Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Kind words

AuthorsAloud received a nice reminder today that it serves a valuable purpose. Terri Ryan, a teacher at Caledonia High School in Terrace, BC, wrote to say this:

"Your website has become a routine part of my English 11 programme.  Once a week I click on the website, send it through the projector and turn up the volume to hear not just the readings but the insights from each of you.  One hundred and twenty students love your website!  We order books, we share them, and we critic them. We can fit three readings in one hour and students love to hear your voices.  As songwriters are to their songs, so the author is to the story. 
Love your Website!"

It's great to hear, and a spur to keep working toward the relaunch of AuthorsAloud, which will bring more authors, and more features. So stay tuned.


Monday, March 17, 2008

Why we've been silent

If you're a frequent or even occasional visitor to AuthorsAloud, you'll have noticed that nothing much has changed for the last month or so. That's because some weeks ago the hard drive containing all of the page files for AuthorsAloud decided to flee this mortal coil and enacted a quiet but, in its implications, a rather Shakespearean death scene.

In other words the damn hard drive failed, and the AuthorsAloud files, constituting hundreds of hours of work, went poof.

Because I, your servant, had been thinking seriously about backing up all those files, but had not yet put thought into action, it means that AuthorsAloud in its entirety has to be rebuilt from scratch. Thanks to the magic of the internet, the site still exists on line, as you can plainly see. However, until the files with which it is made are reconstituted, the site can't be expanded with more readings. I can add to the blog, but that's it.

But don't worry. Work has begun. It may take a while, but AuthorsAloud will start growing again. I'll update you on the progress as it... progresses.


Monday, February 18, 2008

The saddest news

Today in the Globe and Mail I learned of the death of Val Ross, an author and frequent writer on Canada's literary scene. 

Beyond the personal shock of this news is the realization of what an enormous loss this is for Canada, and Canadian writers. I worked with Val some years ago when I was an editor at the Globe's Toronto magazine. She was inarguably the smartest and the kindest person I've ever worked with. She was generous with her time and her attention. She treated everyone she met with remarkable grace and humour — the dimples in her cheeks were always springing into action with her ready and rather devilish smile. And she knew her stuff. 

She was a tremendous friend to Canadian literature. Intensely knowledgeable, she wrote about the people and the struggles of the book industry with enormous depth and awareness. We are, as a community, poorer without her. She was also a personal friend, one I didn't get to see enough, but one I feel lucky to have known at all. I'm stunned and saddened by her loss. 

Trevor Cole

Monday, January 14, 2008

2008 begins with murder

I'm not one to take that sort of thing lightly, and neither is Sally Cooper. The first new reading of the new year brings us the novelist and short-story writer turning her eye to the morbid. In her insight, Cooper tells us that years ago she was fascinated with murder, and that her new novel from Dundurn Press, Tell Everything, springs (or seeps?) from that obsession. The reading Cooper gives us is lighter than you might expect, almost absurdist in tone. But it gives us a subtle sense of the darkness to come. Be sure to give her a listen.