Sunday, 16 June 2013

"Voices" Launch - A Photo Journey

The following are a series of photographs taken at yesterday's launch of Volume 13 Number 1 edition of the Lake Winnipeg Writers' Group's literary Journal, "Voices", at the Atrium of McNally Robinson in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. These are by no means all of the photos taken - Amber went a bit crazy with the camera - but give what I think is a good representation of the day, or at least as much as involved yours truly.

If you have yet to purchase your own copy of Voices (and just why on earth haven't you??) here is the link to the LWWG home page: Lake Winnipeg Writers' Group: Home Page click on Voices at the top and you're there.

 This first photo was taken during my reading of my 1st in Adult Fiction entry in the LWWG's Write On the Lake Contest - "And Then It Rained". I was slated to be the first to read (OMG!) The event was well-attended, and those folks you see were some of the ones lucky enough to find chairs! Yikes!!
 I included this second photo just to prove that I did have the stones to look up every once in a while. It may appear that I'm staring right at the camera, but the truth is I never saw a damn thing! The Atrium at McNally Robinson covers a fairly large area, and I'm here to tell you that it was packed, with standing room only at the very back! Was I nervous? Hell yeah! But everyone was kind enough to laugh in the appropriate places during my introduction, and you can see that they were paying attention. The reason why I'm not smiling isn't solely because of nerves, though; "And Then It Rained" is a tragic story. I watched a video of the reading later that evening, and am happy to say that I didn't make a complete hash of it.
 The reading safely over, you might see the relief written all over my face. These next series of photos may look planned, but it was impromptu as all get out. The table was there with no one in the chair, so Amber told me to sit, thinking that it would make a good photograph. Wouldn't you know it, as soon as everyone saw me take a seat, they started to come over with their copies of "Voices" for me to sign! I couldn't include them all, but thought I'd give you a sample, coupled with my own personal bias. For instance, this photo is with my sister, Betty, one of my staunchest fans (who will also not hesitate to tell me if she doesn't like something I wrote [it happens, sisters have a God-given right to do that]). Amber and I were able to weasel a meal out of Betty and brother-in-law, Ken...twice yesterday, and they also volunteered to drive us into Winnipeg from their home in Portage la Prairie (an hour or so down the road) because: a) Ken knew the way better than either of us, and b) he wasn't terrified by all the 'big city' traffic!
 This young lady is a poet, who also did a reading yesterday.
 This photograph is one of my favourites, not because I look so darn good either, but because these two ladies are Patti Grayson and Sheila McClarty, both accomplished writers in their own right, who happened to be the judges for both the Adult and Youth categories in Fiction for the Write on the Lake Competition. I can't tell you how much of a pleasure it was when they came up and introduced themselves. So seldom do you get the chance to thank the judges in person, or at all, really. So that's partly why I'm grinning from ear-to-ear here (which is reason enough, believe me!) but the main reason, I'll admit, is because this photo was taken just seconds after they assured me that their choice of "And Then It Rained" was unanimous.
 I'm very proud of this photo, too. Maurice Guimond is the very talented editor of Voices, who handles all of my regular submissions (which, due to the volume of entries from the competition, were bumped from this issue - no matter, there's always the next one coming out in the Fall). Upon our being introduced last November, he stated that he was a fan of my work, and it appears that that hasn't changed. Having an editor pre-disposed to like your stuff - who, in fact, gets you - is not a bad thing...nor is it a small thing. I can also say that the sentiment is mutual.
 Some of you might recognize my nephew, Tim, from last November's launch. He is rather unforgettable, isn't he? Greatest kid you'll ever want to meet (he believes that his old uncle just might actually possess some talent after all). Katie (on my left) is his little girl. She was good enough not to complain about attending the launch while conditions were perfect for playing outside (she takes her playtime seriously, you see...but then who doesn't?)
Betty (grandma) must have absconded with Katie when this photo was taken, deeming that the largest bookstore in the province too great a temptation for her book-reading granddaughter. Here, left to right, we have: Tim, myself, sister Barb, brother-in-law Ken, and brother-in-law Chuck (yes, I know, sometimes it gets confusing. To top it off, Barb and Chuck named their eldest Charles, but of course that was gradually rendered into 'Chuck' by his friends as he got older). Barb and Chuck came in from Brandon, two and a half hours away! But that wasn't even close to the record, though: there were folks attending from as far away as Regina, which would be over six hours down the road from Winnipeg! What can I tell you? We take our literature seriously around these parts!

So that's it. A great time, and I was floating on a cloud for the rest of the day (still haven't come down!) A great big thank you to Amber who never stopped taking pics (and who, somehow, was never included in any) the rest of my family, everyone else who took the time to attend, and everyone in the LWWG involved with "Voices", and the Write On the Lake Contest. Quite a day!

Thank you! Thank you all!


  1. Looks like you had a great day all in all! It's good to see you in a place so deserved by someone with your talent :)

  2. Thank you! It was an AWESOME day for a 'Praise Ho'! :)