Saturday, July 31, 2010

Playboy Documentary

There's a new documentary piece on Hugh Hefner coming out, about his role as a social activist. Seem weird? Yeah, to me, too. This article takes a look at some of the driving motivation behind the documentary. I have yet to see the documentary (it opened yesterday), but I am really looking forward to it.

The things he, Kinsey, Steinem, and Meads have done - their contributions to the Sexual Revolution, have changed society in a lot of ways. The internet has contributed. In discussing the documentary with my mom the other day, we discussed the fact that she first encountered BDSM culture in her 30s, while she was living in San Francisco. I encountered it in a fairly mainstream fantasy novel when I was 15 and so, curious, Googled it, and found a well-laid-out Wikipedia page.

And that was normal for me, for my generation. Yes, there is a lot of hypersexualization, but there's also a lot of information available to work with that - information on STDs and where and how to get tested, information on how to be safe in myriad ways. In my social circle, at least, it's something to discuss -openly - near the beginning of a relationship, just to determine compatibility. Kinsey and later, when we were old enough to sneakily read The Onion, Dan Savage taught us that nothing was weird, simply potentially incompatible. And that was okay.

Hefner, of course, isn't solely responsible for the social movement towards openness. But he's a contributing factor, and one in iconic silk pajamas, so I very much look forward to the documentary.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Island Writer

On Tuesday we had the first meeting of the new editorial board of Island Writer. We gathered at Simeon's house and had his own white wine and chips and salsa and chocolate in his sunny living room, with Christine and I plugged into our little machines. It's exciting, to have the working period of the next issue looming. Not too many submissions so far, but they're trickling in. And, if the last one is any indication, I can expect about 70 in the two days before the deadline.

But talking about our vision for the magazine and the ways we want to organize it was great - I jumped in very late in the game on the last issue, and so wasn't part of that. It wasn't necessary, of course, but I really like having a better idea of what we're doing. And I like that I'm going to be more involved in the process.

The rest of the board; Chelsea Rushton, Simeon Goa, Sheila Martindale, Christine George, and Kim Nayyer, all seem wonderful. Kim wasn't able to attend, but Chelsea took minutes. I'm looking forward to working with everyone on this issue.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

CanWrite 2010, part one

So, it's been a week since the end of CanWrite, but I haven't been able to put anything together because of the sheer volume of information I gathered there. It was a fascinating experience, and highly educational.

Jean Kay, the coordinator, was very nice, and extended a generous invitation to the awards banquet on Saturday. She was intensely busy all weekend, and I rarely saw her for more than a few consecutive minutes.

I spent the weekend mostly at the registration desk with Sheila Martindale and Brock Clayards, both Victoria residents. Sheila Martindale is the venerable English author of eight (soon to be nine) volumes of poetry, and is a member of the local branch of the Canadian Authors Association, and is the Poetry editor for Island Writer magazine.

Brock is a retired RCMP officer and now has a small vineyard and many dogs. He's had a fascinating career in various branches of the RCMP.

Thursday all three of us manned the desk, as there were registrations all afternoon. Friday and Saturday we all switched off as we attended sessions with the various speakers.

Friday we were joined by Julie, a publisher and the creator of InspireABook, who helped manage the blue pencil sessions - the ten minute periods where conference attendees could make an appointment to talk to four authors who had volunteered. Behind the desks were kc dyer, Lois Peterson, Anthony Dalton, and Bernice Lever.