Two Fun Speaking Gigs

Wow. Two speaking opportunities within the space of two days.

I was most grateful to give the Author Talk for the Canadian Authors Association on February 8, 2023. The subject was “Creativity with a Day Job”. The well-attended, live virtual session was hosted very capably by Naomi Steinberg, with technical support from Bob Mackay—both very accomplished authors in their own right.

Harking back about three years to my pre-retirement years, I offered some suggestions about how a busy work schedule and the impulse to write can be reconciled so that creative urges are given the priority they deserve. The main takeaway was that, in my humble opinion, the small slivers of time that appear from time to time in an otherwise busy work and family life can and should be seized and put to good writing use. Deferring creative activity to those ideal times where there are no distractions or interruptions is folly; insisting on the sepulchral silence of a private writing space before getting down to it is just procrastination. Those opportunities come very seldom and to wait for them is effectively to put one’s writing projects on hold.

Then, on February 8th, I sat down for a one-hour interview with the affable and deeply knowledgeable founder and presenter of The Commentary, Joseph Planta.

The Commentary is in its 19th year and the interviews Joseph conducts cover a very wide spectrum of subject matter and public figures. Many writers who I admire greatly have been guests on The Commentary. Theresa Kishkan, Shauna Paull, Jane Munro and Mark Leiren-Young number among them. Other public figures interviewed by Joseph in 2022 alone include Peter Mansbridge, Carole Taylor, Russell Wangersky, Michael Kaeshammer, Eve Lazarus, Leslie Hurtig, Charlie Demers, Marsha Lederman, Elamin Abdelmahmoud, Madeline Sonik, Brendan MacLeod, Lorna Crozier… The list goes on and on.

Joseph’s questions for me ranged widely over the one-hour interview, touching on topics including the challenges and exhilarations of writing poetry and fiction, literary education in Canada, my former careers as a lawyer and a judge, and my forthcoming title, Deliverance, 1961: A Novella in Thirty-Two Cantos (forthcoming from Pooka Press in late 2023). The interview was aired on February 16, 2023 and can be accessed online by clicking on this link.

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