Q&A with #CanadaWrites winner Navin Vaswani
And the iPod Touch goes to... Navin Vaswani of Toronto, Ontario! Read what Navin has to say about the participating in our first-ever Twitter Challenge.
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I'm a journalist/writer in the Toronto area with a passion for the city's horrendous sports teams. I enjoy candlelight dinners, long walks along the beach, all that good stuff, and sports. Baseball and hockey are what I'd call my "bread and butter." I also enjoy eating actual bread and butter. But I enjoy mostly sports. And reading and writing, too, of course. And Twitter. I like to Tweet, a lot, as silly as that is to write.
What do you usually write?
Most of the writing I do and have done in the past has been sports-related. I blog mostly about baseball at NotGraphs, FanGraphs.com's alternative baseball blog, and about hockey, every now and then on my personal website. I've only recently begun to dabble in fiction, and short stories. I wrote my first short story back in April for NYC Midnight, an American company that regularly hosts competitions for writers and filmmakers. I had to pay to take part (your money guarantees you feedback from NYC Midnight's staff), and was assigned my short story genre and topic -- a drama about a family pet -- but very much enjoyed the experience. I'm hoping to write more short stories in the future, and will be participating in the CBC's Short Story Prize competition.
What did you think of the experience?
I loved it. I thought it was a great idea on your behalf, and really enjoyed it. I've long been following @arjunbasu on Twitter, and have always been amazed at what he's able to do with only 140 characters. We had even fewer to work with thanks to the #canadawrites hashtag, and that made the experience all the more enjoyable and challenging.
How long did it take you to write the entry?
Not very long. Since the challenge was open all day, whatever popped into my head, I put it out there. I had a number of tweets entered into the challenge. Most of the time I spent on the challenge was editing my short stories to at or just under 140 characters.
How did the winning story come to you?
The Toronto Maple Leafs were top of mind, considering they'd played, and lost, the night before the challenge, and allowed Philadelphia's Jaromir Jagr -- future NHL hall of famer Jaromir Jagr -- three bloody breakaways in the process. Jagr scored on two of those breakaways. His second goal put the Leafs away for good, and had me reaching for the scotch on a Monday night. So there was a bit of a personal twist to the story, for sure.
You re-Tweeted some other entries, which ones were your favourites?
I very much enjoyed Brendan Murphy's story about a book club. I even showed it to a friend. I thought it was brilliant; one would never think a book club would be filled with so much drama. I also enjoyed Nick Lewis' short story about Marcy looking for her cat. I found it hilarious in its simplicity.
The Leafs feature in two of the entries you sent in. Are they a source of inspiration for you?
The Leafs are both a source of inspiration and incredible frustration for me. But they're my team, for better or worse, and it's going to be pretty awesome when they win the Stanley Cup.
Tell us about your blog Sports and the City.
I've been writing regularly for about five years now, and Sports And The City is where it all began. I love to write, I love sports, I love Toronto, and its awful teams, and Sports And The City is where all those passions came together. Over the years, Sports And The City's mantra became: "I miss the goddamn playoffs." Unfortunately, it remains true today.