So much good news

Can’t stay here for too long — gearing up to jump on my bike and pedal on over to City Hall for Thunder Pride’s flag raising and media launch. But there’s too much good going on not to share a few things with you: First, continuing on in the Pride theme: once again, I will be reading at Pride’s Literary & Storytelling Night, on Tuesday, June 12, at 7 PM, at the Mary JL Black Library. I’m joining a stellar literary lineup that includes Rachel Mishenene, Ma-Nee Chacaby, Ray Moonias, and members of The Other 10% youth group. Headlining the event is my old friend Zoe Whittall (a.k.a. “ the cockiest, brashest, funniest, toughest, most life-affirming, elegant, scruffy, no-holds-barred writer to emerge from Montreal since Mordecai Richler...”).

Years ago, Zoe and I were part of a writing group in Toronto called The Stern Writing Mistresses, in which I got to hear some of the poetry and the work that eventually ended up being her first novel, Bottle Rocket Hearts. She’s done great things since, and I am thrilled that she’s coming to my new hometown to read. You should be, too — come see us!

(For the record, the “stern” in “Stern Writing Mistresses,” naughty as it sounds, was mostly an effort to remind us all to shape the F up and show up on time to our biweekly meetings, having written actual writing. As opposed to, say, wandering in half an hour late with a notebook and good intentions. And focusing only on the wine. And the gossip. And the drama. We had mixed success at the time, but that group of women has gone on to produce some amazing stuff.)

Second: winners! Winners are always good news. Erin, Nicola, and Brenda, you are now the proud owners of your very own copies of The Letter Q: Queer Writers’ Notes to Their Younger Selves. Message me your mailing addresses and I’ll get books that you ASAP. Thanks so much for your comments!

Third: I found out last week that I have been selected as one of the BlogHer Voices of the Year. On August 3, I will join 15 other fantastic writers in Manhattan at the BlogHer 2012 conference to (including my roomie, Vicki, at Up Popped a Fox!) read a post — the exact one will be kept secret until the reading itself — from this blog. Here’s a bit more about the event, as described by BlogHer’s Polly Pagenheart (a.k.a. Lesbian Dad, whom I will finally get to meet):

At the event where most of us women bloggers gather, annually, why not enable us to experience, as a face-to-face, shoulder-to-shoulder community, just what it is that moves us to invest so much of ourselves in this medium? The event’s scope grew exponentially over the years, along with the blogosphere itself, and women’s presence in it.

In 2008, over 200 entries were read by a committee of about seven people; this year, over 1,600 were read by 26 readers, and were filtered yet once more by another six readers (the math whizzes among you will notice that the reading load, and therefore the service these readers give to the community, has doubled over the years).

Over the past five years, over 50 people, comprising both past readers and BlogHer staff, have spent countless volunteer hours poring over their fellow bloggers’ posts. We have rendered this service because, at base, regardless of the wide range of interests and roles we bring to the blogosphere, we understand that what all of us are doing with our blogs matters a great deal — both to the community we form at the conferences, the community we form online — and the community that we influence offline. And it’s an honor to shine a light on some of the best of this work each year. Right after the first Community Keynote in 2008, I wrote at my blog, Lesbian Dad:

"Women sharing stories, on this scale, with this degree of public intimacy, feels utterly unprecedented. What we all go through in this life. Some of us live to tell the tale, and have the courage to tell it. And in the telling, essentially, perform mouth-to-ear resuscitation to more people than we will ever know."

And here’s another early take, from Liz Gumbinner at Mom-101:

"It was ... part poetry slam, part open mic night, part thousand-person group hug. Eden Kennedy needs a Nobel prize for putting it together....It was an essential reminder that we’re all doing something worthwhile here. Whether it’s cathartic, or healing or simply entertaining, it’s not 'just blogging'. It’s good. It’s important. Even a post about pornographic Google hits, or so I’d like to think."

Yeah, I know. It’s very exciting. I'm pretty thrilled, I have to say. You can add to that can news that I’ll also be on a BlogHer panel, on “Turning your blog posts into publishable essays.”

(Whoa, that's a lot of links in one post.)

Okay, gotta run, or, rather, cycle across this small city that is still officially in the state of emergency but getting better, to watch the rainbow flag of the Sleeping Giant rise above City Hall. I wish you all much good news!