Blogs

Shifting Gears

Dear Open Bookers,

It’s a pleasure to be this month’s Writer-in-Residence. I look forward to sharing thoughts and ideas with you over the coming weeks!

Monday morning, I arrived at the Banff Centre to begin work on a new opera with composer André Ristic.

Up until the last few months, I would work by juggling a number of projects at the same time, shifting from one to the other as the mood struck me. Recently, though, I’ve started concentrating on one project at a time. So far, I’ve found the experience has been a success. I may not get as much done, but the work seems to be better (in all its subjective glory, of course).

Eppur si muove/and yet it moves

Eppur si muove. And yet it moves. This is what Galileo supposedly said, speaking of the earth, upon being found guilty of heresy in 1633 for promoting the Copernican model of heliocentricity. In its move away from the sun, the earth has turned a full thirty rotations since I began posting here at Open Book. The earth’s speed at the equator is 1,100 miles per hour. I’m mystified by how we can’t really sense this, as the earth moves, with the seasons, towards and away from the sun. Always there is movement and here we are, continually hurtling forward with the face of the earth, whether we do feel it or not. None of us are suspended and motionless, and we are not at the centre of the universe.

On Janus

Sonnet IV

New yeare forth looking out of Janus gate,
Doth seeme to promise hope of new delight:
And bidding th’old Adieu, his passed date
Bids all old thoughts to die in dumpish spright
And calling forth out of sad Winters night,
Fresh love, that long hath slept in cheerlesse bower:
Wils him awake, and soone about him dight
His wanton wings and darts of deadly power.
For lusty spring now in his timely howre,
Is ready to come forth him to receive:
And warnes the Earth with divers colord flowre,
To decke hir selfe, and her faire mantle weave.
Then you faire flowre, in whom fresh youth doth raine,
Prepare your selfe new love to entertaine.

—Edmund Spenser

*

On pseudonyms: Q&A with Writer "X"

On pseudonyms a.k.a. aliases a.k.a. handles a.k.a. avatars a.k.a. monikers a.k.a. sobriquets ak.a. epithets a.k.a. pen names a.k.a. nicknames a.k.a. noms de guerres, a.k.a. anon.:

Q&A with Writer “X”, on writing under “Sweet Baboo”

Sandra Ridley: What drew you to using a pseudonym for your work? What are the benefits and/or disadvantages for you? Do you see yourself as being part of, or extending, or arguing with a particular tradition of writing under a pseudonym?

On pseudonyms: Q&A With Amanda Earl

On pseudonyms a.k.a. aliases a.k.a. handles a.k.a. avatars a.k.a. monikers a.k.a. sobriquets ak.a. epithets a.k.a. pen names a.k.a. nicknames a.k.a. noms de guerres a.k.a. anon.:

Q&A with Amanda Earl, on writing with a variety of aliases

Sandra Ridley: What drew you to using a pseudonym for your work?

Amanda Earl: I have more than one pseudonym. And some of them are group pseudonyms. How it starts for me is that I get an idea for a character, a separate voice I want to try out. Rather than a pseudonym, I think what I create is a heteronym, a whole character. I imagine their personality traits, their environment, their history.

On pseudonyms: Q&A With Michael Redhill

On pseudonyms a.k.a. aliases a.k.a. handles a.k.a. avatars a.k.a. monikers a.k.a. sobriquets ak.a. epithets a.k.a. pen names a.k.a. nicknames a.k.a. noms de guerres a.k.a. anon.:

Q&A with Michael Redhill, on writing under “Inger Ash Wolfe”

Sandra Ridley: What drew you to using a pseudonym for your work?

Michael Redhill: I wanted to lead a secret life and watch it unfold from a distance. And I liked the idea of being two people for two distinct purposes. I also found that it allowed for a “performance” as a different writer. Writers are always getting into character, anyway, so why couldn’t the writer also be a character? That was perhaps the most satisfying part of the process, seeing how Inger wrote.

Which ‘I’ this ‘I.

After my second book, Post-Apothecary, came out, I was given the chance to read at some of our writers’ festivals. One event in Ontario had three poets and a host who introduced us and facilitated the tooth-pulls of the Q&A. Standard process. The night before, several colleagues and friends were gathering in the Hospitality Suite, and our host, a well-respected writer, was canvassing the poets in the room. She pulled me aside, as if wanting to whisper in my ear, then she said something like, “I would never ask you this on stage, but why were you institutionalized? What were you in for?” On the surface, there seemed to be no judgement or harshness in her questions. But still, it took me aback.

Under Surveillance at The Word on The Street, Toronto

Yesterday I participated in a panel called Under Surveillance at the New Narratives Tent, alongside Emily Horne, co-author of The Inspection House: An Impertinent Field Guide to Modern Surveillance (with Tim Maly), and hosted by Nick Mount. We'd been asked to talk about our interpretations of Foucault’s Discipline and Punish—how his work related to our approaches to writing and research regarding our books, and to give to a short reading.

Here's my response:

Q&A with Linda Lacroix, CEO and head librarian at the Lake of Bays Library in Baysville, ON

Coordinates: 45.3000° N, 79.0000° W

“Access to knowledge is the superb, the supreme act of truly great civilizations. Of all the institutions that purport to do this, free libraries stand virtually alone in accomplishing this mission. No committee decides who may enter, no crisis of body or spirit must accompany the entrant. No tuition is charged, no oath sworn, no visa demanded. Of the monuments humans build for themselves, very few say "touch me, use me, my hush is not indifference, my space is not barrier. If I inspire awe, it is because I am in awe of you and the possibilities that dwell in you.”” Toni Morrison

*

Q&A with Linda Lacroix, CEO and head librarian at the Lake of Bays Library in Baysville, ON

Nik Beat, Dead at 58

Nik Beat, a well-known figure in Toronto's music and literary scenes, died yesterday at 58. His given name was Michael Barry, but his chosen name reflected his hipster stance and determination to avoid conformity.

Syndicate content