I have always felt a deep kinship with Ferdinand. Not only because my mother was born and raised in Madrid, but also because, if I dare say, I’m the kind of introspective guy who prefers to sit quietly and smell the flowers instead of running around and butting heads with others. Ferdinand embodies pacifism and unembarrassed self-acceptance. If I weren’t so busy taming my own wild wee broncos, I could pore over the book’s striking black and white illustrations for hours.
Memory is one of the most powerful tools any artist or creative person has in her arsenal. As in physics, so in literature: one cannot create something from nothing. Creativity is the combining of bits and pieces of memory in a unique way. The way you’ve made that character walk is because, whether you consciously remember it or not, you once saw somebody or something move that way.
Essentially, SocialBook, as [Bob Stein] calls it, will be a website that allows publishers, readers and writers to upload books, new and old, so they can be read and discussed interactively. The book will appear on one side of the screen with a commentary panel on the other side. The uploads will be subject to copyright restrictions and the site will be curated in order to maintain quality. You might think of it as a giant book club, with potential for all kinds of adjunct activities.
To me, the longstanding appeal of fiction has always been to escape my limited worldview and enter that of somebody else. Now, I don’t read stories by women to find out what women are like. There’s real life for that. I read stories by women for the same reason I read stories by men. When I say I love the stories of Mavis Gallant, I don’t say so because she is a woman. I say it because she is a great writer, full stop.
1. The First Kiss Dear Diary: Today I got my first kiss but it was pretty boring.Teresa dared Jason to kiss me on the lips. Dorito breath Jason!!! I took out my gum and faced him and kept my mouth closed and he puckered his lips really tight and closed his eyes. It was quick and didn’t feel like anything. After he pulled away I put my gum back in my mouth and Teresa and everyone burst out laughing and yelled “DRYYY!!!” Jason looked embarrassed. I just wasn’t done with my gum.
Competition judge Don Sedgwick had this to say about the winning essay “On Good Days”:
“It is an exquisitely structured lyrical essay/personal memoir. The language is beautiful, especially in the way it moves easily from English to French and back again. The images are bold and memorable. The metaphors are clever. And the emotional strength of the prose is consistent from beginning to end.”
I love my kids, which is a deep, vast, and ridiculous understatement. But they’re humans, and as it turns out, so am I. We tend to quote Shakespeare on a daily basis, often without knowing it. I say things like: budge an inch, tower of strength, making a virtue of necessity, early days, a fool’s paradise, knitting my brows, my own flesh and blood, and my favourite, slept not one wink. Thank you, Will, for this fine vocabulary of motherhood, which includes not one expletive.
This year marks the tenth anniversary of The Doug Wright Awards For Canadian Cartooning, and they’re calling on you to help celebrate! Earlier this month we were super excited to learn that our comics editor, Georgia Webber, had been nominated for her series Dumb. We are happy to report that she’ll be among the artists contributing to a special commemorative zine to mark the occasion, but not without your help.
The schmoozing was great, as it had been in Montreal. But more than that, we gloried in finding one another. Most of us had been working in silos, with no peers or mentors. Imagine the thrill of finding ourselves among “our peeps” for the first time, with hours and hours for in-depth discussion of what we do and how we do it. Imagine the relief of finally getting answers to those pesky questions we’d carried around for years; the pleasure of providing helpful suggestions to our less experienced colleagues. Every item on the agenda was apt. Every contact made promised concrete mutual benefits.
carte blanche and the Creative Nonfiction Collective Society are pleased to announce the shortlist for our inaugural creative nonfiction competition.
The winner of the competition will be announced on Saturday, May 3rd at the 10th Anniversary CNFC Conference in Calgary.