My thoughts are moving towards authoring these days. Or at least for today. I have finished a first draft for review by friends and family of a mystery novel. At the same time I have attended a workshop by Donna Morrissey and a reading by David Johnston. Both have nearly ended my writing career before it has even gotten started. We are never too old to be affected by others who do a better job at something we aspire to do. As I listened to both of these authors who grew up in Newfoundland I marvel at the stories and words that seem to spill out of these two onto a page. It seems effortless especially after I heard them both talk. She has a big gift of the gab but he comes a close second. Language pours from her in quick witty comebacks and sharp intuitive insights into the writing experience.
He was more measured in words and tone. But as he read from his book he warmed to his own language and his story in a way that was as powerful to listen to. He seemed to want to tell us that his books are based in humour with a thread of pathos running through. But I got a sense of real anger underlying his story of growing up in a Catholic environment.
I asked him afterwards what he think is the reason most Newfoundland authors have such a gift for language after growing up in a repressive religious place. He told me that when a person's voice is repressed he works harder to express it. I also noticed that neither of these two live in Newfoundland any more although he did say St. John's isn't like that so much now, adding, at least on the surface!!
Needless to say I love the books both have written and will read more. I cannot think of my style of writing ever resembling theirs no matter how much I wish it would. I did not talk much outside the family growing up and although I was "encouraged" to be quiet often by my father I never felt truly repressed even as a Catholic. We moved in that world but my mother was not going to let the Church hold her children hostage. Thank goodness for that but just maybe the gift of the writing gab might have infected me.
Here are a few of my favourite books by Donna and Wayne.