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Day by Day – part 1

I may have to ask Anne Day how she came up with the title of her book (Day by Day).Of course it seems obvious, but perhaps there is more to it than one might assume (heads-up Anne, if you’re reading this).

Anne will be my In Conversation guest at the Toronto Women’s Bookstore on September 15th when we will talk about her book.

Sept 15 poster

So far, it’s a delightful read – starting with a bit about her life so we have a sense of the person behind the Company of Women.

I’m looking forward to continuing my read, so stay tuned!

And come and join us at the Toronto Women’s Bookstore or livestreamed on the web at http://www.facingout.ca.

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Trey Anthony at the TWB tonight!

I’m so looking forward to chatting with Trey Anthony tonight at the bookstore.

There is so much we could talk about, we’ll have to do a part 2 somehow. Trey has been busy in the last few years…not only did her Fringe play (and one of the most successful Fringe plays EVER! I might add) end up at the Princess of Wales theatre, but it has been in different cities since…and it’s coming back to Toronto this summer.

There is more more more…but you’ll have to come and be part of our audience at the Toronto Women’s Bookstore tonight at 7pm (or watch us on livestream at 7:30pm EST at www.facingout.ca/live-stream.html) to find out!

a

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See Toby for Yourself!

Sorry for the delay!

For those of you who missed Toby in person or on the livestream on June 18th at the Toronto Women’s Bookstore, here he is (watch the video)!

Meeting Charmaine Hammond, her husband Chris, and Toby the dog was amazing. I was excited all day, and kept looking out the window of the bookstore anticipating their arrival. As I said to Charmaine “I’m not sure who I’m more excited to meet, you or Toby!”.

We had a great chat, and even though I had read the book, the stories were just as captivating and entertaining. Toby lay quietly at our feet for the whole interview, and graciously woke up at the end to the applause – and wowed the audience with a few “pawtographs”.

If you haven’t picked up your copy of On Toby’s Terms yet – you can do so at the bookstore or online at Amazon. But check out our video so that you can recognize which Toby is really Toby in the upcoming movie that is based on Charmaine’s book and this dog’s amazing journey!

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Lesbians on the Web!

If you use your computer as a TV like I do, you may be familiar with the phenomenon of web series’. If you’re a lesbian, looking for some content that reflects your life even remotely (now that the L word is no longer, although nothing about that show reflected my life…) you may know about BJ Fletcher, Private Eye and Seeking Simone.

If these names are familiar, then Thursday night’s event at the Toronto Women’s Bookstore will be of interest. If they aren’t – Thursday night’s event will also be of interest.

Come on out and join us as we talk to the creative minds behind these series (Canadian!!) and watch an episode or two. You get some entertainment plus you help support the further creation of these shows (it’s a fundraiser! – RSVP to the bookstore to reserve your spot. Tickets are $10).

Join us on Thursday from 8-11pm EST. Live at the bookstore, or online over livestream at http://www.facingout.ca/live-stream.html.

 

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Meeting Toby Today!!

I’m so excited!

In just a few hours I will be at the Toronto Women’s Bookstore for the launch of On Toby’s Terms – and I’ll get to actually meet Toby! (and Charmaine Hammond, his owner and the author of the book, of course). I’m not sure who I’m more excited to meet!

On Toby’s Terms has made me laugh out loud, cry, and really think – about life and about my dog.

If you can join us, please come to the Toronto Women’s Bookstore – meet Toby and Charmaine, hear some of their story, buy a book and get a pawtograph from 3-5pm.

If you can’t, you can watch us online at http://www.facingout.ca/live-stream.html (this starts at 3:30pmEST).

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In Conversation with Ewuare X. Osayande

I feel incredibly lucky to be the host of FacingOut.
Some days, I feel extra lucky. Today was one of those days.

If you missed my conversation with Ewuare X. Osayande, you missed a real treat today.  While the title of his book (Misogyny and the Emcee – Race, Sex & Hip Hop) puts the spotlight on Hip Hop and its lyrics, his message is about awareness and change within the Black Community in order to resist the degradation and violence against Black women.

He began out talk today with a short presentation, where he told us of how he came to begin this work. His motivation, he told us, grew out of concern over the R. Kelly video years ago where a young girl is urinated upon. As he watched the media frenzy that came to R. Kelly’s defense, Ewuare found himself thinking: What about the girls, and the message this sends about their value and self worth?

His goal, since then, is to begin a dialogue about this very question and ultimately what it does to the Black Community. He wants to get men (and specifically Black men) thinking differently about the Hip Hop culture and the attitude towards women in our society.

