Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Our third annual Books & Beer: We laughed, we cried, we drank beer

So, let's set the scene...

It was a dark and stormy night.

No, really! It was!

Wet, freezing rain, but saw only one vehicle in ditch, so that's ok, right?
So February 7th kicked off with freezing rain warnings, school buses cancelled, scary Road Conditions maps from Environment Canada.

Did that stop us? It did not!

The third annual Books & Beer, sponsored by Roxanne's Reflections Book and Card Shop (books) and Wellington Brewery (beer) went ahead as planned, and it proved itself small but mighty, just like our Elora Writers' Festival.

Schmoozing among the books, sipping beer, ignoring the weather and
anticipating an evening with author Rio Youers

No words required. Except, maybe - "AWESOME"

And we're off! MC Dave Beynon, who really isn't as menacing as he
appears here, starts things off with a Q&A
Author Rio Youers, whose upcoming novel The Forgotten Girl will be available on June 13th, spoke to us about his writing journey, unicorns, sleeping/waking children, graphic novels and adventures with editors. We laughed (unicorns --- you had to be there). We cried (from laughter. See previous). And we drank beer.

In short, we enjoyed every minute. Take a look!

Rio read to us from two of his novels - Westlake Soul and The Forgotten Girl.

Rio reading from his novel Westlake Soul. If you don't know what love is,
you need to read this book.

Rio, his wife, Emily, and friends hanging out between readings.

We worked him hard, so yes, he needed to rehydrate.

This year's raffle prize (and thanks for buying a ticket, everyone) was a gorgeous pen and ink drawing by EWF committee member and artist/writer Francis Baker. But before we made the draw, we put Rio on the spot and had him come up with a story inspired by this work of art.

"I make up a story to tell my son every night before bed," he told us, and proceeded to quiet the room with a tale of a girl, and a red sky, and the mountains, and an umbrella to keep her safe.

Shivers. Magic.

A master storyteller at work. And that's no joke.

When the evening came to a close, Rio signed some books and chatted to audience members. We all enjoyed a few more sips of Wellington Brew and shared a few more stories.

Then we all headed out into the wet night - smiling!

Another terrific Books & Beer is in the can (did you see what I did there?) and you can be sure we'll be back next year, freezing rain or not.

Thanks Rio! Thanks Dave Beynon, EWF committee member and MC extraordinaire. Thanks Roxanne Beale for making your bookstore our home. Thanks Francis Baker for contributing your exquisite drawing to our raffle. Thanks Wellington Brewery for your continued support. Thanks everyone for coming out (especially you, Chris from Cambridge!), and be sure to stay tuned for news of Festival 2017, coming to Aboyne Hall, Wellington Country Museum and Archives, on Sunday, May 28.

Check out our authors, here: Festival 2017 Line-up: Yes We're Ready!

And don't forget our annual writing contest! Details here: Grab Your Pens and Pencils and Keyboards!

Festival 2017 authors: Brad Smith, Mary Ann Mulhern,
Adrienne Kress, Andrew Westoll and Rio Youers