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What’s Up Wednesday – June 18, 2014

KITERUFFLED2 copyWhat’s up Wednesday is a weekly blog-hop created by sisters Jaime Morrow and Erin L. Funk, intended to help writers keep connected. Click on either link for more information and to sign up, if you want to join in!

What I’m Reading

I finished reading book 1 of the Parasol Protectorate the other night, and although I enjoyed it, I’m not sure I’ll pursue the rest of the series. Vampires and werewolves are not my fictional happy place, and I have been over them since Buffy, Angel, Spike, and Oz. I found the worldbuilding fairly deftly done, but there were details that felt like an unfulfilled promise, or a “read more of the series” lure, which irked me. I also found the frequent errors of diction quite jarring, and made notes on my Kindle copy to correct ‘coppice’ to ‘copse’, ‘mollified’ to ‘modified’, and ‘oughten’ (which isn’t even a word) for ‘oughtn’t’, among others.

What I’m Writing

Still working (for a certain value of ‘working’) on the poem for this Saturday’s “cross-genre workshop” class about poetry. As I said to my (other) classmates on Saturday, when I get uncomfortable, I go for the cheap laugh. And this poem is all smoke, mirrors, and if I’m very lucky, a laugh. I really like poetry, I remember now, and I would like to write more of it.

What Else I’m Up To

My printer cacked out last Thursday, in the middle of printing a swath of documents for last Saturday’s class (Pen and Sword, about the legalities and ethics of writing). We still had two weeks on the extended warranty from the credit card we paid for it with, so I got my husband chasing up how to claim that back, and I did all the legwork involved in taking the old printer to the place to get the repair estimate ($329 to replace the logic board in a printer that cost $99 new!), and going to the store to buy a replacement printer. The replacement — an HP 8610 — was on special offer this week, and I’m looking forward to getting it set up today, because I have to print 12 copies of my poem for Saturday’s class. This is a more robust printer than our old one. I’m quite excited that it’s got a 250-sheet paper tray, and an automatic document feeder, for scanning and copying.

I spent Monday with my friend Katy, whom I have not seen since her cousin/my friend Elizabeth’s wedding in 1990. Katy is an artist, married to another artist called Steve, and Steve’s art exhibition Ghostown, is on at the Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre until August 31, 2014. I was in school all day Saturday so missed the opening, but I will get to the exhibition at some point before it closes. And I got to spend yesterday with my friends and their kids, catching up and showing off my city and eating gelato by the beach.

What’s Inspiring Me

This summer, I am a first-time volunteer at Bard on the Beach, our local Shakespeare festival, which is celebrating its 25th year in the tents down at Vanier Park. I had my first shift, as a concession cashier, last Thursday night. On Sunday, I worked in the Bard Boutique (and made note of all the cool stuff I want to get before the season ends). Tonight I will be taking tickets, at the entrance, and on Thursday I’ll be the mysteriously titled “house floater”. I signed up to do a bit of everything – concessions, boutique, ticket taking, greeter, floater, usher, you name it: I’ve signed up for at least one shift doing pretty much everything.

I hated reading Shakespeare in high school — reluctant, self-conscious teenagers don’t make the best readers-aloud of the stuff, and it’s pretty dry when all you talk about is the symbolism and “was Hamlet mad or just pretending?”, and nobody ever tells you about the ribald jokes or the double meanings behind half the expressions, etc. But put the words into the minds and mouths of talented actors, and the stuff fairly leaps off the page. We have been attending performances, and supporting Bard with our membership fees, for years, but this was the first year I was able to fit volunteering in, too.

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