Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Book launch this evening

My dad always says "time will pass", meaning that when you are afraid of something or not sure how you will get through something, time will pass. Six months from now what seems like a horrible task will be forgotten. 72 hours from now the dentist appointment will be over, etc. I use it now too and I've been telling myself that 12 hours from now, my book launch will be over. That is the fearful, neurotic part of me.

The logical, sane part of me is saying "what in the name of God are you getting on with? Seriously, you have a book launch. A book to launch! Your dream come true. Something you really never thought would happen. Now, get down on you knees and thank whatever higher power you believe in for this chance and live it up! Be grateful. Don't wish it by. Enjoy every single second of it!"

They will duke it out: my two bickering sides, but in the end, I hope I will really relish this amazing thing in my life. And, well, if I don't...time will pass.

Hope to see you there.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Official launch of this much is true

this much is true will have its official launch on August 30, 5-7 p.m. Everyone is welcome. You can read a pdf version or a jpeg version of the invitation with all the details or just know that the event is at 100 Water Street, 3rd floor. Jesperson Publishing will also launch J.M. Sullivan's Newfoundland Portfolio at the event and we will both be reading and signing books which will be available for purchase. Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Another positive review

Helmut has been kind enough to post a review of this much is true on her blog. It is so great when people enjoy the book.

My book has also hit my home community of Aspen Cove as copies are were available there (they sold out in a day last week) and are in Gander at the Bookworm as well. It is so fun to hear from people out home that they like my book. They are calling and emailing and telling my relatives to pass along how much they love the book. It is more than I dreamed of.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Making spam into fun

A while back I posted about some of the interesting titles of spam emails I get. Of course, the made up names of the senders of spam are also often humorous. Now someone has made those randomly created names into a funny blog where he writes the obituaries of the fictional emailers. Check out Spam Obituaries.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Vanished starts tonight

As RJ pointed out a while back, Joanne Kelly from Baie D'Espoir plays the missing woman in question on Fox's new drama, Vanished. It starts tonight so check it out.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Tod Maffin Typed My Name

Okay, so I was more than a wee bit excited to find out that Tod Maffin had mentioned my review of An Evening of Doyles on the official CBC blog. Besides the fact that I am a CBC nut (Radio One is always on in my house and the evening news is a daily must), I am a huge fan of all things Tod Maffin. His technlogy column (I am a self-admitted geek), his podcasts, his blogs, his fantastic coverage of the CBC strike last year on CBC Unplugged, his recent guest hosting on Freestyle—love them all. He is a smart, funny, entertaining guy and he has now typed my name. Yet another reason I am so happy I went to An Evening of Doyles*.

*The evening was actually named A Bulletin of Doyles, after the famous Gerald S. Doyle Bulletin, a radio show that was an important means of communication to people across Newfoundland and Labrador. The Bulletin would mix the news of the day with personal messages so people could pass on information about births, illnesses, and deaths. Hard to believe in this day when letting someone know what is happening is as quick as a phone call or an email but back then, families would wait for messages in The Bulletin to let them know how a sick or injured loved one in the hospital was doing.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

An Evening of Doyles Recap

I had a sense of what the night would be like when I realized all the parking spaces on Cathedral Street were gone when we got to the Masonic Hall at 7:33. A glance at the doors told me there was a line up outside and down the steps of the hall.

By the time I found a place to park and we got inside, the main section was already filled. There was an alcove to the right and a quick look in there told us we wouldn't be able to see much of anything from there so we managed to get a couple of chairs in a little spot between the main section and the alcove. The view was great. But people kept coming and coming. Soon the alcove was filled and extra chairs were being brought in and by the time the event started, people were standing in the back, along the sides of the hall and in the lobby outside, trying to see what was happening.

As the heat from the bodies in the room began to rise, the event started with Shelagh Rogers standing on stage for a few seconds until the gathered crowd realized she was there and began to clap. Her short-cropped hairdo made some not recognize her right away, but when she opened her mouth and introduced the evening, there was no doubting who our host was. Her introductions and personal stories of the performers throughout the evening, were a great bonus to the event. She explained the evening would be raising money for the Writers Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador and the ArtsCan Circle, a group that links artists with Native youth in Canada. In particular, she told us about Mike "Caribou" Stevens who Shelagh explained is a renowned harmonica player who goes to northern communities to teach the kids how to play harmonica and gives them some of the instruments so they can continue to play after he leaves. She then introduced Stevens who mesmerized the audience with his performance and received one of the two standing ovations of the night.

Damhnait Doyle then came to the stage after another great introduction from Rogers. I had never seen her performing live and in person. She has a powerful, rich, gorgeous voice and can entertain with her talking in between songs as well so I will definitely look forward to seeing her perform again.

Next Marjorie Doyle read from Reels, Rock and Rosaries and had me alternating between laughter and sorrow. After a break, we were all enthralled to hear Mike Stevens perform a haunting rendition of Amazing Grace on harmonica. Suddenly, in the middle of the song, I realized the crowd had started to join in and were humming along and before I knew it, I had joined in too. John Doyle then did a reading from A Great Feast of Light and you couldn't help but notice that his descriptions of growing up in Ireland seemed awfully familiar with the same last names and descriptions of the gardens and stories of Christian Brother teachers.

