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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Good energy a la Trey Anthony

OMG! After a series of technological challenges, the video is FINALLY up!

What an amazing evening at the Toronto Women’s Bookstore  on Thursday July 14th.

Trey Anthony joined me for a conversation – and the bookstore was packed. People were there an hour early, just to get a seat.

It should come as no surprise. If you know Trey, or have seen her speak, you will know what I’m talking about in the title. Few people begin an interview with a big and heartfelt thank you to the audience for being there…and mean it. But Trey does. She is real – in her life, in the work that she does in theatre and beyond, as a writer, a speaker, a business woman.

Thursday night was a flow of questions and conversation – mostly questions from the audience, some chatting between Trey and I, and a lot of honesty.

If you missed it, you can watch the video.

And then get your tickets for Da Kink in My Hair  – it’s running NOW in Toronto until August 21 at Harbourfront Centre. Buy  your tickets!

Thanks Trey. Blessings to you.

annemarie

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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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Misogyny and the Emcee

Despite the fact that my partner is a DJ, I don’t listen to a lot of music.
If I did, Hip Hop wouldn’t be at the top of my list.  So reading “Misogyny and the Emcee – Sex, Race & Hip Hop” by Ewuare X. Osayande is an education on many fronts.

This book is a collection of Ewuare’s, written and published over the last 10 years. They all challenge the sexism and racism in Hip Hop lyrics and actions in videos that verbally and physically assault Black women. His point in the introduction is that Black men have to step up against this sexism and racism that is destroying the community. The Feminist Review calls it a “brilliantly concise collection of essays”!

My favourite essay so far is “A Wifebeater is not an Undershirt”. It’s a catchy title and his point is well made: “It is this casual indifference to gender injustice that creates the cloud of fear that many Black women live under”.

Looking forward to meeting and chatting with Ewuare on Sunday June 12th from 3-5pm EST  at the Toronto Women’s Bookstore. Can’t join us? Watch it online via livestream at 3:30pm EST at www.facingout.ca.

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Whether you love dogs or not….

Ah, dogs.

Chances are you either love them or don’t think much about them. Originally I was going to dedicate this blog post to the dog lover. But upon further consideration, it’s for the ambivalent as well – maybe even (dare I say it) for those who don’t like dogs! (gasp!)

I have started reading On Toby’s Terms in preparation for my In Conversation with author Charmaine Hammond next Saturday June 18th at 3pm EST (3:30 EST if you want to tune in over livestream). So far, it’s a tale that has captivated my dog-loving heart. Not just because Toby is a Chesapeake Bay Retriever, but because having a dog in my life has changed me – as Toby is certainly doing to his owners at the beginning of the book (but not in a good way!).

If you saw the movie (or read the book) Marley and Me, Marley was a walk in the park compared to Toby. What I have learned so far is that Charmaine and her husband Chris are no ordinary people. I’m not sure many people would have tolerated the repeated devastation to their home that Toby seems to be capable of (5 toilet tank covers in about as many  months, to give you an example). But they did. I’m about to read how Charmaine turned this story around, using her extensive background working with troubled teens. If Toby was a person, he would likely have ended up in Juvenile Detention….

So, I’ll keep you posted – the story has a happy ending, because Toby will be at the Toronto Women’s Bookstore with Charmaine on June 18th to give PAWtographs. But how they got from where I’m reading to today is a mystery I’m looking forward to reading about. Stay tuned!

annemarie

 

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Something Fierce

When I was 18, I was agonizing over calculus, choosing what university I wanted to go to, and picking  a  prom dress.

When Carmen Aguirre was 18 she was disarming a 65 year old drunk, retired, mercenary on a train to Bolivia so he didn’t blow their cover, and figuring out how to get past 2 border patrol guards alive, given the items she had on her person to help with the resistance movement.

Stark contrasts.

These were among the stories we were fortunate enough to hear last night at the Toronto Women’s Bookstore as Carmen Aguirre read from her new book Something Fierce – which is about her life as a child and teenager involved in the underground resistance in South America against the Pinochet regime.

Hearing an author read from their work is always a gift. But last night, Carmen’s voice – strong, confident – shared not only some of her stories and her life with us, it captivated the audience and made those moments real in our minds as well.

Living with terror continually for years is no small feat. Carmen graciously answered questions about the legacy of those years and told us it was theatre that saved her; because she wanted to be an actor so badly, she did all the therapy and healing her teachers told her to, at 22, in order to be able to act well.

If you missed it, you can watch the video of the livestream.

It’s raining today. The thunder is clapping and it’s a perfect day to read. I’m going to hunker down with Something Fierce.

You can get a copy at the Toronto Womens Bookstore.

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