The Platinum Ticket by David Beynon

The Platinum Ticket by David Beynon
Shortlisted for The Terry Pratchett Anywhere But Here, Anywhen But Now First Novel Prize

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Headin' out to Eden, yah Brother...

Today was the 22nd Annual Eden Mills Writers' Festival.

The family loaded into the Tinkmobile and made the 25 minute journey to the tiny village of Eden Mills.  On the agenda today was a visit to the Children's Area, which the kids have apparently outgrown.  We listened a bit to the Young Adult writers.  My daughter was a little interested.  No so, the boy.

We next stopped of to listen to a selection from some of the students of the University of Guelph's MFA Creative Writing program.  I didn't think I would enjoy their readings and I wasn't surprised.  I sat through three readers and found the writing self-absorbed and all three lacked any sense of forward motion in their narratives.  I can understand why I wasn't accepted into the program when I applied - I sent them a story about an old werewolf that had the audacity to have a beginning, middle and satisfactory conclusion.

After browsing Publisher's Way (it could almost be renamed "Self-Publishers Way") where we were accosted by an author trying to push his post-apocalyptic novels set in Eden Mills and Guelph with a little more than friendly enthusiasm, we got some delicious Indian Food for lunch.  After lunch, my wife sat down in the sun with the kids to read a little Harry Potter while I went out to listen to Leon Rooke read from his new novella, Pope and her Lady.  It is apparently written in Glaswegian dialect and Mr. Rooke felt compelled to read it aloud that way.  I am sure it must be far better to read than listen to.

I next went to listen to Wade Davis (Serpent and the Rainbow) and Tim Ward.  Both were hugely entertaining.

Unfortunately the boy was bored out of his tree and my daughter had a rehearsal for the play she's in this evening, so I did not get to listen to Karen Connelly whose novel, The Lizard Cage, I wholeheartedly enjoyed.

To end the day, my wife and kids took me to the In A Heartbeat Gallery.  They are currently showcasing the work of Jamie Brick - a sculptor who works in lifecasts, driftwood, metal and other materials.  His art was otherworldly.  Really great stuff, but the reason my wife took me in was a life-sized head and antlers of Herne the Hunter.

Overall, a lovely day at the Writers' Festival was had by all.

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