I could barely contain my excitement about participating in the Eden Mills Writers’ Festival 2012. Some may vouch, in fact, that I did not contain my excitement, but rather it bubbled forth at every opportunity for self-expression. The festival goers were numerous and engaged. The weather was perfect. We, the authors, enjoyed delicious meals in beautiful settings in the scenic hamlet of Eden Mills. There was a wonderful literary vibe in the early autumn air.
Highlights included meeting and chatting with authors Helaine Becker, Lizann Flatt, Susan Hughes, Deb Loughead, and Donna Morrissey. I also was pleased as punch to shake hands with Alistair MacLeod and to extend gratitude to Leon Rooke, the festival’s founder and former resident of Eden Mills. It was lovely to reconnect with fellow Second Story author and illustrator Janet Wilson, illustrator Linda Hendry, and to meet Susan Glickman who is also a Second Story author (the Lunch Bunch series). And, of course, I loved seeing all the familiar faces in the village and getting caught up with friends.
I left with a huge grin on my face and lots of inspiration to write, write…
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In the lead up to the Eden Mills Writers’ Festival this coming weekend, I’ve been sorting through old files and unearthed some interesting bits of nostalgia. The featured image on the left shows an old clip from The Toronto Star. Pictured in the bottom right, listening to novelist Eric McCormack read from, I think, The Paradise Motel, are university students Sylvia Petrik (now Mollison), Ian Mollison, and me. This is 23 years ago at the very first Eden Mills Writers’ Festival. Yes, I can proudly say, “I was there!” And, yes, way back when, I was a huge fan of Canadian literature (still am) and loved going to readings (still do). Eric McCormack was also my favourite English professor at the University of Waterloo, too. I never tired of hearing his Scottish “Good morning, ladies and gentlemen” refrain at 8:30 a.m. classes where he taught us about Beowulf and Milton.
The picture below right is from another Eden Mills Writers’ Festival, sometime in the 1990s. I was goofing around with high-school friends after the afternoon’s festivities had wrapped up. We’d just seen Margaret Atwood up on that rustic and beautiful handmade stage about an hour before. My friends and I took turns playing the author at the podium. So, yeah, that’s me, in role, and being so much the author-wanna-be…long after the events had wrapped up.
So, it’s very sweet, poignant, and just darn amazing, that after all these years here I am on the list of children’s author presenters. I feel so honoured and so excited. This is really going to be a treat!
And, of course, Eden Mills was my home for several years. Lots of memories!Read More »