Christine Miscione

LA PRIMAVERA

Bryan Prince Bookseller

READING FROM “CARAFOLA,”

ALONGSIDE PAMELA MORDECAI (“RED JACKET”)

AND GARY BARWIN (“I, DR. GREENBLATT, ORTHODONTIST, 251-1457”)

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The Great-Mini-South-Western-Ontario Prose & Poetry Reunion Tour

FOUR DAYS, FOUR CITIES

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The Chiaroscuro Reading Series, Toronto

LAUNCHING POST-SCRIPTS TO DARKNESS 6,

IN WHICH MY STORY “HALLOUMI DETOX” WAS PUBLISHED

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Royal Botanical Gardens’ Lilac Dell

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Photo Credits: Michelino Patricelli

The Great-Mini-South-Western-Ontario Prose & Poetry Reunion Tour

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Two years later, The Great-Mini-South-Western-Ontario Prose & Poetry is back for a reunion tour, this time reading with an eclectic mix of writers, and making stops in Peterborough, Hamilton, Guelph & Toronto.

 

EVENT DETAILS:

May 2, Peterborough, @ 3pm

Where: Curated, 5-203 Simcoe Street,

Readers:
Christine Miscione
Michael e. Casteels
Andrew Nurse
Justin Million

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May 3rd, Hamilton, LitLive, @ 7:30pm

Where: Homegrown Hamilton, 27 King William St.

 Readers:
Michael e. Casteels
Nicholas Papaxanthos
Ariel Gordon
Andrew Forbes
Valerie Nielsen
Kate Marshall Flaherty
Patrick Friesen

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May 4th, Guelph, @ 7:30pm

Where: The Bookshelf, 41 Quebec Street

Readers: Christine Miscione
Michael e. Casteels
Sarah Richardson
Bieke Stengos

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May 5th, Toronto, Boneshaker Reading Series, @ 7:00pm

Where: St. Clair/Silverthorn branch of the Toronto Public Library, 1748 St. Clair Ave. West

Readers:
Christine Miscione
Michael e. Casteels

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For more details:

http://www.puddlesofskypress.com/

https://vocamuspress.wordpress.com/

TWENTY NINE

I rang in my twenty-ninth in dreamy Montreal, eating mountains of French pastries and reading alongside these cool cats–Nicholas Papaxanthos, JP Karwacki, and Joel Asa Miller–at Aunja Cafe. My cup runneth over.

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FIVE READINGS & AN AWARD

ReLit Award 2014

It’s a great honour to be the recipient of the 2014 ReLit Award for my short story collection, Auxiliary Skins. ReLit is hosted and respected by writers I admire, and driven by values I align myself with. Big thanks to Kenneth Harvey for organizing the award each year, and to Exile for taking a chance on me. Auxiliary Skins

 

Mansfield Fall Launch Tour

(December)

‘Twas a great misfortune that I fell ill with pneumonia right as the Mansfield Fall Launch Tour got underway. I’m happy I could make it to four of the five reading events (one of those via Skype!) and that I had the opportunity to launch my new book, Carafola, alongside poets Laura Farina, Nelson Ball and Frank Davey. Thank you to Stuart Ross and Denis DeKlerk for their tireless work putting together the tour.

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Interim Reading Series: Inaugural Event!

(January)

Thanks to Michael Casteels for inviting me to read at the first Interim Reading in Kingston! I read alongside some super-fine writers: Jason Heroux and Annie-Marie Turza, and got to see many people I love. (Photo credits: Allison Chisholm)

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TAKE FLIGHT AND WRITE 2014

I had the opportunity to be the Burlington Public Library’s Take Flight & Write fiction judge again this year. Below are interviews with the first and second place winners of the Grade 7/8 and Grade 11/12 fiction categories. These brilliant young folks give me great hope for the next generation of Canadian literature.

Click on their photos (after each interview) to read their winning stories!

GRADE 7/8 – First Place – HENRY MCMANN

1. Your story, K.I.A., is a compelling, candid story about the inglorious realities of war. Explain how it came about—what inspired you? The original story was a piece of writing for my class, a project centered on Remembrance Day and Canada’s involvement in conflicts. Several ideas for stories ran through my head though none were all that great, eventually the idea for a soldier on the front lines in World War I came to me and I rolled with it. The original story was around 3100 words and had an extra setting in World War II, in the Battle of the Atlantic. The inspiration didn’t come from one place, a bit of the motive was that I had a week to write a good story!

2. Some people believe that a writer can only write about what he/she has experienced. Do you agree with this? Why, or why not? If this were true then there would be no fiction genre, historians wouldn’t be able to write about the past and there would be a lot fewer journalists. Inspiration doesn’t have to come from experience, it can come from smells, sounds and the furthest thing from the actual experience.

3. If you had to give advice to a budding writer on how to write a winning story, what would it be? I’d tell them that they should make it true and make it good. I’d use inspiring quotes like, “Get ‘r done,” and “Aren’t we all artists in our own special way?” I would also try and help them by proof reading their work and being critical. No one wants nothing more to be right, so if I say it’s ‘good’ then they’ll try and prove me wrong and make it ‘stunning’.

