I'm back at my own computer in Montreal, but my head's still in the Gaspe! Thought I'd tell you a little about this literary breakfast I went to on Sunday morning in New Richmond. I got to sit at a table with lots of quebecois writers and hear them interviewed for a local radio show. Of course, you know me, I had my trusty writer's notebook on hand -- and I used it to jot down someinteresting comments I heard about writing so that I can pass them on to YOU!
Poet France Cayouette (her new book is called La Lenteur au Bout de l'Aile) had this advice for writers: "There is no other way than to sit down and write." I also loved when she said that, "Things talk to me" -- meaning she finds inspiration in the world around her. No wonder she is a poet!
Legendary quebecois songwriter Raymond Levesque was also there. Asked whether he thinks there is hope for the world, Levesque said he believed in "l'inconnu," which is French for "the unknown."
I also met Louise Portal, who was the "porte parole" for Livres en Fete, the Gaspe Book Fest. Portal is an actress and author. She starred in Denis Arcand's famous movies The Decline of the American Empire and The Barbarian Invasions. Over breakfast, Portal told me how her new book is based on a one-page story a neighbour in the Eastern Townships left one day in her mailbox -- it was a kind of resume of his life. Portal's neighbour is HIV positive. She took that sheet and turned it into a novel. When she addressed the audience, Portal said, "Real beauty is truth." She also said how much she and her husband, author Jacques Hebert, enjoyed taking part in Livres en Fete: "We appreciated the chance to bring the love of reading from one community to another."
Portal's words sum up my experience, too. So to all my new friends in Bonaventure, New Carlisle, Escuminac and New Richmond -- thanks for showing me a wonderful time and for letting me share my books with you!
Interesting quotes... and all of them seem more or less poetic in nature. I particularly like "Real beaty is truth"; especially after Sophie interviewed me about my adoption story, I realized just how beautiful life is, if one can just get over the relative superficialities of schoolwork and final exams.