Thursday, October 18, 2012

Reviewing the Victoria Writers' Festival by Leanne Dyck

On Saturday, October 13th I attended an author reading/panel discussion. The Bendy Truth featured three creative non-fiction authors and was part of the two-day Victoria Writers Festival. 

The venue was the Young building (room 310) that is, ironically, one of the oldest buildings on the campus.

The panelists were (from left to right) Christin Geall, Madeline Sonik and Monique Gray Smith and the host was David Leach (on the far left standing against the wall).

The authors had a variety of reading styles. Two of the authors read from their books—the other read from printouts. One of the authors gave a rather lengthy introduction that included details about how she wrote her story. The other two introductions were much shorter. One of the stories was written like an essay. Another author blended a lot of dialogue into her story.

A discussion followed. Here’s what I gleamed…

How did you deal with the challenges of writing about people you know?

-It took me many attempts over a long period of time
-I left myself open to having my opinion changed—this was scary
-I changed names and put a disclaimer at the front of my book

Why do you weave culture and history into your story?

-It just happens—the more personnel the story is the bigger in scope it becomes
-Helps to strengthen the work

Why do you think there is such a growing interest in this genre?

-Reflection on the realistic period we are in.
-People are looking for truth
-Creative non-fiction has everything that fiction does with the added bonus that it actually happened
-This genre is about hope—people are looking for that
-People are craving relationship

What books inspire you?

How much should you try to hide the identity of the people you are writing about?

-You shouldn't be concerned about that. You need to own your truth.
-Put all thoughts of hiding out of your head because that’s the inner critic talking

How do you choose the name?

-Use a search engine that lists the top 100 names of the year the person was born

How do you write?

-I close my eyes and just write
-I use the software program:  Scrivener. I highly recommend it.

Other thoughts shared…

Writing is an effort to heal
Memoir isn’t written chronologically. The story is the key.

While I listened, captivated, to the readings and discussion, my husband was waiting for me here…

He wrote this…

Written while waiting for a writer

Here I sit
For an appointment missed.
My wife is late again
Though to be fair
‘Tis not her fault
A writer expels his air.
She hopes to learn
From one so bold.
A subject I could not care
So here I sit
And bide my time,
What words are worth the air?

(Even after living with him for many years, he still continues to surprise me. )

I found this on the stall wall in the woman's washroom...

My world sings with creativity--and I am alive. : )