Thoreau went to the woods to live
deliberately. And Whistler, it seems, is the place to come if you want to write
deliberately. The fifth Whistler Writers Festival, Sept. 14-17, is a
hyper-literate jam-packed long-weekend for readers, writers, closeted
scribblers and anyone looking for a fresh perspective. From manuscript
workshops and daily seminars to evening readings with Canada’s best authors,
the festival has something for everyone.
Here, in Pique’s special Word Made Flesh, four
local writers come out of their closets. The series is a prelude to Writers in
the Flesh, three incredible readings at Millennium Place, featuring the
Chair of the Council of Canadians, Maude Barlow (
Too Close For Comfort:
Canada’s Future Within Fortress North America; Blue Gold: The Fight to Stop
Corporate Theft of the World’s Wate
r) on Thursday,
Sept. 14 at 8 p.m., Joseph Boyden (
Three Day Road)
on Friday, Sept. 15, 8 p.m., and Eden Robinson
Saturday, Sept. 16 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10. Or buy the trifecta
for $25. Book tickets to the events at
or contact Stella Harvey at 604-932-4518 or
By Gregory Mark Schroeder
What some call the cousin
of the Loch Ness Monster I saw from the shore of Okanagan Lake the summer of my
sixteenth year. I was working for a carpenter named Guido, a taut plug of
muscle and emotion, building a house no more than one hundred feet from the
In those years, you might
not see a cloud for six weeks and the temperature would climb over a hundred
degrees every day. We wore cut-offs, steel-toed work boots and leather pouches
that we stripped off at lunch time to run into the water and wash off the
sawdust that clung to our sweat.
Okanagan Lake is deep,
more than fifteen hundred feet in places, and long too, ninety miles in the
shape of a ragged “S” that stretches from Vernon to Penticton, with Kelowna and
the floating bridge in the middle. When they built the bridge and the divers
were attaching the cables that anchored the hollow sections of concrete on top
to the solid blocks of concrete that steadied it from two hundred feet below,
sturgeon, sometimes eight feet long, would mingle with the men, but they were
docile giants. Occasionally, when the span that lifted to let boats and barges
through was raised, a car would not stop and for seven days we would wait. Then
the bodies would float to the surface. Always seven days. The lake gave up its
secrets in its own time. Okanagan Lake is the home of the Ogopogo.
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