Reading as an integral part of writing

For many years, while my daughters were young, and even when in their early teens, we’d dedicate some time almost every day to reading out loud. It was a habit we had developed as part of their bedtime ritual, and that we kept up as a way to bond over something that had nothing to do with homework or chores or fights with their friends. It grounded my daughters in the three languages we spoke at home, and in stories, and I missed it when they started preferring to read on their own.

This summer, my youngest was home from university, and we rediscovered the joy of reading to each other. Though she didn’t finish the reading of War and Piece to us, the hours we sat around and listened and laughed about Tolstoy’s descriptions were some of the best we had all summer.

Over the past few years, I’ve rediscovered how reading my own work helps me relate to the rhythm and pace of my writing, and how feeling the words in my body helps me edit and polish a piece. I have also started going to public literary readings, which sometimes feels like the adult substitute of reading to each other at bedtime. This fall I too am becoming part of the “reading” literary scene in Toronto.

I started out during Toronto International Film Festival, with a reading of my environmental haiku and tanka at a demonstration organized by Extinction Rebellion.

Next, in a little more than a week, an anthology with writing from members of the Lit Mag Love collective will launch. I’m so proud of my community of writers from the Lit Mag Love Course! We’re launching our first anthology, featuring 25 writers with work they published in journals—and the tales of how they published.

You can sign up for your FREE copy and find tickets to our (online) launch readings here: http://bit.ly/LitMagLovePub , and there will be public online readings so people can listen to our pieces, wherever they happen to be.

I’m both excited and terrified about this.

Later in the fall, I’ll be part of the Emerging Writers Reading series at Glad Day Bookshop, but that is something I’ll talk more about in a later blog post.


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