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

Friday, 6 June 2008

Like a Chicken with its Head Cut Off

It’s been awhile since last post but it has been a hectic week. Busy with school-both kids went to the RCMP Musical Ride and I attended as a parent volunteer. Busy with the house-some indoor chores here, a little lawn cutting there. But especially busy with writing…

Throughout this week it been writing a rather exciting short story called The Witch. It is another story that takes place in the fictitious village of Mitchell’s Landing. My previous Mitchell’s Landing story was called Small Town Secrets and is currently on submission at The New Yorker.

I’ve also been querying agents this week. With the Loremaster manuscript completed and sent into DAW books for consideration I felt that it was time to send out feelers for representation of the novel.

Last weekend was very busy as well. On Saturday it was the 40th anniversary of my old high school, Grey Highlands Secondary School. The weekend was packed with activities but the kids’ schedules didn’t allow for anything except a brief visit and tour of the old high school. During the brief visit I ran into some good old friends and had a nostalgic walk around. Everything really does seem smaller when you go back to the schools of your youth. The school was changed over the years. A new wing was added sometime in the not too distant past but it was comforting to see that the old Geography room on the second floor hasn’t changed a bit. In fact, I’m pretty sure that the desk I used to sit in (second row from the door, four seats back from the teacher’s desk) is the same desk that is there today. An interesting thing to note was that also on the second floor across from the Home Economics room there now stands just a regular classroom. I explained to the children that when I went to school that room was filled with typewriters. My five year old son looked up at me and said, “Hey, Dad, what’s a typewriter?”… Enough said.

The other event this weekend was the Elora Writers Festival. After securing a babysitter for the afternoon, my wife and I took the long leisurely 4 minute drive from Fergus to Elora to attend this year’s readings. The writers included Giller prize finalist, Edeet Ravel, travel writer Laurie Gough, comedian Diane Flacks, poet Jacob McArther Mooney (really good, but his “spoken word” style of delivery doesn’t do his poetry justice – bought his book and I’m delighted), Helen Humphreys and Rio Youers. Youers’ novel End Time is about a heroin addict who cuts off his own fingers – not exactly family fun but then again I don’t know your family…

The Festival itself was great but the meal following was out of this world. Last year the readings and meal were at the same venue – The Drew House in Elora. This year the readings were at the Keating Lounge followed again by a meal at the Drew House. Last year my wife and I attended only the readings but throughout we were distracted by the wonderful aroma wafting from the adjacent kitchen. We vowed to stay for the meal and weren’t disappointed. Before the meals many of the attendees and all of the authors gathered in the garden for cocktails. I was rubbing shoulders with such local personalities as Chris Wiggins and Colin Fox when a server came by with the best damn sausage rolls I’ve ever had. There were perfectly prepared and had some sort of buttery glaze on the pastry that made me wonder whose mom I would need to kill for another – but they just kept coming. The meal that followed was an amplification of that heavenly appetizer. It was a buffet feast of masterfully prepared meat, salads and vegetables and the desert was an absolute slice of chocolate bliss.

Coming up next week I’ll give an update on how my Story A Week thing is going as well as some direction on where my novel length fiction is heading.