Arguably one of the WordFest’s best known names was at the Calgary Public Library’s central branch this evening.  I am, of course, talking about Arlene Dickinson, successful entrepreneur, star of CBC’s Dragon’s Den, and author of a new book entitled, Persuasion.

Instead of doing a reading from her book, which usually doesn’t work too well with non-fiction, the event was held as a sort of informal Q&A session, where questions were begun by host Kathe Lemon and continued by the audience.

Most of the questions, in fact, possibly all the questions, were about Arlene’s life and her experiences in business.  Now you’re probably thinking, duh?, that’s what her book is about.  But I sort of had it in my mind that a lot of the questions would be about Dragon’s Den, and her experiences on the show, rather than actual business questions.  But I don’t think there was a single Dragon’s Den question.  Although I could be wrong about that, as I was sort of distracted for a good portion of the event.

It seems the man sitting behind me wasn’t too interested in the presentation, as he fell asleep and started snoring.  And not that light

Serious Sleeping

snoring you see cartoon dogs do when the cat is trying to sneak by.  I’m talking about heavy-duty snoring that makes heads turn.  He reminded me of the last page of Call of the Cowboy, where the Bear is ‘sawing logs,’ with a chainsaw.  That’s what this guy was like.

Fortunately, it didn’t last long; no more than 5 minutes.  Unfortunately, he replaced snoring with talking.  Who starts talking the instant they wake up? It wasn’t as if the snoring stopped, was then followed by fifteen minutes of silence, and then he started talking.  When his last snore stopped, it was immediately followed by words.  But that only lasted about one minute, then he went back to sleep.

I’m unsure of the protocol when someone behind me is sleeping.  Should I be waking him up, because I kind of think that ball should be in the person he was with’s court.  He was talking to the person next to him, who he had arrived with; they should be the one to give him a nudge.  ‘Hey, friend, pal, buddy, you’re snoring…wake up.’  But maybe that’s just me.

But now I have to rush back to the Vertigo theatre, as tonight’s showcase, featuring Marina Endicott, Brian Francis, Patricia Marx, Suzette Mayr, Jose Manuel Prieto, and Martha Schabas, has already begun.  And immediately following that event is ‘Poetry Bash,’ which I believe is celebrating poetry, not slamming it.  But that won’t finish off this Friday night, as there is also WordFest Late Night at BEATNIQ, starting at 11:30PM.  Late Night is a special event featuring a surprise artist, who wasn’t announced until earlier today, Justin Rutledge.  I’m  not familiar with his music, but I see he was born January 3, 1979, as was I.  He also named his third album, Man Descending after a collection of short stories of the same title by Banff Distinguished Author, Guy Vanderhaeghe.  Is this an amazing coincidence?  (Forgetting that all coincidences are amazing by nature and it is redundant to say ‘amazing coincidence.’) 


Don’t forget to follow the Official WordFest hashtag on twitter, #wordfest2011

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