I’ll be travelling around Canada and the US & doing readings & things for the next month or so. I’ll try to blog my way through this period of my life, with updates in pseudo-real time, though I currently feel like this experiment might end in total failure. We’ll see, I guess.

    My schedule:
    09/22 – Winnipeg @ Thin Air Book Festival
    09/25 – Kingston @ Writers Festival
    10/02 – Chicago w/ Rachel Bell, Rachel Hyman & more
    10/04 – San Francisco w/ Alexandra Naughton & more
    10/08 – Los Angeles w/ Mira Gonzalez & more
    10/10 – Seattle w/ James Ganas & more
    10/12 – Vancouver w/ TBD
    10/16 – Calgary @ Wordfest


    09/22 (Morning)

    -Got up at 6 am to get to the airport. Felt surprised that the 6 am bus wasn’t empty. Everyone looked like they knew each other, like they were used to seeing each other every day at this hour or something, which felt like having stumbled on some sort of underground secret 6 am bus society.

     -Realized twenty minutes into bus ride that I had forgotten a small bag with copies of my book in it at home. I texted Jill being like, “Shit” & she somehow texted back telling me that I maybe still had time if I wanted to come back & get them. I said, “It’s okay, maybe I don’t need them, maybe I can do without, maybe this is a good thing” & then she texted back, “Wait, you also forgot your laptop.” I was like, “Okay, this is completely unacceptable, I am coming back.”

    -Jill ended up coming out & meeting me directly at the bus stop to hand me the bag. I said, “Sorry I suck” a few times.

    -I felt weirdly happy on the 2nd bus to the airport, like I was thinking, “Wow, that was really fun.” Maybe it was because I had had to run a little, which had produced dopamine in my brain, but happiness seemed like a stupid emotion to be having at that moment.

    -Guy next to me in the bus had glasses with the word “embergsbik” written on the side, which sounded like a made-up brand.

    -Looking around for the Air Canada booth at the airport, I saw an airline called “Sky Priority,” which I misread as “Sexy Priority.”

    -Airport staff was very polite to me until they realized I was late, at which point they immediately shifted to panic/frenzy.

    -I was put on standby & had to wait to see if I would be able to get in. Lots of nervous-seeming airport employees calling different terminals, feeling powerless. Almost got stuck having to wait for the next flight, but then was able to go in at the last minute. I felt like I had annoyed the flight, like the flight was mad at me, like I wasn’t wanted anymore by the flight.

    -Was asked for ID I think three times at the airport, and it dawned on me that I was going to spend my next month travelling being repeatedly identified, being repeatedly confirmed by airport staff & other strangers that I am me.

    09/22 (Afternoon)

    -This plane has cheap touch screens built into every seat, which means passengers can individually select which movies or tv shows they want to watch while flying. I didn’t touch my screen, but as I was I falling asleep, I watched, without sound, the movies that the three passengers sitting in front of me were watching. It didn’t feel like three separate movies, but just one movie in which a confident-looking Cameron Diaz was pushed into a bush, then some sort of tree creature was running after Angelina Jolie, then teenagers were singing along to a song in a car. It seemed like a good movie, lots of plot twists.

    -Now that I think about it, I am probably glad I wasn’t around during the first maybe 60 years of modern aviation.

    -There was some turbulence mid-fight at one point, like the plane hit an air pocket or something. People around me seemed anxious, and I was also going to feel anxious by default, except a voice went off in my head saying something like, “It’s okay, you need instability in your life” and after that I just found the turbulence calming.

    -If you created a city that blends together all the cities, big or small, that I’ve ever visited, feels like you’d probably end up with something like Winnipeg.


    -I think I am surprised that this festival is actually real. As a writer, I don’t live a glorious lifestyle and usually survive on a combination of rice and buying nothing, so being remunerated to do a reading and lodged in a hotel seems very surreal to me, like some sort of elaborate illusion, like I’ve been hypnotized.

    -I did a “book chat” in the afternoon at this surprisingly large, seemingly thriving independent bookstore located somewhere in Winnipeg. The festival had paired me with a writer who was maybe in her late fifties and whose book was a collage of fragments from older books. There were maybe 30-35 people in the crowd, almost all of them women probably age 50+, except for Dave Shaw and Dave Shaw’s girlfriend, who were sitting in the back. I read a scene from New Tab in which two people chat online on Facebook, material that seemed, to me, like an almost comically bad fit for this crowd, but people laughed here and there and seemed okay with it.

    -At one point during the Q&A, I felt myself mentally drifting away for a few seconds while someone was talking, the same way you sometimes tune out at readings. As an automatic reflex, I kind of wanted to check my phone, except then I remembered I was currently on stage.


    09/22 (Night)


  2. I decided to take the time to reformat my chart from pop serial 5 to make it simpler for tumblr. this is the new version, hopefully it’s better.

  3. short review of me/my book by jason freure for town crier

  4. photo of me reading live on skype for pyramid scheme in wales, hosted by richard owain roberts

  5. Here’s Erin Balser on CBC Radio talking about CBC’s annual New Canadian Authors to Watch list, which includes me (I am discussed starting at 2:25). 

    I really like how diverse CBC’s list is (good male/female writers balance, not everyone is white). When the list first came out two weeks ago, no one had told me I was going to appear on there, so I clicked on the article expecting to have been ignored. Then I saw my face and I felt confused and lost for about twenty seconds. “They’re being sarcastic,” I thought. “Sarcastic journalism,” I thought.

    In Canada, my book wasn’t published by a giant press and I haven’t won a national writing competition and my writing hasn’t appeared in places like The Walrus, so I guess I still don’t think of myself as being “on the radar.” If anything, I feel like I still view myself as the radar’s loch ness monster or something.

    That being said, being on CBC’s list this year is a good boost for me, so I feel grateful.

  6. page 128 of new tab

  7. I’ll be travelling a little in september/october to do book festivals & other stuff. my dates are still a work in progress, but if you live in any of the cities listed above & would be interested in having me read at a thing, email me at bed.wave[at]gmail.com & we can try to figure something out. I’d love to add more dates in other cities.

    if I somehow end up sleeping on your couch at any point during this trip, I have a half-weird french accent & I am low maintenance as a house guest.

  8. from page 144 of new tab

  9. there’s a review of new tab in the new issue of the magazine broken pencil (full text should be online soon).

    I think they liked it.


  10. idontneedyourvalidation said: Can us followers add you on Facebook, or do we just "follow" your profile?

    Hey. Feel free to add me if you feel like it, having a large pool of semi-random Facebook friends definitely makes my life more interesting to me.


  11. the literary press group of canada has made this chart for their blog cataloging some of the memes & objects in new tab:

    1. dancing in your underwear
    2. disco star wars
    3. a bar in montreal called ‘blizzarts’
    4. green tea
    5. facebook
    6. twitter
    7. not using your phone as a phone
    8. pabst blue ribbon
    9. 'endurance' as a company value
    10. scrabble for iphone
    11. craigslist
    12. xbox 360
    13. putting on headphones to avoid socializing
    14. montreal subway system
    15. backyard cinema
    16. a dead person’s bike
    17. books (herzog, hour of the star, history of celibacy, speedboat, et tu babe)
    18. concordia university
  12. there’s a long interview of me in the new print issue of alt citizen

  13. some photos from new york lit night in montreal, hosted by ashley & me with readings by spencer madsen, gabby bess, lucy k shaw, oscar bruno d’artois & sarah jean alexander

  14. I am apparently one of CBC Books’ ‘2014 Writers To Watch

  15. fun review of new tab over at htmlgiant