Monday, August 29, 2005

Festival Of Sour Grapes

This past weekend, the Festival of Fear was taking place in downtown Toronto, yes, just a few blocks away from the buildings that I haunt during the work-week and merely an hour's drive from my home. You'd think that, I -- describing myself as a horror writer -- would have been one of the first people in line and wouldn't have crawled out from the event until the wee hours of Sunday morning.

But no. I ended up spending the weekend with my family at the Winona Peach Festival.

Rue Morge, a very successful horror magazine out of Toronto, has been putting on the Festival of Fear for several years now - and it appears to be a great success. I'd been planning on going to it as a way to soak in the atmosphere, perhaps rub elbows with other horror writers, and maybe even get a chance to do a little self-promotion and get myself "back into" the whole convention circuit (which I've been out of for several years now)

But instead, I chose to spend the time with Francine and Alexander, the two most important people in my life and with whom I get to spend very little time. It was actually an easy decision, but being human, I often have to pad my decisions with emotional ballast.

So, in the tradition of Aesop's "The Fox and the Grapes" as I walked home Friday evening, past the throngs of people lining up to get into the event, I started asking myself why I wanted so much to go to an event where, just for a chance to look at Clive Barker from a hundred feet away, you need to knock over Charlie and steal the coveted gold ticket from his Willie Wonka chocolate bar. And, it was at the Peach Festival a couple of years ago that I found a wonderful ceramic skull (Alas, poor Yorrick, he is named) who accompanies me on my book signings -- so that was a horror-related find at a non-horror event, and would make the Peach Festival a neatoman kind of horror thing. Pretty cool.

But no sooner than Fran and Alexander and I had parked our car and were walking past the midway and towards the arts and crafts booths, that the whole Festival of Fear slid out of my mind. I was with the people most important to me, sharing time and building family memories. Sure, I didn't have a photo of me horsing around and approaching Linda Blair with a cross and holy water, but I do have this wonderful 5 X 7 of my son enjoying his first pony ride.

So no, I don't even need these sour grapes to feel good about my decision. Yeah, okay, I missed the chance to have some laughs with people who share the same tastes in literature as myself -- and maybe even a chance or two to do some self-promotion. But I have something even better -- wonderful memories of the laughs and good times that Fran and Alex and I had.

And, of course, the knowledge, that I truly spent my time doing what was important to me.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Don't forget about the Peach Sundaes