Thursday Throwback – Titania’s Table

When I was twelve years old, I wrote a one-act play based on Shakespeare’s, called A Child View of Shakespeare. In it, Juliet does not love Romeo and a Pharaoh – Cleopatra – is disinterested by her suitors. Viola is writing a tell-all book about her boss, and there is the obligatory identical twin quiproquo.

To my young ears, Shakespeare’s iambic pentametre sounded just as rhythmic and as rhyme-y as Dr. Seuss, so that’s what the play sounds like. Basically, A Child View of Shakespeare is iconic characters stirred up in Macbeth’s witches’ pot to deliciously silly results.

Fast forward two decades (ahem) later, when CBC Writes launched its Shakespeare Selfie Challenge to celebrate the playwright’s 450th birthday, asking Canadians to take a Shakespearean character, situate him or her in a present-day scenario, and write a new soliloquy or monologue (an old-timey selfie) for that character.

So, I dug through A Child’s View of Shakespeare and pulled out a passage to submit to the challenge. I recycled my twelve-year-old self’s banquet-themed monologue and breathed new life into it through Queen of the Fairies Titania’s voice. What if she were the host of a modern-day cooking show?

Click here to read Titania’s Shakespeare Selfie – do you see the Shakespearian and Seussian influence?

CanadaWrites Humblebrags

It’s February 2013, and CanadaWrites issued this challenge to the Twitterverse: « We’ve been looking at the art of self-promotion this month, and thought we would have some fun with a tongue-in-cheek look at how fabulous we are. »

Tweeps were invited to « Tweet Your Own Horn » and fake (or not) brag about ourselves.

CanadaWrites counted over 1,000 tweets in response to the challenge, with a selection of all-stars here, of which I humbly number, with the following:

[A.M. Matte @ammatte Finally got my autograph stamp! Phew. Carpal tunnel from book signings gets painful. #canadawrites #humblebrag ]


Wonder if I should send my favourite writer and one-time mentor, Twitterbrags judge Terry Fallis, some sort of literary bribe in order to win this one?

Writers Unite

Having met new fellow authors on Twitter this month, I was inspired by the UnknownJim Writers Unite challenge to « write what you REALLY want to write about. »

This month, while I couldn’t choose between concentrating on my English writing or on my French writing, I’ve not quite finished either piece, but I can still share an excerpt. Here is the opening of my short story Ms. Perceval’s Lover:


Ms. Perceval had long considered Owain Montblanc her type, but accepting the position of vice-principal last year impeded matters slightly. Now his superior, she could no longer express interest – not that she ever would have, anyway – lest it be misconstrued as sexual harassment by an authority figure. Hardly the way to begin her management career.

So, when Owain collapsed while teaching history class, Ms. Perceval at first hesitated to give him mouth to mouth resuscitation. She could hear the students’ nervous whispers behind her as she kneeled next to her prone colleague with another second’s hesitation. Then, she went to work. Ms. Perceval thought she heard a shocked, stifled giggle and considered withdrawing, but the prospect of Owain expiring on her watch was more than she could bear. She took a breath and bent down, pressing her lips against his, in their first, unlikely kiss.

She had imagined this moment – well, not this moment, the moment when she’d kiss Owain – many times before. She made up romantic, clichéd scenarios: a beach at sunset, the Eiffel Tower under a light rainfall, by Victoria Falls… She didn’t waste time figuring out how she and Owain would end up in these places – she simply inserted herself there, and in her lover’s arms.

Ms. Perceval blushed. She felt the students’ intent gazes pierce the nape of her neck. Could they guess what she had in mind?

While I won’t be participating in NaNoWriMo this year, it will be to concentrate on my short stories, so I hope to be further along with this and other stories by the end of the year.

Writers Unite!

Writing Challenge

Newest writing challenge: write a short piece of non-fiction, no more than 100 words, ensuring to name actual names. Here’s a result:

Modern Family

Rohan becomes an iPad expert as soon as we get one, familiarizing himself with the apps and identifying his favourites. While I struggle to find what I need on the apparatus, Rohan swishes through the screens, surfing YouTube with one finger. We quietly confer with our Apple devices side by side, too often for hours before we interact again. Despite his own easy grasp of technology, he won’t let me indulge: he shuts my laptop onto my fingers and grabs them in his, saying: “Maman, cow.” And my toddler and I play with his toy farm until dinner.