interview with Peggy Blair: Hey writer! The harder you work, the luckier you get

They say where there is a will, there is a way. And you can bet Peggy Blair will find it. The Ottawa-based author of the award-winning mystery novel The Beggar’s Opera, Blair brings new meaning to words like ‘determination’ and ‘tenacity’. She is tough, she has a wicked sense of humour, and while she says she finds writing hard work, her writing seems effortless.

Body & Words: The ballerina who learned how to write

Simple ambitions, complicated tea.

This is the story of a ballerina who stopped dancing so she could learn to write songs. Or perhaps she learned how to write songs because she stopped dancing. Either way, the artistic life of Jill Zmud has not been plotted or charted, and it seems to be working out just right.

The Saskatoon native agrees to meet in a coffee shop on a recent sunny spring afternoon in downtown Ottawa. She orders an improbably named Osmanthus Scented Silvery Green Tea – (earning an ‘A’ when she is asked by the hardcore coffee-drinking interviewer to spell the name of the tea) – and she settles in to discuss words, music, grief and beauty.

Exclusive! Skydigger Andy Maize reveals "the last thing I'll ever write ..."

If the Skydiggers were a movie, they would be fawned over at the Sundance Festival. If the Skydiggers were a book, they’d be a well-worn paperback written by some revered and reclusive ex-pat living in a small village in the south of France.

If the Skydiggers were …

Well, you get the point: the Skydiggers are hip without trying to be hip because they simply do what they do for all the right reasons. As the iconic group celebrates its 25th anniversary with a cross-country tour and the seasonal release of four new offerings this year, lead singer Andy Maize took some time to discuss writing, the business of art, and the ebbs and flows across a quarter century of creation.

Obscure word choice for titles will spare you weekly heartbreak

About three times a week I receive a Google news alert that, at least for a few seconds, makes me feel as though perhaps someone out there in a place like Bald Knob, Arkansas (a real place by the way, check it), is reading and reviewing one of my novels.

But no, no. They're not. In fact, the "news" that triggered the email alert is more than likely to be the result of a middle-aged man blogging enthusiastically about video games from his mother's faux wood-paneled basement while dressed in boxer shorts and with a cornflake glued to his chin from the breakfast he ate six hours ago.

WTF! Performance Enhancing Drugs and The Writer

While good citizens of the world fumble to regain their bearings following the shocking lifetime ban from cycling for Lance Armstrong, I am here to tell you something: you can count on us, the writers of your novels and plays and poems and greeting cards, to come to our competition free of any genuine performance enhancing drugs.

The Editor Who Heard Music: Allister Thompson on editing, mixing, and mistakes writers make

Editors. Can’t live with ‘em, can’t with without ‘em.

Just kidding. We love our editors, and in fact, they are truly the unsung heroes behind so many great works of fiction that might have been just, well, mediocre, without their keen eye.

Allister Thompson is one editor who does not go unsung. Because he’s a singer. And a songwriter. And his latest album, Light The Darkness, may just be his best offering yet. Featuring his superb songwriting and blistering guitar work front and centre, the 10 tracks seem to combine to form a sort of anthem for these times. Listen to it here:
http://allisterthompson.bandca...

I cornered Allister in a dark and musty pub where he was drinking a tar-like British ale, and we had a quick chat.

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