Monthly Archives: April 2019

BWS 08.05.19: Andrea Bain

Andrea_bain

Andrea Bain is an author, podcaster and an on air personality. Her newest project is the funny and insightful podcast Single Girl Problems named after her first book. Most recently she was one of the hosts of the national lifestyle program The Goods on CBC. This two time Canadian Screen Awards nominee has also hosted a number of lifestyle programs including Live Here Buy This (HGTV), Revamped (Slice), and Three Takes (Slice). Her career began in the newsroom at CTV and Global news and she later worked as an entertainment reporter for Reelzchannel (Los Angeles) and HLN’s Showbiz Tonight where she interviewed Hollywood heavyweights like Oprah Winfrey, Angelina Jolie, Martin Scorsese and Madonna.

 

Ahead of her May 8th appearance, Andrea shares an excerpt from her first book, Single Girl Problems as well as her responses to some commonly asked questions.

Being single sucks! Well that’s what everyone seems to think anyway. In pretty much every culture single women over the age of 28 are seen as lonely, miserable, undesirable crazy cat wranglers. Family members, friends, heck, even my dentist asks, “when are you going to get married?” And if one more person tells me about their third cousin twice removed who met the love of their life online I’m going to take out my weave and eat it.

Last week I picked up my favourite magazine and was shocked to see that they dedicated an entire issue to instructing women on how to draw, drag and hunt men down and once you’ve caught him in your trap they gave further instructions on how to make him propose. Very romantic. Not.

Meanwhile on the other side of the fence the marketing department for married life is knocking it out of the park. And let me tell you it looks awesome, married people go camping, eat dinner, ride bikes and seem to be having the time of their lives at the Sandals resort in Jamaica. The last time I saw a happy single woman in a television ad she was marvelling at how absorbent her new feminine hygiene product was.

I wrote my book “Single Girl Problems” to change the narrative about single women. Being single is not a problem that needs to be solved. Single women today are leading the charge in politics, real estate and consumerism. It’s time to bury the old notion that all single women are sad lonely spinsters. Times have changed, dating has certainly changed and this book takes a real look at how single women are perceived versus the reality of who we really are and what’s really going on in the dating world.

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE SINGLE GIRL PROBLEMS?

What inspired me to write SGP was a conversation with a woman who told me that I’d be an author one day. Of course I didn’t believe her, but she planted that seed on my mind. Ten years after many relationships and even more conversations about relationships the idea just came to me.

WHAT WAS THE WRITING PROCESS LIKE AND WOULD YOU WRITE ANOTHER BOOK?

The writing process was easy but challenging, which I know is an oxymoron. Let me explain. It was easy because I felt really connected to what I was writing about. I had be doing tv segments about single lifestyle for awhile plus I had done a lot of research on the topic so I knew what I wanted to say to my readers. The challenging part was jotting down all of my thoughts, facts and anecdotes and not second guessing myself in the process. I’d never written a book before, so at times I felt a bit overwhelmed. In the end it was the most gratifying thing I’ve ever done. When I received the final manuscript from my publisher I spread the pages out all over the floor in my house looked down at my work and yelled, “I have made fire” like Tom Hanks in Castaway. I’m currently working on my second book. It’s fiction and my hope is that it’ll turn into a tv series one day.

WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN A GUY?

I hate this question because I can hear my 13 year old self say crap like, ‘He has to be 6 foot 4, muscular but not too muscular, really nice, straight white teeth, nice butt, come from a good family, know how to dance, smart, drive a nice car’. After dating several idiots guys who fit this criteria I’ve learned that sometimes the mate who is a great match for you may not have everything on your shallow list but may end up being a much better partner than the guy with the bleached white teeth, 6 pack and leased luxury car.

WHAT’S THE BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION ABOUT SINGLE WOMEN?

