Todd Babiak finds himself about to commit a criminal act in the Army & Navy, fueled by alcohol, grief, and envy of Jim Morrison’s glamorous lifestyle. He told his story live at This Really Happened at WordFest in Calgary on October 16, 2013.
Finally, I had the temerity to ask what weaknesses he had as a poet. He responded that his mentor Bernard MacLaverty had told him an anecdote about W. Somerset Maugham. When asked the same question at an interview in Paris the English writer had stated: “My books don’t have lyrical quality.” Whenever any critic reviewed any book by Maugham subsequently, after bouts of praise they would always end with “of course, his writing has no lyrical quality.” We spoke no more of weaknesses.
And the finalists are…
Who will win this year’s Lori? Find out at the QWF Gala on Tuesday, November 19th, at the Virgin Mobile Corona Theatre, 2490 Notre-Dame West.
Lisa Moore tells the story of how a dorm room showdown turns into an opportunity for catharsis. She told her story live at This Really Happened at WordFest in Calgary on October 16, 2013.
Craig Davidson tells the story of how he learned that theft was in the eye of the beholder. He told his story live at This Really Happened at WordFest in Calgary on October 16, 2013.
There was no murder, but there was illicit sex, suicide, a trial. It was a big story and so difficult to research that I gave up working on it several times. Too much of the source material derived from smudged editions of newspapers on microfilm. Too much of it was couched in nineteenth-century legalese. But even as I contorted my back over the microfilm reader and strained my eyes trying to decipher poorly reproduced pages of ancient newsprint, the story would not let go of me.
I’ve been thinking a lot about story, about the patterns that stories take. When I begin to write a book, I rarely know where it’s going. But go it does, on and on, through a trajectory that is both consciously and unconsciously created. It mainly follows the Western story arc–conflict, rising action, climax, denouement. Even though that seems formulaic, when I write that arc stretches above me, like a preordained path that I, willy-nilly, must follow.