musicians

Redheads Writing in Cafes #2

Guilt. Why do I feel so damn guilty walking away from that very large pile of laundry? Why is it taunting me, making me feel like a bad person for ignoring it? I swear it was staring me down as I walked away, it was yelling at me as I grabbed my laptop and exited the building. Why is there so much guilt?

Yesterday I had the honour of being photographed by the amazing and incredibly talented Lisa MacIntosh. Lisa is not only an intuitive photographer but a wonderful human being. She has photographed musicians from all over North America for her Great Hall Series and many inspirational women, including Amanda Palmer, for the ASK series. Being included in this group of women is the biggest compliment anyone has given me. She will be working on the ASK series for the rest of the summer, please keep checking her website to see who else she includes and for more information on the ongoing series.

Lisa and I are both full-time artists, who work for ourselves and mostly work from our homes. We chatted about this and how easy it is to become distracted by the many chores and tasks involved in our households. One of the greatest traps when working from home is this exact issue. When I ignore these tasks, I start to let my imagination go to dark, dark places that include German Expressionist Silent films ala Metropolis, where my laundry and dishes revolt. Remember the below scene. No one wants their laundry to animate and attack them. No. One.

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When the weather is shite, being able to sit on your couch, or at a dining room table, desk or workstation of choice is comforting.  You don’t have to deal with the rain, sleet, snow, ice, wind or unbearable heat and humidity. Better yet, public transit in the rain, sleet, snow, ice, the wind or unbearable heat and humidity. If it’s your thing, you can stay in your yoga pants, pajamas all day or in my 1930s vision, stunning dressing gown. Your time and schedule are your own… until the laundry starts yelling at you or the dirty dishes start wailing or… or… or… Just walk away! Cover your ears, your eyes and just… walk.. AWAY. Trust me, this is so much easier said, than done, especially when you are running out of clean underwear.  This is why I’m in a neighbourhood coffee shop, writing.

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Today I chose The Good Neighbour. A cafe that is a short walk from my home, that has cute, artsy baristas behind the counter. They also have delicious coffee. In a pinch or when I am too lazy to walk to the grocery store, I have picked up a bag of their dark roast beans. Bonus: free WiFi.  The one downfall (or is it), they don’t have any vegan sweet treats (not to worry, Bunners is a two-minute walk away). They do have sandwich items that can be made Vegan on request.

This week I am back to working on short stories. I have two new ones I am drafting and a couple older stories that I need to revisit and edit. I am hoping to get those out the door… erm… via cyberspace by next week. One of them may or may not include sharks.  I am hoping by next week that it warms up enough that I can sit on a patio to write or head to the park with a book to read and a notebook to write out character sketches. Generally, I do all my writing via my computer, character sketches, I prefer to write out by hand. A bench in the middle of the trees and greenery or by the water would be a perfect spot for that. I’m not sure if anyone else experiences this, but when I am sitting near the water, my creativity opens up.

Sitting in this cafe, I have momentarily escaped from the laundry… I have not escaped from the shark that is currently stalking me. It might be time to feed. It. SHARK!  I leave you with this Peter Benchley trivia.  After the success of his book and the release of the movie Jaws, Peter became filled with dread and guilt over the fear he created towards sharks. He spent the rest of his life and his widow continues on with assisting with advocating for oceanic conservation.

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Redheads Writing in Cafes #1

***I have added a new page to the blog. It is called Redheads Writing in Cafes. Here is the first entry. 

Redheads Writing in Cafes #1

I’m a full-time writer. I work for myself. I don’t go into a Corporate office space. I create my own content. I work from home. I am my own boss. This is my perfect job. This is my dream. There is, however, one problem.  When you are working at home, there are…. how shall we say, distractions. I don’t mean the television, Netflix, YouTube or other forms of entertainment. I mean laundry, cleaning, washing that sink full of dirty dishes, figuring out what to make for dinner, tidying up, re-organizing. As you look up from your laptop, you see all the things that need to be done. You still get writing done, but between the tasks that are staring you down and when you don’t complete them…. there is that pesky guilt. Now that the weather is nicer, I plan on finding my way outside my home to write.  In the backyard, parks, cafes.

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As a full-time artist, writing in a cafe every day isn’t great for the change purse… I am considering a Kickstarter to help finance this endeavor. Feed my coffee addiction.  I’m sure others would be willing to give up a coffee a day to support my cup of coffee a day… right? No? Hmmmm….  All kidding aside, many well-known artists have written their novels, screenplays, plays and poems in cafes. There is a wonderful, addictive energy that fills the walls of cafes, not to mention the lovely wafts of fresh ground coffee beans and baked goods. Ok… now, I’m just making myself hungry. Focus. You need to focus.

