Writers tell diverse tales at public reading
By Sue Tiffin
Published July 27, 2017
The theme was Canada 150, but the seven writers sharing their works at the Tall Pine Tales public reading on July 19 all approached it differently.
Whether in style, form or by topic, the audience was treated to a variety of creative work at the fifth anniversary of the Cottage Country Writers summer reading event held in Minden at the community centre. Writers from Muskoka and Haliburton County shared stories of log drives, plumbing humour, a rescued chipmunk, training in the psych ward, time spent by the sea, a family saga and draft dodging. Each reading was different in its intensity or humour, but the audience took it all in, appreciating the time and care it took to create the work being read.
“I’m constantly in awe of writers,” said the event’s MC Mike Jaycock. “Of their creativity, commitment and incredible effort. We all have a book in us, but haven’t mastered [the skill of] writing with intent and intensity.”
Even the format of the work shared by local writers Jim Mitchell, Sharon Lawrence and J-Michael Fay, who all read during the Minden program, varied greatly from one another. Mitchell spent 14 years working on A Little Piece of Paradise: The History of Canning Lake, Lawrence’s short story was recently published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Spirit of Canada and Fay’s Draft Dodger? is a long form story is available as an e-book.
They read alongside Murray Payne and David Bruce Patterson of Baysville and Catherine Thompson and Wendie Donabie of Bracebridge. At three other evenings, work from Muskoka writers as well as by local writers Margot Ziorjen, Marie Gage, Irene Davidson-Fisher, Sherry Rondeau and Jim Poling Sr. will be featured.
The evening honoured the legacy of Melody Richardson, a Huntsville writer who worked to encourage writers. Davidson-Fisher noted Richardson’s drive for writers to stay motivated, take chances, keep writing and speak loudly.
“We did raise our voices, and we have been heard,” said Davidson-Fisher, to end the evening. She congratulated writers on another year of writing.
In Haliburton County, the Reading-Writing Connection meets twice per month – from 10 a.m. to noon at the Dysart library branch on the first Wednesday of each month, and at the same time at the Minden library branch on the third Wednesday of each month. For more details, contact Sharon Lawrence at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tall Pine Tales is a series of public readings and will be held again on Aug. 9 at the St. Thomas Anglican Church in Bracebridge at 7 p.m., Aug. 16 at the Dwight Library in Dwight at 7 p.m. and on Aug. 23 at the Baysville Library in Baysville at 7 p.m.