Tuesday night was Regina's first Fictionistas! event. Being introduced as if we were models about to go down a runway--with information about our shoes, bags and jewels--was disorienting for four introverts there to read their fiction, but it was a lively occasion. Perhaps because we'd put literature next to fashion, literature was suddenly less intimidating. Or perhaps the promise of fashion simply attracted a crowd I'm not used to seeing at readings. In any case, it was an enthusiastic standing-room-only crowd ready to quaff wine and listen to our stories about women's lives. We read about a female RCMP constable, a young girl growing up in Saskatchewan, a young Indian woman who moves to Alberta from Tanzania, and a classical pianist; what this unlikely quartet of characters had in common was joie de vivre, a passionate engagement in their own stories.
In the end, it doesn't matter whether people came for the fashion or the fiction. What matters is that the evening celebrated stories. After the readings, we dismantled the rows of chairs, sitting in groups of four or six, drinking wine and finding out what was going on in our friends' lives.