The point of this new page is to write about what I’m writing about… while I’m in a cafe…. Maybe I could also convince other redheaded writers to guest write or join me in the cafe. I live in a neighbourhood that has cafes a plenty. I am going to try to choose a different one each time I write and let you know a bit about the cafe.

Today, I’m sitting in a cafe near High Park, looking out at the beautiful greenery, dreaming of the 1930s, listening to Edith Piaf’s beautiful voice, flow from the speakers. I am working on my novel as well as researching the 1930s. For some, being in a cafe would distract them. I drink in the energy that surrounds me, which is the complete opposite of when I am at home writing. At home, I need the sounds of televisions and stereos turned off, the windows open, so the sounds of the outside, find their way to my ears.

The cafe I’m in is Hannah’s Cafe and Bakery. They have a really nice dark roast and I’ve had their lattes. The staff is friendly and the cafe itself spacious. Recently we came here for a writing workshop. I’m Vegan and they have soy milk, they have some Vegetarian sandwiches and salads that can be made Vegan, however, the baked goods are not Vegan. Once you are done writing, you can hop across the street to High Park.

I’m lucky to live in such an amazing neighbourhood. I am a brief walk away from the best park in the city, shopping, bars, restaurants and groceries. The hood is also home to literary and art events. There are writers, painters, musicians, visual artists, burlesque dancers, and other artisans who call this area home. Most importantly, there are cafes a plenty and if you get lucky, you may walk into the one with the Redhead.  That might be an idea for a treasure hunt. Find the cafe with the Redhead who’s writing.

Redhead’s writing in cafes.

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The SPOOKTACULAR month of October!

Boo everyone!  Did I scare you?  No?  Then get ready to be scared.  October is chock full of creeptacular shows, some even featuring ME!

October 14th — PussyBasket~CoUNT FANGS~ Jenna Syde, Lynn Crosbie, Marcy Rogers, Lizzie Violet, and The Canadian Romantic

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Event Invites:
Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/events/681176598648838/

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October 19th — Lizzie Violet’s Cabaret Noir feat. TOPoet.ca D S Campbell & Conflicting Plaid

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Event Invites:
Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/events/913976675322656/
Bands in Town — https://www.bandsintown.com/event/10593945?affil_code=fb_145297655629084&artist=Lizzie+Violet%27s+Cabaret+Noir&came_from=74

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October 25th — Cabaret Noir Presents Heather Babcock — also featuring Kat Leonard, Valentino Assenza & Neil Traynor

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Event Invites:
Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/events/608851415884694/
Bands in Town — https://www.bandsintown.com/event/10648682?affil_code=fb_797498440303573&artist=Cabaret+Noir+Productions&came_from=74

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October 31st — Autumnal Soiree at Hirut feat. Lizzie Violet, Joani Paige, Peter Eastmure and Joseph Kargi

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Event Invites:
Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/events/1687221958157515
Bands in Town — https://www.bandsintown.com/event/10648776?affil_code=fb_797498440303573&artist=Cabaret+Noir+Productions&came_from=74

Lizzie Luau Time!!!

Let’s show the weather how to bring the sizzle back into Summer!  This months shows are going to be HOT! HOT! HOT!

Lizzie Violet’s Cabaret Noir — feat. The Rando Bando, Lilla Koi, Jeff Greenway with special co-host Romeo Satin!!!

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https://www.facebook.com/events/1590182707928569/

Hot Summer Nights at Hirut — feat. Myke Mazzei, Dan Thompson, Lizzie Violet and Arlene Paculan.

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https://www.facebook.com/events/676745715803103/

Arlene Paculan and Lizzie Violet have been nominated for NOW Magazine’s Readers Poll

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Arlene Paculan and Lizzie Violet have been nominated for NOW Magazine’s Readers Poll. Past winners of The Best Original’s Musician (Arlene) and Best Original’s Spoken Word (Lizzie), we would be so very grateful if you would vote for us!

Arlene Paculan was nominated for Best Songwriter and I was nominated for both Best Spoken Word and Best Poet.

Voting closes September 18. Check out the results November 5.

Arlene Paculan‘s nomination — http://bestof.nowtoronto.com/2015/nominees.cfm?category=152&subcategory=1368]

Lizzie Violet‘s nomination — http://bestof.nowtoronto.com/2015/nominees.cfm?category=154&subcategory=1374]

http://bestof.nowtoronto.com/2015/nominees.cfm?category=154&subcategory=1372]

A little bit about us.