The biggest misconception about single women is that we’re all crazy, neurotic, lonely, unlovable, child hating psychopaths. The truth is we’re only a couple of those things – lol. All jokes aside if you really want to know what society thinks about single women just watch Bridgett Jones Diary. I hate those fucking movies.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR PODCAST

Last fall my podcast ‘Single Girl Problems’ hit the airways at EOne. The show is an hour of no holds barred conversations about dating and relationships featuring guests ranging from relationship experts to celebrities and some of the top online influencers.Since its launch in October 2018 the show has gained a very good audience and was recently nominated for Best Adult Podcast by the Canadian Podcast Awards this past January.

IF YOU COULD GIVE YOUR 15-YEAR-OLD SELF ADVICE WHAT WOULD IT BE?
If I could talk to my 15 year old self I’d say Girl, don’t cut your own bangs before picture day! No in all seriousness I’d say don’t look for your happiness or validation in a guy. You are enough! Everything you’re going through is teaching you a lesson so pay attention.

WHAT’S THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO KNOW ABOUT SINGLE LIFE?

The key to enjoying your single life is Self Love. Self love is the key to true happiness. I don’t believe it’s your future partner’s job to make you happy, that’s your responsibility.

HOW DO YOU HANDLE VALENTINE’S DAY , CHRISTMAS, NEW YEARS EVE AND ALL OTHER HOLIDAYS WHEN YOU’RE SINGLE

I treat it like any other day and keep it moving.

YOUR PERFECT YOU, DATE? THIS COULD BE TAKEN YOURSELF OUT TO DINNER?
I’ve been taking myself on dates for years. Often my dates include watching foreign films, going to the bookstore, getting a mani pedi and picking up sushi for dinner.

SAVORY OR SWEET, WHAT DO YOU PREFER?
No sugary sweet treats for me I’m a salty bitch.

 

Andrea Bain visits Brockton Writers Series on Wednesday, May 8, 2019 at Glad Day Bookshop, 499 Church Street, Toronto, starting at 6:30pm (PWYC) alongside Paul Vermeersch, Andrew GurzaDoyali Islam, and guest speaker Yilin Wang who will  be giving us guidance on “Submitting to Literary and Genre Magazines.”

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BWS 08.05.19: Andrew Gurza

Andrew_Gurza

Andrew Gurza is a Disability Awareness Consultant and Cripple Content Creator whose written work has been featured in Daily XtraGay Times UKHuffington PostThe AdvocateEveryday FeminismMashableOut.com, and several anthologies. He has guested on a number of podcasts including Dan Savage’s Savage Love and Cameron Esposito’s Queery. He has spoken all over North America on sex, disability and what it means to be a Queer Cripple. He is also the host of the DisabilityAfterDark: The Podcast Shining a Bright Light on Sex and Disability available on all podcast platforms. You can follow the podcast @disaftdarkpod.  He is also the creator of the viral hashtag #DisabledPeopleAreHot. You can find out more about Andrew here and by connecting with him on Twitter and Instagram @theandrewgurza.

My name is Andrew Gurza, and I am a Disability Awareness Consultant and Cripple Content Creator.  This is a piece I wrote for my blog about the challenges of creating content and pieces of artistic expression around sexuality and disability, and how it can be tough to constantly talk about sexuality and disability, but not be actually seen as a viable sexual partner.

 

Recently, I helped create a piece of theatre around sex, disability and queerness. It was a tough process where the participants and principal actors were asked to dig into their lives around the intersection of sex, disability and queerness, and share their stories in a theatrical way. It was a harrowing and difficult month long creation process that brought up a lot of feelings for me. My arc in the show was talking about the work I do as a Disability Awareness Consultant; namely presenting to audiences about sex, disability and queerness. In one scene, I am presenting a pretend presentation to the play audience, and as I am talking, I get so frustrated during the presentation that I storm out of the play, leaving the audience to wonder what will happen next.

When we were workshopping this part, the director asked me: “Andrew, what do you feel when you go up there to present about this stuff?” Initially, when he asked me this, I turned on my professional cadence, and told him that I loved presenting to people, and that it was my calling and what I had chosen to do. It was what I wanted.  He looked at me, smiled wryly and said, “Okay.  But, how do you feel about it, Andrew?  Honestly.” I tried again to put this feeling away, and continued to protest that I loved my work, I loved what I had built for myself, and that I got to share a message with people. As I started saying it a second time, though, I stopped myself. I looked at the director square in the face, and with a glimmer of tears in my eyes, I said: “I’m tired.”

