I took my friend Kerry – someone I’ve known since high school, in fact – to Scene of the Crime yesterday, part of the Wordfest line-up. I wasn’t sure how it would go over. Two years ago, the Saturday afternoon crime line-up consisted of three authors at a table. Each had a few minutes to share a story and then they were to read from their books.
And we already know how I feel about too much of that.
This one was much better. They brought the authors up one at a time. While they did have the same option as Thursday night, to just do their thing, this again meant that Mark Billingham could do comedy and read brief exerts from Buried.
Overall, this was a good event. Canadian Eden Robinson, Mark and Louise Welsh all took the stage.
Mark, of course, had us in stitches. I’m never going to look at the safety directions card in an airliner the same way again. And any reference to sucking people has become permanently tainted. As though it was possible for that expression to be even more perversely twisted, even in my pristine little mind.
Afterwards, it was time to say bye, but Mark invited us along to have drinks first. I had a great chat with Eden. She has an infectious laugh, a sharp wit and is a talented writer, so I was glad I got to meet her.
Mark has now departed for Winnipeg. He was pleasantly surprised (I think) by the weather here, but he may be in for a rude awakening with his subsequent travels. Parts east have already been blasted with snow while I was wearing my thin jean jacket around town yesterday.
So, if you’re in Winnipeg today, Vancouver, Edmonton or Toronto in the coming days, check out Mark’s schedule and be sure to go see him and buy a book or ten and get them signed. Bottom line is, as much as I’ve grumbled a bit here about Wordfest, when they have actual crime writers and crime events, it’s important for the local people to support those things. Otherwise, we’ll see the time when they don’t have them anymore.
Of course, it's a bit sad that it's over. I've been exceptionally fortunate to have Mark in this area for three whole days, and it will probably be some time before any of my other British friends are in these parts. The down side to potentially not going to Harrogate next July is missing the chance to catch up with them all.
I’ve been to downtown Calgary more in the past three days than I had been in the past five months. And I should probably go this week to see Michael Connelly…
Oh, and Stuart? You talk a good talk. We’ll see just how much you can handle. Although I have to say the thought of you shakin’ in your kilt is a bit disturbing. I’m having this image of you doing an Elvis impersonation.
Another tasteless joke from Uncle Charlie
What do you get if you cross a donkey with an onion?
Most of the time you simply get an onion with long ears, but every once in awhile, you get lucky, and get a piece of ass that brings tears to your eyes.