Posts Tagged ‘video!’

That’s my agent!

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

Hello, friends. This past weekend was the Thanksgiving holiday in Canada. I am still coasting on leftovers (that’s a splendid thing, in my opinion), basking in crisp sunshine, and in total denial of the sudden onslaught of Christmas cack in the retail world.

This is not a terribly new video and I can’t seem to embed it here the way I usually do, but I’m linking to it anyway because hey! that’s my agent! Without further ado, here is Rowan Lawton of Furniss Lawton, with her Top 3 Tips for getting published.

Also, I’m reading Peter Carey’s Parrot and Olivier in America. I’ve said this before, but Peter Carey is absolutely bonkers. I’m adoring it. What are you reading right now?

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How to mount a penny-farthing

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

Hello, friends. I’m up against a deadline (Canada Arts Council grant application – my first!), so here’s a fun little instructional on how to mount a penny-farthing bicycle. Bicycles became extremely popular in the 1880s and 1890s and I enjoy thinking about Mary Quinn trying one out, in later life.

As you’ll see, the early designs were for athletic men only; sadly, there’s no chance of riding one of those in a crinoline! So it’s fitting that this video was produced by a group of people at the Mountain Equipment Co-op, in what looks like Vancouver (Yaletown, possibly?).

Now you know exactly what to do the next time you see a penny-farthing for sale on Craigslist.

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The Birth of a Book

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Hello, friends.

Isn’t that lovely? (via Lloyd Kahn’s blog)

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What kind of Asian are you?

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

I love this.

In real life, I’ve tried a few low-key variations on this, but it never seems to get through. I think if we want to educate the people who ask these questions, we need to explain directly why it’s inappropriate to make assumptions based on appearance. In the meantime, however, I’m just going to watch this one more time and smirk.

How do you respond to questions based on first impressions of race, age, gender, or style?

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Inspiration

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

Hello friends, and apologies for being late with this post. There’s no good reason, except that my son had a PD Day at school on Monday, so I didn’t realize that yesterday was Blogging Day until, well, this morning.

But I’m here to make it up to you! My spouse recently mentioned two utterly awesome videos, which I have to share with you. (Nick detests online videos, so when he gets enthusiastic about one, I pay attention.) The first is of an 86-year-old gymnast named Johanna Quaas performing a routine on the parallel bars. Watch and be humbled and awestruck:

The second is of tiny-home author and activist Lloyd Kahn, who took up skateboarding in his 70s. Yes, indeed. This video is very wobbly in bits, and it’s too long, but sometimes you just need ocular proof:

Courage, focus, persistence.

Smashing stereotypes.

Embracing the new.

Loving learning.

I don’t think I need to spell out how much I admire these two people, and how much I want to learn from them. My new goal is to try something completely new and scary in each decade of my life. Maybe even gymnastics or skateboarding.

What do you think? Have Johanna Quaas and Lloyd Kahn inspired you?

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Think you love books?

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

The mad geniuses at Type Books (which hosted my Toronto launch for The Body at the Tower) do. The proof? This absolutely charming stop-action short, showing what books get up to at night. You’d have to be a total grinch not to love this.

Go on – tell me you’re not haunted by the idea of your own books larking about in the near-dark. Mine certainly waltz, trade bookmarks, and commiserate about the recent purge.

And elsewhere on the internet, a very talented reader, Melyssa, made a painting inspired by Mary Quinn! Check it out at her Tumblr.

What are you up to this week?

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Pedants unite!

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

I’m slogging away at the copyedits for Candlewick’s edition of The Traitor in the Tunnel. One of the things I love about being edited is learning new stuff. For example, did you know the difference in usage for convince and persuade? According to my anonymous but clearly passionate copy editor, “you convince someone to a point of view; you persuade someone to an action”. There you go!

And there’s eye candy this week: the delightful Enrico, who made a stunning fan book trailer for A Spy in the House, has done it again! This trailer is for The Body at the Tower and once more, it’s perfection. Thank you so much, Enrico!

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The world according to Google Alerts

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

Hello, friends. Like many authors, I have Google Alerts set up for each of my book titles. The material it turns up is generally not a surprise – book reviews, Goodreads discussions, all that great stuff. But sometimes, I’m downright mystified. For example, what on earth is a “smiley-face trick”?

It doesn’t sound ominous, and yet it’s making me a bit crazy.

And then Google found a fan-made book trailer for the Agency – the first that I know of!

Who is this person? Where did she or he find all that great B&W footage? Mysterious maker of book trailers, thank you for doing such gorgeous work on this one! If you’re reading this blog post, do leave a comment!

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Love and poetry

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

This week, two of my dearest friends got married. When Sarah and Steve asked me to read a poem at their ceremony, I was thrilled to be part of their wedding – as well as by the discovery of a new-to-me poem: Frank O’Hara’s “Having a Coke with You”.

Here’s O’Hara reading it:

This is the full text of the poem, at the Poetry Foundation archive.

And here’s the abbreviated version my husband & I joked about improvising, in the event that I lost my specially marked-up reading-aloud version (the one with S – L – O – W ! scrawled at the top of the page):

Having a Coke with You

(with apologies to Frank O’Hara)

is more fun than going on a bender with a Eurail Pass.

Art is all right.

But not as all right as you.

Congratulations, Sarah and Steve. I love you – and your taste in poetry.

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The anti-book trailer

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

Do you like book trailers? I don’t.

I hate waiting for them to load. They assume you read ve-ry slow-ly (Stephanie Burgis’s trailer for A Most Improper Magick is the exception that proves the rule). The music is crap coming from my laptop speakers. And they don’t make me want to buy the book. Result: I almost always axe them at the 15-second mark.

So what did I do this week? Inspired by Montreal-based auteur Non-Working Monkey (warning: Monkey has a potty-mouth), I made a book trailer. Mine, however, is an anti-book trailer that contains a piece of the finest performance art ever to emerge from the bizarre tool that is Microsoft Word’s Autosummarize. Or something. Anyway, here you have it.

I’m the one in the red boots.

This week in book news:

Fight Club meets High School Debate Tournament for YA fiction! Alyssa at the Shady Glade is organizing the first ever YA Bloggers Debut Book Battle! Over the next several weeks, 24 titles will compete – and Spy is among them. Ooh. I can’t wait to see how this turns out.

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