Excuse me while I kiss the Skype.

I swear, my posts on this site are not becoming a semi-monthly event. They’re not. At least not on purpose.

I intend to do this only monthly, if even that, but sometimes, things just pop up at the last fortnight. And I feel obligated to inform all those wonderful people out there in the dark when things come up.

Assuming there are wonderful people out there in the dark reading this website. Hello? Helloooo… I can’t tell, because it’s dark out there.

So what’s woken me up and shaken me out of the inactivity mattress this time? (Other than inspirations for crappy metaphors?)

Well: This Saturday, the 29th, I’m going to give a brief reading all the way over in Sheffield, England.

And I’m going to do it without leaving Canada. In fact – I’m going to do it without leaving the comfort of my bedroom desk chair.

“But Jeff,” you say, disbelieving, slapping your hand dramatically on the side of your face with a puzzled, skeptical expression, “how is that possible? Why, the laws of physics don’t account for such nonsense and foofooraw! How dare you attempt to manipulate my trust in you with such a grand and absurd falsity. Explain yourself at once, good sir, or I shall be forced to roll my eyes in your direction and say unflattering things about you to the vicious circle.”

And I say: Via Skype.

Yes, Skype. Remember on The Jetsons, in 2001: A Space Odyssey, even on Pee Wee’s Playhouse, how people talked on video-phones, on which they could see each other’s faces on a screen? Skype is sorta like that. Except that it happens over the Internet. We’re in the future now, space clown.

So if you know anybody in the vicinity of Sheffield, you tell ’em to go to Showroom 5 this Saturday night (afternoon for me) to see Skype Me! Sheffield and the World, featuring poets both local (live in person) and from elsewhere (broadcast live via Skype).

Such writers will include Thom the World Poet (Texas), Liesl Jobson and Tanya Chan-Sam (South Africa), Miwa Kurihara (Japan), an International Mystery Guest, and more from Spain, India, Singapore and elsewhere. U.K. scribes present at the actual event will include Rob Hindle, Chella Quint, Gaby Bila-Günther, Kenneth Penfold, Joe Kriss and Liz Cashdan.

And for those who won’t be in Sheffield that night (I’m guessing, about six billion of you), the show will probably be posted on YouTube at some point in the future. Rock on, technology.

Happy Halloween. Befriend two zombies.

Every time you see an FSW, you eat it.

Grouch on a Couch: The Chapbook is now for sale online!

That’s right – if you missed my Fringe show, or if you saw it and liked it enough that you’d like to read it too, you can buy the book version here. Or from me personally, if you happen to see me at some event. Only five smackeroos, honey.

Speaking of some event…

You may have heard that Canada’s biggest spoken-word event is happening this week. Yes, the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word is going down in Toronto from October 11 to 15. And you think I’m gonna let that pass me by without making some kind of small mark on it? Well, do you?

Oh. Maybe you did.

Well, let me just set you straight then. On Thursday morning, I’m hosting the humour-writing workshop run by local poet David Clink, a master of puns and other literary yuks. After I introduce him, he’ll show budding humour writers how to do it right. And there’ll even be a small open mic, for participants who want to read their workshop poems or something else they’ve brought in.

Other events, including slams, workshops and seminars, are happening all over the bloody place, and slam poets from across the nation are taking part in the competition. There’s even a Geek Open Mic at the Tranzac on Friday at 2:00, for those of you who want to boast of your Trekkiedom or Hobbitry in front of a crowd that won’t shove you into a locker.

And then…

on Sunday the 16th, I’m taking a bus back to Ottawa to feature in the Dusty Owl reading series once again. Tell your Ottawa friends. Tell your MPs. It’s my third time headlining this small but friendly literary series, run by Steve Zytfeld and Kate Hunt. There’s an open mic too, so bring a poem or story of your own.

Details on the above events on the right sidebar. Use the mouse arrow and make the magic happen.

Happy Halloween. Befriend a zombie.