So I attended the Creative Ink Festival in Burnaby BC this year. I didn’t know what to expect. I had a few impressions based on the people organizing it. Sandra Wickham is an amazing person. I always have a blast chatting with her when I do see her. Randy McCharles runs this amazing festival called When Words Collide. The organization is top notch and wonderful, and I expected that.
That said, this was a fledgling festival. I wasn’t sure what to expect beyond what I hoped was a solid show.
And it exceeded expectations.
I have to admit where it takes place struck me. I expected a hotel, but not a casino. It was a bit of a fun clash between the convention halls and the bar/casino motif. If I could do it again, I wished I had taken the time to try the poker tables. Next time.
I walked in and said hello to some old friends like Chadwick Ginther, Beth Wagner, Ellen Michelle, and met some new and awesome individuals like John Mavin, Jonathan Lyster, Aerin Caley, Zoe Duff and many more cool people.
So, I feel I should get the bad part of the convention out of the way. I did two panels here and the first one wasn’t so good. I won’t go into too many details here, but I will say that that panel was write worthy in itself.
That said my podcasting panel was awesome. Myself along with the other panelists I thought delivered a well informed and I thought very fun panel. When Chris Humphreys is asking you questions, you know you’re going in the right direction with what you’re doing.
One of the bigger surprises for me is that the podcast is picking up in popularity. More people know me for podcasting for nearly three years than my writing. I have no problem being more well known as a podcaster than a writer. Podcasting is what is mostly visible in my current works and I’m cool with it. One thing adds pollen to the others and I thoroughly enjoy doing it.
And I did take the opportunity to interview (and be interviewed!) while I was there. The interviews I did here are awesome. All of them were fun, engaging. One of them was from one of the most passionate people I know. Another was just really deep and we talked about some serious family issues. And yet another was a great jaunt into pop culture.
For all I get from those interviews, there is no feeling quite like having a fifteen year old graphic designer loving your book. The joy you get in seeing someone enjoy your work is incredible. It’s a rush unlike anything. As much as I enjoy podcasting, writing will always be my first love and this is why. I will be forever grateful to the festival for those moments. I don’t get enough of them and I want more and I want to thank Sandra for that more than anything.
Now that wasn’t the only life event that occurred here for me. Something that I’m not quite ready to talk about happened here as well involving something I dabbled with in the past. But the spark for that started here again and things may work out.
I will say that if you are a merchant, that Creative Ink may not quite be what you’re looking for. I made my table, however, it was a small show. In a couple more years I think it will be something really special. Right now it has a lot of potential to become more.
What creative ink is right now is a great place to connect with writers and amazing people. Whether it be guests of honour like Chris Humphreys or Kevin Hearne, or writers like Jonas Saul or Faye Arcande, the show is accessible, the people friendly, and you as an author will have things to go for. I learned a ton, met great people and coined a new catch phrase with “chaos and mayhem.” It was a very worthwhile trip for me and gave me an incredible sense of validation.
I want to take a moment and thank Sandra for organizing this and I look forward to being there again in 2019. You should be there too.