Veronique Darwin

North Shore Writers Festival

In Literary Events on April 24, 2012 at 2:05 am

(photo credit North Shore Writers Festival)

The West Vancouver Library, my favourite place, hosted the North Shore Writers Festival this past weekend, something I claim to have never heard of before, but I think might be a chicken or egg thing.

(photo credit West Vancouver Archives)

The festival was held in a room I’ve never seen, a sign of a really good favourite place.

I attended an afternoon panel discussion on blogging, hosted by four prominent Vancouver bloggers:

Sean Cranbury, of Books on the Radio, a blog that”explor(es) new voices and ideas in books, writing, digital media and public spaces”.

Rebecca Bollwitt, Miss 604, whose blog exhibits local events and travel around the Lower Mainland.

Jeannette Ordas, of Everybody Likes Sandwiches, “an uncomplicated journal about food … not just sandwiches.”

Kelsey Dundon, of The Anthology, a blog centered around “fashion, design, travel, and the arts.”

The four panelists gave excellent advice that I wrote down with great reverence and fear.

I raised my hand at a variety of audience participation questions: “Have you ever started a blog and forgotten about it?”

When moneymaking came up, people in the audience looked down. We were told – us, such a gentle, note-taking audience – that if we were looking to make money with blogging, then we were looking in the wrong places.

We were also told that if we were novelists looking to get published (which we were) and we didn’t yet have a blog (which we didn’t), then we were SOL, which is an acronym. Some us came home and started blogs.

Do check out these four blogs: they are exciting, local and diverse. Miss 604 just added a guest post about the Northern Lights over Vancouver (lights I so cluelessly looked upon earlier tonight), and The Anthology recently posted about fashion styles at Coachella.

Later in the day I attended Daniel Kalla‘s talk about his latest book, The Far Side of the Sky. Daniel Kalla is an emergency room doctor at St. Paul’s Hospital, which he seems to think is perfectly normal for a bestselling author. I hope to be just as delusional about how good I am when I am of a similar success level.

(photo credit Harper Collins)

Daniel Kalla said many interesting things, two of which I fell in love with. He said them with such ease that I realised he must say them at every talk. I pretended he made them up on the spot, for me.

Number One Good Thing: A critic has dubbed Kalla “Chicken Little with an M.D.” because of his tendency in his  bestselling medical thrillers to invent pandemics from which we all might fictionally die (I hope I didn’t ruin any endings of these books I have yet to read).

The Other Really Good Thing: Kalla said that shift workers, like those people who work in Emergency Rooms, often have Peter Pan syndrome. At first I didn’t know what this was, and thought of Tinkerbell. Once I looked it up I realised it was a beautiful though: people with above respectable jobs, like Emergency Room doctors and firemen, also think they are kind of childish?

After Kalla’s talk was a Wine and Cheese event, where I mingled with two people, dropped a cracker, and saw my favourite high school English teacher. I was too nervous to tell her I was writing a novel, so I asked her “Do you remember me?” and took off my glasses to show her. I had to leave half a glass of wine untouched so that I wouldn’t tell anyone else (anyone other than the two people I had already spoken with) that “the problem with writers is we’re too afraid to say what we are.”

  1. Thanks for this! I’d love to hear more about the event. Wish i could have been there!

    • It was a fabulous event. Are you a member of the North Shore Writers’ Association, or have you ever been to a meeting? I am planning to go to the next meeting (3rd Monday of the month).

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