BWS 11.11.20: Zoë S. Roy

Zoë S. Roy is the author of three novels: Spinster KangCalls Across The PacificThe Long March Home, and a short fiction collection: Butterfly Tears, published by Inanna Publications. Her literary fiction always focuses on women’s cross-cultural experiences. Besides creative writing, Zoë has also created several Wikipedia pages.

My Protagonists

I write literary fiction. My most recent novel is Spinster Kang. If you’re interested in it, you could take a look at a book trailer on YouTube. If you’d like to know what inspired me to create the protagonist, you could read the Interview with Zoë S. Roy, author of Spinster Kang.

Very often, some readers conclude my fiction is a family history or a memoir. A few of them assume that The Long March Home tells my family story. One reviewer thinks Calls across the Pacific is a “woman’s historical fictional memoir.” Another reviewer says Spinster Kang “has an autobiographic feel to it.” All these comments make me feel as if I lived several lives.

In an interview from Ricepaper, a question was asked about whether the protagonist in Calls across the Pacific was based on myself or anyone else. My answer was neither. The stories I heard about “the sent-down youth” during my youth in Mao’s China inspired me to write the short story, “Yearning.” The research about the escapee evolved from my corresponding with a pen pal in Hong Kong about the successful attempts by defectors from mainland China. My walk across the bridge at the Lo Wu Immigration Control Point between Shenzhen and Hong Kong confirmed to me that my protagonist, Nina, would be able to swim halfway to reach Hong Kong.

As Alan Moore put it, “use lies to tell truth.” I invent stories to show what I’ve learned from literature, what I’ve experienced in life, and as well what I’ve perceived about other human beings in the world no matter whether they live in my era or different times.

If you’re curious about what my fictional character inspiration is, you could read “My Confession: Exploring the Intersection between Memoir and Story.”

However, I have a little confession to make: Tania, the second main character in Spinster Kang, has the two characteristics, the same as that of a friend of mine: “a retired professor” and “never married.” To commemorate this friend who passed away last month, I’m enclosing a photo of myself with her in 2016.

Zoë S. Roy visits Brockton Writers Series via ephemera series on Wednesday, November 11, 2020 starting at 6:30pm alongside Joshua P’ng, Jamie Tennant, and Larry Baer. Dina Del Bucchia, writer, podcaster, literary event host, editor, and instructor, will give her talk on, “Podcasting for Fun (And Zero Dollars”.

Special note: As we adapt to current social distancing regulations, we’re happy to announce our event will be hosted by the wonderful ephemera series! They have already done their show online multiple times, so we are thrilled to benefit from their technical expertise, while also increasing collaboration within the literary community and growing connections between organizers, authors, and audience. You can attend the event by watching on the ephemera series YouTube channel. Please log in at 6:15.

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BWS 11.11.20: Joshua P’ng

Joshua P’ng, poet and speculative fiction writer, published in the filling station, untethered, Daily Science Fiction, Sewer Lid, and the Great Lakes Review. When he isn’t writing, he sketches people on the train, reads graphic novels, and tries to get lost on bike trips.

Ahead of his appearance at our November event, Joshua shares an excerpt from a fantasy story he’s currently writing.

A Barbarus Stone

The heralding bells from Valandir tower were always bold in announcing the first morning and always making Suervath’s tusks tingle. In reflex, she gritted her teeth, pulling her tunic over her head. The bells also told her she was late to feed the pigs, promising a strike across the ears by Paleonis, the steward, and at least five coppers off her pay. 

A loud snort from the silk bed was another reminder of the other pigs that was her lot in life. A trickle of drool leaked out of the corner of Vertigus, a scion of the proud house Albian- Ablainick, who was sprawled over silk sheets, his naked belly was a full round moon rising and falling with each snore. The spurious idiot lasted longer than she was expecting. Still that even the gold-plated lamp hovering next to her head, worth far more than her father’s entire longhouse, would make last night’s dalliance worth it.

