Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

kimmoritsugu's blog

A month in the life of the launching author

Today marks one month since May 31, the official publication date of my new novel The Oakdale Dinner Club, and one month since I started my residency here at Open Book Toronto.

Within the month of June, I:

- wrote and posted 16 blog posts (whew!), some instructional, some confessional, and some about what to eat, because food is important
- went to my first speaking engagement on behalf of the book, where I made jokes to a receptive audience and also sold some books
- held a successful book launch party, with shots and country line dancing, yeehaw

What to Eat While Reading: Savoury Stilton Pecan Shortbread

My novel The Oakdale Dinner Club is about two women who become friends in their senior year of high school after they hand in identical answer sheets for a math test and are accused of cheating. They didn’t cheat – not consciously – but one of the two, high all-round achiever Mary Ann Gray, thinks maybe she and alterna-hippie Alice Maeda may have inadvertently read each other’s minds when they took the test. So Mary Ann invites Alice over after school and conducts a telepathy experiment between bites of some savoury Stilton shortbreads that Mary Ann’s mother baked that afternoon.

Forget Cottage Country: 8 Reasons to Summer in the City of Toronto

School’s out and the Canada Day weekend is nigh, but that’s no reason to get out of town. Stay here, and enjoy these only-in-Toronto good things instead:

1. Toronto Island

Bike down to the ferry docks on a weekday morning, take the ferry over Hanlan’s Point, and ride the paved path to Ward’s Island. Enjoy the lake breezes and views along the way. Stop for a muffin and coffee at the Ward’s Island café, cycle around Algonquin Island and admire the Island cottages, then bike back to Hanlan’s to take the ferry back to the city. An idyllic hour and a half-long country-in-the-city experience.

2. The Moore Park Ravine system in midtown Toronto

ICYM these: Some interesting ish from around the net.

1) A fascinating piece by celebrated novelist/writer Karl Ove Knausgaard about the self-loathing that has driven his lifelong desire for fame:


To Blog or Not to Blog, That is the Question

I think of Julie Powell’s 2002 blog The Julie/Julia Project as the original food blog, or at least the first blog I heard of that paired good writing with food. But Powell’s blog, about trying every recipe in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking over the course of a year, the blog that became a bestselling book and a major motion picture, was all words, no pictures. How 2002 was that?

Social Media Bare Minimums for Authors

Have a new book coming out? Don't want to self-promote? Too bad. You must do at least these few things if you want to get the book rolling:

Word on the Street Toronto Invites Readers to Join New Summer Book Club

Last night, I went to a literary party in the Brigantine Room at the Harbourfront Centre. It was a joint celebration of the anniversaries of the Word on the Street festival (this year’s festival will be the 25th) and of the International Festival of Authors at Harbourfront (this year’s will be it’s 40th) – the two festivals will be partnering in 2015.

At the party, games like poker, ping pong and Scrabble were played, I hobnobbed with some writers, and I met a baby named Felix, who could be a stand-in for baby Prince George, and who allowed me to carry him around for ten or fifteen minutes while his mother had a mini-break.

Kim’s Top Ten Writing Tips: How to Write Like a Pro

Do you want your (fiction) writing to look polished and professional when you submit it to editors and agents for consideration? Of course you do. So make sure your words are correctly spelled and your sentences are graceful and grammatically correct, and avoid these signs of the amateur writer:

1) Too many adverbs. Whenever possible, choose strong verbs instead of a weak verb that needs to be modified by an adverb. Instead of: he walked quickly, write: he ran.

Got Any Good Lit Jokes?

Several years ago, I spoke at a gala dinner at a writers’ festival in Thunder Bay. Picture a hotel ballroom filled with about a hundred people seated at tables for ten. I had tried to inject some humourous self-mocking bits into the speech when I wrote it, and my lines seemed to pay off when, a few minutes in, a lone woman in the audience started to laugh – loud and long, semi-hysterically, and contagiously. I was encouraged by her vocal positive reinforcement, and so was the rest of the room. I settled into a comic groove, became funnier, and the audience joined in with peals of laughter. At the end of the speech, I floated back to my seat, face flushed, buoyed by a large wave of enthusiastic applause.

Beyond Luminato: Upcoming Writerly Events

Much ado is being made of this year’s Luminato literary programming, which includes literary walking tours (for a fee) in three different Toronto locations, and a big literary picnic (for free) at Trinity Bellwoods Park, all happening (tomorrow) Sunday June 15th. (For more info, go to:

But Luminato isn’t the only writerly game in town, not Sunday, and certainly not next week, when readers, writers, bloggers and lit culture enthusiasts alike will be checking out these worthy literary and literary-adjacent events:

Sunday June 15 – 11 a.m.
Heritage Toronto Walking Tour: The Mansions of Jarvis Street

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