Thursday, December 23, 2010
May we have peace, love, joy, justice, sustainability, creativity and healthy communities in 2011.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Friday, December 03, 2010
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Here are a couple of life's sweeter moments, just Mapa and D:
This last one's D and Miia on the Toronto subway, at the front of the train, taking it all in with great excitement:
Thursday, October 28, 2010
And we the people will decide which books make the top 10 list. You only get one vote.
If you want to vote Drive-by Saviours, just go to Canada Reads and click the circle next to Drive-by Saviours by Chris Benjamin, scroll down and click the vote button. You have until Nov 7 - but really why wait until Nov 7 what you could do right now?
Btw, here is the Top 40 list, and there are some damn fine books there. What say you, dear reader? What books should have made the list but didn't. Any on the list that you don't think are so hot?
A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews
Bottle Rocket Hearts by Zoe Whittall
Clara Callan by Richard B. Wright
Come, Thou Tortoise by Jessica Grant
Conceit by Mary Novik
Crow Lake by Mary Lawson
Drive-by Saviours by Chris Benjamin
Elle by Douglas Glover
Essex County by Jeff Lemire
Far to Go by Alison Pick
February by Lisa Moore
Galore by Michael Crummey
Heave by Christy Ann Conlin
Inside by Kenneth J. Harvey
Late Nights on Air by Elizabeth Hay
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Lullabies for Little Criminals by Heather O'Neill
Moody Food by Ray Robertson
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
Pattern Recognition by William Gibson
Room by Emma Donoghue
Shelf Monkey by Corey Redekop
Skim by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki
Sweetness in the Belly by Camilla Gibb
The Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis
The Birth House by Ami McKay
The Bishop's Man by Linden MacIntyre
The Bone Cage by Angie Abdou
The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill
The Day the Falls Stood Still by Cathy Marie Buchanan
The Fallen by Stephen Finucan
The Girls Who Saw Everything by Sean Dixon
The Last Crossing by Guy Vanderhaeghe
The Stone Carvers by Jane Urquhart
The Way the Crow Flies by Ann-Marie MacDonald
The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood
Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden
Through Black Spruce by Joseph Boyden
Twenty-Six by Leo McKay Jr.
Unless by Carol Shields
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Wednesday, October 06, 2010
But there he was in the Lula Lounge, in full colour, three dimensions, in the flesh, across the table from me with his book, The Fire in Bradford, in hand. "I'll show you mine if you you show me yours," he grinned.
Another Story Bookshop on hand selling Drive-by Saviours I didn't have any swap copies. The swap had been my suggestion, but with all the insanity of travel, visiting family and friends, organizing book launches and an Eastern Canadian book tour, I'd forgotten. I promised to send Ivan a copy in the mail and he gave me his book, shook my hand and heartily congratulated me. And he was gone, making way for the next in line.
It was one of a series of surreal encounters I've had lately with old friends. The support has been overwhelming - people I haven't seen in years, people I've only met online, have come out to my two book launches in Halifax and Toronto to celebrate my accomplishment.
And now, writing from a friend's home in East Toronto, planning to head up to Kent Bookstore in Lindsay Ontario in a few hours for another reading and more old friends (and to meet a boisterous one-year-old), I'm feeling a deep easy happiness in that willingness to celebrate what others among us do.
At the same time, I ache for my wife and son, who flew back to Halifax yesterday morning at about crack o'clock, and I long for my own bed where I could properly nurse this worsening cold. Suddenly I'm a lone drifter again, something I missed and didn't expect to experience again so soon. Last time I was a young man, full of abstractions and equipped with an eager pen and ink-hungry notebooks. It all seems a little more businesslike this time - I'm a drifter with a mission, a product to move. I feel like a huckster with a money-bulge in my pocket.
That's not a complaint. I'm loving meeting people, sharing my art with them, and experiencing their kind and enthusiastic responses - their questions, comments and cash. Living the dream for me has moved beyond sloganism and into reality.
