Writers Festival Day 1

One of the highlights of my year is a big shindig of word people talking about their words, and word-ivores like me snuffling contentedly at the word trough. As a writer, libraries can be overwhelming and bookstores – especially that big used bookstore downtown, with all those dried-out husks of once-hopeful publication – can knock me down and dishonour my remains. The Ottawa International Writers Festival does me good, though.

I’m inspired by great sentences. I’m inspired, in an odd but clear way, by the ordinariness of the people. When the writers are great, I’m inspired to believe that I could be good, too. (It took me a surprisingly long time to realize the degree to which I idealized, nay deified, writers. Traces of outworn idolatry remain, but the WritersFest helps me cleanse the sanctuary.) When the writers are mediocre, a less noble inspiration turns my crankiness: if (s)he can do it, NO MORE WAITING for me!! It’s not exactly righteous anger, but it’s a deformed cousin of it. Details at eleven. (Or whenever I strap myself to the keyboard next.)

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