We had fun, Five Roses and I in Ontario. First, gourmet nibbles and wine with enthusiastic book clubbers in Stratford at the Chefs' School
then a pastry chef showing us how to make cream puffs and inviting us to try our hand at piping whipped cream, followed by me talking about the role of food in characterization and fiction. This, too, was with the Stratford Writers' Festival under the auspices of the Chefs' School. Imaginative programming, right? Not your everyday writer's gig!
As a footnote--something to consider?--there were more male participants at this pastry/writers' event than I usually see when I speak about a novel.
then a most interesting interview at the Westdale Library in Hamilton with Jennifer Gillies, artistic director of gritLit. Perceptive questions and comments from the audience.
Between tourtière and dessert, Theresa Albert and I had a lively interview about Five Roses.
The food was so fine! But of course the best part of all these events was meeting readers and would-be readers. Hearing the comments, observations, and questions readers have. Even hearing what people didn't like because that's worth talking about too.
Several wanted to know the practicalities of how a wannabe writer goes from scribbling on pages to getting them published. You keep at it. Beginnings can be humble. The other day I walked past the decrepit brick building behind a garage where, up on the second floor, I saw the dirty windows of the editorial office/kitchen of the magazine that first published me. I don't think the magazine went past two issues. I've just googled the name of the itchy young man who was the editor and can find no internet trace of him. Mind you, that was years ago. Years for him, years for me too. With years between publications. That's how you get published. You keep doing it despite the years.
This morning, in my reading, I came across this: "...the most worn-out clichés traverse time for generations, all the while the most beautiful poems fade to oblivion." (from La petite et le vieux by Marie-Renee Lavoie) Maybe that's what it means to be a writer: you persist in trying to beat the cliches and the silence, even when you know they're destined for oblivion.
Thank you to the wonderful people in Stratford who invited me; Jennifer Gillies at gritLit; Dundurn Press; the Quebec Writers' Federation for their unflagging support of getting Quebec writers out into the world; and R who ferried me about in a rented car so that I could bring as many pairs of shoes as I wanted.
What an amazing-sounding series of events!! And the food doesn't sound bad either! :)ReplyDelete
(It sounds SO delicious. And I'm really craving some tourtiere right now...)
I might have mentioned your name as another Quebec author they might like to invite...Delete
I really enjoyed your reading, and the cream puffs! That's me, being a male participant :) Stratford held an awesome festival.ReplyDelete
Yay, Craig! And thank you.Delete
It must have been really fun. I especially like the photo of the chefs preparing the feast earlier in the day!ReplyDelete
It *was* fun! I so regret not getting a pic of the chef in full swing--but I was... gee... doing other things.Delete
Stratford is a wonderful place even if you don't see a play. The Hammer (Hamilton) is worth rediscovering too. James street north and that amazing view from Pier 4...ReplyDelete