Wednesday October 1, 2008
It's Tuesday, three days after the debut of The Next Chapter.
Great title, eh? It was Jacqueline Kirk (she's been my books
producer for almost a decade) who came up with it.
On the days before the launch, I was ruminating on what it means.
And frankly, nervous about the debut. After all these years I
still get nervous starting a new season. And to add starting a new
show to the mix--well, let's just say I no longer have fingernails.
And now episode one is ether. Onto the next, next chapter.
I think this is a great time for a program about Canadian writing.
As Margaret Atwood said last week in the Globe " For decades,
we've been punching above our weight on the world stage in writing,
in popular music and in many other fields". (Margaret, by the way,
will be on The Next Chapter October 11th, talking about debt as a
recurring motif in religion, literature and the structure of society).
And I don't think we've had an exclusively Canadian writing program
since Robert Weaver's groundbreaking series Anthology. So, high
And yes, I'm a homer. The books I read, even not for work, are Canadian.
I love mysteries and Peter Robinson, Louise Penny, Brad Smith and Bill
Deverell are on my bedside table. Bonnie Stern and Rose Murray and their
new cookbooks comprise my gastroporn. The music on my I-pod is all by
Canadian artists, many of whom you'll hear on TNC. (I do have to confess to
having Gnarls Barkley on the pod. I just love "Crazy").
And I'm a homer in more ways than one. My studio is at home now, as well,
a cabin that is thirty paces from the house.
Enclosed is a snapshot of it and flowers I received from a friend on the day
it opened (um, that would be yesterday). Tempting as it is to work in a sweatshirt
and jogging pants (like I jog), I will still get dressed up for interviews. And put lipstick
on, as I did even early in the morning on Sounds Like Canada. The guests deserve
my being at my best. Or as close as I can come.
This week, I hope you'll tune in for Miriam Toews and Joseph Boyden. Great books
from the both of them. Oh, and Tom the poetry guy better deliver on his promise to
read a poem...
Previous Comments (8)
Wonderful showc, October 1, 2008 7:41 PM
Hello Sheila: Your new program is a great idea. You were always at your best when you discussed books. I am looking forward to some very interesting converstions between you and your guests.Edith Hampton, October 2, 2008 3:13 PM
Hi Shelagh, so happy that you have this opportunity. I'll have to rely on podcast, because you're on opposite the opera (CBC is SO conflicted these days!)
I so enjoyed hearing you speak in Inverness at the tribute to Alistair Macleod this summer and hope you will have the opportunity to have Frank Macdonald on the new show one day soon (and perhaps other CB authors as well). Keep up the good work, I so appreciate your presence.Mike Hunter, October 3, 2008 2:51 PM
I miss your company in the mornings .New job doesn't let me listen to the radio all day anymore either ,but I can look at the computer.
I am writing this little note to wish you well in your new season .I won't say break a leg , because I remember , it has been done .Your mention of Louise Penny gave me a giggle because I always get a little dizzy when you talk to her .You really do sound alike.I do hope I get a chance to listen to your"Next Chapter " from time to time in the evenings .All the best !
Hey! There you are! I was waiting for the summer to be over so I could hear you again! I miss you terribly in the morning. Why did you start the new show? What happened to Sounds like Canada? I hope all is well.Leanne Penberthy, October 4, 2008 10:49 PM
I just listened to your first show...a week late...on podcast (Saturdays are a challenge!!)
Well.........I didn't want to be disappointed. I really didn't. But I was.
Shelagh, you are so skilled at bringing disparate voices/opinions/possibilities together...creating verbal exciting 'music'. In this current format it is (at least so far) just two...you and the writer. I kept waiting for a build up...rather like reading a novel and heading for the crescendo(s)...but it didn't happen.
I wonder if you would consider tinkering with your format...to stretch beyond you and the author...and including other voices? To stay with the metaphor above.....lots of solo and duet, but as well, backup and support from a resonating chorus/orchestra. That chorus, in more literal terms, would be other voices......with you and the author.....away from you but with the author or with you and not the auther, and always in discussion pertinent to the book/subject/theme at hand...there are so many ways you could add compelling dissonance.
Your beloved place in the upper echelons of Canadian broadcasting includes your ribald laugh, your hittotheheart questions, your so apparent passionate Canadianness (maybe I just made up this word). I just didn't hear and/or feel that in your first show.
Carole EarleCarole Earle, October 5, 2008 3:53 AM
Will you be featuring some writers of science fiction, fantasy, and other types of Canadian literature?Chris, October 17, 2008 1:15 AM
Glad you didn't totally disappear from the radio scene. I've missed you all summer. Love your laugh and everything else that is you.. with or without lipstick !
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