After hitching her belt up and putting on her boots, Suervath’s eyes prowled the room. It was easy to be a lay servicing the academy students, fed on cheap wine and cheaper promises. It was harder to be a profitable lay. Too little and might as well tussle in the hay with drunkards for the dregs of an empty purse. Too much and she would be out begging in the streets with a stump for a right hand. She’d only take enough to make it worth her while but not Vertigus’s while to risk embarrassment by going after her. 

The lamp could fetch her a good life for a half-dozen years was too noticeable. The heaps of scrolls and books, it was a doubt if Vertigus even read them, but they were worth more than their weight in platinum and if he didn’t miss them his father would.

It was best to start with the low hanging goods. A pouch bloated with drinking money, was lightened off a few of the last emperor’s golden faces, just enough that it still bulged but with a few wrinkles straining the cloth, laying on Vertigus’s nightstand. The jewelry in the washroom, Suervath held them to her ears, picking only those that didn’t glitter or hum with esoteric energy.

Suervath’s pouch jingled a little more heavily before the opening of drawers. Most of them stuffed with scrawled scrolls, still-fattened pens, or candied figs for growing many a noble student’s guts. There was also a dead spider in a drawer, it’s curled up legs resembled the thin black candles that the druids used to twist their own magic. She helped herself to a few of the pens, and popped a fig in her mouth. The sweet honey soaked into it exploded back out into her mouth, a taste as rare as an emerald. 

The last open snapped open. Her fingers still gripped around the silver handle, her breath fluttered. At first sight, it was just one of the many baubles, rings, amulets, or good luck charms. The hustle of Acusmit merchants that were sold with sweet-lined words of exotic esoter which ensnared many foolish noble children to gaud themselves with cheap trinkets. It was not such a trinket. It was a Reikish stone. 

It was forgivable to not recognize it at first. It had been smoothed and cut, encircled into a burnished copper grip, and strung up into an amulet. Thirty-seven white nickels were etched onto its face. Thirty-seven ancestors. A powerful stone. The closest Suervath had been to one was seeing it gripped in her village druid to start a ritual fire for moonsday. Now, this was her chance. Her fingertips immediately became warm, a flicker lit up between her ribs. 

How did Vertigus find it? The question immediately withered in her mind under the shameful glare of reality. Likely a father or uncle in the military gifting his favourite blood relative a token from the spoils of a campaign in the north. Or a fallen druid selling his clan legacy to pay off a tavern tab, that exchanged monied hands until it ended up in the richest ones. It was beautiful, and by its warmth, still flush with memories. She picked it up, pressing it deep into her palm. It was not since at least a decade ago during her ascendency ritual, that she experienced that raw bubbling of heat scouring through her bone marrow, touching every dab of her skin. Her feet arched, her head snapped back, whisperings poured out etched into her eyes; a babbling of thoughts. 

Vertigus’s moaning snapped that feeling away like a dagger through the lung. She snapped to look, but he’d only come to scratch the mountain of a belly before drifting back into his happy little stupor. The flagrant disregard for the value of his possessions was disgraceful. How could he not know of its power, a student of an imperial academy no less? 

The Reikish stone did not look any more special than the jewelry that he would tart himself with. It wouldn’t be a surprise if he even remembered possessing it. The feeling of heat still scorched her toes and the tip of her head. Suervath slipped the stone into her pouch. A goodly scatter of coppers, a thrice of gold, and a Reikish stone. Not a bad haul indeed. With a smile, Suervath made sure the door closed no louder than a whisper behind her. 

Joshua P’ng visits Brockton Writers Series via ephemera series on Wednesday, November 11, 2020 starting at 6:30pm alongside Zoë S. Roy, Jamie Tennant, and Larry Baer. Dina Del Bucchia, writer, podcaster, literary event host, editor, and instructor, will give her talk on, “Podcasting for Fun (And Zero Dollars”.

Special note: As we adapt to current social distancing regulations, we’re happy to announce our event will be hosted by the wonderful ephemera series! They have already done their show online multiple times, so we are thrilled to benefit from their technical expertise, while also increasing collaboration within the literary community and growing connections between organizers, authors, and audience. You can attend the event by watching on the ephemera series YouTube channel. Please log in at 6:15.

