Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Up and Down with Toronto writer Lorette C. Luzajic

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Up and Down with Toronto writer Lorette C. Luzajic

By Lorette C. Luzajic

Weird Monologues for a Rainy Life (irreverent ramblings from the end of the world) is everything a book isn’t supposed to be. It’s square instead of the traditional rectangle. It mixes the personal and the professional. It’s completely lacking in objectivity. The title is ridiculously lengthy. And there’s no focus whatsoever -- if Seinfeld is a show about nothing, Weird Monologues is a book about everything. Worse, it’s far too long, and so it had to be cut in half. The sequel is due out later this year.

Some people love my ideas. Toronto’s premiere performance artist/drag queen Donnarama said, “Think Courtney Love meets Margaret Atwood.” Legendary Canadian writer Crad Kilodney, author of Putrid Scum and Lightning Struck My Dick, said, "This girl was born to write, and she writes as well as I do." Longtime Star religion editor and spiritual guru Tom Harpur said, “Her joyful writing style leads me to believe that she must be truly inspired by a fresh vision. I’ll be watching for her career to flower with all the creativity and commitment to truth that I am sure will mark it.” Hip Mama Empress and author of How to be a Famous Writer Before You’re Dead called me an “all around creative genius.”

Then again, someone named Clarens M was not so fond of me. He wrote, “Self-indulgent hogwash.”

The idea of collection of my favourite blogs, essays, reviews, memoirs, profiles, interviews and so on came together while I was painting. I’m also an artist and my medium is mixed -- usually collage. I thought about how all the pieces of what I was pulling together always made a sort of self-portrait. In art, I always feel very free, but I had spent years after journalism school trying to do everything by the books, to do it right. I was getting nowhere, though. Yet in my art, my messy up and down self seemed to really resonate with people. So during a life overhaul, I decided to go out on a limb and become the hot mess next door in my writing as well. I set up a website called www.thegirlcanwrite.net and began freelancing as a do-it-yourself diva, forgetting the official rules I’d learned while graduating from journalism school -- while upholding the professional ethics, of course. Now I write seven regular columns and freelance everything from mag articles to speeches to web content. And so it was that I decided to create a kind of collage of a book as a self-portrait -- that’s how it all came together.

Designed by Gonzalo Cardenas, the book features wonderfully weird illustrations by Caroline Bacher (whose jewelry is also out of this world.) And the cover art was a custom painting by pop art sensation Iaian Greenson -- it’s symbolic of me, naked. My flasher raincoat is streaked with paint from my artwork. The fact that the rainy life I refer to is illustrated here with diamonds symbolizes the value and beauty that can come out of extremes of depression and grief.

And this book is filled with the ups and downs, the wild mood swings that define me. Here you will find Valium, Madonna, a Toronto artist who is painting 999 portraits of Borat, a monk, monkeys on crack, a bowling ball collection, Thomas Moore, Chicken Poop for the soul, Nancy Drew, The Simpsons, two naughty hotties naked in the bathtub reading poetry, Canadian psycho Karla Homolka, My Big Fat Greek Funeral, the gay church, addiction, suicide, cirrhosis, the Teletubbies, human sacrifice and why Eminem is a lot like Johnny Cash.

I have simply been compelled to record some of the things I’ve seen, just as a character in Isabel Allende’s House of Spirits -- like her, it is my fate to write in my notebooks that bear witness to life. History, religion, culture -- it’s vast, but it’s made up of people’s stories. I can only record the stories I see, from where I stand, and that’s my humble contribution to the dark and beautiful wild world.

Weird Monologues for a Rainy Life (irreverent ramblings from the end of the world)
Handymaiden Editions, 2009
Toronto
380 pp.
Both of Lorette’s books are available at www.amazon.com.


Lorette C. Luzajic is a do-it-yourself diva, an inspired hot mess, the girl behind thegirlcanwrite.net. She’s The Spice Girl, writing columns about the lore and history of one spice at a time for Gremolata. She pens Fascinating Writers for bookslut.com and Fascinating Queers for Outimpact.com. Though she can write objectively about important subjects like carpal tunnel syndrome or the effect of smoking on pets, she’s at her best spilling open about death, grief, addiction, bipolar life, literature, pop culture, artists and other crazy people. She’s campy, witty, chubby, sexy, spiritual and sweet.

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