Local writers captivate at Tall Pine Tales
By Jenn Watt
Siblings sit across the dinner table from one another, spaghetti on their plates, but their minds still at play. It starts with a flick of sauce and ends with a loaded meatball cannon.
Writer David Franks of Baysville tells his story to the audience at Tall Pine Tales in Haliburton with glee. Its careful construction and easy rhythm keeps listeners tuned in and they laugh right on cue.
Franks was one of nine writers from Muskoka and the Haliburton Highlands who read their works at the event at the Community Room.
Journalist, author and Minden Times columnist Jim Poling Sr. was the evening’s MC and lauded the writers for reading their works in public.
The range of topics and style was wide, with the first half covering everything from death of a pet dog to a whimsical poem about a wizard who stole someone’s feet, which could only be retrieved by solving a riddle.
Tall Pine Tales was a concept developed by Huntsville writer Melody Richardson, who was a writer in residence at the Bracebridge and Baysville libraries and ran writing workshops at R.D. Lawrence Place (now Nature’s Place) in Minden.
Richardson died on Tuesday, June 30, and one of the event’s organizers, Irene Davidson Fisher, reminded the audience of Richardson’s role in promoting and encouraging writers in the area.
“Tall Pine Tales was the brainchild of Melody Richardson. The first event, Words’ Worth, co-ordinated by Melody, was such a great success that when Melody was unable to continue due to ill health, writers in Muskoka and Haliburton Highlands, with Melody’s encouragement, formed The Cottage Country Writers to organize and plan the event and continue Melody’s dream,” she said at the beginning of the evening.
“Although she is gone from here, her inspiration and words of encouragement continue to move many of us forward with our writing.”
Haliburton writers Sharon Lawrence, Margot Ziorjen and Fred Gregory read their works during the evening along with Bracebridge and Baysville writers David Franks, Yvonne Heath, Wendie Donabie, Catherine Thompson, David Bruce Patterson and Murray Payne.
Tall Pine Tales is part of a series of public readings with two more scheduled: Wednesday, Aug. 5 at 7 p.m. at the Baysville library and Monday, Aug. 17 at 7 p.m. at the Bracebridge library.
For those interested in writing – or even just listening to others read their works – the Reading/Writing Connection meets the first Wednesday of the month at the Dysart branch of the Haliburton County Public Library and the third Wednesday of the month at the Minden branch.
Jenn Watt is the managing editor of the Haliburton Echo and Minden Times. You can follow her on Twitter@JennWattMedia.