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Brockton Writers Series 11.11.20

Wednesday, November 11, 2020 – 6:30pm

Brockton Writers Series presents readings by:

Joshua P’ng

Zoë S. Roy

Jamie Tennant

Larry Baer

Special note: As we adapt to current social distancing regulations, we’re happy to announce our event will be hosted by the wonderful ephemera series! They have already done their show online multiple times, so we are thrilled to benefit from their technical expertise, while also increasing collaboration within the literary community and growing connections between organizers, authors, and audience. You can attend the event by watching on the ephemera series YouTube channel. Please log in at 6:15.

The reading is PWYC (suggested $3-$5) and features a Q&A with the writers afterward. Books are available for sale.

 If you’d like to donate, please do so here.

Many thanks to the Ontario Arts Council for their support.

OAC_REVISED_NEWCOLOURS_1805c

 —

GUEST SPEAKER

Podcasting for Fun (And Zero Dollars)

Dina Del Bucchia is a writer, podcaster, literary event host, editor, instructor and otter and dress enthusiast. She is the author of the short story collection, Don’t Tell Me What to Do, and four collections of poetry, and most recently, It’s a Big Deal!

READERS

Joshua P’ng, poet and speculative fiction writer, published in the filling station, untethered, Daily Science Fiction, Sewer Lid, and the Great Lakes Review. When he isn’t writing, he sketches people on the train, reads graphic novels, and tries to get lost on bike trips.

Zoë S. Roy is the author of three novels: Spinster Kang, Calls Across The Pacific, The Long March Home, and a short fiction collection: Butterfly Tears, published by Inanna Publications. Her literary fiction always focuses on women’s cross-cultural experiences. Besides creative writing, Zoë has also created several Wikipedia pages.

Jamie Tennant has covered music and pop culture both locally and nationally. He is the Program Director at 93.3 CFMU FM and the host and producer of the literature program Get Lit. In 2016 he published his debut novel, The Captain of Kinnoull Hill. His new novel is tentatively scheduled for fall 2021.

Larry Baer was born and raised in Montreal and moved to Toronto five years ago. Partly out of sheer laziness, he prefers writing short stories over a novel, especially stories about people coming to terms with their true selves, either through suppression or expression, and the consequences of that process.

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BWS 09.09.20 report: “Attracting Audiences: Getting the Most Out of Digital Events” with Elham Ali

ElhamAli

Elham Ali is a writer and publishing professional based in Toronto. She graduated from the University of Toronto in 2014, and since completing the Humber College publishing program in 2015 she has worked in marketing and publicity at Canada’s Ballet Jörgen, Penguin Random House Canada, and Dundurn Press.

Attracting Audiences: Getting the Most Out of Digital Events

Events are an important way for authors, new and seasoned, to promote their books, even now as our current situation forces us indoors. As authors and publishers make the shift from physical to virtual events, here are five tips to help you maximize both your audience reach and the impact of your event, before, during, and after you go live.

DISCLAIMER:
In order to get the most out of the five tips, and the most out of your events, we need to clarify how we understand what these virtual events are for. Typically, an event or reading is a sales opportunity for authors, but sadly publishers and other event coordinators are all finding that there is no clear correlation between sales and virtual book events. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do them! The key is to reframe your thinking and look at virtual events as a promotion opportunity. Virtual events, like ads or interviews, are a chance for you to put your book in front of readers, to make sure people know that your book exists. Having a link to a bookseller or any sales info is still really important, but the main desired outcome now is not to sell books but to promote your book and yourself to as many people as you can.

BEFORE:
Choose your platform wisely!
I would like to start by stressing that Zoom is not the only option you have for online events. Pick the online platform that works best for both your audience and the type of event you want to have. Maybe your publisher has a great following on YouTube, or you’re part of a big writers group on Facebook, or you have a huge following on Instagram (the most underrated platform for virtual events if you ask me). Think about where you can reach the most people and host your event there.

