I am certain the organizers for Thin Air (the Manitoba International Writers Festival), are relieved that today is the last day and they can return to their ‘normal’ family life. They worked long hours before the festival, planning events, plugging authors into presentation slots, lining up drivers to get the out-of-town writers to and from the airport as well as their events, making sure that there are enough volunteers to direct teachers & students to their seats for the School Stage performances at MTYP (Manitoba Theatre for Young People), coordinating the used book sale to raise money for all the activities and all the little behind-the-scenes stuff. Then, during the festival, they worked even longer hours making sure there was enough coverage for each event, that drivers got the writers to the right places, etc. They did a tremendous job and deserve a big applause for making Thin Air the success that it was this year. Whoot! Whoot! Whistle! Whistle! Clap! Clap!
Being a volunteer, as I mentioned earlier this week, was a thrill for me because I got to meet so many authors and hear their stories – not only the ones they created but also their personal stories about how they became writers, their process, etc. I think that’s why I’ve been doing interviews these past few months, because I find it fascinating to learn how other authors approach their work. It was also fun to meet Georgia Graham, an illustrator. She has also written several books, not just illustrated them, including A Team Like No Other, Where the Wild Horses Run and The Lime Green Secret. I’ve loved to draw since I was a kid, mostly cartoons and doodles, so I was in awe of Georgia’s talent. (I hope I didn’t blubber too much like an idiot when I was around her!)
There was a bit of a scheduling snaffoo Wednesday morning, when I was supposed to drive Ashley Spires, (author/illustrator of Binky the Cat graphic novel series). So was the fellow who had picked her up at the airport the previous evening. He got to her first. I didn’t mind too much because it gave me a chance to pop over to MTYP to see Shane Peacock, author of The Boy Sherlock Holmes books.
He was very entertaining and the groups of students who came to hear him read from his books and answer questions were quite enraptured. And is it any wonder? He writes about The Boy Sherlock Holmes! Who wouldn’t love reading adventures like that. Better than the Hardy Boys, I’ll wager! He has 5 Holmes books out with the 6th, Becoming Holmes, concluding the series. In October, he and fellow writers are going to be launching a unique set of books, called Seven, The Series. His contribution is called Last Letter. Basically, the story is about the 7 grandsons of an adventurous grandfather who has a terminal illness. Of all the things on the grandfather’s ‘bucket list’, there are only 7 things he hasn’t done, yet, so he gives each grandson a letter detailing the adventure he would like them to have. Here’s the trailer. It looks pretty exciting! 🙂
Thursday, I didn’t have to drive, but I helped out at MTYP during the School Stage performances of Susin Nielson. She is a very fascinating lady who started her writing career writing scripts for the Degrassi Junior High TV series. She even got to play a character in the series, although it was short-lived. I think that would have been such a fun project to write for and perform in! In addition to her 4 Degrassi novelizations, she has since written three unrelated YA novels, Word Nerd, Dear George Clooney Please Marry My Mom, and her most recent launch – The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Lawson. Word Nerd was even translated into Portuguese and French and sold overseas! To me, that is the sign of a successful writer! 🙂
Friday, I had a day to myself to try and catch up on the 250 blog posts in my email box, a job I failed to complete, and I decided to write the crafty post I missed on Wednesday.
This morning I drove a French author, Nadine Mackenzie, to the airport. We had a lovely chat along the way and I’m now sorry I can’t read French very well, or I would check out her books. Maybe, one day, I will be able to do just that. I managed to get a couple of hours at home to do things like wash the dishes and make lunch for my family, before heading off to the Park Theater for the Volunteer Thank-you party. We had lots of food, great conversations and many prizes were won. I figure I used up my luck winning three things at the scrapbook event last weekend, so I wasn’t too disappointed when I didn’t win anything today. 🙂
Hope you all enjoy your weekend. May your weather be as spectacular as it is here! (Sunny and 29 degrees Celsius/90 degrees Fahrenheit!) 🙂