Travel Blog

13 Sep

Whistler Writers – Ahhh, The Idea Stage

By Karen Macleod

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you were driving at, say 90km/h, and put your vehicle in reverse? Nothing, as it turns out. Although, what’s that smell?

I’m driving to the airport, ABBA blaring. Heck, I’m even doing that yell-singing thing you can only do when you’re alone. Waterloo!!! Lalalalalala wanted to….Waterloo! lalalalalala be with you…

And the idea hits.

That’s why, when I gear down like I’m supposed to, I gear up, to N, oops, then to R, ouch! That’s why I turn into the next viewpoint to record the banter between my two characters who have unexpectedly joined me on the road. I take my notebook out of my purse (I use a Grade One lined exercise book. They’re cheap, small but not too small). But I don’t have a pen. I typically write my first draft in cursive handwriting, but I have no choice. I pick up my Blackberry and open the notepad app. Thumb, thumb, thumb.

This is a dialogue I tried to write two weeks ago. I was at a beach on Galiano Island. While my boys collected beach glass, I sat against a log in the sand, surrounded by the senses of the sea. The ideal setting for a writer. You’d think. After a couple of hours I had nothing. I had worse than nothing. I had bad writing.

After about ten minutes, I pull back onto the highway. Only, my two passengers don’t give a care that I have a flight to catch, and they keep talking. I make another stop. Thumb, thumb, thumb. And at every red light, thumb, thumb, thumb. I’m not really mad at them. I’m actually pretty thrilled.

Ahhh, the idea stage.


The legendary Whistler Readers and Writers Festival returns October 12-14 to celebrate the art of storytelling with an all-star lineup of guest authors and top tier events that promise to make this year’s festival the best yet.

Headlining is Alistair MacLeod, one of Canada’s most distinguished writers, best known for his critically acclaimed collection of short-stories Island as well as his multiple award-winning novel No GreatMischief, which took home the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.

Other guest authors include Lawrence Hill of the international best-seller and prize winning The Book of Negroes (published as Someone Knows My Name in the USA); short-story author and journalist Zsuzsi Gartner (Better Living Through Plastic Explosives); humourist young adult writer Susan Juby (Alice, I Think, The Woefield Poultry Collective); non-fiction and fiction writer Margaret Macpherson (Nellie McClung: Voice for the Voiceless, Body Trade); historical fiction novelist Jack Whyte (A Dream of Eagles, The Templar Trilogy); fiction and poetry writer Miranda Hill (Sleeping Funny) and celebrated poet John Burnside (Black Cat Bone). Local author and festival director Stella Harvey will also be debuting her new book Nicolai’s Daughters.

Read our blogs, pass them on, tell us what you think and come join us at festival 2012.

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