Partner up!
If you’re only going to take one thing out of this whole post, then let it be this tip. Virtual events are missing the critical aspect of engagement that in-person events have, so create that by teaming up with someone else for your event. This also has the (massive) added bonus of expanding your reach as you tap into that person’s audience as well. Whether it’s another writer, an expert on a subject related to your book, a colleague or friend, someone from your publisher, or a bookseller or librarian, by bringing them on board they will be promoting to their audience as well which can exponentially increase the reach of your event.

Bonus tip: If you’re not sure who to partner up with ask your publisher if they can suggest another author they might be publishing that season, or if they can reach out to other publishers who might have a book that would be a good fit.

Promote well!
Find new and creative ways to attract people who may be interested in attending your event. Team up with your publisher to host a giveaway of your book in the lead-up, take questions for Q&A on your social, post your virtual event on online event listings like Open Book & NOW Magazine, or if you have the means give your Facebook event page a targeted boost. The idea here is to go beyond your own followers and reach even more people who might make be interested in attending.

DURING:
Keep it fresh!
Again, without the critical presence of an audience, doing a one person reading or presentation for a virtual event can be challenging for both you and your audience. This is your chance to mix-it up and come up with a unique program that will make your event stand-out and keep your audience engaged. Options to consider are performers or musical guests, a video or slideshow, games with your guests or even the audience.

AFTER:
Video is forever!
If you’re only going to take two things out of this whole post, let this be the second. Make sure that you record, save, and make use of the video even after the live stream is over! The idea is to maximize the number of eyes that are seeing your virtual event and thus your book. Reusing and resharing the video is a vital way to do that!

Bonus tip: Make your video accessible. Both YouTube and Facebook videos can have captions added to them after they are posted. Have your video transcribed and upload closed captioning to make your video accessible to everyone.

This final tip is free and one I give to every author I work with: don’t get discouraged! While the internet can make it feel like it should be easy to reach everyone in Canada with each livestream, turnout to online events tends to be small, but don’t let it get you down. I always say, publishing is a marathon, not a sprint.

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BWS 09.09.20: Cassidy McFadzean

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Cassidy McFadzean is the author of two books of poetry: Hacker Packer (McClelland & Stewart 2015), which won two Saskatchewan Book Awards and was a finalist for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, and Drolleries (M&S 2019), a finalist for the Raymond Souster Award. She lives in Toronto.

To Find a Ghost Forest

A poem from Cassidy’s poetry collection, Drolleries.

Search first for traces of charcoal
blackening the pathway, trees felled
for fuel where livestock once grazed.
Unearth clues obscured in old maps
and estate records, spectres of shadow
woods archived in the king’s Domesday.
The phantoms cling to honeysuckle,
holly, common cow-wheat, haunting
hacked-off limbs of coppiced trees.
Bluebells mark woodland turned
to pasture, a ring of hanging heads
announcing the forest’s neat graves.

Cassidy McFadzean visits Brockton Writers Series via ephemera series on Wednesday, September 9, 2020 starting at 6:30pm alongside Fereshteh Molavi, Cyn Rozeboom, and Brian Francis. Writer and publishing professional Elham Ali will give her guest talk on, “Attracting Audiences: Getting the Most Out of Digital Events”.

Special note: As we adapt to current social distancing regulations, we’re happy to announce our event will be hosted by the wonderful ephemera series! They have already done their show online multiple times, so we are thrilled to benefit from their technical expertise, while also increasing collaboration within the literary community and growing connections between organizers, authors, and audience. You can attend the event by watching on the ephemera series YouTube channel. Please log in at 6:15.

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BWS 09.09.20: Brian Francis

Brian Francis WEB RES

Brian Francis’s most recent work, Box 4901, premiered at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre in 2020 to sold-out audiences. His YA novel, Break in Case of Emergency, was a finalist for the 2019 Governor General’s Literary Awards. His previous novels are Natural Order and Fruit. The book version of Box 4901 will be published by McClelland & Stewart in 2021.

