Shameless: Stacey May Fowles

By Tammy Thorne
Photo by Rebecca Baran

Originally published in dandyhorse Volume 3, Issue 2, September 2010. Subscribe to dandyhorse today and get free online access to the September 2010 issue plus the rest of our back catalog.

Stacey May Fowles, novelist, public brat, former publisher of Shameless magazine, director of circulation and marketing at The Walrus.

How do you keep so many projects on the go? Does cycling help you stay on time and stay energized?

I always think of cycling as “accidental exercise.” I’m not a big fan of gym classes or Booty Camps, so I like the fact that I can trick myself into staying fit by just getting to work. Also, having the forced alone non-work time on a bike keeps me sane when there’s way too many meetings and the deadlines pile up. Cycling gives me the time to organize my brain, or even better, think about absolutely nothing.

What are you working on now?

I’m in the process of finishing my third novel, which hopefully will be done by the fall. After my collaborative book project with artist Marlena Zuber, it’s interesting and challenging to be working on my own again. Writing a novel is always an exercise in trusting myself. You’d think a writer gets to a point where they say, “Yeah, I know how to do this,” but every time I write anything I feel like I’m starting over, learning everything again. Writing a novel with a full-time day job [at The Walrus] is pretty new to me – with other books I was freelancing or working part-time. While being able to eat food and pay rent is really nice, I miss the freedom of writing when the mood strikes me. You get used to it, learn to schedule things better, but I do have some irrational moments where I want to gamble it all just to write 24/7. Truth is, I think doing something other than writing some of the time can be healthy. Like any relationship, you need time apart.

How was working with long-time dandyhorse contributor Marlena Zuber?

Marlena is the most awesome person I’ve ever worked with. Working on Fear of Fighting with her was me being a neurotic writer and her being extremely accommodating and flexible. In the end, that book is what it is because she made it look fantastic.

Tell us about Shameless.

Shameless is a true labour of love for everyone involved. We all really believe there needs to be a viable alternative to the mainstream for teen girls, and they volunteer their time, skills and resources to make sure it happens. Now more than ever girls need a fresh, honest, non-patronizing alternative to the media that bombards them with negative messages all day long; something that makes them feel good about themselves and their abilities. I’m proud to have been a part of that alternative
for the last four years.

Do you think there should be congestion fees for motorists driving into the downtown core of Toronto (like they have in London, England)?

I really, perhaps naively, believe that as soon as we make healthier transportation options convenient and accessible to people
who live outside the city, drivers will get on board.

What street would you like to see a separated Montreal-style bike lane on in Toronto?

A bike lane on Queen would change my life. But I think rather than a bike lane, I’d want bike-only streets in more residential parts of the city. I know it’s a pipe dream, but a bike-only route to work would be fantastic.

What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done on a bike?

Nothing I can share here. I’m trying to become a more responsible, less reckless cyclist every day – and a responsible, non-reckless adult in general. Baby steps.

Have you ever ridden in heels?

I wish I was that kind of lady, but I can barely even walk in heels. It’s pretty common to find flip-flops in my purse.

Toronto would be a better place if...

Small, independent bookstores could thrive and we had a better mayoral candidate.

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ArtCycle Thursday August 11, 2011

What: ArtCycle bicycle-themed art auction
When: Thursday, August 11, 2011 starting at 8:00 pm.
Where: The London Tap House - 250 Adelaide St West, Toronto, ON (MAP)
Why: There will be over two dozen local artists contributing creations inspired by bicycles and the Bikes Without Borders cause. 25% of the proceeds from the auction will be shared with the artists to encourage future work, while 75% will go to the Bikes Without Borders Malawi project.
How: Tickets can be bought for $10 ahead of time http://guestlistapp.com/events/61770 or $12 at the door.

To learn more about Bikes Without Borders' work in Malawi and how you can help them meet their goal of providing 400 bicycles and 100 bicycle ambulances to Community Health Workers go here.

