Events

506 Writing Contest

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The Ashdale Writers Group, a group I have been a part of for years, is hosting a writing contest in conjunction with Beach Metro, Toronto Public Library, Gerrard India Bazaar and The 506 Streetcar Project.

Myself and my fellow writers in the group will be serving as judges and the theme is related to the 506 streetcar here in Toronto.

The deadline is tight, entries must be submitted by March 21st, but we have a great prize of publication in the Beach Metro News and $100 cash sponsored by the Gerrard India Bazaar BIA.

For more info or to enter check out our group’s website!

Also, the winner will be invited to read at our Ashdale Reading Night on the 31st of March. Members of our group will be reading along with the winner of the contest.

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Events

Upcoming Reading: The EW Reading Series

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On Tuesday the 8th of September I will be sharing the stage with some fabulous writers at the Emerging Writers Reading Series in Toronto.

The reading is in a pub on Bloor St. West so you can get some food and drink. I will be hitting the stage last at 9:30pm but there are three other readers before me, so come at 8pm to get in on all the literary action!

I hope to see you there.

Date: Tuesday September 8, 2015
Time: 8pm
Location: Duffy’s Tavern – 1238 Bloor St. W. Toronto
Facebook Event

Random

Random Conversations: A guy on the subway hitting on me

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I love randomness. I love when people talk to me on the bus, the subway, walking down the street. I love when people hit on me because we always end up in these fabulously strange conversations. The universe is a swirl of chaos and I find my moments of random connection with strangers to be exciting and fascinating. To that end I’ve decided to start writing down my conversations with strangers and publishing them on my blog. Perhaps you can get a laugh, or a bit of insight about human nature from them, just as I do.

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Random Conversation #1: A guy on the subway hitting on me

Guy: Are you married? (points at my tattoo wedding ring)

Me: Yup.

Guy: That’s a good deterrent for guys hitting on you.

Me: Well that certainly wasn’t my intention when I got it, I wasn’t like…hmm…should I tattoo a wedding ring on my finger to deter guys? That would be commitment.

Guy: You should put some bling on that fingers…like Tiffanys…a big diamond…(shows his hideous Tiffanys gold bracelet with diamonds—probably fake)

Me: Why would I want diamonds? Do you know how common compressed carbon is? There are whole planets made of diamond!

Guy: Yeah but it’s expensive! Me: So? Boring!

Guy: (laughs) You’re like that’s ADT commercial, you know with that guy on the lawn saying ‘don’t even try it’…that’s what your tattoo says ‘don’t even try it’.

Me: Well that certainly wasn’t my intention.

Guy: I’m thinking about being a stripper you know.

Me: Really?

Guy: Yeah, but I’d need to get tats all over my arms, like all done up. (points to his his arms)

Me: Well go for it!

Guy: Yeah my mom would kill me though, she’d kick me out of the house. But I could be a jiggalo, you know, or a stripper for sure.

Me: I bet you would make more money stripping for dudes.  I bet more dudes would pay more for that than ladies would.

Guy: What!? Fuck no! I don’t swing that way…(pulls cross out of shirt—as indication of homophobia(?))

Me: That’s okay, I’ve met guys who work at gay bars that aren’t gay, just eye candy.

Guy: No way…

Me: (shrug) I’m just say men would probably pay more…

Guy: My mom would kill me anyways, she would hire assassins and shit.

Me: Wow that’s some mom!

Guy: Maybe I’ll just be a bartender…

Me: That’s safer. Because assassins.

Guy: Yeah safer…

Me: Okay how about this: you be a bartender at a strip club! Then you could work your way up to stripper, you know, upward mobility!

Guy: Oh yeah, bartending at a strip club, that would be good. Strippers are hot!

Me: No I mean a guy strip club…where guys strip.

Guy: I told you I don’t swing that way…(clutches cross—to further reinforce homophobia(?))

Me: No I’m not saying a gay strip club…

Guy: Hey! I said…

Me: No listen, I’m trying to optimize your career path here.  Okay you know there are strip clubs where guys strip for women right?  Well you should bartend there and work your way up.

Guy: Bah, my mom would kill me.

Me: Oh well, what are you gonna do?

Guy: With all those tattoos on your arms you should be a chef.

Me: What?! I’m not gonna be a chef, I’m a writer… I’m gonna go home and write about our conversation.  Thanks for the inspiration…bye!

Guy: (looks bewildered)

Me: (gets off subway)

Events

Reading at The Quilliad Halloween Launch

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I’m so excited to announce I will be reading at The Quilliad Halloween Edition Launch Party this Friday.