Friday, September 24, 2010
First, a huge thank you to everyone who came out to the Halifax book launch on Wednesday. We crammed more than a hundred people into the Company House (with a stalled line out the door at one point) and Bookmark sold out the 60 copies of Drive-by Saviours it brought. (Sorry to those who didn't get one, but stores are well stocked and you can buy online here). It was so heartwarming to have all those great people out to celebrate my book and hear great local music and reading.
On Saturday, Sept 25, 7:00 pm, I'm presenting the Percy Prize for best unpublished Atlantic Canadian novel (the award I won in 2008) at the Jane Buss gala. It's at Alderney Landing in Dartmouth. Should be fun.
Then on Sunday I'll be reading at the Main Stage at Word on the Street Halifax, Victoria Park, at 11:30am. I'll be sharing the stage with Russell Smith, so it should be interesting. And I'll be signing books all day at the Roseway/Fernwood booth.
On Monday I leave for my book tour. Some of the dates have changed so please take a look at http://www.chrisbenjaminwriting.com/chris-benjamin-writing-blog/updated-book-tour-schedule-for-drive-by-saviours to see when I hit your town. And a few more Nova Scotia readings will be added later so I'll keep you posted on that.
In the meantime I've already had some fun media coverage. You can hear my interview on CKDU's Book Club at http://18.104.22.168/20100921.13.30-14.30.mp3. I come in at 22:00 minutes (about 1/3 of the way through), and it gets cut off at the end, but it gives you a good chunk of it.
Also, I got to go on haligonia.ca this week with Silver Donald Cameron. We interviewed each other about our new books. The clip is up at http://live.haligonia.ca/halifax-ns/soundbites/16248-sound-bites-a-meeting-of-literary-minds.html.
Aside from the novel, I have a couple other publications coming out this fall. First is my short story, The Law Won, which will be in the literary journal Descant's prison issue. If you're in Toronto you can attend the launch at Revival (783 College Street) on Wednesday, Oct 06, 2010, 7:30 p.m. But I won't be there - I'll be up in Lindsay reading. However, Hurricane Rubin Carter will be there, and it's a shame I'll miss the chance to meet such a passionate advocate for justice. You can learn more about the issue at http://www.descant.ca/issues/d150.html.
My short story, Gifts from the North, also appears in a new anthology out this month, called Airbourne, published by Third Person Press in Cape Breton. The launch is on, wait for it...October 6, 6:30-8:30pm, at the McConnell Memorial Library, 50 Falmouth Street in Sydney, Nova Scotia. More on the Airbourne Anthology at http://www.thirdpersonpress.com/.
Wednesday, September 01, 2010
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Water fight with cousins.
On cousin Calla's b-day bash.
He's a clown.
Hearts in the highlands.
He's a climber.
At the Glen Breton Distillery.
Friday, August 13, 2010
Second, the Toronto launch is tentatively booked for October 4 at the Lula Lounge on Dundas West, so if you're in Toronto please mark that on your calendar. I'm still working on the music (if anyone has any ins with hot Toronto bands please let me know) but I'll keep you posted.
Also, thanks to a grant from the Province of Nova Scotia I'll be doing a book tour starting right after the Toronto launch. I'll be hitting Peterborough, Port Hope, Kingston, Ottawa, Montreal, Fredericton, and Charlottetown. If you know any good bookstores or other reading venues (libraries etc.) between Toronto and Halifax, please let me know about them.
Lastly, here's a new video on the themes of the book (ecology, international development, helping professions, indigenous cultures, Western culture, individualism, collectivism, community, Canadiana, Indonesia, and immigration).
Hope to see you all at a launch or reading soon.
Friday, July 30, 2010
Friday, June 25, 2010
I've also created a website for the book. Below is what the cover will look like. Click on that for the website (not a lot of content there yet but stay tuned for some video I'm working on regarding the book):
The publisher, Roseway (an imprint of Fernwood), also has a website for the book. Click the Fernwood logo to see that site:
Lastly, I've been remiss with posting my columns. Here are the last three, respectively called Coastal Disaster, Population Bomb, and Lorincz on Environment: