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Friday, October 01, 2004

OIWF Day 3

Luckily the Pablo Neruda Tribute was cancelled... The Friday traffic at 5:30pm would have been a bitch to navigate downtown. The first event of the evening kicked off at 7:00pm leaving a nice ride down town listening to Johnny Cash sing with his wife:

We got married in a fever, hotter than a pepper sprout, We've been talkin'
'bout Jackson, ever since the fire went out. I'm goin' to Jackson, I'm gonna mess
around,Yeah, I'm goin' to Jackson, Look out Jackson town.

Well, go on down to Jackson; go ahead and wreck your health. Go play your hand you big-talkin' man, make a big fool of yourself,Yeah, go to Jackson; go comb your hair!

Honey, I'm gonna snowball Jackson. See if I care. When I breeze into that city, people gonna
stoop and bow. (Hah!) All them women gonna make me, teach 'em what they don't
know how,I'm goin' to Jackson, you turn-a loose-a my coat. 'Cos I'm goin' to
Jackson.

"Goodbye," that's all she wrote.

Ahhh, Johnny Cash...he put me in a good mood to start the weekend. The first evening's event was Melanie Little's debut as a host for an event at the OWIF and she more than adeptly handled her three guests. You could not get any three more different writers on stage at once.

The only connection is that they are all Canadian citizens...I think. One's a maritimer so he don't count (wink) ...one lives half the year down-under and the other...well, Mexico's close enough. Speaking of Mexico, well not really...jeeezus...this Paul Anderson guy put on this Zamphir--I am master of the pan flute-haunting-musically-bedazzled-image-filled computer presentation coinciding with his selected readings. This lasted over half an hour, and I am being conservative with my time estimate. I still do not know what the 1300 page book is about. What's up with his sadistic editor after seeing the original manuscript, "She wanted more." What the?! 'Different strokes for different folks' as Mr. Furey said. (I think I might have a stroke if I read the book.)

Leo Furey, well, he was already in Ottawa earlier this year reading from his book which was held at a local Irish Pub in the Market. He does nice voices when he reads. He had to follow Anderson's act. A tough one to follow at best--for anyone. Then to lighten the mood we were entertained by a bold young writer, Colin McAdam. At least the crowd was able to laugh and be more at ease. I felt this way in any case.

After a quick break the next event launched the OWIF inspired book, Write Across Canada. The slim paperback is a series of 19 chapters from the East Coast to the West of Canada written by all different writers from each region. Michael Winter started the story off in Newfoundland, and then handed his story off to Donna Morrissey in Nova Scotia, and so on till it reached the West Coast where it ended up with Steven Galloway and Bill Gaston in BC had the last chapter to finish. Not exactly a finely crafted piece of literature but perhaps perfectly Canadian way to publish a book. Or maybe not. The constraints involved were each author was given only 600 words and 48 hours to complete a chapter. Helen Humphreys took about 2-3 hours with her piece apparently. It was then read on CBC Radio in installments by the authors themselves this past April. The discussion about the book with five of the authors proved very entertaining in that collaboration of plot and voice was nigh impossible to carry off seriously, thus its odd twists and turns of characters and storyline. I might consider picking it up for a chuckle if nothing else than using it as a bookmark for Anderson's Hunger's Brides.

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