The pressure is on. Last minute details to attend to, as the public launch of The Trouble With Lions in Saskatoon is less than 24 hours away. Food has been ordered for the post-storytelling social. Last week I went to the liquor store and picked out a couple of decent wines, an Australian Shiraz / Cabernet, and a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Of course they will sell at the cash bar before the event for a bit more than the “Chateau Box” that is normally available at such dos, but thems the breaks. I intend to try the red, but not until after the formal part of the evening.
It will not be a reading in the normal sense of the word. The plan is as follows. There will be about a half hour for folks to grab a drink and do some visiting. Jim McCrory, long-time friend and well-known radio and TV host will be the MC. Then will come the book event. This will consist of about 15 minutes of stories, accompanied by pictures. Storytellers in the Middle Ages used to use the double technique that was called Cantastoria. The equivalent in Japan is called Komishibai. This will be a 21st century update of those honourable traditions – using PowerPoint (who’d have guessed?)
We also have an unusual ”Intermission” lined up. Brother Kurt Van Kuren is a Benedictine monk at St. Peter’s Abbey in Muenster, Saskatchewan. He was once a professional rock musician in LA, but now he is the chief cantor at the abbey. He also happens to be a member of the writers group that I was lucky enough to join almost two years ago. They have been vital to the evolution of this book.
I did have one run at a “reading” when the students of the Western Canadian Veterinary Association let me have their noon-hour time slot at the WCVM in Saskatoon last Friday. This was a more-or-less private gathering, and also my very last formal session at the institution where I have worked for the last thirty-two and a half years.
As soon as I had finished the reading I was off to Banff where I met with like-minded authors from the world of creative non-fiction at the annual cn-fc convention. Some big-name authors were there, and for the fist time a small group of students who had been sponsored by the association joined us. It as great to have them along, as the majority of the regular members have grey hair, and the young always keep one on one’s toes. The Banff Centre is just a magical place to gather for any kind of artistic event. The food is amazing too – not to mention the scenery.