Arlene Paculan creates soulful pop with passion. The Filipino-Canadian’s recent successful debut album, “Everything Begins with Love” has been embraced by Canada’s largest broadcaster, the CBC, with airplay on radio. Arlene was interviewed with producer Sandy Mowat, on the popular radio show “Fresh Air” and was selected as a featured artist by Mark Rheaume (CBC National Music Director).

Arlene has graced many stages across Toronto, including The Gladstone Hotel, Yonge & Dundas Square and Mississauga Celebration Square. In addition to her performances around the GTA, she has also performed in LA, NYC, Anaheim, Halifax, Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Ottawa, and Montreal. In 2012, Arlene played at TD Toronto Jazz Festival and she will be performing again at the 2015 season for the full length of the festival at Habits Gastropub. She has opened for Canadian songstress Jill Barber, as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebration and performed at the Beaches International Jazz Street Fest.

Arlene is a graduate of the Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts in Toronto and also studied piano through the Royal Conservatory of Music. Arlene plays cover songs from 1930s to the present, but it is as a singer songwriter that she has made her name in Toronto. Her debut EP album “I’m Worth It” was released under the production team, Kuya Productions. Rob Rapiti from BLR Entertainment has described her voice as “haunting, yet passionate”. Who knew such a ‘beautiful, natural singing voice’ could come from such a shy little girl who used to whisper in conversation growing up?

Before songwriting, Arlene has graced the stage as an actress, garnering the roles in such plays and musicals as Juliet (Romeo & Juliet), Nancy (Oliver), Rizzo (Grease), Laurey (Oklahoma), Kate (Shotgun Wedding), Puck (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Tiger Lily (Peter Pan), and Josie Pye (Anne of Green Gables).

Arlene is also a TV personality who has appeared in several Canadian TV shows and on stage and is a music promoter whose WonderFest tour showcases local talent and offers free workshops to all ages. For this, she was awarded 2014’s Hazel McCallion Volunteer of the Year MARTY Award in acknowledgment of her work encouraging others to take up music and learn to write songs or do anything creative in their daily lives.

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“Love the groove, love the singing. There’s an effortlessness & natural song personality [in her singing]”
-Dan Hill – internationally renowned Canadian Singer-Songwriter

“[She has] a beautiful voice, really, really nice singing voice.”- Grant Lawrence of @[NjQyMTgzOTU5MjA4MTA3Omh0dHBcYS8vY2JjcmFkaW8zLmNvbS86Og==:cbcradio3.com]

“I liked the song “Closer to You” a lot. I really liked “Get Over yourself” also. Very cool!”
-Bif Naked – Juno Award Winner and Canadian Artist

YouTube: @[NjQyMTgzOTU5MjA4MTA3Omh0dHBcYS8vd3d3LnlvdXR1YmUuY29tL2FwYWN1bGFuOjo=:www.youtube.com/apaculan]

Writer, editor, Spoken Word artist, and playwright, Lizzie Violet is known for her dark themes of poetry, prose and storytelling, Lizzie has been performing her Spoken Word on stages across Toronto for the past five years and has featured at Wordspell, Livewords, The Beautiful & The Damned and Wonder Women IV and V, Free Times Best of Open Stage, Pride, Plasticine, Secret Handshake Gallery, The Redhead Revue and Nuit Blanche. She recently won the top poet award at The Best Originals for her original work.

Lizzie is a former editor for Tightrope Books (Fatty Goes to China by Royston Tester and several editions of The Best Canadian Essays) and Books of the Dead Press (Best New Werewolf Tales, Volume One). She is currently working on a multi-media Spoken Word performance, a poetry manuscript and a radio play.

For more information about Lizzie Violet, ironic anecdotes and upcoming listings please check out her blog, @[NjQyMTgzOTU5MjA4MTA3Omh0dHBcYS8vbGl6emlldmlvbGV0LndvcmRwcmVzcy5jb20vOjo=:lizzieviolet.wordpress.com.]

Her poetry has been published in the below magazines.

Chlamydia Is Not a Flower – CAROUSEL 30/31
Woman of Strength and Faithless – Northword (June 2013)
The Hum After – The Big Art Book 2013
She Dances The Banda – Nest 2013
Freedom & Choice – The Quilliad October 2013

Spring Has Sprung?

