Wine & Cheese at the Library

Friday was a fun evening at Fish Creek Library’s annual Wine and Cheese event, featuring wine samples sponsored by Willow Park Wines & Spirits, cheese provided by Springbank Cheese, paintings and photography by local artists and readings by Calgary writers. This year, I was thrilled to be invited to read, along with Fran Porter and Rosemary Nixon, this fall’s Calgary Public Library writer-in-residence.

Me reading

Cheese lineup

Close to 200 people attended. A large number brought their wine into the reading room. They seemed to enjoy the readings and asked lots of interesting questions.  Many thanks to the Fish Creek librarians for including me in their event. I hope to attend next year to listen to other readers, while sampling some tasty wines and cheeses.

Me at signing table

Me and word I wouldn’t want to forget

In support of Alzheimer’s Awareness Month (September) and Sheryl Gordon’s book project in support of Alzheimer’s Disease.

When Words Collide

I spent this past weekend at Calgary’s When Words Collide Writing Conference. As always, it was inspiring, informative, exhausting and fun. Already, plans are underway for next year’s event. I’ve registered already. Three days of full programing for $45 is a price that can’t be beat.

WWC Contest panel

At When Words Collide next weekend I’ll be on a panel of judges for the conference’s annual short story contest. We’ll discuss the ten stories that made the finals and announce the winners. The panel takes place at the Carriage House Inn, Calgary, at 11:00 AM. Judging a writing contest was quite an experience. I plan to blog about it after the conference.

Boomer Lit Panel

On Sunday, August 10, 3:00 PM I’ll be on a panel at When Words Collide writing conference titled Boomer Lit – An Overlooked Market – Romance, Mystery, and More. Boomers created the YA market when they swept through their teens. Today there are over 83 million baby boomers in North America. Here comes Boomer Lit. Boomers have time to read and money to buy books, but what do they want?

Are they seeking protagonists who are boomers and problems relevant to boomers? Do they want action, sex, mystery?

Join me and my fellow panelists  Brenda Collins, Ilonka Halsband, Eileen Bell and Mahrie G. Reid (Moderator) for a lively discussion and revelations about this growing market.

Boomer Lit

On Sunday, August 10, I’ll be sitting on a panel about Baby Boomer Literature at Calgary’s When Words Collide Writing Conference. In anticipation of the event, the panel moderator, Mahrie Glab Reid, invited me to write a guest blog post for her website. Mahrie gave my piece the catchy title: What if Trixie Beldon Turned Fifty?
Thanks, Mahrie, for this opportunity and for making me see there might be such a market as Boomer Lit.

A wedding, baseball and kindred spirit

I’m back from a terrific trip to Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Ontario. The highlight was my son’s wedding on June 13 in Toronto. The day was wonderful from start to finish and filled with memorable moments for a loving mom.

After the wedding and associated festivities, Will and I spent time visiting friends in the area. Knowing that Will is a baseball fan, our Kitchener friends suggested a day trip to St. Mary’s to visit the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. I confess, before this I hadn’t known that either St. Mary’s or the Canadian Hall existed.

As it happened, this was the day before induction weekend. Former players and announcers were due to arrive that night for some exhibition innings. Unfortunately, we couldn’t stay for that, but we were able to tour the hall, an old home packed with Expos, Blue Jays and other baseball memorabilia. Now I know what a home plate looks like.

Home plate where a significant Expos event happened

Our enthusiastic guide through the museum was Kevin Glew, a writer working part time at the museum this summer. Kevin and I traded business cards and writing stories. You never know where you’ll find a kindred spirit. Canadian baseball fans will want to check out Kevin’s website.

Pam’s book launch

On Saturday, I had the honour and joy of introducing my friend, Pamela McDowell, at the launch of her first fiction book, Ospreys in Danger, a picture book for children in grades 2-3. The story, based on a real event, features two plucky girls who save ospreys in Waterton National Park. Pam’s launch, approppriately, was held at Calgary’s Inglewood Bird Sanctuary.

Pam signing my books at her launch

Equally appropriate was her choice of launch bookseller -  Owl’s Nest Bookstore.

Creative Non-Fiction conference

Here are a couple more photos taken at last weekend’s Creative Non-fiction Conference. I attended the pre- and post-conference events that were open to the public.

Susan & author Denise Chong at Shelf Life Books reading

Below, I am fiddling with my camera while author and educator Aretha Van Herk speaks at the statues of the Famous Five.

Literary Walk of Old Calgary

Calgary Crime Writers Meeting

Join us at the following event:

Crime & Coffee with Crime Writers of Canada

Thursday, May 15, 2014    7-9 PM

Good Earth at Glenmore Landing

90th Ave and 14th St. SW

Everyone welcome. If the weather’s good, look for us on the patio.
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