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Moving Day & More!

Hello friends! It’s been over a month since my last post. Golly – that’s way too long of a break! I promise that the reasons are legit!

Big news first: We’re moving! That’s right, Gertrude’s Writing Room has a new home and we’re moving in this weekend! I’m over-the-moon with excitement and pre-moving day jitters. Things are mostly packed up at the current office. I’ve already filled 10 bins of books – who knew?!

I got a little emotional on Sunday after a few hours of packing up. It’s hard to believe that just about a year ago, I began this small little writing school with a dream and a whole lotta hope…and now we are moving into a place of our own. There’s a heaviness on my heart in saying goodbye to this beginning home. It was a perfect starting place! I’m grateful that I was able to find this little gem and begin turning Gertrude’s Writing Room into a reality.

I’ve been feeling quite wobbly…and undone overall. Feeling like half of me is dreaming in the new space and the other half is loving and working in the current space. It’s a funny thing – the in-between one’s current state and a big change. I’m glad I’ve had the time to take it slow and appreciate all the moments, even when I’m feeling anxious or worried. It’s all part of the process.

Our new home is located in the Stable Yard of The Coach House in Willistead Park. Funnily enough, I never even noticed it until it was shown to me! A true diamond right beneath my nose! When I am inside the space I feel like this is a ‘forever’ home.

The Stable Yard is the attached portion with the green roof. Our main door is the one I’m standing in front of. Happy, happy!

And so, the adventure will continue in this incredible new space. I hope to see you all there! Click HERE to find out about our summer classes! And HERE to find out about our summer workshops!

On the writing front, I’ve been doing loads of it…yet still feeling like it’s not enough…shifting between utter exhilaration and happiness…to frustration at not writing consistently…the battle is always alive.

From A to Ziffery Zanks my first ever children’s poetry book is complete! Thanks to the amazing illustrating and design by local artist Glen Hawkes, we have created a very unique poetry book for kids. I hope to have it printed for the fall.

Sneak peek! Illustration by Glen Hawkes.
Sneak peek! This is one of my favourite – though gosh I do love them all! But her boobs, I mean, her boobs are incredible! Illustration by Glen Hawkes.

It’s a very quirky take on clerihew poetry with two unique characters created for each letter of the alphabet. It has been a true adventure collaborating with Glen! Thanks Glen!

I’m writing poetry and revising poetry for my forthcoming book ‘thimble’ slated for launch through Palimpsest Press in the Spring of 2021. Indeed that does seem like a long time in the future, but really…it’s not! I’m very appreciative of the time we have to work our hardest on this collection. It’s different than what I’ve written before…and sometimes that feels excellent…and sometimes it feels scary.

I’ve started two novels since the last rewrite of Hangman…one is a women’s crime fiction and the other is…well, about witches. But the truth is that there is another rewrite of Hangman that my heart and brain want to write. So the challenge is making time to work on it. Honestly, I’ve been quite grumpy some days because I want so badly to stop everything and work on this rewrite…I don’t feel fully like a ‘writer’…because I’m not giving myself the time to work on these stories. The characters are alive and bursting in my brain. They talk to me every day and mostly they’re patient and kind, but some days, they’re all standing in a line with their hands on their hips and their heads cocked to the side with faces that say: yo, can you please make time for us?!

I’m feeling guilty for not being as consistent on social media as I’ve typically been. I haven’t tweeted in weeks! And that also means I haven’t been retweeting all the amazing things that y’all are sharing. I’ve missed events that my heart wanted to attend…and I’ve had to say no to people who I love and whose events I want to support. It’s hard when there are so many amazing things to do – and I can only do one at a time! Plus, there’s field trips and events with the kids, birthdays, celebrations with family…time really fills up quickly. It’s all good though – and for that I’m grateful…even if the gratefulness is sometimes tinged with guilt. #workingonit

Having said this, here are some events/things that are happening that I’ve been banking up to share with you! Feel free to share them and/or attend them and/or support them. As always, the creative people in our community blow my mind and the beautiful work that everyone is doing to cultivate our stories and share the love continues to prove that there is loads and loads of love and good in the world.

Let’s Talk With Casey Plett

I have the distinct honour of having an intimate conversation with writer Casey Plett at Biblioasis on Thursday, June 27th. We’re going to be talking about her writing process, the Canadian publishing industry, and so much more! Casey’s books will be available for purchase and signing. And, if you have any questions you’d like to ask her, all you’ll have to do is raise your hand! This is a free event and there’ll be wine and snacks.

Writer Casey Plett is a living legend in the Canadian literary world – and she lives and works right here in Windsor! Hot off a trifecta of literary award wins, in 2019 for her novel Little Fish (Arsenal Press) Plett has won the Amazon Canada First Novel Award, the Lambda Literary Award For Transgender Fiction, and a Firecracker Award. She was a Finalist for the Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBTQ Emerging Writers.

In 2017, Casey co-edited the anthology of sci-fi and fantasy by transgender writers Meanwhile, Elsewhere (Topside Press). And in 2014 she published A Safe Girl to Love (also Topside Press), a collection of short stories. She’s got a long resume of columns, essays, stories, and reviews published all over the place; she’s been a bookseller in Oregon, Winnipeg, and New York City, and she’s been working for Biblioasis’s publishing wing since early 2017. This is a woman who knows the book business inside and out.

Let us know you’re coming on our Facebook event page: HERE

Homemade Stories by Shannon Cason

Storyteller Shannon Cason‘s fundraising campaign to support storytelling in Detroit and beyond is an example of how important and integral to our human connections storytelling really is. Have a look. Share. Support. Send your love.

All Write In Sin City – A New local podcast for Writers!

About this new podcast:

All Write in Sin City is an idea was born at BookFest Windsor. Three committee members saw a need to support this local cultural institution, an established international literary festival. We also aim to expand local outreach by creating a place where Windsor and Southwestern Ontario authors can shine a spotlight on their books, songs, films and multimedia projects, discuss topics like the writing process and how to live a writer’s life locally, and more.

​Our goal is to help build awareness of and interest in the rich community of writers and writing in this part of Canada. We also hope to help develop more regional connections and a stronger, larger writing and reading community that includes our cousins in Metro Detroit.

Please stay connected to this unique podcast that supports writers!

Episode 1: Hello, NY Times bestselling author Elly Blake and The Spring Local Books List

Episode 2: Poet Vanessa Shields, Gertrude’s Writing Room and Cecil Foster launches new Biblioasis series

Episode 3: Exploring Adventure Worlds Press with Christian Laforet and Ben Van Dongen

Episode 4: M.L. Liebler and the PEN/Oakland award-winning music anthology, Heaven Was Detroit, plus a Windsor shout-out

Books & Ladders

If you love reading and book reviews for YA (science fiction, contemporary & fantasy) then this is the site for you! Hosted by local reader/blogger/writer/editor Jamie Kramer who I met at Independent Bookstore Day, this site and the myriad offerings that Jamie has, we, the literati, should totally be connecting with her!

From the blog: “Jamie is a 20-something blogger from Ontario, Canada who loves to read, binge watch TV shows, and play video games in her spare time. She can be found in the wilds of Windsor-Essex County, but mostly stays in her apartment curled up with a cup of tea and a good book.”

If you love getting writerly things in your inbox, then you should definitely consider subscribing to these literary blog gems:

Literary Hub

Palette Poetry

Nathan Bransford

Brain Pickings

What blogs do you subscribe to? Care to share?

I’ll follow up soon with a list of books I’m reading…and more updates on the move…and after the move…and how I’m figuring out writing time amidst all the adventures…

Until next time, friends…happy reading and writing!

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