This weekend seems dedicated to studio time. Last night it was participating in SFU's The Writer's Studio reading series.
Feature reader for the event was Gurjinder Basran. Her book, Everything was Goodbye, won Mother Tongue Publishing's Search for the Great B.C. Novel contest. The section she read seemed spot-on authentic.
Other readers were Bonnie Nish, whose photo is at the left. Her poems ranged from those considering "...a childhood gone wrong" to ones remembering her mother, who died less than a month ago. Nish's musings "On being Ashley Judd" was a funny (and useful) poem for those of us who are less-than-drop-dead-gorgeous.
Other readers were Kerry Sandomirsky, an actor whose piece about self-induced bondage had everyone in Vancouver's Take 5 Cafe in stitches. SFU graduate Leslie Hill read a convincing memoir set in Toronto, 1969, while UBC's Natasha Boskic read love poems, and even offered one in multimedia format. The first set was closed by Morgan Chojnacki, with a delightful scene from her Quebec-based story -- even the snowballs in it seemed fresh as the 16-year-old character she presented.
The first reader after the break was Andrea Winterbottom, who's a frequent participant in the Writers' Retreat workshops at Matsqui Penitentiary. Others were Jennifer Irvine, whose "Unfashionably Green" mixed childhood memories with bittersweet comments about losing a parent. Hilary Mandel's story "Couch Love" seemed all too familiar, as my partner and I are caught up in the throes of getting rid of a beloved couch (though having a heckuva time finding a better one). And squeezed into the second set was my piece -- a condensed version of the first chapter of next spring's Shrinking Violets.
Today was a day for the cardmaker's studio. Not affiliated with any university, this is an annual event that sees my friend Brenna and I puttering with craft supplies while we try to be creative. At the rate of about an hour per card, we're not exactly planning to go into business. Still, it's something we both enjoy. Besides, it's a great excuse to sit and visit.
Tomorrow's a studio of another sort -- a day that will be spent in the kitchen, crafting up a feast of Mexican-style foods.
All this creativity, and in the span of only a weekend!