Sunday, June 14, 2009

Northwords Writers Festival- Days Three and Four

As fun as this week has been, I learned a hard lesson from it all: I'm not twenty anymore.

I realize, of course, that 32 isn't over the hill but right now I'm stuffed up, I ache all over and I'm tired. I might as well be 72. I also realize there's a pig-sized elephant in the room and I'll say right off that I don't think it's swine flu. I'm pretty sure this has more to do with late nights, Guinness, and what seemed like a pretty innocuous idea at the time: monkey bars.

So, what you'll get are the cliff notes from the past two days.

Saturday: All of this year's authors gathered around the Book Cellar parking lot for signings and barbecue. I couldn't buy every book, but I did get books signed by Joseph Boyden (who told me he'd checked out my blog), Anita Daher, Richard Van Camp, and Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm.

There were also a few workshops, panel discussions, and mentorships. My vow next year is to actually take in some of these. Hard to do it all, but I feel like I blew those opportunities big time.
In the evening my wife and I went to the big gala event at the Northern Arts and Culture Center (NACC). Here we were treated to stories and poetry from local author Cathy Jewison (who just had a book of short stories published called The Ugly Truck and Dog Contest and Other Stories), Jay Ingram (who did a blues song about Darwin's The Descent of Man, and Selection In Relation To Sex accompanied by Joseph Boyden and ? on the harmonica), Anita Daher (who read a superbly visually story called "The Gift"), Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm (who read her "Wild Horses" poem, and introduced us to her short story prowess with "Mirrors"), Jim Green (who lay on a table and talked about a prostate exam), and Joseph Boyden (who also veered from the predictable and read a piece of non-fiction, "Driving Lessons.") Terrific night.

Sunday: Today was relatively quiet. A few more workshops and mentorships, which I registered people for but had to return home to nap rather than partake.

I wish I'd felt better on the last day, and felt up to socializing and saying farewells but them's the breaks. Next year I'll also try and pace myself better.


Barbara Bruederlin said...

I hope you are feeling better and a little more your age again. Just lay off the monkey bars, my friend.

It does sound like a great festival and I am completely jealous.

Allison said...

Its hard to drink at night and get up for work the next morning. I'm still in my 20s and can't do that! Skipping class and missing work are two very different things. ;)

Sounds like it was a good time though!

Susan said...

It sounds like it was so much fun, John! I've been to Writer's Festivals, and the hard part is pacing yourself. I always ended up missing something that in hindsight I wished I'd gone to. How cool if Joseph Boyden does check out your blog!