Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Journey to the Lakefield Literary Festival-1

Journey to the Lakefield Literary Festival- 1

 I didn't know it would end this way: clinging to a scrap of shade, watching a seagull pant. I didn't know seagulls panted. Hell, I didn't even know they had tongues. But the big, white, pink-eyed fellow tip-toeing over the tarmac in front of me with his beak held wide was pointing his, like the living tip of a bean sprout, straight at me. He was trying to tell me something about literature.

It began with a notion. A crazy, inspired notion on a hot, hot Saturday. I would journey on my bicycle to the Lakefield Literary Festival, a mere fifteen or so kilometers away. The people who ran this august event somehow missed my status as a newly minted novelist and failed to invite me. With the generous spirit of the true artist I decided to overlook this blatant snub and go anyway. Writers would be there. And readers. I would go, mingle, have a beer on a patio and leave my author's calling card where the right eyes might find it. At the very least I would absorb the literary vibes from so many finely tuned minds conglomerating in one location. I would prepare myself for that inevitable day when I, J.R. MacLean, will actually be invited to present, read, and be fawned over by the assembled literati at the Lakefield Literary Festival. But first I had to call my mother.

But my phone wouldn't work. OK, not the phone per se, but the computer into which my Magic Jack is plugged. I could go on about the immense satisfaction I had over a year ago giving Ma Bell and Papa Cable the boot and going pure wireless for all our communication/entertainment needs. That progress, however, involved a little regression, something like needing to turn the crank on those old wall phones you see in shows on the Deja Vu channel. Our Magic Jack is plugged into a little-used netbook that has to be booted up so we can make incredibly cheap long distance calls. The netbook wouldn't boot. It wanted to scan first. Fine. It wouldn't boot. It want to scan first. Wouldn't boot. Scan. Fine. Wouldn't. Scan. Crap. Wouldn't. Scan. Half hour wasted. Forty-five minutes. Do I simply use my cell and pay for the charges? Generations of my Scottish forebears forbore that possibility. I got another laptop, booted it up, plugged in the Magic Jack, downloaded the software, made the call, well over an hour wasted. No worries. This way I've missed riding in the strongest heat of the day.

A few copies of WUG safely stashed in my new waterproof saddlebags (just in case) I began my northward journey through the metropolis of Peterborough. It was pleasant riding. Why not make a mild detour and visit the Silver Bean Cafe, an idyllic enclave on the shore of Little Lake in downtown Peterborough? My shaggy-haired friend Lloyd was there at the Boathouse, carving canes and renting out kayaks and canoes. Lloyd bought a WUG, the second hard copy sale ever. We sat and chatted about the weather down east. Ducks bobbed in the water. Waves lapped at the dock. Time slipped away.
...to be continued

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