COVID Turned Me into a Fashion Designer

During this time of COVID-19, many people picked up new hobbies to alleviate the boredom and stress. For some, that new hobby was drinking. For others, it was baking bread that looked like giant boulders. For others, their new hobby was deciding not to wear pants during online work meetings. Definitely more comfortable, but you better hope the fire alarm doesn’t go off.

My new hobby was making hats. That’s right I became a milliner. Okay, so I didn’t actually “make” the hats. But I did add my personal flair, resulting in one-of-a-kind creations that would make Karl Lagerfeld green with envy.

It all started when I was on eBay one night and came across some old badges. Who knew there were so many abandoned badges out there looking to be resewn on something? I ordered some and decided to sew them onto baseball hats.

Hat 1 Sarnia

Here’s the first hat I made. Sarnia is my hometown and I really like the teal and gold colours in this badge. For those unaware, that’s the Bluewater Bridge. My sewing skills aren’t the best and I sewed the badge on a bit crooked, but I think this makes my hat more charming. It screams “ARTISINAL!!!

Hat 2 Pollution Stinks

The second hat I made was “Pollution Stinks. Have you ever seen a badge with a person with a clothespin on their nose? Me, neither! A word to the wise If you decide to sew badges onto trucker hats, put a thimble on your thumb because pushing needles through stiff material will have you inventing all kinds of new swear words.

Hat 3 Happy Camper

The third hat I made was “I’m a Happy Camper. Between you and me, I’m not much of a camper, but I wore it to a cottage this summer, so that counts for something. Besides, being a happy camper extends to more than just burnt marshmallows and Deep Woods Off. It’s a life philosophy.

Beaver Lumber Badge

Here’s my latest badge. It arrived in the mail last week. For any Generation Z people reading this, Beaver Lumber was the best hardware store ever. And where else have you seen a beaver mascot in white coveralls? I haven’t found a hat to sew this onto yet, but believe me, I will.

I hope you found a new hobby during COVID-19. And if you didn’t, it’s never too late to discover your arts and crafts side. The sky really is the limit. Just watch your thumbs.

Brian Francis visits Brockton Writers Series via ephemera series on Wednesday, September 9, 2020 starting at 6:30pm alongside Fereshteh Molavi, Cyn Rozeboom, and Cassidy McFadzean. Writer and publishing professional Elham Ali will give her guest talk on, “Attracting Audiences: Getting the Most Out of Digital Events”.

Special note: As we adapt to current social distancing regulations, we’re happy to announce our event will be hosted by the wonderful ephemera series! They have already done their show online multiple times, so we are thrilled to benefit from their technical expertise, while also increasing collaboration within the literary community and growing connections between organizers, authors, and audience. You can attend the event by watching on the ephemera series YouTube channel. Please log in at 6:15.

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BWS 09.09.20: Cyn Rozeboom

CRozeboomElephant

Cyn Rozeboom has worked in the arts sector for over 30 years, as a fundraiser, communications specialist, artist, and administrator. In her current role as Executive Director of Tangled Art + Disability, she delights in working with her team to subvert the status quo with joy and love.

Musings on an Upcoming Presentation

I’ll warn you now. I am going to start one place and end somewhere completely different.

I am delighted to be presenting some of my poetry publicly this September 9. I’m also delighted to be offered some blog space to promote the series. The opportunity was presented just as I was heading off for a vacation into cottage country a couple weeks ago and so I went into northern Ontario hoping find organic metaphors that would support the theme I’m working around with the collection of poems I intend to present.

Specifically, I was looking for dichotomies, either/or choices that break the world into an eternal battleground between opposing forces. I thought I’d be inspired by nature into some profound assemblages of words that justify the divides I feel constantly pulling me in contradictory directions.

ohImGonnaBeProfound1

I was confident at first – looking around, the turbulent blue of a freshwater lake rose up from my feet to meet the thin calm cyan of the sky and there – there, in the middle – AHA! That chaotic green band! Surely there, THERE it was – the messy in-between… between… air and water? Which was…. Trees? Ground? Movement? Wait a moment, that sounds deep but… is it really now? Earth is just another element. What about fire? And no one can fault either sky or lake for lack of change. The more I thought about it the more forced, and painful, then… pretentious my efforts felt.

