Yesterday was my second time attending the Scene of the Crime Mystery Festival. While I didn’t attend the morning workshop (reasons for which will be revealed further along in the post – a mystery, if you will), I had a wonderful time!
The weather started out perfect, even if a bit windy early in the morning. Free parking at the ferry dock is limited so I didn’t even look there. I went straight to the lot at The Holiday Inn. Even if I had to pay to park for the day, the bays are slightly larger so less chance of getting the car dented by people swinging their car doors open without a care. Besides, we’d be sitting a lot during the day so a bit of a walk wasn’t going to hurt us.
The wind farm on Wolfe Island is impressive. The turbines can be seen from the 401… that is, if you have the luxury of riding shotgun so you can take the time to look. The ferry ride affords the opportunity to take in these powerful yet beautiful structures.
When we docked, an escort was waiting to direct us to the Island Grill where we registered and had coffee and muffins and a chance to meet the authors in an informal setting. Violette Malan, President of Scene of the Crime, told me that my registration caused some confusion. Since my husband was coming with me, I filled out my registration as “Melanie King”. Well no one knew me as that. Violette said she knew a “Melanie Robertson-King” so the initial confusion was cleared up. Next bit of the conundrum was where to file me in the registration kits since they were being filed in alphabetical order by surname…
It was here at the Island Grill that I saw my friend, Beth, who I’d not seen in at least two years. She and her husband had arrived the day before and were leaving early so it was nice to see her and get caught up.
The author readings took place in the United Church directly across the street from the public school. It was timed to coincide with the end of the morning workshop so those folks attending it could enjoy hearing the authors.
Elizabeth read from her book, A Brush with Death and Chris (C.B.) read from his Slow Recoil, both books already published.
R.J. Harlick read from her upcoming book A Green Place for Dying which is scheduled for publication in 2012. Howard Shrier captivated the audience with his presentation of the prologue of his novel, Boston Cream, which will be published in January 2012.
I’ve never had a church catered meal I didn’t like and this one was no exception. We took our lunches outside and ate at one of the picnic tables set up beside the church. We sat at the same table as my friend, Beth, and author Elizabeth J. Duncan. Convivial conversation led to the discovery that she and Beth had worked on a project together for the CNIB. It was further revealed that Beth and I are “family” because of our Home Child connection. Her mother came two years before my father.
Over the lunch break, I bought two of Elizabeth’s books (The Cold Light of Mourning and A Brush with Death)and got them signed. I also bought one of R.J. Harlick’s (Arctic blue Death) that was available. While she signed it for me, we talked about her being at the Thousand Islands Writers Festival last year… a connection… (never hurts).
The afternoon venue was the Anglican Church so we walked over in plenty of time to get a good seat. Last year on the walk, the remains of an old boat sat on a corner lot. This year it was gone, however my cohort, partner-in-crime, writing date, co-conspirator for the storefront writing contest got a photo of it and posted it on her blog (link to follow).
Luckily, we passed the Wolfe Island branch of the Kingston library before it closed so had the opportunity to go in and see the Grant Allen Triangle on display. Violette had mentioned it before the lunch break and last year we were too late to see it. The triangle is home to some of Grant’s books.
Next to the Triangle is a Scene of the Crime bookcase. Past and present SOTC author’s books are displayed here, along with other Canadian Crime Writers’.
The afternoon panel discussion, led by author Vicki Delany, was on the same subject as her morning workshop – Creating the character of the Antagonist.
After a lively afternoon with the authors, at the break, those who were interested toured the cemetery behind the church.
After enjoying the breeze outdoors, it was once again time to go inside the church where, guest lecturer, Staff Sergeant Kristina Patterson talked about Keeping Police Officers Safe and the training the tactics they use everyday to remain that way.
Kristina’s presentation was followed by the presentation of the Grant Allen award to Maureen Jennings, author of the Murdoch mystery series which has been adapted for the screen and being sold world-wide. She’s following her success with a three part crime thriller set in wartime Britain. The first is Season of Darkness, recently released (also available for purchase).
Maureen was interviewed by a representative from The Kingston Whig-Standard, after which, I was able to get up close and personal with the Grant Allen award which is a kaleioscope, handmade by one of the island’s artisans. Unfortunately, I was a bit too close and personal because the pictures I took were out of focus. DRAT! At least I have the satisfaction of knowing I saw it.
The day on the island was capped off with a wonderful church supper in the hall across the street from the church.
We could have made the 6:30 ferry back to Kingston but tucked in our registration kits were coupons for a free ice-cream cone so we stopped for it (in lieu of dessert at the hall). There’s nothing worse than dripping ice-cream all over the place and having the wind blow your hair in it so we lingered a while on the island which turned out great. We met a couple from Perth who were passing through on their way back home from the US.
By now the wind had died down to the point there was hardly a ripple on the water. The brilliance of the setting sun was blinding but I still managed to get a good photo of it.
Before long the ferry arrived to shuttle us back to the mainland. It was far from full but because of their schedule, we left with still an entire row available for cars.
As on the way to the island, we stood on the upper deck near the bow of the ferry (if you can call it that since both ends are the same) so I could take pictures. I thought the first one I took of the setting sun turned out well, I was more pleased with this one. Far more dramatic than the first with the extreme contrasts.
Shortly before docking, we went down to the lower level. We met up with Elizabeth Duncan again and chatted with her while we waited for the signal to disembark. Her taxi was waiting to whisk her off to the bus station and back to Toronto. We said our final goodbyes to her there before walking back to the Holiday Inn parking lot where we got a pleasant surprise when we left. We were expecting to pay at minimum of $15 to leave the car there but the young attendant I passed the ticket to said we were good to go and lifted the gate for us to leave.
The day on the island was fantastic. I can’t wait to do it again next year!