For those of you who havenít bothered to lift your heads from your social media conveyance to notice, the best weekend of the entire summer is about to unfold. Thatís the one where people talk, listen and ask questions ó†in the flesh.
Yes, I speak of the upcoming Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts, the 30th anniversary of said festival, to be precise.
Thatís pretty darn amazing when you think about it.
For three decades, readers and writers have come together to share the ultimate literary experience. And for those of us who rank good authors in the same category tweeners rate Justin Bieber, life is good.
This year, along with the always amazing and entertaining Wayson Choy, Iím anxious to meet Ami McKay whom I have on good authority (Jane Davidson, festival producer and all-round genius) is as sweet and lovely as the lead character in her marvellous book The Birth House. McKay spins a great tale in that book based on the past occupant of her Nova Scotia home.
It would appear history is a love of McKayís. Her second book, The Virgin Cure, draws on a long-ago family memberís involvement in the slums of New York City. Sad to say, with a change of venue and century, the story could be about one of the innocent victims of the AIDS epidemic of todayís Africa.
On the lighter side, festivals such as this one point out the great need we still have to see words used and spelled as Webster intended. Thatís a skill that increasingly seems to be at a premium in todayís world.
Some of the malapropisms Iíve seen lately are laugh-out-loud funny, thatís LOL for the SM (social media) crowd.
My favourite is from a fellow who pontificated at length in a column that the fried chicken baron from the States whoís been embroiled in controversy for his opinions on gays is entitled to his opinion because of free speech rights. Said columnist urged the gentle reader to ďbareĒ with him while he laid out his reasons for thinking so. I couldnít help but wonder just where we would disrobe ó outside the chicken joints? Bear with me while I try to find out.
Another chuckle Iíve had lately was in an email I received from a reader complaining about my habit of starting sentences with Ďandí. In the course of one email she spelled my first name four ways. Iím not sure if there was a message there. And to be honest, I really donít care.
I remember a former colleague of mine who used to make a point of telling people that we wrote something for everyone, including errors for the grammar police among our readers. I often think about that lately when Iím reading the big time dailies of our province and chance upon the wrong usage of Ďthereí. I especially love it when the writer is trying to make a serious point and you just know some buffoon decided to spell check the document. Crass, I know, to enjoy someone elseís mistakes, but itís nice to see the big boys and girls look silly too.
Finally, for those of you whoíve never been to the writerís festival, here are two things you should know: youíll never attend a boring event and it really is social.
I hope it never changes.