November 6, 2010

Reading tonight!

I'm reading tonight at Le Cagibi as part of the Taddle Creek Travelling Series of Happenings to promote their Out-of-Towner issue. Sadly, I'm not actually in the issue (now that I've seen the actual magazine, which is gorgeous, I wish I'd known they were doing one, as normally submissions are restricted to writers from Toronto), but I'll be reading with Katia Grubisic, Mark Jarman, and Sarah Gilbert, so I can promise you will not be disappointed! (I am a big fan of Katia's poetry in general and of her excellent Goose Lane collection in particular.)

I'm especially looking forward to Sarah's presentation, which will apparently feature a projector for what I hope is an elaboration of her essay on Mile End. I'm similarly neighbourhood-obsessed, and I was excited to see she wrote about the lemon tree that (bewilderingly) continues to flourish a few blocks away from here in the back lane. I've brought other people to look at that tree, to convince me I'm not dreaming it.

I spent the morning trying to decide what to read. I don't feel like reading from Mother Superior, since I don't want to subject people I know to something that, at this point, they've probably heard before. At the same time, the novel I just finished writing is currently under submission (*fingers crossed* or, as my mother would say, pray for me) and the thought of actually opening the file again to look at it basically fills me with dread. Eeek.

So instead I'm reading from the new-new novel. I'm only about 60 pages in, but I'm still excited about where it's going, so maybe this is a good point to be reading from it. This will be only the second time that I've read from a first, unpublished draft. (The first time, at the QWF mentorship reading back in 2008, didn't go very well -- I was knee-quakingly nervous and more or less breathlessly squeaked it all out -- but I've done a lot of readings between then and now, so I'm going to blame nerves rather than the terror of reading something brand-new.)

But although I have mixed feelings about giving readings (mostly to do with nervousness), I have only one feeling about the importance of reading your writing out loud -- namely, that it is hugely important. No matter how my selection goes over tonight, I'm sure I'll at least get some ideas about things I want to change. And that's great.

If you stop by tonight, come say hi! The doors are at 8 p.m., but the readings will probably start closer to 9 p.m.


Samantha said...

Wish I could be there - break a leg!

saleema said...

Thanks, Samantha! I think it went okay! I hope one of these days our paths will cross in Toronto...

Samantha said...

Me too! :)