Saturday, June 26, 2010

CanWrite 2010 –Blue Pencil Sessions

At this year's Canadian Author's Association, "blue pencil" sessions were held in the lobby. Due to complaints by other hotel guests about the 'noise and shameful carrying on" these 'blue pencil' sessions will in future be held off site, in padded rooms.

Through out the conference writers heard their fellows chanting "Not my bon mot! Not my bon mot!" as authors staged rallies in groups hoping vainly political action might influence editors.

One petite white haired woman cried desperately to no avail 'that scene defined my grandmother, I simply can't remove it from her memoirs." Senior writers, ever available to criticize, wielded Luke Skywalker Blue Pencils with great flair. Others ganged up on the unpublished, two on one ,while the third operated the chain saw.

A veritable tug of war went on for hours with kc dyer on one end of a paragraph and a budding author at the other. By her utter deviousness, Bernice Lever, demonstrated that she'd been at this editing business a very long time. "Whose that behind you," she'd say and then whole chapters would disappear into thin air. "I could have sworn I included my 60's recipes for mushrooms in my cookbook for wholesome childen's food…I just don't know what's become of it." said the long haired author. Bernice smiled coyly like the proverbial cat.

Listening to Anthony Dalton you'd have thought he was a grief counselor, "it's gone, learn to live with it. We all move on with time."

However gentle the published authors were the newcomers just kept thrashing about on the floor and gnashing their teeth. At times the keening interrupted keynote speakers. Bob Mackay, his own novel just accepted for publication wanted to offer solace to one particularly forlorn writer but Rodger Cove stopped him. "He's got to face the loss of that one comma!" Rodger said.

It didn't matter that all the authors told the new writers, the editors and publishers were even more brutal. "We're doing this for your own good," fell on deaf ears.

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