4. What’s your favourite word and why? ‘Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis, I’m a fan of the way it rolls off the tongue.

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GRADE 7/8 – Second Place – RENESSA VISSER

1. A Toga for Billy is a sweet, tug-at-my-heart-strings story, which captures that special moment in childhood when practicality is trumped by imagination and pleasure. Explain how it came about. It took a long time for me to come up with a suitable idea for this writing contest. For a long time I struggled with different ideas, researched them, started writing, and gave up until one evening when I was talking with my parents about an idea for a story, and my dad commented on a picture that was displayed on our picture frame. It was an old photo of my brother (8 yrs old) dressed in a toga costume and we began to imagine what a good story it would make. I played with the idea, and as an experiment, started to write my story. I got pretty excited about it, and in the last week before the deadline I had A Toga For Billy finished.

2. Paulo Coelho is quoted as saying, “That is why I write – to try to turn sadness into longing, solitude into remembrance.” Why do you write? I write because I love to create something that expresses great feeling. I write to create a world that you can imagine and identify with, whether you are young or old.

3. Explain your writing process. My writing process starts with brainstorming for an idea. This is often hard, but I find looking at old paintings or pictures gives me an idea for a story. As soon as I have an inspiring idea, I sit down and write voraciously, writing every day until I’ve finished, and then I read it and edit as much as I can. Often I’ll send my stories to a relative or an adult friend to be edited from a different perspective. As soon as it’s polished up, I’m done!

4. What’s your favourite word and why? My favourite word is insouciance: lighthearted unconcern or happiness. I like the sound and feel of the word, and how much expression it conveys, instead of being boring.

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GRADE 11/12 – First Place – VICTORIA (TORI) WALKER

1.Your story, Fiber Optics, is a brilliant depiction of one of those memories from childhood that seems impervious to time and distance—a memory that is just as vivid now as it was in the moment. Explain the genesis of your story. How did it come about? Fiber Optics is really just a combination of a true (or as true as I remember) story from my past and an interesting mood I was in one day at the library. There was not much fore-thought or planning involved – I just had an hour to kill and a lot on my mind.

2. Stephen King is quoted as saying, “Fiction is the truth inside the lie.” What do you think he meant by this, and do you agree? I think he means that there is always an underlying message or truth within fiction. I definitely agree; good writing is always trying to get you to see something bigger than the story whether it’s about the author, life, the world or yourself. And if it’s not then there’s probably not much point in reading it.
3. If you had to give advice to a budding writer on how to write a winning story, what would it be? Well, considering I am still a budding writer myself, I don’t necessarily feel entitled to give that advice. Also I find writing confusing as hell. But I guess what sometimes (there’s never an always with writing) works for me is just saying what I feel. Don’t think too much about it and if you’re going to follow any sort of rules or guidelines make sure you made them up yourself.

4. What’s your favourite word, and why? I have to be honest, I really don’t have a favourite word.

Read her winning story here.

 

GRADE 11/12 – Second Place – ANASTASIA GROMOVA

1.Your story, The Wolves, impresses on the reader a deftness of syntax, structure, and description. There’s a kind of controlled barrenness and lack of decoration to the narrative that feels perfectly emblematic of the forest in winter and the narrator’s aloneness. Explain how this story came about. It was a school assignment in a class I was taking – to write a short story. I actually went through a pretty painful process in coming up with ideas. However, I also recently watched the movie Hanna, and at the time it kind of kept me in that winter world and that’s how the reader is invited into it with this story. Also, I listened to a lot of mood setting music which kept me in the moment. I also feel it’s important to mention that this isn’t the whole story. I had to trim it because the original The Wolves was above the word limit.

2. Flannery O’Connor is quoted as saying, “I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” Why do you write? I write because I can create worlds that don’t actually exist. For me it’s all about making an impact on your emotions – if you feel what the characters feel, then I have succeeded. I guess it’s also about self-reflection and sometimes you think your story means something and then years later the meaning changes as you go back.
3. Explain your writing process. I start with an idea. I plan it in my head – all the plot points, characters and the punch line. For this story, I sat in front of a piece of paper for a week and didn’t start writing until the 8th day. I tried a lot of writing prompts and different ideas: I made webs, lists of character traits and questions to help me along but bottom line is, I need an idea. An idea that I am passionate about and that just spills out on the page. After that, I wrote and edited several versions so it evolved into what you can see today.

4.What’s your favourite word, and why? I don’t have one. I thought of picking one word that I like but the truth is I like a lot of them. Transcend, inferno, surreal, wanderer – there are so many. I don’t have a favourite word because I think it’s the combinations of words that make them beautiful.

