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WHEN WORDS COLLIDE, August 9, 2013

i don’t remember what I expected from this conference (or maybe it is convention) for book lovers, word lovers, readers and writers, but WOW, it far surpassed any expectations.

What struck me about the environment was the easygoing informality, the warmth, the welcoming vibes from all and sundry. Just people loving words and willing to talk in an easy way. Absolutely lovely.

My first event was a Humourous Readings panel, held in a small room on the 10th Floor of the Carriage House Inn, one of my favourite hotels in Calgary. Getting to the room was a challenge, as the elevators were possessed by demon spirits (or playful elves) and insisted on soaring up and dropping down, without letting anybody out, especially if they were a writer. Maybe the Carriage House just LOVES writers and wants to keep them close.

I met two women who I think will become lifelong friends, both brilliant, funny and warm. Melodie Campbell is the author of The Goddaughter and many more books, as well as helming the office of Crime Writers of Canada, and she is magnificent, generous, funny, talented and way more competent than I could ever hope to be. Janice MacDonald is the Edmonton based author of the Randy Craig mystery series, and she is so literate, warm, generous and fun. She even bought two copies of my book, Deadly Dues, which made me want to fall at her feet and sing her praises. But I didn’t. I have some dignity. She also has a terrific husband, Randy Williams, a gifted editor and writer in his own right, so all around, there was a mutual fan session going on between us.

We each read from our respective works, and the small group in attendance laughed at all the right moments. What more can a comedy writer hope for? Randy took photos which are somewhere on Facebook, and if I ever figure out how to add photos to my blog, they will be available for viewing here. I can only tell you I wish I looked as cute in real life as I do in these photos. Thank you, Randy!

Later in the day, Janice, Melodie and I met up once again, with three other writers, S. G. Wong, Kay Stewart and Susan Calder, for the Eve of Destruction panel, devoted to the discussion of writing strong female characters.

The discussion went far beyond what we had expected, and the general comments over the weekend were that we had touched on profound and intriguing topics which were unexpected and entertaining. (Hey, we are all entertaining! We had a great time!)

All in all, a great start off to the weekend. I am so impressed with this conference. Hats off to Randy McCharles for organizing.

Comments (2)

2 Responses to “WHEN WORDS COLLIDE, August 9, 2013”

  1. Leslie Johnson says:

    I really enjoyed listening to you – and I loved your honesty when you participated on the “Stuck” panel. I didn’t get to any of the cozier events – so I missed your humorous reading, but I certainly saw a lot of you in other panels and you were always witty and informative. I hope you get Lou-Lou unstuck and finished. Thanks for being there at When Words Collide 2013. It was my first time attending and I agree – it far surpassed my expectations.

  2. linda kupecek says:

    HI Leslie,
    Thanks so much for these kind words! See you at WWC 2014!

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