Sunday, November 14, 2010

Canadian Author's Association - Westcoast Meeting - Nov. 2010

Ben Nuttall-Smith was the CAA greeter 2nd Wednesday of November at the Alliance for Arts and Cultural Events, Ste 100, 938 Howe Street, Vancouver. He was beaming. I hate when other authors are beaming. They're usually a morose and sullen lot with furrowed brow ever in search of the bon mot. Beaming can mean only one thing. Ben's new novel had been accepted and is due out for publication in the spring. In the reflection in the glass behind him I watched my freckles turn green as he spoke about his writing achievements.
I just managed to congratulate him, shake his hand, get by him and damned if I didn't encounter another beaming author. This time it was Robert Mackay, President of our Vancouver branch of CAA. His new novel is due out in March 2011.
Trying not to grovel and kneel before greatness, I styled the diffident pose of a blogger. Blogger's don't need publishers. Bloggers are poor and self supporting. Bloggers give their works to the church of internet. Ben and Bob actually had found homes for their children.
I get by Bob with freckles and skin green, only to see another beamer. Who is that, I ask. I can only wonder as Jean Kay introduces Lila.

Lila's one of our very funny resident poets. She breaks into performance art reciting a work about the snakes that we meet in daily life. Obviously some of hers are men. I sit back and enjoy, loving her various takes on officialdom, listening as she brings the pompous and pretentious down a notch or two with cutting art.
Then Jean is introducing the other beamer. He's a really big beam. The more books published, the more beam, it seems.

This is Timothy Taylor. No wonder he beams. Not only has he published books but he's had countless writing awards. He actually makes his living writing which supports his office in downtown Vancouver. Now that's a serious writer. His first novel was Stanley Park and is optioned for a movie. I've just downloaded his Story House from Amazon. He's reading tonight from his latest book due out like Bob's book in March 2011. It's got the word Project in the title, like Blair Witch Project, but I think there's a colour, Blue, like that movie the Vancouver police did about Vancouver downtown eastside. Blue Light Project. That's it. I ought to be a better researcher, like Taylor. He tells us that he started this book with the idea of a hostage taking in a theatre and three characters. One was a former star athlete. In this case a woman gold medallist in one of those diatholon, triatholon, biatholon whatever aggregate sports that will never take the place of hockey, try as they might. The other character was a street artist. Timothy Taylor explained how he became interested in these alternative artists who do city art, one fellow painting a dumpster to look just like Louis Vitton luggage. The third character was pullitzer prize journalist who'd fallen from grace through lying in a major piece only to end up doing scuzzy tabloids for a living. It was this alter ego latter character whose place at the hostage taking, Taylor read tonight.
It was priceless writing. Not surprising he's a beamer. Writes amazingly and reads well too. The girls say he's handsome. What's not to hate. We had question and answers after that. Always interesting to learn what authors say to authors questions. Some very useful answers about digital contracts and movie scripts. Then lots of applause.
I'm committed to buying Blue Light Project. It's going to be the first of a new genre, Literary Thriller. It's like the biathalon. Nobody's just playing hockey. Everything has gone Roccocco and Baroque. At least blogging remains the trailer trash of modern writing. I'm safe in my own Deliverance, resisting knocking out a few teeth and learning the banjo.
It was another good night at CAA. Inspirational for sure. Like getting to hear today's Robertson Davies, Farley Mowatts and Pierre Burtons reading from the great literature that will be taught in tomorrow's schools.
Next event is the Christmas Lunch, Whitespot Restaurant, 1616 West Georgia, Vancouver, Noon, Dec. 4, 2010.It's always a great place to play identify the poets from the novelists based on table manners.

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