Art and Entertainment

I make pots. I fall asleep at night thinking of them. Thinking of how, in the clay state they are soft and wet, then rough and dry in the biscuit state. I imagine them glowing orange-hot in the kiln and their ultimate ceramic form with a new skin of glaze. I dream them as plentiful and varied as books on library shelves.

Writers’ Festivals charge me right up. Every time I go to one, I make a discovery. At Campbell River’s Words on the Water, I was drawn into the ambitious work of the beautiful and stirring Kate Braid. At Saskatchewan Festival of Words, I was moved by the gutsy and energetic Elizabeth Bachinsky and her politically-charged poems. What I admire most about both of these poets is the way they grab onto the inkling of inspiration and let it guide them, even (or especially) when it takes their work in unexpected and untried directions.

Last May, a man named Harold Camping was getting a lot of press. If you remember, he predicted that the Rapture would happen on May 21, followed by five months of fire, brimstone and plagues, until October 21, when it would all end. The world watched, waited, and while waiting, created Facebook pages for things like, “The Rapture After-Party.” Camping, of course, had to amend the prediction: the world is going to end October 21.

And here we are in October.

Hollywood has a strange fascination with stories that take place in dystopic futures.

I was born and raised in Fernie, surrounded by a large family and a bountiful wilderness. These mountains have served as a haven for all 23 years of my life. Growing up in Fernie was dreamlike; endless days wandering in the forest behind our home, long bike rides and runs, camping and canoeing all over the valley, and days spent fishing wherever our parents took us. I can’t say that my pastimes have changed dramatically since I was a child, but I can say that the inspiration absorbed and the lessons learned in all those years have led me to being the ‘artist’ I am today.

Violet Clarke has the music inside. She’s had it her whole life, beginning formal piano training at the tender age of three and later picking up the ukulele, guitar and harmonica. Her voice is as perfect for a hot summer day as it is for a cool fall night. Yes, she’s had it her whole life and she’s still contagious. Just ask her husband, Sly Boston: he caught the bug enough to propose a band together, and he still had to learn how to play. 

October 4: Submarine is a coming-of-age comedy set in Wales during the early ‘80s, telling the story of 15-year-old Oliver Tate and his trouble with women. The first is his mother. She seems to be bored of his father and to falling for a schmarmy neighbour. The other is Jordana, the odd girl he has managed to convince into a relationship. Coming-of-age films are hard to nail. There has to be just the right amount of nostalgia to counter the obnoxious narcissism of adolescence, and while movies like Juno and Easy A are fun, teenagers are rarely that witty.

On October 2nd an annual 21km race and three-person relay takes over the beautiful trails surrounding Fernie. The Fernie Half Marathon attracts runners of all abilities to finish the running season as the golden leaves fall and we say farewell to the summer sunshine. As a result of some cancelled plans, an unlikely suggestion from a well-meaning friend and altogether far too much white wine for a Tuesday night I woke one April morning with the knowledge that I’d committed myself to participating in a relay team that I was ill-prepared for and even less capable of.

For and Against is my favourite kind of poetry collection. Rather than hiding behind clever postmodern tricks, McCartney takes personal risks and delivers meaty poems with emotional heft. She, to steal a phrase from Hemingway, writes hard and clear about what hurts.