Before & After

Before & After

With the release of Yesterday just a week away (gasp!) I still have one final 80s post to write. I'm planning to put up my 80s music entry on the weekend but today want to point people in the direction of YA Reads where they're giving away 3 copies of the book. You still have 11 more days to enter the contest and there's also a new interview with me there.

If you want to read more about Yesterday, I hope you'll also catch up with the blog tour which begins this Sunday. I was lucky to work with a great group of Canadian bloggers on this tour who all had fantastic questions and ideas for guest posts. You'll find plenty of Canadian content!
yesterday blog tour: Sept 23 - 28

Diary of a Bookworm September 23
Just a lil' Lost September 24
Mermaid Visions September 25
Evie Bookish September 26
Midnight Bloom Reads September 27
Book Nerd September 28

From November 5th - 9th I'll be at Random Buzzers answering questions so would be happy to see you there too. In between times I expect to be pretty quiet as I work on other projects. I'm applying for an Ontario Arts Council WIP grant which is due October 15th and need to have forty pages of a sparkling new book ready for that. I know some writers could whip forty pages up in no time, but I write at a snail's pace. Anyway, it's much too early to talk about that book yet but here's the first line as proof of its existence:

"Who can really explain why a certain piece of straw is the one that breaks a camel's back?"

After I hand the grant application in, I'm simultaneously moving on to rewrites for my agent and returning to work on yet another YA project. Having taken a writing break for the Toronto International Film Festival earlier in the month I feel like I need to be extra on the ball in order to get everything done but I'm in a bit of a TIFF withdrawal funk and today's rain isn't helping. Is it weird to even miss the movie line-ups? I guess they help raise the thrill of anticipation, plus they give you the chance to hear everyone else's cool TIFF stories!

Anyway, I was lucky to have the chance to sing Happy Birthday to Colin Firth again this year (this last happened to me two years ago when he was here for The King's Speech gala on his birthday) at the premiere of Arthur Newman. Colin Firth''s a total class-act and was very eloquent in answering his questions about the film. He even brought screenwriter, Becky Johnston, who was equally insightful, up on stage to speak about it. Emily Blunt, who has to be one of my favourite female actors, co-stars as the charismatic 'Mike' and was also at the screening.

The most ambitious flick I saw at the festival was the much anticipated Cloud Atlas.

The critic's response to the film was markedly fractured and prompted the following Movie Line article:

Early Reviews: Is Cloud Atlas A Triumph Or A Disaster (Or Both)?

I think the article makes an extremely important point here: "one critic's disaster is another's transcendent cinematic opus." For the record, while I didn't think Cloud Atlas was perfect I greatly admired its scope and aspirations and found it a thrilling watch.

Meanwhile if I were handing out awards for most positive TIFF film The Sessions——based on the true story of Mark O'Brien (played by John Hawkes), a poet paralyzed from the neck down since childhood, who embarks on a voyage to lose his virginity—would have my vote.

I was already a John Hawkes fan——he's what drew me to this movie—and his portrayal of Mark O'Brien is so full of light and warmth that I'm hoping he wins an Oscar for his stunner of a performance. Helen Hunt is outstanding as the sex therapist who helps him too. I loved what she had to say about the film in her interview with The Toronto Star: "For me, the take-away is this sex-positive message that I wish so badly 15-year-olds and 16-year-olds would see (in) this movie…I would so want any young adult that I cared about, along with all the other (sexual) images that they're going to see, to see this." Hear, hear!

Finally, the film that provoked the strongest emotional response from me was Mr. Pip starring Hugh Laurie and Xzannjah, and directed and written by Andrew Adamson, based on the Lloyd Jones novel. I went into the movie knowing little about it but expecting the story of a schoolteacher and young girl who form a friendship based on their shared love of Great Expectations during the Papua New Guinean civil war. What I actually discovered was so much more—a brutality, depth and passionate respect for truth and love that had me thinking about the film for the rest of the evening.

Now you know what I've been up to and what I'll be doing through the fall so I hope you'll forgive me if I'm not around much. Don't forget to check back for my 80s music post this weekend!
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