Sunday, June 19, 2005

Losing in front of my hometown

Asthmatica received its first truly negative review today. It was in the Winnipeg Free Press by a journalist named Morley Walker. It's impossible not to take this stuff too seriously. What made the review so frustrating is that the reviewer failed to see the difference between fiction and autobiography and mostly complained about my punctuation and adverb choices.

And, of course, I was chastised for not being serious. There was a cool pull quote though: "Imagine Portnoy's Complaint set in the landscape of TV's South Park." I think he thought that was a slag, but that sounds like a good book to me!

The book has been an amazing critical success and I feel very lucky for that. The special edition is on its way. But I can't help but cringe at the thought of my hometown family and friends reading such a negative and mean spirited review.

At this point, after my fourth book, I should have thicker skin than this. But I don't. I'm hurt. I wonder how many writers are truly liberated from feeling this way when a bad review happens.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Never mind the pollocks

I've been spending a lot of time at home with my daughter Lilly this spring. I've haven't been writing too much, just the occasional poem, or comedy bit. Lilly is supercool. She can stand on her own; she says "Dada"; and she has very little interest in Canadian poetry. The perfect kid.

I did have the pleasure of reading and hanging out with Sean Carswell, Mickey Hess and Joe Meno. These indie American fiction writers recently came through Montreal and although the crowd was small, the readings were fantastic. Great writers, great drinkers. You just gotta check them out.

My Winnipeg launch was a blast! Lots of friends and family came out and I got to read with David McGimpsey, Alissa York and Chandra Mayor. What could be better than that?

And finally, Asthmatica is sold out. No more first editions in the world. (Well, almost.) So it is being reprinted in a special second edition, with a sexy black, blue and silver cover, and now with 50% less typos! More on this, including a sneak peak at the new cover on my website soon!