Sunday, September 14, 2008

My final column

Well, it's official. This weekend's Paperchase column, the 29th that I'd written since taking it on at the end of February, was my final column.

When the column was offered to me, I was thrilled. The extra income was (theoretically) a good thing, the chance to add 'columnist' to my resume was (theoretically) a good thing, and the opportunity to make space for the local writing and publishing community to share its news, its wheels and deals, was (definitely) a good thing.

I've since learned that I have to start saying no, or, at the very least, begin questioning opportunity closely.

As painful as writing the column after a full day's work at Aqua Books (my two-days-a-week day job) was, towards the end (can you say 3 am?), leaving it behind was painless.
Winnipeg phenom Andrew Davidson will appear as a part of the fall season of Authors at Harbourfront Centre in Toronto alongside Toronto's Terry Fallis and Calgary's Fred Stenson.

Former Winnipeggers Randy and Tal Bachman have contributed stories to a new anthology on hitchhiking from Fredericton's Goose Lane Editions.

Jamis Paulson, who until recently was programming and outreach director for the Manitoba Writers' Guild, has joined Turnstone Press as associate publisher.

Toronto writer Elyse Friedman - who will appear at Thin Air Sept. 22 - is a finalist for the Toronto Book Award, announced this last week.

The short lists for the Canadian Culinary Book Awards were announced this past week.

Partly that was because I found someone worthy, that also believes in community, to take on the beast and partly that was because my editor, Morley Walker, was completely gracious in his/my defeat.

And while NOT doing the column for very little money means that I could possibly start reviewing books again for very little money, I think I'm going to hold off for a while.

I've got a respectable little heap of Edisonia to pore over, including an on-line cache of Marion Edison Oser's letters, two diaries of Thomas Alva Edison, and a couple of crusty biographies of same.

Nevermind that, I've got bloggers to recruit and content to write for HOT AIR! (The festival is a week away! Eek!)

And, lest I forget, a lesson plan to construct for my first Seniors Writer's Poetry Workshop (offered through Creative Retirement Manitoba), Sept. 21!

And then there's the tour to launch my Palimpsest Press chapbook, The navel gaze, put together by the excellent (and, recently, long-suffering) Dawn Kresan. The tour is Oct. 5-12 and, of course, there are still scads of details to pin/nail/staple down.

(See here for the briefs behind the headlines...)


Anita Daher said...

Oh! I have loved your column. Who is taking it over, or are you allowed to say? Anyone I know?

Brenda Schmidt said...

No is always tough to say to good things.

Ariel Gordon said...

Thanks, Anita. I loved the idea of it more than the actual fact. I still, however, believe that it needs to exist, which is why I'm glad Michael Van Rooy will be taking it on.

I know, B, but yet you still manage to say no to me...