That was the first time in over 5 years of being self-employed and self-made as a disabled speaker working in sexuality and disability that I ever admitted that to anyone. As the words tumbled out of my mouth, I felt ashamed and angry. Why was I saying this? Was I saying that I didn’t want to do this anymore? The words kept coming: “I don’t want to present to able-bodied people anymore, so that they can learn about sex and disability through me. I don’t want to play up disability for these people who won’t see me as sexy anyway.” And, sometimes, that’s the truth.

Working in sexuality, disability and queerness is one of the hardest things I have ever done. While I am proud of the people I have met, the presentations that I have given, and the name I have built for myself in this niche market, there are absolutely days where I can’t do it. Days where instead of showing you Powerpoint presentations about how great sex, disability and queerness is, I want to scream out to the group and say, “Does anyone find me sexy?! Would any of you fuck me? Honestly?!” There are days where I have finished a talk, smiled at people, networked, and then I go home alone and bawl my eyes out.

It isn’t easy to turn your stories, things that actually happened to you, into slides for people to make notes about. It isn’t easy to sit there in my wheelchair, staring at all these able-bodied faces of people who probably wouldn’t give me a second look if we met at a bar or on an app. It isn’t easy advocating for real money to tell your stories, when most places want to pay you nothing for your lived experiences.

I tell you this, not because I am going to stop doing what I am doing, but I am telling you all this so that you can begin to understand that when you hire a disabled person to tell their story of rejection, of pain, of hurt; you are asking them to relive the ableism, asking them to confront their fears around it again and again. I tell you this because I want you to understand that making a name for yourself as a disabled advocate – is hard – especially for those of us who have decided to share our feelings around sex and disability. We don’t get paid enough and we certainly don’t get laid enough to do what we do.

So the next time someone with a disability presents about sex, disability, queerness, or any facet of their lived experience for you, know this: we’re tired, we’re angry, we’re horny, and it took every ounce of strength for us not to leave the room. Maybe buy us a drink and flirt with us after…that’d be nice. And maybe instead of just taking notes, take down my number.

 

Andrew Gurza visits Brockton Writers Series on Wednesday, May 8, 2019 at Glad Day Bookshop, 499 Church Street, Toronto, starting at 6:30pm (PWYC) alongside Paul Vermeersch, Andrea BainDoyali Islam, and guest speaker Yilin Wang who will  be giving us guidance on “Submitting to Literary and Genre Magazines.”

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BWS 08.05.19: Paul Vermeersch

PVermeersch-9474C Social-

Photo credit: Justice Darragh

Paul Vermeersch is a poet, multimedia artist, professor, and editor. He is the author of six poetry collections, including the Trillium–award nominated The Reinvention of the Human Hand (M&S, 2010). His latest book of poetry is Self-Defence for the Brave and Happy (ECW, 2018). He is the creator of Buckrider Books, the poetry and fiction imprint of Wolsak & Wynn. His next book, Shared Universe: New & Selected Poems 1995 – 2020, will be published next year by ECW Press. He lives in Toronto.

 

The Holy Order of the Sasquatch is the world’s oldest cryptoreligion.

If you can imagine it, you can believe it!
If you think you saw something, you did!
If you think you know something, you do!

You may already be a follower of the Holy Order of the Sasquatch and not even know it. If you believe in anything that you’ve imagined, you are already practicing this religion.

The Order is a sacred Knighthood of creative warriors, a DIY spirituality that exalts the imagination and battles the forces of the Great Regression in order to make the world a better place. 

You can believe whatever you want, become your imaginary self, and maybe even save the planet! To find out more about the Holy Order of the Sasquatch, or to become a Knight yourself, please visit saintbigfoot.com.

