Thursday, February 14, 2013

Canadian Authors Association - Open Mike Night, Feb. 13, 2013

Last night  I enjoyed an evening of listening to the creative enterprises of my fellow writers.  What a joy it was to come in from the cold damp and lonely  city of Vancouver to sit in a happy room of polite strangers and kindly friends.  Together we participated in the ancient art of storytelling and poetry sharing.  Despite our washed and well dressed appearances we might well have been tribeswomen and men gathering about an eternal fire.  Margot Bates managed the time announcing to readers and reciters when a minute was left. The buildings fire alarm rang raucously when one poor man with a particularly interesting tale was interrupted after he'd just begun. Margot insisted she'd had nothing to do with that.  However, readers one and all thereafter were most respectful of her and the time allotted.
Jean Kay even sang acapella for us, reminding me to not quote songs in future works of my own as I'm not nearly as true to a tune as Jean. Several men but no women talked of war and fighting weaving entrancing tales of heroic and mythic proportion.  Then a little lamb ambled in the midst of us while to talk with an umbrella lady from another person's work.
Bob Mackie, not to be outdone by Kurt Vonegut, came prepared with his own illustrations.  Most of us as the result of his narrative eventually figured out that he'd drawn a submarine.  It helped that he read from his latest book on his time underseas with the Canadian Navy.  Having  never gotten far asking a potential date their astrological sign I was pleased to learn today's dating talking has moved on to quantum physics.  With the help of a truly hilarious chart of elemental particles I could now  figure out if we were weighty gravitons,  sparky photons or the ubiquitous neutrino.  There was pathos in a child's story of the 'victory'  of war.  I was given a touchingly moving insiders view on the pre marital rituals of the Mormon girls.  I couldn't help but identify with the chatter of young teens or grow intrigued with the dialogues of a family and friends shared by other readers.  The colour blue, the subject of a poem will never be the same for me now that it had been electrified with words.  I even  know  now what I must look like when and if I kiss a snake, politicians not withstanding.  
It was a fun endearing evening.  Only a couple of years ago on such a night I first heard Bob Mackie reading from his then unpublished now award winning novel, Soldier of the Horse. Several of the readers read from published works, others from works due out this spring and some from works in search of a larger audience indeed. For any writer such a night is a true inspiration. Now next month, on another Wednesday evening, I look forward to the panel discussion on crossing genres, writers writing in different medium. The panel includes published authors who have written memoirs, fictions, non fiction and newspaper articles.
I always enjoy these monthly CAA evenings, if only to be amazed at what imaginations some otherwise ordinary appearing people possess.  

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