What's the Word? And What's Next?

So, on Sunday, I attended Kitchener’s Word on the Street and moderated a panel discussion about teen fiction, YouTube and the Internet. By colleagues on the panel were Rebecca Anderson and James Alan Gardner. It was an interesting discussion, I thought, as we started out debating the usefulness of blogs. Jim refuses to run one because he believes it cuts into his writing time; I picture my blog as an electronic writing journal that keeps my fingers nimble and my mind alert, and Rebecca is somewhere in between.

The panel had a good energy to it, thanks especially to an audience that trickled in as we talked, and grew to a decent sized crowd, and there were a number of teenagers who seemed interested in what was going on. So, all in all, a successful outing, and we all had a lot of fun.

After the panel, I headed on over to the authors’ reading tent and listened to my mother read from her latest book, The Ruby Kingdom. She also attracted a good audience, most of whom (there were a lot of kids in attendance and asking them to sit still and listen is always a challenge) sat in rapt attention. And of course, there were booths and lots of people, all there to celebrate the glorious experience of the written word. It’s always heartening to see how many people are interested in books, and it’s a wondeful world to be a part of. So, thanks to the organizers for putting together another successful event.

The next task for me is to prepare for a professional development day in London, where school administrators are organizing an event linking authors with teachers and teacher librarians from area schools. Noted children’s book author Mem Fox will be giving the keynote, and I’ll have a chance, along with a number of other authors, to talk up my books before a receptive audience. Wish me luck.

it’s been pretty busy here, working on a design commission, my writing and preparing stuff for the Campaign Tales website. I should have a couple of articles up over there in the next couple of days. I have, however, been bogged down a bit by television, since my father decided that what I really needed, after pulling the plug on cable tv was a set of rabbit ears.

They work quite well, actually, and I’m able to pick up CBC, CTV and TVOntario, and Vivian now has a variety of educational children’s programs to watch rather than the recycling of Dora the Explorer. On a plus, that means more Arthur, which is a clever program that the whole family can enjoy and which Vivian seems to love. This also means Wordtales or somesuch which appears to be helping Vivian with her spelling early. Unfortunately this also means Wonder Pets, and all I have to say there is woah Nelly! Never did I thought that there was a program worse than Dora the Explorer for making you want to engage in violence against your television set. Think badly animated cute ducks, turtles and hamsters singing badly written “Mighty Mouse style” opera and you have some idea of my level of pain, and the risk we’re running of those rabbit ears going out through the back window… Or possibly through my father’s back window.

But I’ll be able to see the election results as they roll in on October 10, and I’m glad of that. The lack of cable tv was one reason why I missed the debates, and I had to admit that I felt a little bit cut off after that.

For Doctor Who fans, the Torchwood spinoff series debuts on the CBC this Friday at 8 p.m. If you’re looking for an aggressively adult take on a Doctor Who spinoff with moderately clever writing, decent acting and special effects, go for it. It’s highly variable, but the season ends with some remarkable hours of television. Just be on the lookout for Cyberwoman, however. If you do stumble upon it, drink a little wine and try to pick out the point in the production where I laughed and yelled “she’s got cyberbooty!!!”

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