The art of bookbinding

These are the books I made in the workshop

These are the books I made in the workshop

I recently attended my first workshop on bookbinding. Today, I spent the afternoon picking up some supplies and tools to keep practising the art. One of the stores my instructor, Vanessa, recommended was The Paper Place. Located in downtown Toronto, it’s a great shop that carries a wide variety of decorative Japanese papers, as well as the book binding and paper crafting tools needed for any book project.

I learned to type on one of these!

I learned to type on one of these!

After, I ended up wandering into Type Books, an independent bookstore, which is next door. This old fashion typewriter was on display there. It reminded me of the old manual typewriter I learned to type on decades ago!

I was happy that the store had Chang Rae Lee’s new book On Such a Full Sea which I ended up getting.

Read more about bookbinding:

The Art of Bookbinding

Bookbinding 101: Five-hole Pamphlet Stitch

Coptic Stitch Binding Tutorial (on youtube)

 

 

 

Editors and Writers

With Allyson Latta

With Allyson Latta

I was finally able to thank Allyson Latta in person when I met up with her last month. She was a guest speaker at a Markham high school where she spoke to students about her work as a freelance editor.  I was fortunate enough to work with Allyson on my first book which will be released early next year.

Allyson has worked with many prominent Canadian writers including two of my favourites, Marina Nemat and Lawrence Hill. Her website, full of guest posts, interviews, and all things that might interest any writer, is definitely worth checking out. Allyson also teaches memoir writing at the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies.

sweetlandThanks to a quiet March Break, I was able to finish reading a couple of books. One novel I would highly recommend is Michael Crummey’s Sweetland. After visiting Newfoundland a few years ago and falling in love with that province, I couldn’t resist reading this book. Set in a remote island community, our protagonist Moses Sweetland, fakes his own death and stays behind after everyone else relocates.

For more information:

Michael Crummey’s Sweetland is like a song of mourning – a review by The Globe and Mail

Michael Crummey: How I wrote Sweetland – Canada Writes

 

Paperbacks and fresh maple syrup

A horse drawn wagon filled with delicious maple syrup for sale

A horse drawn wagon filled with delicious maple syrup for sale

Local farmers were out selling fresh maple syrup at St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market. The place was packed with people, mostly families out enjoying a sunny March Break day. Located 1.5 hours west of Toronto, this is the largest year-round farmers’ market in Canada.

Along with some wonderful ready-to-eat foods like perogies, souvlaki, and apple fritters, you can find everything from handmade quilts to used vinyl records. I spent quite a bit of time perusing used books, finally getting the following copies to take home:

The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom. I read the book years ago and loved it. It’s a fast read so I can re-read it again fairly quickly. For a novel summary, click here:

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. It’s been on my list to read since 2010! For a summary, click here.

She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb. The cover image has always intrigued me. I’d like to finally get around to reading it. For a summary, click here.

Hope In The Desperate Hour by David Adams Richards. Another book I’ve wanted to read for a while now. For a summary, click here.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Cheers!

Cheers!

I spent the day researching how to write historical fiction. But before that, we went to a local pub to celebrate. My husband’s family is originally from County Tyrone in Northern Ireland.

Some interesting reads about today:

St Patrick’s Day: Who was Saint Patrick and how did Ireland’s patron saint go global?

Famous Irish Writers

St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Toronto, Canada

Guide to Irish Toronto

Ireland Park in Toronto

The top 20 Irish bars and pubs in Toronto by neighbourhood

David Adams Richards

With David Adams Richards at the IFOA

With David Adams Richards at the IFOA

I met up with David Adams Richards this weekend at the International Festival of Authors (IFOA) in Toronto. He was my mentor at The Humber School for Writers.

David is one of the most accomplished writers in Canada. I still can’t believe that I was lucky enough to work with him. At all times, he encouraged me to persevere. We completed the first draft of my novel in only thirty weeks!

David’s new book, Crimes Against My Brother, was released earlier this year (Doubleday Canada).

New book by David Adams Richards

New book by David Adams Richards

 

 

Promoting Korean literature

Jae Kim is currently a student at the University of Toronto. In September of 2013, he founded the University of Toronto Korean English Literature Society (KELS). His goal is to encourage thoughtful reflection of Korean contemporary culture. He shared that while Korean pop music, film, and cuisine have gained tremendous popularity within North American society, books and other literary works by writers of Korean heritage continue to pass under the radar. You can find out more about KELS by visiting its website.

Three GenerationsI just started reading Three Generations by Yom Sang-seop. It’s the first Korean book I’m reading that has been translated into English. The story, set in Japanese-occupied Korea during the 1930s, chronicles the highs and lows of the Jo family. It is considered one of the most influential works of fiction in modern Korean literature. You can read more about Yom Sang-seop’s book here.

 

Writers as readers

Writers love to read. It was my turn to post something on the 11th Floor Writers‘ blog so I asked the members what they were reading. They had a lot to share. Please click here to continue.