Connecting Authors

Thanks to Lorna Tergesen of Tergesen’s General Store in Gimli for arranging the Author’s Readings last night at the charming and historic Aspire Theatre in Gimli. The tiny theatre used to be a church and is now used regularly for readings and by a local theatre group for live performances. Great little venue.

Barb Edie and I signing copies of the Manitoba Book of Everything in Winnipeg.

Barb Edie and I signing copies of the Manitoba Book of Everything in Winnipeg.

As co-author of the Manitoba Book of Everything (MB BOE), I am new to the world of author’s readings. The MB BOE is not really something you can read from. It is a book of sophisticated trivia — and much more. We interviewed famous Manitobans for their insights into our province and we placed those comments strategically amidst the tasty tidbits of fascinating information.
To tantalize attendees last night, I developed a quiz to test their knowledge of our province. Only 2 questions were correctly answered, confirming that readers will learn much from the 208-page compilation. For instance, did you know that bus fare in 1957 Winnipeg was just .15? And that our minimum wage in 1965 was only .75/hour?
Some really startling statistics I shared about Manitoba were with respect to population density. New York City has a population density of 10,194 individuals per square kilometre. Manitoba has 2.1. I’ll take that any day over the crowded streets of NYC.
A timely question was with regard to the floodway. It was started in 1962 and completed in 1968. It did the job of protecting Winnipeggers well until the “Flood of the Century” in 1997. A massive expansion of the floodway was undertaken in 2005 and completed this spring.
To add local flavour to the quiz, I included a couple of Gimli-related questions such as, “what is the literal translation of “Gimli?” You’ll have to check out page 66 of the book for the answer.
My fellow author for the reading last night was Gimli resident, Alex Tretiak, a retired teacher who self-published a book of his travels. Journeys of a Naturalist showcases Tretiak’s love of nature and travel in addition to his storytelling abilities and talent as an illustrator and photographer. The 35 republished stories range from battling cock roaches in Africa (where he taught for several years) to nurturing a dragon fly nymph in his Manitoba apartment.
I have already been invited back for a reading next spring, when my new book on board governance will be published. Thanks to Lorna and Tristin Tergesen for their support of the local artistic community.
I’d refer you to Tergesen’s website to order both of the books mentioned above — but they don’t have one. And neither does Alex Tretiak. So to get the MB BOE, you can either walk over to Tergesen’s in Gimli, Blaine’s in Selkirk or visit the publisher’s website at:
Both books are also available online and in Winnipeg at the city’s favourite independent bookstore, McNally Robinson Bookseller’s: http://www.mcnallyrobinson.com

Doreen Pendgracs

Known throughout the Web as the "Wizard of Words", I've been a freelance writer since 1993. I'm currently researching and writing volume II of "Chocolatour: A Quest for the World's Best Chocolate". Volume I was published in September, 2013.

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