The Canadian Writers' Collective

Writing, and writerly tangents

Friday, July 28, 2006

Summer Fiction Issue

By Anne Chudobiak

We are in Ottawa, my hometown, for the weekend. An anniversary. My husband’s grandparents' sixtieth.

Saturday morning, we head for the bookstore. You know the one. Beside Winners?

I want a copy of Ottawa Magazine, but the store isn’t open. We are absurdly early. We’d have a coffee but are convinced that Starbucks gives you a big bum.

Beside the café, there is a store, doors open, sporty clothing inside. At the back, there is a wall lined with shoes.

“I need sandals,” my husband says. “Which ones?”

“These?” I say. “They’re all ugly.”

We have been married for five years.

I leave him with the flip-flops. The bookstore should be open by now and I want my magazine. Summer fiction. Four stories by Ottawa writers.

I’m curious about what it’s like to live and write in Ottawa. Should I have moved back, taken a language job at some high-tech company, sent my work to Ottawa Magazine?

I may have to wait to find out.

On the shelf, there are more literary journals than I have ever heard of--Nashwaak, Queen’s Quarterly, Windsor Review--but no Ottawa summer fiction.

“We’re getting a hundred and fifty copies,” the clerk tells me. “On Monday.”

I grab a Toronto Life (in spite of the cover) and head for Philosophy, where I can see my husband. New shoes. Not bad, really.


Blogger Andrew Tibbetts said...

Yikes! That Toronto Life cover... what can I say. But those writers are great. Let us know how you like the stories.

Fri Jul 28, 08:32:00 am GMT-4  
Blogger Tricia Dower said...

Poor Margaret Atwood having her name on such a cover. What were the editors thinking?

Thanks for a fun blog, Anne.

Fri Jul 28, 12:57:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger craig said...

Starbucks gives you a big bum?!!! Who knew.

That cover is a ripoff of the Esquire issue, I think they had Christie Brinkley holding up the mag in front of her shirtless bod.
Pretty cheesey way to sell mags.

T.O. Life has changed a lot over the years, I actually used to do a fair amount of work for them in the late eighties early nineties - I haven't picked up an issue for a few years, but I go the sense it had jumped the shark.

I love the "breeziness" of your storytelling, Anne - great stuff. I have checked out the Winsor Review (my oldest daughter was going there), it looked like a good mag.

Fri Jul 28, 01:10:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger J.A. McDougall said...

Sixty years, my goodness! Does that bespectacled sweetheart belong to you? Enjoy your weekend of reading and visiting.

Fri Jul 28, 02:23:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Anne C. said...

Yes, she's mine. More about her next blog.

Fri Jul 28, 04:07:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Steve Gajadhar said...

Dang it! I miss Ottawa, I love that city.

Fri Jul 28, 09:14:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger sass said...

i don't get it. starbucks gives you a bug bum, like physically a large ass?

or a big bum, like it bums you out? a caffeine high that follows with a nasty tweaking?

Tue Aug 01, 12:31:00 pm GMT-4  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A disproportionately big bum.

Tue Aug 01, 06:55:00 pm GMT-4  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enjoyed your article; the modest disappointments in life. Diane, The Maple Room

PS You should consider joining the Ottawa Valley Writers' Guild.

Mon Aug 07, 10:33:00 am GMT-4  
Blogger Patricia said...

you writing makes me feel peaceful...thanks, i have loved this picture since you put it up and now it means so much more to me, you have a lovely daughter and is that your grandfather?

Sounds and looks like you had a great time. xoox

Tue Aug 08, 03:09:00 am GMT-4  

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