Monday, May 30, 2011

Join me at NorthWords!

I'm be making two on-stage appearances at NorthWords.

On Thursday, June 2, I'll be reading a brand-new piece of flash fiction at the Flash: Your 3 Minutes of Fame open mike, 8 to 10 p.m. in the atrium of the Greenstone Building.

On Saturday, June 4, I'll be participating in the Renewal through Laughter: Writing Humour panel discussion, along with Kathy Reichs, Susan Juby, Ted Staunton, Annelies Pool and Richard Van Camp.

On June 4, I'll also be on hand for the Signings with Sizzle book signing and barbecue at the Book Cellar, noon to 1:30 p.m.

And, because I'm on the NorthWords Board of Directors, in between events I will be putting up display banners, wrangling baking, and whatever else need to be done.

See you there!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Honouring military spouses

This past Friday evening I had the pleasure of being the guest speaker at a formal dinner to honour military spouses in Yellowknife.

Given the audience, I decided to read “Grey Day, Grey Trout,” a personal essay about the first time I went fishing with Pierre in the East Arm of Great Slave Lake. I don’t want to give away the storyline, but let’s just say that the whole fishing experience was frustrating in the extreme, what with the way the lake trout kept pestering me and interrupting my reading. Pépé and our friend Louis were very generous with their advice throughout the day. They had plenty of opportunity to “coach” me, since there were no fish distracting them by biting their lures. But I digress.

I’d never been to a formal military dinner, much less been the “honoured guest,” which seems to have a specific meaning in the military world. (I thought they were just being polite when they called me that.) I sat at the head table with the Commanding Officer, Brigadier-General Guy Hamel, and his wife Nicola. While the first course was being served, I sat politely waiting for someone important to start eating so I could break into my beef consommé en croûte. Turns out I was the “important” person everyone was waiting for. Go figure.

It was a wonderful experience for me and Pierre. The folks at Joint Task Force North were a fabulous audience, laughing at all the right spots while I was reading. During the breaks they were friendly and welcoming. I was happy to participate in the event, which acknowledged the important contributions of spouses to military life. Many thanks to Major Steve Wright, President of the Mess Committee, for inviting me to speak, and to General Hamel and Nicola Hamel for a great evening.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

NorthWords immanent

We're in the home stretch, heading towards the 6th annual NorthWords Writers Festival, June 2 to 5, here in Yellowknife.

This year's theme is "From Ripples to Waves: Renewing our Spirits through Stories." Twenty-eight authors and special guests will include Kathy Reichs, Susan Juby, Gregory Scofield, Charlotte Gray, Ted Staunton, AmberLee Kolson and Roger Brunt. Northern authors include Jamie Bastedo, Myranda Bolstad, Bill Braden, Marianne Bromley, Albert Canadien, Dawn Curtis, Randy Freeman, Rene Fumoleau, David Malcolm, David Miller, Annelies Pool, Richard Van Camp . . . and me.

For more information, please see the festival website.