Alan Doyle then came on the stage. The consummate entertainer, he kept us from being bored even when having difficulty getting his amp to work. He sang a song from the score he just finished for Mary Walsh's new movie, Young Triffie’s Been Made Away With and one more song then brought his father, Tom Doyle, up on stage. Tom has a great voice as well and they sang two songs together, with much laughter from the talking between songs and the interaction between the two. They then invited Damhnait and Mike Stevens on stage for a rousing rendition of Cockles and Mussels which everyone in the audience, it seemed, joined in to help sing and they received the evening's second ovation.

It was a wonderful evening and if you missed it, good news. It was recorded and will be on CBC Radio's Sounds Like Canada on Labour Day. Although, I am afraid the recording will never be able to quite capture the charm of the evening.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

An Evening of Doyles

Tonight I plan on going to An Evening of Doyles with my friend Kathy. The decription of the event says:

Readings and Music by the best Doyles in the land! Globe and Mail TV critic John Doyle joins Marjorie, Damhnait, Tom and Alan for songs and stories. Tickets are $10 each, available at The Travel Bug. Doors open at 7:30pm, show starts at 8:00pm. For more information, contact
I am told tickets are also available at the door. I also heard on the radio that the event will be hosted by Shelagh Rogers. I am looking forward to it. I think it will be a great evening of fun. Plus I always enjoy events at the Masonic. The place always adds some undefinable extra to them. Maybe I'll see you there. And you know I'll tell you all about it tomorrow.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

A Little About NL Writing

As a followup to my post about his nomination, I have to say congratulations to Kenneth J. Harvey for winning the 'Libro del Mare' for The Town That Forgot to Breathe. He is the first Canadian ever, to win this prestigious Italian literary prize.

And while I am discussing that, I'll mention another great NL writer. I have started rereading The Colony of Unrequieted Dreams by Wayne Johnston and I think I am loving it even more than I did the first time (a few years ago now). I am doing it in part so I can refresh my memory of my favourite character in NL writing: Shelagh Feilding. This is so I will be ready to read Johnston's soon to be released novel, The Custodian of Paradise, where he revisits Feilding and, according to what I have read about it, makes her the focus of this new novel. For those of you who love Feilding as I do, I might suggest a reread of Colony for you as well. Just a tasty appetizer about the lady before what will hopefully be a scrumptious main course in The Custodian of Paradise.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Movies and Buskers

This past weekend I got one of those three (older) movies for seven evenings for $7 at Jumbo video. I got one for me, one for hubby and one for our son. They were Treasure Planet, The Transporter and Sideways. I'll leave you to figure out which one was for each person.

In review, Treasure Planet was an animated tale about a pirate ship in outer space, aliens, swashbuckling (space) pirates and robots. In other words, Nirvana for a two (closer to three) year old. The Transporter was...well, not really my cup of tea and I think if something is not my cup of tea, maybe I am not in the best position to critique it, so I'll say that my husband thought it was "okay" but he was a little disappointed. Sideways was a fabulous movie which I liked in so many ways. I now want to go to California, or better yet Australia where my favourite wines come from, for a serious and extended wine tour. I believe I would have no problem getting volunteers to go with me as a lot of my friends love the Australian Reds.

I also walked along Water Street Friday evening taking in some of the Busker Festival. My friend and I enjoyed the acts in varying degrees but really got a kick out of Ug, the Neanderthal Juggler. It was very different and funny.

Note: My parents are in town so posting this week will be less than usual.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

A great review

I am excited to say that this much is true got a wonderful review by Joan Sullivan in today's Sunday Telegram. If you check it out, also check out the great reviews of Wade Kearley's Let Me Burn Like This and the audio version of Mary Dalton's Merrybegot, from Rattling Books.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Joys of A Two Year Old

(Some of) The joys of being a two year old:

  • The ability to be completely content being pushed on a swing for extended periods of time (I was going to say for hours here but I have never pushed him for that long)

  • Discovering the pleasure of flying a kite

  • Not realizing that putting a penny in your piggy bank is not really as great as putting a toonie in there.

  • Having a piggy bank

  • Thinking that saying "that's okay, Mommy," actually makes it okay (I have chocolate all over me and the coffee table and mommy is looking pretty angry but "that's okay, Mommy" ahh, everything is good again)

  • The awful stories on the news are just background noises as you build towers out of blocks

  • Anything, anytime, anywhere can be a car: a Mercedes, VW Beetle, whatever your heart desires

  • Naps

(Some of) The joys of having a two year old:

  • Remembering how much fun it is to just swing in the park

  • Rediscovering the pleasure of flying a kite

  • Being excited about helping someone put a penny in a piggybank

  • Realizing how unimportant a little chocolate mess is when it is on the smiling face of someone telling you "that's okay"

  • Making the news background noise while you help a little person build a tower out of blocks

  • Having a Mercedes, even if it is only a pretend one, whenever, and wherever you want

  • Naps

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

this much is true review

Check out Trudy Morgan-Cole's nice review of this much is true.