Posted by: Monique Polak on Apr 07, 2008
Hello, hello, blog readers! I'm back from GritLit -- a literary festival in Hamilton, Ont. The bed sheets are out on the clothesline and I'm having the tires on my car changed (Goodbye, Winter Tires! See you in November!). Can you tell we Montrealers are eager for spring?
So, let me tell you a little more about GritLit. On Friday, Don Aker (Don, if you're reading this, Mike whois generally not much of a fiction reader has been trying to steal your book The Space Between from me since he heard you read from it on Saturday!)... okay, back to business... so on Friday, Don and I read from our work to about 150 students at Westdale High School in Hamilton. Saturday at noon, we did a presentation at Terryberry Library (now who could make up a name like that with such a swell rhyme?) Only when we turned up, there was a smattering of adults and only one teenager, 13-year-old David Pacheco. Way to go, David! I decided to take matters into my own hands -- so I headed upstairs with GritLit co-chair Jennifer Gillies and we rounded up students. So, in today's entry, I want to say a special hello to Lianna Baguio, Krizza Ballitoc, Marvin Lacea and Diayeh Kuwabong who took a break from working on their religion project to come to our reading. You guys are my heroes!! It even turns out Diayeh writes short stories and poetry and he told me he just might try to write a poem about cutting, inspired a little by my novel Scarred.
A funny thing happened when Jennifer and I were trying to round up more kids for our audience. We spoke with a woman and her daughter. The woman told us, "We can't come because we're just in town for a hockey tournament and my daughter has a lot of homework to do." Because of the way the Terryberry Library is designed, Jennifer and I could see the woman and her daughter when we went up to the next floor -- and guess what? That girl WAS NOT DOING HOMEWORK. SHE WAS WRITING ON HER ARM!! (Unless, that is a new study method I have not yet encountered in my many years of teaching!!) Stories, stories everywhere! Isn't life grand? Diayeh, write that poem! Maybe I'll be at YOUR reading one day! Special thanks to the organizers of GritLit. It was a great weekend -- stimulating and fun. We authors generally spend a lot of quiet time at our desks, so this was a great treat!
... will check back in later this week. Tomorrow, I'm doing a workshop on "setting" with the kids from Hebrew Academy. Will try to fill you in on how that goes....