In fact, the more I relaxed, the more the divides blurred. The water was just water – home for a whole slew of living mayhem, the mayflies drying out on the screen doors weren’t doing much besides moulting, even the tiny frogs who scattered before my feet did not seem conflicted, despite their amphibiousness. They were perfectly positioned for where and what they were.

mrCroak

Any contradictions I felt in this scenario were my own making – my brain wanting to pull what is whole apart, to assert my cleverness through dissection and unravelling. This restless tension was coming from inside, my own internal whirring.

Stop imposing your conflictedness on the world Cyn. Let it be what it is, and be in it.

A breath, a slowing, and a looking around. And what did I actually find? Mr Croak.

Mr Croak

don’t like other dudes
being in his space
Mr Croak
Owns this nook

Fear his shine
His massive bones shifting under supple skin

Mr Croak says
You get the fuck out, you
Or I’ll

JUMP

At you

Scared?
I bet you are.

Cyn Rozeboom visits Brockton Writers Series via ephemera series on Wednesday, September 9, 2020 starting at 6:30pm alongside Fereshteh Molavi, Brian Francis, and Cassidy McFadzean. Writer and publishing professional Elham Ali will give her guest talk on, “Attracting Audiences: Getting the Most Out of Digital Events”.

Special note: As we adapt to current social distancing regulations, we’re happy to announce our event will be hosted by the wonderful ephemera series! They have already done their show online multiple times, so we are thrilled to benefit from their technical expertise, while also increasing collaboration within the literary community and growing connections between organizers, authors, and audience. You can attend the event by watching on the ephemera series YouTube channel. Please log in at 6:15.

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BWS 09.09.20: Fereshteh Molavi

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Born in Tehran in 1953, Fereshteh Molavi lived and worked there until 1998 when she immigrated to Canada. She worked and taught at Yale University, University of Toronto, York University, and Seneca College. A fellow at Massey College and a writer-in-residence at George Brown College, Molavi has published many works of fiction and non-fiction in Persian in Iran and Europe. She has been the recipient of awards for novel and translation. Her most recent novel, Thirty Shadow Birds, was published by Inanna Publications in 2019. She lives in Toronto.

THE TALE OF A TAIL

Mr. Other, having gone to bed at night and gotten up in the morning, found out, not that the world had become upside down, but that he had developed an itching around his tailbone — a maddening itch that could drive anyone wacko.

For a couple of days, Mr. Other ignored it in the hope that it would be nothing important. It turned out, though, that it was.

Mr. Other thought that maybe it was an abscess or a boil, popping out right at the worst spot; he decided to get to the bottom of it.

First, the right hand, and then the left, both came and went again and again with their examination and investigation at the right time and the wrong time, appropriately and inappropriately. Eventually they reported to Mr. Other that what popped out on the wrong spot was neither a boil nor an abscess, but a tail.

Aghast, Mr. Other feverishly tried to deny it. He held a hand mirror back and front, right and left, to see it with his own eyes. He didn’t see anything. That he didn’t, along with the itching, drove him nuts. At last, he surrendered to fate. The itching instantly went away. He sighed with relief and sent his right and left hand to verify that he no longer had a tail. They reported back that it was still there.

Mr. Other wanted to die, but he didn’t. The more he thought about why such a thing had happened, the less he understood. Finally he made up his mind to stop questioning and to try to find an answer.

Mr. Other, as long as he could remember, had always seen himself among tailless people, which meant that either he had not seen their tails, or had not heard them claim to have any. Such being the case, he had to hide his secret. He used many tricks to do it.

However, Mr. Other was devoutly thankful that the tail did not dangle from the middle of his forehead. He lived cautiously, fearful that his secret would be revealed. But the damned tail wouldn’t cooperate. It grew too long to be kept hidden.

Mr. Other took time off work to devote himself to finding a cure. But Western and Eastern medicine were no help. He started to think about docking his tail, and sought out the best surgeon in town, who worked in private practice.

