Another stellar event last Sunday. It was great seeing new faces and Chef Deb’s menu selections were as tasty as usual. Blue Heron books was on hand with an eclectic selection of James’ books (they sold out) plus a range of texts about the craft of writing.
James Fitzgerald is the author of “Old Boys, The Powerful Legacy of Upper Canada College” and “What Disturbs our Blood”, was the featured speaker. I’d first heard James speak in June at a Professional Writers Association of Canada (PWAC) event downtown, and was impressed with his approach to dealing with the writing process. For “Old Boys”, he interviewed 300 former UCC students – almost all of them notable, recognizable, captains of industry and the world of entertainment and politics.
“What Disturbs our Blood” is non-fiction, but reads like a murder mystery. Here’s a link to a video of James talking about his book -[embedplusvideo height=”298″ width=”480″ standard=”http://www.youtube.com/v/Nvy3Cb9CHhQ?fs=1″ vars=”ytid=Nvy3Cb9CHhQ&width=480&height=298&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=0&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=¬es=” id=”ep4047″ /]
What stayed with me from Sunday was his references to mothers as ‘keepers of secrets’, sworn to secrecy but wanting to tell the truth. He spoke of being ruthless in your own pursuit of the truth, especially when writing memoir or stories based on real-life events, but know that you will upset someone (can you live with that?). You have to be prepared. Live in the moment. Be alert to synchronicity, coincidences and chance. Don’t let yourself be overwhelmed by ‘the beast’. Get comfortable with chaos. Envy is a terrible thing. Keep writing – when a writer stares out of the window for two hours, he’s still working!