Submitted by vsedova on September 7, 2013 - 2:22pm
The 26th Moscow International Book Fair opened this week in Russia featuring exhibitors and visitors from over 60 countries around the world. Participants include Russian and international publishers, book distributors, literary agents, translators, book printers, and librarians. The fair was established in 1977 and become one of the largest annual book fairs in Europe but virtually unknown to publishers in Canada. As a literary translator who mainly translates from English to Russian and Ukrainian, I visit the Moscow International Book Fair whenever I can but never see any Canadian publishers there or literary agents selling rights to Canadian books.
Submitted by vsedova on September 4, 2013 - 4:37pm
This year I spent Labour Day weekend with my family at the CNE. We used to go there all the time but missed it last two years for a variety of reasons. As always there was so much to do and so much to see at the CNE. Whether you are interested in arts and crafts, rides and games, exotic food, acrobatic shows, animals or music – it was all there scattered throughout the CNE grounds.
The Sand Sculpture competition impressed me the most. It was absolutely remarkable to see how the artists were able to make such creative, very detailed, and gigantic sculptures using just sand and water. Very talented sculptors from several countries participated in this competition, including Canada, US, Italy, Netherlands, and Russia.
Submitted by vsedova on September 3, 2013 - 10:23am
September happens to be one of my most favourite times of the year and certainly perfect timing for me to blog for Open Book Toronto. I am very excited about this opportunity and look forward to sharing my thoughts and observations in my WIR blog.
By some reason I usually write the best of my poetry right after the end of the summer. Watching leaves turning red and summer slowly fading away bring a lot of inspiration to me, especially when I write about love, relationships, dreams, and hopes. I wonder if any other writers feel the same way? Is poetry writing a “seasonal” thing or is it just me?
Submitted by Michael Januska on August 13, 2013 - 5:02pm
This past weekend I had the privilege and the pleasure of visiting my hometown, Windsor, on another trip to promote Riverside Drive. Here are some highlights:
Submitted by Michael Januska on July 31, 2013 - 6:29pm
This is my last blog entry as Writer-In-Residence for Open Book Toronto. It’s been a lot of fun. I’ve gained a new appreciation for bloggers and daily newspaper columnists. It was also a good exercise and I learned a lot from it. Here in no particular order, are a few stray notes, thoughts and observations from my month at OBT:
- My handwriting, my own invention, ‘Caps In Cursive,’ is getting harder to read. I never thought that could be possible.
- Sometimes I miss using pencils. I think I might begin either alternating pencil days with uni-ball pen days, or maybe using only the pen at my desk and pencils in the kitchen. I might be over-thinking this.
- I should read more poetry.
Submitted by Michael Januska on July 30, 2013 - 1:51pm
Man or Myth?
I’ve fallen behind on my blogging – sorry about that. I’m up north with family and we have limited connectivity. And I don’t have enough stamps to send you each a postcard. Modern problems.
Submitted by Michael Januska on July 25, 2013 - 3:28pm
Flipping through a copy of the Border Cities Star from 1923, I came across an article titled “Unique Literary Map.” The creation of George H. Locke, then Chief Librarian of Toronto, it’s described as a wall map marking the settings of Canadian books. “A study of the map shows that the great rivers, lakes and mountains of the Dominion seem to have been popular with many of the descriptive writers, but the fiction writers have flown everywhere…” There is no mention of any urban locales. Identified are romantic settings, wild and idyllic, stretching from the “Eden-like valleys of Nova Scotia” to the coastline of British Columbia and north to the rugged Yukon. This is CanLit circa 1923, and “Border tales do not appear as numerous as one would expect them to be.” Pity.
Submitted by Michael Januska on July 23, 2013 - 12:33pm
Actor Dennis Farina died yesterday. He was a favourite of mine. You might remember him from crime movies such as Snatch, Thief (his first acting role; he was 37 at the time), Midnight Run, and two Elmore Leonard film adaptations: Out of Sight and Get Shorty. Leonard’s writing seemed perfectly suited for Farina. Farina also played a detective for a couple of seasons in television’s Law & Order. That seemed suited for him as well. He could be smooth, dead funny and a hard-ass all in one take. He must have been one of those actors that writers think of when they’re creating a character. I have to admit, when I’m developing a character, I often have a particular actor or personality in mind. It can help.
Submitted by Michael Januska on July 21, 2013 - 4:54pm
Speaking of swamp, my mind too often at 3:00 in the morning works like it’s hopping lily pads. Maybe it’s just my adult ADD putting in overtime. (Incidentally, I once knew someone who thought that ADD meant the individual was suffering from a lack of attention. She used to tell that to us over and over again.) In order to try and fall back asleep, I’ll focus on one particular problem, as a sort of exercise. But soon there are more and more lily pads, and they keep getting smaller.
Submitted by Michael Januska on July 19, 2013 - 3:34pm
The Canadian Oxford Dictionary’s definition of the word “swamp”:
n. 1 a tract of low-lying ground in which water collects; an area of water-logged ground; a bog or marsh.
After a torrential storm and flooding less than two weeks ago, followed now by days of 40C+ heat coupled with 110% humidity, that would be the basement. Or the soccer pitch in Riverdale Park. I’ve compared current conditions to the stories I’ve read about the filming of Apocalypse Now in the jungles of the Philippines. And we know what happened there: they all went mad.
2 a difficult or messy situation; a complication (a bureaucratic swamp).