After the surgeon examined him, he nodded and said, “I’m very sorry.” Mr. Other neither understood why the surgeon was sorry nor pulled up his pants. The surgeon said, “It’s not my area of expertise.” Mr. Other stared at him.

The more the surgeon explained why he couldn’t do anything, the less Mr. Other understood, and the more he was determined not to pull up his pants until he did. The surgeon said, “I just don’t dock tails.” Mr. Other protested that he was going to pay him a hefty fee. “You pay to pull your pants down.” Their dispute grew so heated, the surgeon called his assistant, a big guy with a moustache, to eject Mr. Other.

Before the assistant arrived, Mr. Other thought he would cover his tail so that no stranger’s hand and eye could reach it, and focus on what he should do. With his tail between his legs, he might rush into the street, only to be arrested for the crime of having a tail. Or, tail covered, he might maintain a respectable appearance and head home to hang himself with his own long tail. And the third option was…

Mr. Other’s thread of thought was interrupted by the assistant’s arrival, and the third option got lost like a fugitive part of the elastic band around the waist of his underpants. But then he was inspired by the thought that he could pull down the pants of others.

When two burly cops arrived and escorted the now calm and proud Mr. Other out of the office, the surgeon, bewildered, was scratching hard his itching tailbone.

Fereshteh Molavi visits Brockton Writers Series via ephemera series on Wednesday, September 9, 2020 starting at 6:30pm alongside Cyn Rozeboom, Brian Francis, and Cassidy McFadzean. Writer and publishing professional Elham Ali will give her guest talk on, “Attracting Audiences: Getting the Most Out of Digital Events”.

Special note: As we adapt to current social distancing regulations, we’re happy to announce our event will be hosted by the wonderful ephemera series! They have already done their show online multiple times, so we are thrilled to benefit from their technical expertise, while also increasing collaboration within the literary community and growing connections between organizers, authors, and audience. You can attend the event by watching on the ephemera series YouTube channel. Please log in at 6:15.

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Brockton Writers Series 09.09.20

Wednesday, September 9, 2020 – 6:30pm

Brockton Writers Series presents readings by

Fereshteh Molavi

Cyn Rozeboom

Brian Francis

Cassidy McFadzean

Special note: As we adapt to current social distancing regulations, we’re happy to announce our event will be hosted by the wonderful ephemera series! They have already done their show online multiple times, so we are thrilled to benefit from their technical expertise, while also increasing collaboration within the literary community and growing connections between organizers, authors, and audience. You can attend the event by watching on the ephemera series YouTube channel. Please log in at 6:15.

The reading is PWYC (suggested $3-$5) and features a Q&A with the writers afterward. Books are available for sale.

 If you’d like to donate, please do so here.

Many thanks to the Ontario Arts Council for their support.

OAC_REVISED_NEWCOLOURS_1805c

 

GUEST SPEAKER

“Attracting Audiences: Getting the Most Out of Digital Events”

ElhamAli

Elham Ali is a writer and publishing professional based in Toronto. She graduated from the University of Toronto in 2014, and since completing the Humber College publishing program in 2015 she has worked in marketing and publicity at Canada’s Ballet Jörgen, Penguin Random House Canada, and Dundurn Press.

READERS

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Born in Tehran in 1953, Fereshteh Molavi lived and worked there until 1998 when she immigrated to Canada. She worked and taught at Yale University, University of Toronto, York University, and Seneca College. A fellow at Massey College and a writer-in-residence at George Brown College, Molavi has published many works of fiction and non-fiction in Persian in Iran and Europe. She has been the recipient of awards for novel and translation. Her most recent novel, Thirty Shadow Birds, was published by Inanna Publications in 2019. She lives in Toronto.

CRozeboomElephant

Cyn Rozeboom has worked in the arts sector for over 30 years, as a fundraiser, communications specialist, artist, and administrator. In her current role as Executive Director of Tangled Art + Disability, she delights in working with her team to subvert the status quo with joy and love.

