~ There is only one journey: going inside yourself. ~
- Rainer Maria Rilke


Latitudes ~ Sunday, June 11, 2006

At any rate, Saturday was also a busy day. I went to a Storytellers' festival, which was absolutely wonderful and fascinating, in downtown Kitchener. I was a last minute addition to the "story in a day" writing contest, in which six (including me) writers had to come up with a short story in four hours (we had from 10 am to 2pm). Then, Andrew Pyper would read them and choose first, second and third place winners.

This was good, in the sense that it was a lot of fun and kind of neat. We were set up at a series of tables on STAGE, and laptops were provided for our use. We weren't allowed to bring any notes or cheat sheets, but were also provided with paper and pens for anything we needed to jot down at the time. In addition, as "guests", we were given access to the "back room" were there were comfy chairs and all kinds of sumptuous foods.

So already I'm thrilled. I'm pretty good at filtering out peripheral distractions (which is good, cause I forgot my mp3 player), so what it comes down to is that I get free lunch, in return for sitting around doing what I normally do at home, where I have to prepare my own lunch. :-D In addition, it means that my story is automatically submitted somewhere. I don't have to stress about tweaking this and that (as I would if I were subbing it at home and had more than four hours)--I don't even have to print it out! They do it all for me!! It also means a break from the novel I'm mired in, and a total change of pace.

So, I arrive there. I get to meet the other interesting people who are also competing (I knew Jana, who told me about the contest, but four others, at least). The laptop is a bit inconvenient, as it doesn't have all the handy shortcuts that I'm used to--but still, all is good. Except--I see the day's schedule and suddenly wish I weren't writing for most of it, because it's fascinating. Aside from us, up on stage, all the other rooms, which are done up with funky fabrics and decor, feature verbal storytellers. And so, I sneak off for breaks whenever I can during the day and then wish I could just stay and listen to all these wonderful, fascinating, amazingly told stories. Instead, I just hear tantalising bits and pieces. Fortunately, I finish my own story a bit early, so I'm able to slip away and enjoy more of the storytellers for a few more hours.

So, it was absolutely wonderful! It's an amazing festival. As a participant, I walked away with TWO BAGS full of cool stuff (again, all for sitting on a stage doing what I normally do at home anyway)--organic coffee and chocolate, a nalgene (sp?) water bottle with the cool "Latitudes Storytelling Festival" logo, a bookstore gift certificate, a fabric book bag, and on and on. Wow!

Then, at the end of the day, after Andrew had made his choices, we each went up and read what we had written, which was also fascinating. By the time everyone was done and Andrew started reading out the winners, starting with third, I figured I was out for sure! But, I won! Hooray! That was a nice bonus, but even without it, it was a fabulous and super fun day. All the entries will be posted on the website, so I will add in a link here once they're up.

There are also some pics of the reading at the flickr website:


::Posted by Anduril Elessar @ 6:58 PM::::


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Anduril Elessar
Susan Deefholts

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