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Friday Fable: The Writer and the Cottager

You may know the ancient tale of the Wild Boar and the Fox:

One day this baby boar will sharpen its tusks.

One day this baby boar will sharpen its tusks.

A wild boar was about to take a walk in the woods one pleasant day, but he stopped to sharpen his tusks against the trunk of a tree first. A fox, lazing in a nearby glade, laughed at the boar. “Paranoid much?” the fox teased. “I see no hunters. I hear no hounds. Why are you wasting time sharpening your tusks? It’s a beautiful day. Why not chillax?”

The boar snorted and said, “If I run into  hunters and hounds on my walk, it will be too late to sharpen my tusks then, won’t it, foxy?”

And the moral is: Be prepared.

That is a good old tale. But if Aesop were a modern slave to the written word, he might have called his fable, The Writer and the Cottager:

A writer and her neighbour were packing up their cars on a Friday night. “I’m going to a writing conference,” the writer said, packing her laptop and business cards and pens. The neighbour laughed, closing his trunk on a cooler full of steaks and beer. “Why waste two days sitting inside talking with a bunch of writers if you’re not even done your manuscript? It’s a beautiful weekend. Why not chillax at the cottage?”

Lack of tusks is no excuse for lazing around.

Lack of tusks is no excuse for lazing around.

The writer snorted and said, “I need expert advice, I need peer support, I need to get the skills and inspiration to finish my manuscript. And I need to get away from the kids — they’re driving me nuts — and besides, the lake’s too cold for swimming.”

And the moral is:  You should sharpen your tusks at a writing conference. 

artofstoryIf you’re in central Canada, this is a fine time to get together with your peers and learn a thing or two.

Next weekend – October 4-6 – is the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI)’s “The Art of Story” conference in Montreal. (I am very sad I’ll have to miss it – the lineup is fabulous.)

PYI 2013 LogoAnd next month – on November 16 – is the Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators, and Performers (CANSCAIP)’s annual Packaging Your Imagination conference in Toronto (followed by a CANSCAIP Get Published Bootcamp on November 17th at the same venue). Also with an awesome line-up, and you can join in from your home computer.

Check them out. Sign up if there’s a spot left. And get prepared for your next book.

(Baby wild boar image courtesy of anankkml at FreeDigitalPhotos.net. Fox image courtesy of Marc Aert at FreeDigitalPhotos.net. Thanks.)


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