Brian Francis WEB RES

Brian Francis’s most recent work, Box 4901, premiered at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre in 2020 to sold-out audiences. His YA novel, Break in Case of Emergency, was a finalist for the 2019 Governor General’s Literary Awards. His previous novels are Natural Order and Fruit. The book version of Box 4901 will be published by McClelland & Stewart in 2021.

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Cassidy McFadzean is the author of two books of poetry: Hacker Packer (McClelland & Stewart 2015), which won two Saskatchewan Book Awards and was a finalist for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, and Drolleries (M&S 2019), a finalist for the Raymond Souster Award. She lives in Toronto.

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BWS 08.07.20: Waubgeshig Rice

Waubgeshig Rice

Waubgeshig Rice is an author and journalist from Wasauksing First Nation on Georgian Bay. He has written three fiction titles, and his short stories and essays have been published in numerous anthologies. His most recent novel, Moon of the Crusted Snow, was published in 2018 and became a national bestseller. He spent the bulk of his journalism career at CBC, most recently as host of Up North, the afternoon radio program for northern Ontario. He lives in Sudbury with his wife and sons.

A few weeks ago Waub celebrated the birth of his second son, Ayaabehns. In a letter to his newborn son, Waub introduces him to the world he now inhabits and the hopes he has for the future.

 

Dear Ayaabehns,

The first month of your life has been historic, my son. You entered a world in the midst of great upheaval. A worldwide sickness has ravaged communities and sent societies into isolation. A social revolution to support Black lives and end racism has mobilized people around the world into action. And your birth into a healthy and happy Anishinaabe family is a triumph for your people and your culture.

When your mother and I first learned about you, we couldn’t have imagined what the world would become by the time you finally arrived. We lived a peaceful and comfortable life with your big brother in our Anishinaabe homelands of what’s otherwise called northern Ontario. We were thrilled that you’d be joining us, and we prepared our family and home with love and care. You and your mother hit all the important milestones in a healthy way, and it seemed as routine as it could possibly be.

But with just three months before your anticipated birth, a global pandemic was declared. We didn’t know what that would mean for your arrival. We isolated with your brother at home as best as we could. We became a little frightened. Still, you brought us hope and joy just by making your way to us. We knew you would be a wonderful blessing to our family, just as your brother was. 

Many people responded to the pandemic by finding ways to make their communities better. They talked about how they could better grow food and share it with everyone. Some took initiative to teach themselves better skills to help their families and the people around them. It became a hopeful era of renewal, all while staring down the end of the world as we know it. You became a new beginning for our family in so many ways.

And then, tragically, a man named George Floyd was murdered by police in a city far from us. He was yet another Black person to die at the hands of police. It was the latest heartbreak for a collective community that has been historically brutalized by authorities on this land. I’m sorry to tell you this is the reality for Black and Indigenous people like you in the world you are entering. You’ll eventually learn of the injustices your own Anishinaabe ancestors have survived.

But the response to this senseless death has been nothing short of revolutionary. The Black Lives Matter movement has swept the globe and prompted widespread social change, from institutional overhaul to address systemic racism, to the toppling of statues of historic racist figures. You will still experience racism in your childhood, but it will thankfully pale compared to what I endured growing up in the 1980s and 90s. 

You will also learn that Black and Indigenous people walk parallel paths and survive similar struggles. And in the moments that our tracks do converge, we are much stronger together. That spirit of unity is growing already powerful in your young life, and it’s an example for communities and nations everywhere. Whether we’re collectively facing deadly forces like a pandemic or racism, coming together is the ultimate expression of resilience and survival.

And your name in your people’s language is survival, too. So are the few Anishinaabemowin words and phrases I share with you every day. I promise to be a fluent speaker before you become a young man. This language wasn’t supposed to survive, nor was your culture or history because of what Canada did to us. But here you are, already resisting and thriving. You are our light, our inspiration, and along with your generation and each that follows, this land’s great hope.

G’zaagin! I love you!

G’dehdeh (your dad)

 

Waubgeshig Rice visits Brockton Writers Series via GDTV on Wednesday, July 8, 2020 starting at 8:30pm alongside Kamila Rina, Ryanne Kap, and Marlo K. Shaw.

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