Saturday, August 16, 2014

Canadian Authors Association - West Coast Branch - Annual Summer Dinner

The Canadian Authors Association - Writers Helping Writers- held their annual summer dinner at the Fire fighter’s Public House.  Great idea, Margot Bates!  Margot, president, arranged a tribute to the service of Bernice Lever.  Bernice Lever, writer in residence, was stepping down from her many other organizational positions in CAA.  Her knowledge and guidance has been so appreciated by each successive board member given her wealth of organizational knowledge, her wit and charm and her personal accomplishments as a poet, editor and writer.  Together we’d all contributed a comment on how much Bernice had helped each of us.  Jean Kay  provided orchids to accompany the booklet of praise presented by Robert Mackay.
Next, Children of Air India award winning author Renee Salikhar read from her book based on that tragic bombing of the Canadian flight in which more than 80 children died. After she spoke of the role of artists in history and tragedy. In her poem, the word ‘redacted’ sounds like the chorus of a Greek tragedy, accusing the terrorists and all who conspired through action or silence to kill these innocent children.
Later as writers we talked together of craft and subject, process and characterization.  But mostly we spoke of summer holidays, children and grandchildren, books being published, books being written.  Margaret told me of her latest family reunion, speaking of  generations and survivors.
I sat with Lilija and she, like Dennis, who joined us, have been have been joyfully experimenting with various forms of live and recorded musical back up to their poetry readings. . Lila’s autobiography is at the publishers and she promised she really had included the kangaroo.
Robert Mackay’s , latest novel, Terror on the Alert has just been released.   There were dozens there and I’d no chance to speak to all. Joyce had just returned from touring the art galleries of Europe.  It was great to see Russ who does so much for the CAA website. As he lives in Victoria we rarely see him..
I really enjoyed the group.  Writers, not surprisingly are fine raconteurs.  In person, they’re interesting, not terribly judgemental, because if anything they’re ‘collecting’ material for their books.  If they don’t particularly like you, you might end up a corpse in a detective novel.If you’re adorable you might well become a pet rabbit in a children’s fairytale.  In person, though,  they really do appreciate and celebrate character.  They’re not even averse to conflict if it moves the story.   Among writers there’s always depth.  One knows the wheels are turning when you’re talking with a writer. It might just be a hamster in a cage but it might well be the wheels of history.
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1 comment:

Jean Kay said...

Thanks for the writeup and the photos Dr. Bill. I, too, enjoyed the evening. We are part of a great group.