You know the feeling: You’ve just come home from work, exhausted and dragging the child you just picked up from a playdate only to find cat vomit on the carpet, and dirty dishes still in the sink. Needing to avoid this harsh reality for a bit, you scroll through Facebook, through image after image of everyone else’s perfect life: smiling kids, immaculate kitchens, adorable kittens. All you can think is, “Where is their cat vomit?”
But of course, it’s nowhere to be seen. And this certainly isn’t a modern problem. We’ve always been careful to put up a good front, pretending that we’ve got it all together. Ever tried to watch Edward Albee’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf“?
Thursday, October 9 at 7:30, prepare to listen to and interact with Angie Abdou as she’s interviewed by Deryn Collier about this topic and many more during an unconventional evening at the Oxygen Art Centre.
Angie and Deryn met over a decade ago at a literary reading organized by yet another iconic Kootenay writer and teacher, Luanne Armstrong. They’ve remained friends ever since, supporting each other in the writing and staying in touch as they have each traversed the literary scene here in the Kootenays.
Deryn is going to ask questions “Sheila Roberts style” and get all of us in the audience involved as well as we find, explore and traverse the uncomfortable veins of emotional truths hidden just below the surface of our lives. And, if you had the chance to attend Angie’s reading at the Elephant Mountain Literary Festival this summer, you know you’re also in for an evening full of humour and warmth. Deryn noted, “I’ve heard Angie read from each of her books — she’s humorous and down to earth in how she engages with the audience.”
The Kootenays is a Writer’s Retreat for the Taking
I had the chance to take in a bit of wisdom from Deryn as she prepared for next week’s event. With the list of Kootenay authors who have “made it to the big time” alive and growing, it almost seems that there is something in the water. Deryn agrees,
“I think the area attracts people who want to find time in their lives to do their creative work – whether that is writing or pottery or painting or whatever their art is.”
There is a community here devoted to making time for their creative work, and that helps keep the momentum going. It’s difficult sometimes to make the time to actually do your art, but living in a community of people who value that is an important part of making it work.
Keeping the Community Vibrant and Alive
And that’s one of the important reasons Oxygen Art Centre supports the Bold New Stories Series. It’s a fun way to see what’s happening and stay connected to the literary scene in our community.
“These events are an opportunity to interact with writers and artists. They bring writing and art to life in a way that reading or viewing artwork alone doesn’t. I think it enhances and forever changes your experience of that artist and their work,”
adds Deryn. Nelson and the Kootenay Lake area are now home to the Elephant Mountain Literary Festival, the Kootenay Literary Competition, the Kootenay Storytelling Festival, and a thriving independent bookstore, Otters Books. There are as many wonderful teachers here as there are writers, and opportunities for learning and contributing to spoken word, editing, writing fiction and non-fiction and much more.
Bold New Stories
A perfect writer to take part in the Bold New Stories series at Oxygen, Angie Abdou “just does not shy away from difficult topics in her writing. Rather she goes in with eyes wide open and explores these topics in every awkward detail.”
In her latest book, Between, she explores motherhood and marriage. During this evening, Deryn and Angie are going to talk about motherhood: “not in the ideal, modern-day, idealized mommy myth, but the nitty gritty hard reality of facing crippling expectations and still maintaining a sense of self.”
Spend an Evening at Oxygen
If you can be in Nelson Thursday, October 9, make sure to attend this event. Stick around for the Thanksgiving holiday in Nelson and enjoy one of the most beautiful times of year here. For more information on things to do and places to stay during the Thanksgiving weekend in our area, visit Nelson Kootenay Lake Tourism.
As is so often the case in the Nelson Kootenay Lake area, the Bold New Stories series has behind it a slew of volunteers who ensure that the event is going to be a blast. There is a $5 donation at the door, and books will be sold at the event (or you can buy the book beforehand at Otter’s).