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2011 Bicycle Film Festival Toronto Preview – Labour of Love

LABOUR OF LOVE
Canada 2010 | HD 65 MIN.
Dir. Virginia Hastings

Follow Canadian ultra-cyclist, Caroline van den Bulk, as she attempts to complete what is known as the hardest endurance race in the world: RAAM (Race Across America). Caroline, an amateur rider and kindergarten teacher follows her dreams, passions, and obsessions in this grueling race which requires cycling with little to no sleep for days at a time. Very few people finish within the allotted time of 12 days to earn the distinction of RAAM Finisher.

Labour of Love will be shown as part of BFF Program 3 starting at 5:00 pm on Saturday, August 13, 2011 at The Royal.

Get tickets here.

More Bicycle Film Festival 2011 info here.

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2011 Bicycle Film Festival Toronto Preview – With My Own Two Wheels

WITH MY OWN TWO WHEELS
USA 2010 | HD 44 min.
Dir. Jacob & Issac Seigel-Boettner

A moving and evocative documentary weaving together the experiences of five individuals - a health worker in Zambia, a teenager in India, a disabled Ghanaian woman, a farmer in Guatemala, and a teenager in California - into a single story. This film is testament to how the bicycle can change the world—one pedal stroke at a time.

With My Own Two Wheels will be shown as part of BFF Program 2 starting at 9:00 pm on Saturday, August 13, 2011 at The Royal.

Get tickets here.

More Bicycle Film Festival 2011 info here.

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Heels on Wheels: Dufflet Rosenberg

By Tammy Thorne
Photo by Yvonne Bambrick

In anticipation of our delicious FOOD issue we bring you a fresh Heels on Wheels with Toronto’s own Queen of Cake: Dufflet Rosenberg

Who: Dufflet Rosenberg

What: Queen of Cake (aka proprietor of Dufflet Pastries)

Where: 787 Queen Street West, Dufflet Pastries flagship retail shop

You've been a big supporter of bicycle advocacy in the city and donate proceeds from the Tour de Dufflet to the Toronto Cyclists Union. Why did you choose the Bike Union?

With the City cutting back on Bike Month activities, we chose to support the Toronto Cyclists Union this year because they speak up for all cyclists in all parts of Toronto.

Why did you start the Tour de Dufflet?

We wanted to encourage more people to ride their bicycles, with a sweet reason! It’s the perfect circuit around Toronto, with a reward at every stop on the way.

Did you watch the Tour de France this year?

Yes. The Pyrenees are always my favourite part having cycled there a few years ago, breathtaking views! Aerial coverage of the Tour is amazing.

What the furthest you've ever ridden on a bike?

My partner and I travel somewhere different in Europe and North America every fall with our tandem bicycle. There have been a few very long days – 150 km – with challenging climbs. Mont Ventoux in France was by far the most difficult ride I ever experienced, more the downhill than the climb.

Tell us about your bicycle please? Do you transport sweets in it?

I have a vintage 1964 Moulton – a British bicycle designed by Sir Alex Moulton – which has been restored by my partner Martin Kohn. I’ve had it for 30 years and it’s still going strong. (It helps when you live with your mechanic!) I sometimes take along pastries for friends and dinner parties.

How often do you ride? What is your commute like?

I try to cycle to work in Etobicoke when weather permits. It’s a 10 km ride from home, with a mixed bag of conditions along Queen Street West, The Queensway and the Humber bike path. I often take the Lakeshore bike path home although the paths can sometimes be as hazardous as the roads with high bicycle, roller blade and pedestrian traffic.

Have you ever ridden your bike to a gala event? Have you ever worn heels while riding?

I have taken my bike to galas as Dufflet Pastries supports many local annual events like Luminato, Toronto Taste and Eat to the Beat. I’m not a big fan of heels, but if they’re needed to complete an outfit, I usually just bring a change of shoes with me and ride my bike in flats.

What would you do to improve cycling in the city?

Stop removing bike lanes! And expand the West Toronto Railpath. I think both cyclists and drivers need to increase their awareness of what’s around them.

What's your favourite food (other than cake, of course!)?

Pasta – I cannot live without noodles.

What is your favourite pastry?

That’s a difficult question. I love vanilla cake (from Dufflet, of course) but also Mille Feuille, which I will travel far and wide to find.

What is your favourite summertime food?

Ontario peaches.

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