Bookworm Life | Creative Life

Fog Lit Festival For Writers and Readers

October 25, 2017

Hello Friend,

I hope you enjoyed the 31 Days of Praying For Our Partners over on the Facebook page. I am going to place it on a permament link here on the blog, as soon as I figure out how to do that. That way it will be available anytime one of us wants to pick it up. Pulling all that together was a challenge for me, a good challenge it had me thinking, praying and in the bible. I was committed to having a new post out each day. I am sorry to say I neglected our correspondence while I was finishing that up. It’s been a while since we had a chance to catch up, so what’s new with you? Are you getting into the swing of your fall routines? I have seen so many posts on instagram and Facebook, parents heading back to the rink, the pool and all the little whatnots we are committed to. Everyone seems to be sliding back into routine nicely. At this moment the only routine I feel completely at ease with is Monday Muffins.

“Image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month.”

One of the posts I am starting to see pop up on my facebook newsfeed is that friends are beginning to prep for NaNoWriMo 2017. What is NaNoWriMo? It’s National Novel Writers Month, a movement that began 17 years ago. It encourages anyone who likes to write to complete a first draft of a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. Sounds like a gargantuan task to me. I’ve watched from the bleachers as this has developed into quite a “thing”, never quite ready to jump in. One year we printed the young writers program guide for daughter number two, who I will hereafter refer to as Writer Chick. It was a great program and she not only enjoyed it, she found it very beneficial to her writing. I do recommend it if you have any aspiring writers in your home. So where was I going with all this…… oh yes, I find myself tossing the idea of NaNoWriMo around. New beginnings they are a heady thing, it feels like the sky is the limit.  This year I will be content with the time I was able to spend at our local literary festival, NaNoWriMo will have to wait.

Image courtesy of Fog Lit Festival

This September I was finally able to attend the Fog Lit Festival. I have been watching jealously from the sidelines as this Festival began and grew to the event it is now.  Being able to partake this year was a real treat. I live in a city of only 126,000 people and I must say we have a remarkable cultural scene happening for such a small place.  Having a literary festival is the perfect fit and I am thankful to the team that created and nurtured it. There are readings, poetry slams, coffee houses and great workshops to attend.  The authors that attend are interesting and down to earth.

Writer Chick had attended a few Teen Coffee houses and readings. This year she read a piece at the coffee house.  She loved doing it and felt like her piece was well received.  How wonderful to have such an encouraging event for our young talent. Writer Chick and I attended two workshops on Saturday, next year I will be setting aside time to take in more of the festival.

The first workshop was by a Newfoundland author, Bridget Canning, it was on character development.  It was held in a large room with about 30 people in attendance.  After a short discussion she set us a task to develop a character. It was a great activity to work through.  My favourite question was, what kind of door would this character be? How great is that!  I saved my handouts as I will be referring back to them. Thank you Bridget!

Bridget Canning, she was a joy to listen to and learn from.

After some time spent working on our character we broke into groups to share what we had come up with.  Confession time … I didn’t pay close attention to the conversation in my own group, I was straining to listen to the group next to me.  Writer Chick was the youngest in the room so I was curious to hear how the older people in her group would respond and if she would speak up.  No worries about her confidence, writing is something she does well and loves to talk about.  When it was her turn to speak, I could sense amazement in her small group.  The comments I overheard were positive and led to the rest of the group asking her questions about the method she uses for character development.  Writer Chick has been using a template similar to the one Ms Canning had taught that morning.  Proud mama moment for me.

The second workshop we took in was lead by Dr Kathleen McConnell who publishes under the name Kathy Mac.  I got to sit beside her at the table and liked her very much.  Her workshop was Matters That Matter and she lead us through an exercise to write a memory. This was a fantastic workshop for me, it stretched me in all the right ways. I found the technique she used to guide us in not only remembering but rounding out the memory a perfect fit for me.   Thank you Kathy Mac, you are fabulous!

Kathy Mac, I loved her easy laugher and wonderful teaching style.

I actually shared the piece I wrote during the session with Kathy Mac, I hadn’t planned to but was glad I did.  It was emotional for me and for Writer Chick as it was a somewhat painful memory. Some of you know I am planning on eventually writing a memoir.  I found it encouraging to put pen to paper examining those few moments in time.  Perhaps I will send that rough edit along to you in my next missive.

New books are a joy.

Fog Lit Festival was a great weekend. I am excited to see the line up for next year as 2018 as will be their 5th year running.  Naturally I picked up some new books to add to our library.  Leo LaFleur‘s graphic novel The Errand, The Hunderfraulein Papers and Human Misunderstanding by Kathy Mac and I won, The Greatest Hits of Wanda Jaynes by Bridget Canning. Yay me!  My plan is to sneak them higher up my huge ‘to read‘ list so I get to enjoy them sooner.

Hope this letter finds you submerged in a wonderful book.  I’d love to hear all about it, I’m always looking for new titles to add to that list.  May you always find yourself in the midst of tales both epic and ordinary because really, they are the same thing.

Your Post Mistress,

Stacey-Lynne

 

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  1. I wish I had the confidence Writer Chick has. LOL You should put pen to paper, even if it’s just for yourself.

  2. I say I’m going to go and each year I seem to miss out. Next year. Reading “Steelheart”. My first venture into the very small genre of superhero/villain novels. Not graphic. Just straight out words triggering imagination.

  3. I saw that when I was updating my Good Reads this morning. It sounds like my kind of read. I may borrow it when you are finished. Next year we will plan to attend Fog Lit together.

  4. We have Leo’s book in the shop now. I think I’m going to ask him if he’d like to do a reading in store sometime too!

    1. That would be great. I could bring in my book and get it signed. Leo is a great guy. Anyone looking for a copy of The Errand can pick one up at Heroes’ Beacon on Charlotte Street Saint John. The art is beautiful, I can’t wait to read it tonight.

  5. Each year for NanoWriMo I get to about 17k to 20k words and then I lose steam.
    Each year I go back and start again on a new topic, a new story. One of these years I’d like to feel like I got to a place remotely complete. Maybe I’ll dive in again this year. I feel like I have lots to write about.

  6. Did you think about pulling one of your half finished stories and doing an edit and then finishing? It is a massive task to take on in 30 days. 17 to 20k is a wonderful accomplishment.

  7. This brought up wonderful memories for me of creative writing classes and poetry readings in my university days. It’s so exciting to be challenged and stretched and to create something new, raw, and emotional and then to share it with others. I’m so excited for Writer Chick that she got to experience this, too! Some day I want to attempt NaNoWriMo, and someday I will stop saying someday and grab life by the horns and just do it! I loved doing the children’s version with my students. As for books, they are what has got me through a particularly rough fall. Living in someone else’s shoes for awhile is a nice diversion and makes the hour commute go faster. I miss spending time with you, my friend. Glad to meet you here each week on your blog.

    1. I miss seeing you as well. Life takes us in different directions sometimes but our hearts will never be too far apart. Writer Chick had a fantastic time and is already excited for next year. Maybe we can plan to attend somethings together.

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