There will be a bunch of talented local writers reading their spooky stories and poems and it’s a costume party so fancy dress is definitely encouraged. Come out an support a fantastic local magazine and buy a drink and a copy of the magazine to read at home!

Date: Friday October 24, 2014
Time: 8pm-12am
Location: Betty’s on King – 240 King St. EAST

Be there or be square (or be there and be a square for Halloween)!

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Honorable Mention – Friends of Merril Short Story Contest

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The other day it was announced at the Friends of Merril Short Story Contest that I received an honorable mention for my story, The One in Green.  Very exciting!

I’d like to offer a big congratulations to the winner, the other honorable mention and all the finalists, it’s a great contest and I’m sure everyone’s stories were absolutely wonderful!

For anyone who is not familiar with the Merril Collection, I wanted to take a moment to celebrate its virtues.

The Merril Collection is a Science Fiction and Fantasy collection located at the Lillian H. Smith Library in downtown Toronto (an awesome library if you haven’t been there).

Here’s a description from the library website about the collection:

‘The Merril Collection of Science Fiction, Speculation and Fantasy is a non-circulating research collection of over 72,000 items of science fiction, fantasy and speculative fiction, as well as magic realism, experimental writing and some materials in ‘fringe’ areas such as parapsychology, UFOs, Atlantean legends etc.’

Parapsychology?  UFOs? Atlantean legands?  Etc?!

Awesome stuff!  What could be more exciting?  The answer is nothing.

So if you want to be involved in the Friends of Merril organization you can check out their website and discover how to become a friend of this amazing collection, or you can submit to the contest next year when it rolls around again.

Once again congratulations to everyone and thanks for running a great contest Friends of Merril!

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ADVENTURE TIME! The Kindness of Strangers

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(We made a variety of ‘Nutcracker’ faces)

As writers it’s our job to go out into the world and have adventures so we can bring them back and write about them.  So I’ve decided to create an Adventure Time Series to chronicle some of the crazy adventures Ben and I get up to!

Adventure Time: The Kindness of Strangers

It all started with a contest.

In our neighbourhood (The Beaches) the Business Association gave nutcrackers out to a bunch of stores.  The contest was to find the nutcrackers and take a selfie with them.  Once selfied, we had to post the pictures on the FB page and each picture = one chance to win a draw for $300!
So we did it.  In fact we did the hell out of it.  We ran around like crazy people all day and ended up finding 166 nutcrackers!  166!!!

We had so much fun, met many wonderful people and pumped the spirit of the Beaches to the max.  We had people cheering us on and in some stores our reputation preceded us and people knew of us when we arrived.  It was super fun.


When arrived at Castro’s Lounge we were more than half way through and getting a bit tired.  Their nutcracker had been stolen so we made a sign explaining the theft for our selfie and while there, a man (who had seen us at two other bars before that) introduced himself.  He told us he thought we were cool and gave us his business card.  He said to write if we didn’t win.

So we ran on and collected the rest of our selfies then went home, satisfied and adventured out.
Then came the draw day and we didn’t win.  Can you believe it?  We couldn’t!  But it really didn’t matter that much because the adventure was reward enough.  I know a lot of people say that, but in our case it was true.  We got out, met people and had fun.  What more could you want?


So we wrote to the bar-hopping stranger, thanked him for his kindness and enthusiasm and told him of our loss.  Not a day later he wrote back and told us he had deposited an envelope for us at The Gull & Firkin and it was to be considered a consolation prize!

Let me tell you right now, it was no mere consolation.  Not winning the contest seemed almost a bonus because what is more exciting than secret packages left in quaint pubs by strangers?  The answer is nothing.


We raced to the Gull & Firkin and it was all very clandestine and although I don’t want to be crude and disclose the amount received from the kind stranger as a ‘consolation’, I will say we were indeed consoled!  

Our faith in humanity was soaring, our neighbourhood spirit intense!  

So we collected one of the nutcrackers from the lovely owner of Nesters (who along with the BIA kindly agreed to donated it) and set about creating The Nutcracker of Kindness Award for the kind kind stranger who made our day.  Then of course we left it at The Gull & Firkin so he could experience the delight of a clandestine pickup himself.  And so the adventure ended!

Or did it?  Later we were in Midoco when we heard rumour of our names being mentioned at the BIA meeting.  We were offered the job of being the body guards of the BIA mascot (a big furry dog of some sort) at Family Day due in part to our exceptional showing of Beaches spirit!  Huzzah!  Not only that but we are being awarded a secondary prize from the lovely folks of the BIA for being the crazy nuts who collected 166 nutcracker selfies!

Adventure ended and most satisfyingly I might add.


When was the last time you had an adventure?  Get out there and have fun!

Image(The Nutcracker of Kindness Award)