On Dialect – How Caribbean people supposed tuh talk in a story, eh?

In a previous post about how I met Olive Senior, I mentioned that I wanted to do a separate blog post on the Bocas Lit Fest session with Irvine Welsh, author of the very famous Scottish novel, Trainspotting. 

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Irvine Welsh -Scottish author

Anyone who knows me knows I have a very soft spot for anything Scottish, as I consider it my second home. The Scots are very similar to us here in the Caribbean; they are friendly, love to laugh and love to drink – can’t get any better than that.

Irvine Welsh was refreshing. He reeked of confidence. He sat on the stage chewing the life out of a piece of gum, not caring about the hundred or so eyes staring at him. He gave honest answers to every question; even the rather rude one from a nosy audience member who asked about the contents of his personal bag. I mean, come on! (All sane Caribbean people covered their face in shame when Welsh actually answered “a shirt and a pair of sneakers”).

He should also give lessons in how to read fiction to an audience. It was one of the best readings I have witnessed. He captivated us with every word and antic, he did not apologise for any of the cuss words which occurred every sentence or so, and his language…was brilliantly Scottish.

Did he get a standing ovation? I can’t remember. But we in the audience were glad that he read another piece, despite it being a questionable excerpt requested by interviewer, B.C. Pires, on the slaying of a dog. And I thought my humour was dark!

My friend (and excellent writer) Desiree, had just bought Trainspotting, and I, still  completely mindblown and impressed with this man who had perfected balancing on the line between confidence and arrogance, asked for a quick peek of the novel. Here is a shot of the first page: Continue reading

How I Met Olive Senior

So if you’ve been following my scribbles and read the post about the Evolution of my Writing voice, you would know that Olive Senior is my favourite Caribbean writer. As soon as I heard that she would be attending Bocas Lit Fest in Trinidad, I booked my ticket! I stated that:

“I hope to meet Olive Senior at BocasLitFest next month in Trinidad, and I will be try to stay calm, normal and be level-headed, and thank her for inspiring me so much with her novels. I will not scream like a groupie…I will not scream like a groupie…I will not.”

Sigh.

At least I didn’t scream like a groupie…for her to hear.

It all started at the cocktail party at the residence of the Trinidad British High Commissioner. I was all dressed up, level-headed, surrounded by great food and drinks in a lovely environment. Perfect time to meet your favourite author right? But fate would not have that. I found out Olive Senior was there hours later when I was home. To rub salt in my wound, I saw this picture online:

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Yup.

There I am – seemingly high on wine – yapping away to someone while the person I came to meet stood RIGHT BEHIND ME!

Continue reading