Paul Vermeersch
Supreme Voivode

Holy Order of the Sasquatch

Baby on Flat Earth

 

Earth

 

Faith Lube

 

Guillotine upsidedown SBF

 

Never Be Wrong Again

 

No Name Pet Cosmos

 

StomachThinker

 

World_record

 

Paul Vermeersch visits Brockton Writers Series on Wednesday, May 8, 2019 at Glad Day Bookshop, 499 Church Street, Toronto, starting at 6:30pm (PWYC) alongside Andrew Gurza, Andrea BainDoyali Islam, and guest speaker Yilin Wang who will  be giving us guidance on “Submitting to Literary and Genre Magazines.”

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Brockton Writers Series 08.05.19

Wednesday, May 8, 2019 – 6:30pm

Brockton Writers Series presents readings by

Paul Vermeersch
Andrew Gurza
Andrea Bain
Doyali Islam

with special guest speaker

Yilin Wang

Glad Day Bookshop

499 Church Street, Toronto

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

ACCESSIBILITY INFO
The venue is accessible. Please refrain from wearing scents.

Many thanks to the Ontario Arts Council for their support.

OAC_REVISED_NEWCOLOURS_1805c

And to the Canada Council for the Arts for travel funding!

 

GUEST SPEAKER

“Submitting to Literary and Genre Magazines”

yilin photo

Yilin Wang is a writer, editor, and translator who lives on the unceded traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Musqueam people. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Clarkesworld, Abyss & Apex, carte blanche, Arc Poetry Magazine, Grain, Contemporary Verse 2, LooseLeaf, and other publications. She is an assistant editor for Room Magazine and a former editorial board member for Prism International. 

 

READERS

PVermeersch-9474C Social-

Paul Vermeersch is a poet, multimedia artist, professor, and editor. He is the author of six poetry collections, including the Trillium–award nominated The Reinvention of the Human Hand (M&S, 2010). His latest book of poetry is Self-Defence for the Brave and Happy (ECW, 2018). He is the creator of Buckrider Books, the poetry and fiction imprint of Wolsak & Wynn. His next book, Shared Universe: New & Selected Poems 1995 – 2020, will be published next year by ECW Press. He lives in Toronto.

 

Andrew_Gurza

Andrew Gurza is a Disability Awareness Consultant and Cripple Content Creator whose written work has been featured in Daily Xtra, Gay Times UK, Huffington Post, The Advocate, Everyday Feminism, Mashable, Out.com, and several anthologies. He has guested on a number of podcasts including Dan Savage’s Savage Love and Cameron Esposito’s Queery. He has spoken all over North America on sex, disability and what it means to be a Queer Cripple. He is also the host of the DisabilityAfterDark: The Podcast Shining a Bright Light on Sex and Disability available on all podcast platforms. You can follow the podcast @disaftdarkpod.  He is also the creator of the viral hashtag #DisabledPeopleAreHot. You can find out more about Andrew here and by connecting with him on Twitter and Instagram @theandrewgurza.

 

Andrea_bain

Andrea Bain is an author, podcaster and an on air personality. Her newest project is the funny and insightful podcast Single Girl Problems named after her first book. Most recently she was one of the hosts of the national lifestyle program The Goods on CBC. This two time Canadian Screen Awards nominee has also hosted a number of lifestyle programs including Live Here Buy This (HGTV), Revamped (Slice), and Three Takes (Slice). Her career began in the newsroom at CTV and Global news and she later worked as an entertainment reporter for Reelzchannel (Los Angeles) and HLN’s Showbiz Tonight where she interviewed Hollywood heavyweights like Oprah Winfrey, Angelina Jolie, Martin Scorsese and Madonna.

 

 

Doyali Islam. Photo by Arden Wray

Doyali Islam‘s brand-new poetry book is heft (McClelland & Stewart, 2019) – a lyrical and innovative collection that the poet describes as a “ledger of tenderness, survival, and risk.” Poems from heft have been published in Kenyon Review Online and Best Canadian Poetry, and have been rendered into film through Visible Poetry Project. Doyali is the poetry editor of Arc Poetry Magazine, and she lives in Toronto. In 2017, she was a guest on CBC Radio’s The Sunday Edition.

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