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Sunday, October 03, 2004

OIWF Day 5

If one is going to survive a writers festival one must be selective. I admit the festival marathon is just starting to wear me down. It's Sunday night and I just have to go home. There was one more event scheduled tonight but two readings in a row did it for me. There is not much to complain about as an attendee--I just sit and listen. The authors, or at least some of them, are being worked like sherpas. Take Elyse Friedman for example. She was at Saturday night's poetry reading which only started at 9:00pm; then she appeared the following day in a screen writing event; and again the same day, tonight, for a 7:00pm reading from her new novel. A triple threat in Canadian literature...and she is currently working on a book of short stories to boot. No wonder when she responded to a question by CBC Radio's Alan Neal, "I'm just so tired." Me too, Elyse. By the way, I never heard of you before. But I assume your good enough to be in three different events at the same festival. I admit that I do like the premise of her book when the girl goes to bed ugly then wakes up transformed into a beatiful woman. Not that I have ever had that fantasy myself. The opposite usually occurs when I would take a beautiful woman home after a night of drinking and the next morn...okay I better shut up now.

The assembling of writers for one event must be difficult. Again, tonight's 5:30pm event was no different. David "Pass-the-peanutbutter" McGimpsey was paired with Donna "I'm-originally-from-Newfoundland-so-don't-hold-it-against-me" Morrissey, and Beth "How-did-I-get-stuck-reading-with-McGimpsey?" Powning. A stand-up comedian meets, a dramatist and a writer who remembers her grandmother. Interesting combo.

The final event and reason for attending tonight was to see Gordon Sheppard, read from HA!. Bill "my-name-is-not-Peter" Gaston and Elyse Friedman read very well and kept my attention for the whole 2 hours. I could write more here but I am also tired and have to get some sleep for the work week ahead and the other upcoming events: Alistair MacLeod, Ian Rankin and S.E. Hinton to name a few.

Some events I passed on:
Dialogue of the Americas: Itentidad Cultural de América Latina
Why? I don't speak Spanish.

Literature of South Africa
Why? I am not that engaged with South African children's literature.

D-Day: Stories of Juno Beach
Why? I saw Ted Barris in April and was completely blown away at his moving and passionate reading. I bought two of his books as a result. One for me, one for my dad. Sorry I missed this event today, however.


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