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http://www.bpl.on.ca/explore/for-teens

MANSFIELD FALL LAUNCH TOUR

Rewind to autumn 2010 in Kingston, Ontario. I’m a wide-eyed Hamiltonian-transplant, about to take on the seemingly formidable English Literature Masters at Queen’s. Except I have one teeny-tiny problem: I’m in love—and not that saccharine, marshmallowy puppylove that melts if the fire gets too hot, but the all-consuming nothing-else-matters obsessive kind of love. The kind of love that has you making illogical and extravagant propositions, like: If the computer repairman saves those thirty pages of prose on my now-defunct computer—thirty pages I just wrote this weekend, that are my first attempt at being a ‘writer’, that are the best thing I’ve ever written ever—then I will not take off to Rome in two days, even though I already have the $900 one-way ticket. Instead, I will take it as a divine sign that I am supposed to stay home this summer and write. The computer repairman was able to save my files and I cancelled my flight. I then sat down every morning that summer and let a novel fall out of me. It was my first “real” work, and so brazen and irreverent, like nothing I had ever written or thought I’d write. Once it was done, everywhere I looked there were more and more stories and words and peculiar gems to adore. I was head-over-heels in love with writing.

That September, I had no idea what a Writer-in-Residence was, but somehow, fortuitously, found myself putting together the most gender-neutral manila envelope I could (which really just meant writing in black pen, small cap letters, and signing everything C. Miscione) and putting the first thirty pages of my novel MS, raw and uncensored, inside. I slipped this envelope under the door of Watson Hall room 529, and changed my life.

Stuart Ross was the Writer-in-Residence that year. He read every single page of my novel. He introduced me to what it meant to be a writer. Because of him, I went to readings at the Grad Club (my first ever); talked words over sushi and pho; met other writers, many of whom have become my best friends; learned what chapbooks are and ephemera and writing prompts and discovered that that is very often an extraneous word. The neighbourhood I lived in felt like a reincarnation of Greenwich Village—so many artists and writers in charmingly rundown buildings, and me and a bunch of writer-friends would get together for writing workshops in our tiny apartments. I continued to write and write and write—new stories, but also edit and reedit the novel. By spring, though, I had to put the novel away in a drawer and not look at it again for a while.

Last November (2013), at Meet the Presses Indie Literary Market in Toronto, Stuart approached me and asked if I’d like to resurrect my novel. He said it was time for it to be published. I told him I’d think about it—procrastinating, intending to say no. Thing is: I was petrified of the novel. It was four years ago and intense and flagrant. It shouted and swore and didn’t give a fuck what anyone thought of it. It’s everything I am not. I was too scared.

After much from encouragement from Stuart, much mulling and pacing and questioning, I finally decided, yes, I’d resurrect it, and subsequently spent a year of my live resuscitating and taming and freeing a beast. It’s been a long journey, but I can happily say the novel is now fleshy and published (!), and will be launched this week during the Mansfield Press Fall Launch Tour. I’m thrilled because I get to: a) finally ride in the Mansfieldmobile, which I remember seeing, back when I lived in Kingston, zooming by me and my friend towards the Grad Club; I turned to my friend and said, “I hope I can be part of that one day;” b) read among some incredibly gifted Canadian writers as they launch their new books: Nelson Ball, Laura Farina, and Frank Davey; c) be surrounded by some of my dearest friends as I launch my novel into the world four years after its conception.

THE BOOK TOUR

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 30TH 2014
Adelaide Hunter Hoodless Homestead, 359 Blue Lake Road · 2pm
Mykonos Restaurant, 572 Adelaide St N, London · 7pm

MONDAY, DECEMBER 1ST 2014
The Monarch Tavern, 12 Clinton St, Toronto · 7:30pm

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 2ND 2014
Impresario Artisan Market, 37 King Street West, Cobourg · 7pm

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 3RD 2014
Black Squirrel Books & Tea, 1073 Bank St., Ottawa · 7pm

 

BOOKS BEING LAUNCHED:

Some Talk of Being Human, poetry by Laura Farina

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Poems Suitable for Current Material Conditions, poetry by Frank Davey

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Some Mornings, poetry by Nelson Ball

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Carafola, my new book!

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Vanderbilt/Exile Weekend Imminent

This weekend, Exile Editions will host the Vanderbilt/Exile CVC Short Fiction Competition Gala and Launch in Toronto. I’m very happy to be reading alongside this year’s winners at the Dora Keogh Pub, Danforth Area, on Monday June 23rd, 7pm. Come on out if you’re in the area!

For info on the events: http://www.theexilewriters.com/

Monday CVC invite

LITLIVE JUNE 2014

A humid June night. Homegrown Cafe in the Great Hammer. LitLive Reading Series. I had the good fortune of reading alongside some fine crafters of the literary form: Erin Moure/Chus Pato, Aisha Sasha John, Rona Shaffran, Joanna Lawson, and Christian McPherson — with Chris Pannell as host.

A few photos from the night (thank you Gary Barwin)

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LITLIVE — JUNE 1ST

THIS SUNDAY JUNE 1ST. HOMEGROWN CAFE, HAMILTON. 7:30. BE THERE!

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Two exciting events coming up!

First: Sunday April 12th (2pm) at the Hamilton Public Library I’ll be reading at the Hearing Voices event alongside writers Mike Algera, Denver Jermyn, and Teresa Di Matteo.

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Second: Thursday May 1st I’ll be part of the L3 Writers’ Conference in Barrie: Ontario’s largest high school literary event.

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