Well it has been longer than I intended to write a new blog post, but I have been busy. I went to a writer’s festival in my province, the Cabot Trail Writers Festival in Cape Breton, NS. They feature local Nova Scotian and Canadian writers, and it is a relatively new festival, celebrating their 12th year. There were several workshops authors hosted to attend and there were authors from genre’s I don’t really read or gravitate toward which was very interesting. It was my first time at a writer’s festival, there are events like this all over the world, so I thought I would check it out, observe and delve deeper into the writing community.
I thoroughly enjoyed going, there were readings by authors, some interviews and workshops in fiction and poetry, and music performances by local musicians to round out the event. There were writers across a few genres, fiction (Lesley Crewe, Jessica Whitehead, Tom Ryan and Lynn Coady), poetry (Sara Peters, George Elliott Clark, Joshua Mensch) and an essay writer (Alicia Elliott). There was some mingling with the featured authors, but I am not very good at inserting myself into conversations, being shy has it’s restrictions, so I did not really get a chance to talk to any of them personally, therefore I did not follow the suggested advice of experts in these matters about making connections 😊. I did meet some lovely people who, like me have a great love and interest in reading and writing.
I was lucky enough to get to attend a workshop with fiction writer Lesley Crewe who writes about simple life and routine in a funny, engaging and uplifting way. She gave some good hints and suggestions on writing fiction from what works for her and it was fun to listen to her and get to ask her some questions on her experiences with writing characters and how she formed them.
I did get a new appreciation for poetry from this event by listening to the poets. George Elliott Clarke is dynamic and engaging. He gives you the meaning and emotion through his inflections, tones, movements and expressions and highly recommend going to see him if you get the chance.
Another poet that read his work was Joshua Mensch, his cadence was measured, soft, pausing slightly so hearing caught up in your brain to listening and understanding. After shying away from this genre for so long in life, I am delighted that I found a renewed interest in reading poetry. Poetry always felt like abstract art for me, and some of it still does if it is too metaphorical. I would be looking at the abstract art and my practical brain would be saying it is some lines and a dot, for example, while someone who “gets it” put all kinds of meaning behind the work that I simply can not understand. Sometimes poetry that is not clear to the practical side of my brain, may have me off thinking they mean something else entirely, embarrassingly wrong, so I never cared for it.
Another genre that I am not overly familiar with is essay writing. Years ago, I picked up Maya Angelou’s book “Letter to My Daughter” which is a book of essays and a little poetry about life lessons and thoughts of the world she wishes to share with women. It is fantastic, inspiring, and thought provoking. Whenever I read it, I always flip to the blank pages she must have purposely left in the back of the book and think one day I will have the courage to write on those blank pages.
As a reader, we sometimes get stuck in a certain genre, but I think it is good to try different ones now and then, and who knows, maybe we will like it.