There is a lot of awesome happening in the month of April. Along with some exciting co-writing projects, I have a feature!   I really hope the weather catches on that it is finally SPRING!  We all need to get out of hibernation mode and check out all the amazing shows happening! xo

Lizzie Violet’s Cabaret Noir – Featuring June Morrow, Dan Thompson & The Vaudevillian

https://www.facebook.com/events/589280287875564/605149576288635/

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Spring Fling at Hirut – Featuring Michael Oesch, Marcy Rogers, Lizzie Violet & Allen Rex

https://www.facebook.com/events/348503428679075/

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Secret Handshake Gallery (feature)

https://www.facebook.com/events/960647670620812/
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March on to Spring!

I’m a little behind posting the March events!  It’s been a busy few weeks!   I want to give a great big thank you for everyone who made the 2nd year anniversary show of Lizzie Violet’s Cabaret Noir a huge success!  Smooshies to everyone who has performed over the last 2 years!  Here’s to many more years!

Upcoming for the rest of March!

March 19th, I am hosting Wonderfest Poetry Series featuring Sue Reynolds, James Dewar and Addam Abbas!
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March 21st is the Redhead Revue featuring Heather Babcock, Dottie Dangerfield, Arlene Paculan and myself!
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March 28th, Winter Wonderland at Hirut (all though it is officially spring ;)), featuring Dagmar Morgan, David Bateman, Arlene Paculan and Hugh Wilson!

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Jingle Bells Santa Smells – December Events!

December is almost upon us and you know what that means.  Now the question is… have you been Naughty or Nice!

Nik Beat Tribute Show/Famous For Falling CD Release Party

Amersterdam Bicycle Club – 54 The Esplanade
December 6th
https://www.facebook.com/events/1539980826218424/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming
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Wonderfest Poetry Series

Habits Gastropub
December 10th

Hosted by Lizzie Violet and feat. Brent Peers, Norman Cristofoli, Cynthia Gould
https://www.facebook.com/events/339527712883769/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming
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Lizzie Violet’s Cabaret Noir and Fundraiser for The Street Store

The Central – 603 Markham Street
December 14th

feat. Teige Reid, Dottie Dangerfield, Rando Bando & North Star with Special Guest TOPoet.ca!
https://www.facebook.com/events/743240899058830/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming

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Winter Wonderland at Hirut – A night of music and poetry

Hirut Restaurant – 2050 Danforth Avenue
December 20th – 9 pm
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Sizzling September!

September is about to sizzle with 3 upcoming shows.  Who knows, I may squeeze a few more in.  For now, put these on your calendar!

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It’s my birthday month and things are about to heat up!

July is HOT HOT HOT and is about to sizzle even more!  This month’s Lizzie Violet’s Cabaret Noir has some of Toronto’s hottest talent gracing the stage at The Central AND it’s my birthday month!

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Marcy Rogers is a Dora nominated playwright and published writer. Her short story IMHO is included in the Foreward nominated anthology Friend. Follow. Text which she is excited to say can be borrowed from any Toronto library. She can be seen in Paul Bellini’s Liar Liar a monthly show at The Flying Beaver Pubaret or in her one woman show Lesbians Who Wear Lipstick: The Middle Ages.

Brandon Pitts Prolific novelist, poet, lyricist, and playwright, BRANDON PITTS is the author of the poetry collection, Pressure to Sing (IOWI), the novel, Puzzle of Murders (Bookland Press) and the play, Killcreek (IOWI – 2013 Toronto Fringe). He served as editor and contributor to the anthology The Courtney Park Connection (IOWI). In 2011, he was selected for inclusion in the prestigious Diaspora Dialogues as an Emerging Voice and has been widely anthologized.

For a complete list of publications and performed plays, please visit: http://brandonpitts.com/Publications.html 

Four Winds Collective is a songstorm of musical forces intertwined for the greater good. The diverse creative forces involved are: Arlene Paculan (ArlenePaculan.com) soulful jazzy pop; Heather Hill (HeatherHill.ca) piano pop rock; Kat Leonard (KatLeonard.com) feisty comedic pop; and Meghan Morrison (MeghanMorrison.com) Celtic groove music. The Winds travel together with their unique and charming shows aimed to illuminate life’s joy, heartbreak, inspiration and encouragement through their music and storytelling. They are available for booking traditional venues as well as house concerts and corporate events.

Upcoming for August

I will be featuring a few times in August, please come see me at Jennifer Hosein’s gallery show opening (August 15th/poster below), The Plasticine Poetry  Phanatics (August 17th) and The Beautiful & The Damned’s final show (August 28th).  More info to come…

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