Oh the Places You Will Go!

Now that WordFest is around the corner, I’ve been trying to finalize my schedule for the week.  To be honest, it hasn’t been as easy a task as I thought it might.  I suppose this is a result of there being over fifty events in only six days, which means I’ll have to pick and chose what I attend; there isn’t time to go to everything.
 
At first glance, there are a couple of events that can’t be missed.  On Saturday, in Banff, is the Distinguished Author Series featuring Guy Vanderhaeghe.  It isn’t an ‘any old author series,’ it’s a Distinguished Author Series; I must attend.  Then, running Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights, at the Vertigo Theatre is a nightly Showcase. These events will feature over 15 authors, offering perhaps the biggest ‘bang for your buck’ at WordFest.  Naturally, I feel these also fit into the ‘can’t be missed category.’  So, that pretty much fills up my schedule at 7PM each night of WordFest.
 
Now to fill the rest of the days.  I’ve written about a few of the events already, and feel it would be a little silly to not attend those.  First off is Alberta (Un)Bound, where writers debate which city is better to be a writer; Calgary, Edmonton or Banff.  There’s nothing like a Battle of Alberta, and I shan’t be missing this one.
 
I’ve written about Franklin coming to WordFest as well, who will be visiting the Signal Hill library, which is only a couple of minutes from my house.  Franklin’s visit is Saturday morning, perfect for stopping by before I head out to Banff.  Plus, I was thinking I might be able to use my WordFest credentials to sweet talk the librarians into making a few of my fines ‘disappear.’
 
Looking through the remaining events and authors, there are still a lot of decisions to be made.  I’ve always been a fan of Dragon’s Den on CBC, so I would be interested in seeing Arlene Dickenson’s talk on Friday night.  The event would be from 6 until 7, and only a couple of blocks from the Showcase at 7.  But it’s also the same time as Guten Tag!, featuring German author Thomas Pletzinger.  I’m a little torn, as I read Pletzinger’s book, Funeral for a Dog, and would be interested in seeing him speak.  But, he’s up at the University, which might make it difficult to attend the Showcase.   Plus, he’ll also be in Banff on the weekend, so I’ll still get to see him.  I guess I’ll have to go with Persuasion on Friday night.  You could say I’ve always been ‘chasing the dragon.’  
 
I also need to make sure I talk to Lev Grossman, who is not only author of The Magicians and The Magician King, but also a literary critic for Time magazine.  For the past two years, I have slowly been reading my way through Time’s list of 100 All Time novels, and I’d be very curious to talk to him about a couple of the selections.  Naked Lunch?! He’ll be at the Thursday Night Showcases, as well as two events on Wednesday afternoon, so that should be a problem .
 
Lastly, I also would like to fit in some of the Festival de Mots.  I like to say I’m fluent in French, but in reality, it’s probably a little rusty.  However, this is an opportunity to prove all the nay sayers wrong, my chance to speak, hear and understand the French language.  There’s an event Thursday morning at the University which fits into my schedule nicely.  C’est Parfait!
 
That should pretty much fill me up for the week, but I’m sure I’ll still squeeze in a couple of more before all’s said and done.
 
Now I just have to figure out how to get to each event, but that’ll be a discussion for tomorrow.

-Bryan

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Filed under 2011 Festival Blog, Behind the Scenes

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