He mentioned a few times, as he does in his book, that he is not hating on Hip Hop – although it may be seen as such. He is a lover of Black people, and within the social context of patriarchy and racism in a post-slavery society, he can’t sit by and do nothing when the lyrics of so many Hip Hop songs (and the culture it glorifies) are violent and degrading towards women.

It was a pleasure to hear about his work with organizations involved in teaching history to inform resistance, and critical listening skills to black male youth, to dialogue with him, and hear his responses to the questions in the audience (including Afrocentric schools, Chris Brown, and Obama).

It was a thoughtful, and though-provoking hour and 20 minutes.

Sorry you missed it?
You can watch the video!

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Did you miss the Revolution?

Did you miss the launch of The Revolution Starts at Home last week at the Gladstone?

It was a great night, but if you missed it, you can watch the video!

Not quite the same as taking in the drumming, hearing the readings, being able to ask questions and dance the night away, but almost as good!

A

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In Conversation with Michelle St. John

It’s always such a pleasure to chat with someone who is passionate about what they do. Michelle St. John is no exception. Acting since the age so 11, Michelle told me on Thursday during our In Conversation at the Toronto Women’s Bookstore, that she can’t imagine doing anything else but being creative. Not just an actor, her repertoire includes singing, playwrighting and producing.

We spoke about two of her latest projects in which she is an actor and a producer at the same time – a multitasking feat!  Tombs of the Vanishing Indian is a play written by Marie Clements about the relocation of Native peoples from Oklahoma to Los Angeles, the community they found in the underground water system, and the forced sterilization of Indigenous women that took place in the 1970s. It was co-produced by Red Diva Projects, and ran at Buddies in Bad Times in Toronto from March 9-27. It is a powerful, deeply moving play about identity and loss.

Michelle’s latest creative foray is into film. Frog Girl Films has produced a DVD of the 9 minute performance that Marie Clements was commissioned to create for the 2010 Winter Olympic closing at the Aboriginal pavilion. It examines the Road of Tears and the Native Brotherhood of BC. Six performances were delivered, and one was filmed. This film is now touring North America and gathering awards. Even more exciting, the sales of the DVD and the song go towards a scholarship fund for the children of missing and murdered Aboriginal women. A 43 second trailer of this hauntingly beautiful 9 minute performance is available on YouTube.

Social Change, social justice and the telling of the stories of Aboriginal people weave through the mandates of both of these companies, which Michelle reminded us is an unfortunate match, given the history of colonization on this continent.

Missed the conversation, but wish you could see it? Watch it on Vimeo!

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Changing the Face of Publishing II

I’m still reeling  (in a good way) from the Changing the Face of Publishing event!

It was so great to hear from experienced writers about publishing as well as creating communities through social media and marketing their work.

And suddenly, I don’t feel so alone….

Still, less than 1% of the 500 published Canadian children’s book authors last year were Black?! Come on people! We have to change that!

annemarie

panelists Zetta Elliott, Neesha Meminger, Vivek Shraya and host, Annemarie Shrouder

Panelist Zetta Elliott, Neesha Meminger, Vivek Shraya & host Annemarie Shrouder

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Changing the Face of Publishing

What a night at TWB!

Zetta Elliott, Neesha Meminger and Vivek Shraya were our panel tonight to talk about publishing – how it’s changed, how it hasn’t, and how it’s affecting particularly under-represented readers and authors.

What an honour to host such a great panel and such a rich discussion!

All authors have self-published (Neesha has also been published “traditionally”), so the conversation focused on the path to publication, the considerations, the pros and cons. Each of them read from their work.

What struck me most was the fact that the leg-work is about the same for traditional or self publishing! For me, this has been the one perceived drawback to self-publishing, but now that veil is lifted. Onwards and upwards!

For the small percentage that authors get in the machine that is the publishing industry, for a book they have laboured over, I’d rather put out the money myself, have control over the process and then see that returned through my efforts.

Another sad fact? Of the 500 or so children’s books published last year in Canada, less than 1% were by black authors (3 to be exact). Sad, sad, sad. So the face of the published isn’t changing…

With so many options for publishing now (ebooks, other digital options, self publishing) as well as the amazing vehicle of social media to get the word out, book events, and sell, well…we COULD change the face of the published, and of publishing!

Thank you Zetta, Neesha and Vivek, for your insights, your candour and for sharing your journey and what you have learned with a full house at the Toronto Women’s Bookstore. It was my pleasure to host.

Stay tuned for clips from the event!

annemarie

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