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Thursday, May 31, 2007

We had fish last night

trout macro, originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald.

Trout + BBQ= Goodness

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Go Sens Go!

Go Sens Go!, originally uploaded by johnwmacdonald.

I took this pic outside the Library and Archives Canada building on Wellington last evening, 29 May 2007.

bill bissett dewing a reeding

FYI: has used one of my event photos from a bill bissett reading at jwcurry's Room 302 Books Hit'N' Run Lecture Series #2 where bissett read from his 1971 work, "Rush: what fuckan theory: a study uv language". Tomorrow night, bissett launches his latest book of poetry, ths is erth thees ar peopul, at the This Ain't the Rosedale Library bookstore (483 Church Street).

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Alexandre Trudeau

Alexandre Trudeau spoke at an Ottawa International Writers Festival event 29 May 2007.

With Alexandre Trudeau $12 General / $10 Student or Senior / $8 Festival Member
at the National Library and Archives, 395 Wellington St.

Monday, May 28, 2007

800th Blog Post

Some Forget-me-not flowers from my back yard.

Some wiki trivia:
"The Forget-me-not is traditionally worn by Newfoundlanders on 1 July in remembrance of those Newfoundlanders that died during the First World War. 1 July was chosen because of the high number of casualties suffered by the Royal Newfoundland Regiment on 1 July 1916 during the Battle of the Somme."

And some blog trivia:
This weblog of mine is now averaging close to 9500 page views per month. That is a huge increase since the days when I first started posting when the numbers were in the range of anywhere between 30-50 per month. Most visitors, however, are coming for the pics of Brigitte Bardot, Lance Armstrong, and Bill Clinton -- all of which are tops in the image search rankings. Although of late, a couple of recent blog-related highlights have included my photos of the heart-shaped shadow photo called Love-Song and the recent pen & ink sketch of Michael Ondaatje.

Cut Dandelion

My token annual dandelion photo.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Matthew Alexander MacDonald

photos:(c); music:(c) Feist.

I guess, like a lot of other people, I have had little Elgin-Alexander Fraser on the mind of late. He's the little tyke who was a huge Ottawa Senators fan. Tragically, he passed away in Ottawa last Saturday hours after the team won the eastern division title, giving them the right to play off for the Stanley Cup. To that end, and not to take anything for granted, I created this retrospective of our own son, Matthew. Hope you like it.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Michael Ondaatje Auction for Literacy

I will be checking my email till 11:59pm tonight to see if there are any last-minute bidders out there who want to support my ad hoc auction for literacy. Bidding amounts will be posted on Flickr photo page.
Michael Ondaatje Sketch

The auction is now closed. See here for details:

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Suzanne Buffam

Poet Suzanne Buffam, formerly of Vancouver - now based out of Chicago, stands in front of the mic at Tree Reading Series Tuesday evening. The last time I remember seeing her in town was in 2005 at the Ottawa International Writers Festival. It's been a couple of months since I was last at the Tree Reading Series and I found lots of new faces in the crowd. Promising. The next reading event for Tree features poets Susan Elmslie and Barry Dempster on June 12th, 2007.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Margaret Macpherson

Margaret Macpherson, who is off to perform for you folks in western Canada shortly, stopped off in Ottawa for a couple of public readings. Apparently she had a Saturday reading at the Ottawa Public Library during the Sens winning game. You can guess at the attendance...Oh well. But tonight she was the featured reader at the Dusty Owl Reading Series back at at it's regular venue, Swizzles. An animated and completely gregarious person, she easily won me over tonight. Macpherson is currently touring her debut novel, Released. It's published by Signature Editions.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Decalogue 2 minus 1

Top to bottom, left to right:
rob mclennan, Nadine McInnis, Emily Falvey, John-James Ford, Clare Latremouille, John Lavery, Alison Gresik, Ian Roy, Gabriella Goliger. Missing: Matthew Firth. All read from Chaudiere Books newest publication Decalogue 2: Ten Ottawa Fiction Writers on Friday 18 May, 2007 at the Mercury Lounge in the Byward Market in Ottawa.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Day 1 of Bidding Action on Michael Ondaatje Sketch

Current bid is at $100.00 CDN
More information with photograph of the sketch can be found here:


Please contact me,
by Thursday 24 May 2007 by 11:59pm EST with your best offer.

Decalogue 2: ten Ottawa fiction writers

Come out this evening for the Chaudiere Books fiction launch of Decalogue 2: ten Ottawa fiction writers. Hosted by publisher rob mclennan.
Friday, May 18, 2007 ( 7:00pm - 10:00pm )
@ The Mercury Lounge - 56 Byword Street, Ottawa, ON

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Everyone's a winner, baby

photo: - detail from last page

A positive message straight from Ottawa photographer and pro photoblogger Tony Fouhse. I won a copy of his spiral bound six page portfolio booklet, In Dreamland (16 photos) from reading his blog last month. One the cover is one of his photos from '4 days in Ohio' series. It was delivered in my mail today. He's especially in my thoughts as he's going through some health issues at the moment. Get well soon, Mr. Fouhse.

Michael Ondaatje sketch

I have posted an original pen & ink sketch of Michael Ondaatje on Flickr. Bidding starts @ $2.00.

Nairne Holtz

Nairne Holtz appeared for a reading at Ottawa's Venus Envy introducing her debut novel "The Skin Beneath". It's in the genre of a lesbian mystery novel and is published by Insomniac Press. The last time I had read this type of genre novel was when Saskatoon novelist Anthony Bidulka came into town (remember those generous door prizes he gave out?) and read at the Tree Reading Series from his novel Tapas on the Ramblas: A Russell Quant Mystery (2005). Nairne and Anthony, as you might suspect, share the same publisher.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Michael Ondaatje

Tonight, Ottawa’s Elizabeth Hay hosts an evening with one of the world’s most acclaimed authors, Booker Prize winner Michael Ondaatje, reading from his eagerly anticipated new novel, Divisadero, and answering audience questions. More info at Ottawa International Writers Festival website.

Also in town is the lovely and talented Nairne Holtz. She's reading from her book The Skin Beneath which starts at 8:00 pm at Venus Envy, 320 Lisgar. Also featured are readings by Megan Butcher and Jennifer Whiteford.
UPDATE: 10:30pm

I went specifically tonight to take a photo of Mr. Ondaatje but at the last minute, literally, his (anti?) publicist came to our seats in the auditorium and warned us photogs not to take any photos during the event. I respected this request. But she also said there was to be no photography during the book signing after the interview. No (reasonable) reason was given for this, nor did I ask for one. I just thought this was odd behaviour. I was going to buy his new book but passed after hearing this. Anyway, I during the interview portion of the evening I whipped out my moleskin notepad and drew a pen & ink sketch of Mr. Ondaatje on stage. A photo would probably show him in better light... I was thinking that I would auction off this sketch and all the proceeds would go to the OIWF and their literacy fundraising. What do you think? [The sketch is posted on Flickr.]

In any event, I left after the reading with no photographic record. So, I headed straight for the Venus Envy reading event and met up with author Nairne Holtz to buy her latest book and have a brief chat with Jen and Megan. As Nairne had no apparent hang-ups about getting her photograph taken I politely requested a short photo-shoot after her reading. Happily, she obliged. A photo is forthcoming. Thanks Nairne!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Quill Blog

Quill & Quire magazine posted one of my event photos from the recently held Ottawa International Writers Festival. According to the byline I am now labeled a 'literary photoblogger'. Could be worse I guess. ;-)

Monday, May 14, 2007 acquires

Friday, May 11, 2007

Nova Scotian Aunts Reading In My Library

Sisters Eunice and Rita MacDonald are up for a visit this week to Ottawa to see the folks and visit their grand nephew, Matthew.

Rita took home a copy of Frances Itani's "Deafening" (signed first ed.), and for Eunice a copy of Dalton Trumbo's "Johnny Got His Gun" should make for some interesting, traumatic reading...

Thursday, May 10, 2007

First Swim

Matthew took a splash in his new kiddy pool today. It was a balmy 27 degrees.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Matthew & Mom

Matthew and Mom were out in the tulips on Saturday next to Dow's Lake.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Sean Miller

If you've been out to the many literary events in Ottawa, especially the events at the Ottawa International Writers Festival, you're bound to meet basically the same group of people year after year. This is certainly the case for short story writer Sean Miller. Last week I met him again at one of the last festival events this year. It was then that Sean and I arranged a photo shoot for today. And what a beautiful day it was outside. Couldn't be better weather to go for an outside shoot.

I was also eager to get in touch with Sean since Ottawa poet rob mclennan mentioned Sean Miller in one of his blog entries way back in December 2006:
"I got an email recently from Ottawa's Sean Miller, who has probably been to more events at the ottawa international writers festival than anyone else, apart from the organizers & perhaps even myself, telling me that he's put together a website of his short fiction."

The above photo of the two of us was taken at the last of our photo locations on Sparks Street in front of the Bank of Canada. Other photo ops along the way included some portraits done in Sean's apartment, several shots in the Byward Market area and along Sussex Drive. Thanks for your time today, Sean. See you out and about at the upcoming events!