Boundbytheword Blog

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Falling for Fallis… October 17, 2011

Yesterday was our second official luncheon with the Writers’ Community of Simcoe County. Our guest speaker was Terry Fallis – who may be best known for his novel, The Best Laid Plans. It was crafted with such wit and wordsmith genius that it won the 2008 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour and was chosen as the Canada Reads 2011 winner.  Terry has now published the sequel and following in his debut novel’s footsteps, his new political satire The High Road  was no disappointment to his loyal readers or reviewers– in fact it was a finalist for the 2011 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour. Terry Fallis knows how to tickle your funny bone and get you to think. Who doesn’t love a man who can do that? 

Terry Fallis & WCSC Board

Our event went off without a hitch. He owned the room and had everyone in stitches, giving eager writers tangible advice about what worked for him. Lunch was great, and our crowd was double that of last month. I even managed to pronounce Terry’s last name correctly. Fall-is….not phallus. Believe it or not – I’ve struggled with that for the last few weeks. Seems it’s difficult for me to keep someone’s name away from any symbol that might raise eyebrows. Who knows why, but for some reason I’ve always pronounced it wrong. My husband corrected me once – if not one hundred times this weekend, in hopes that I didn’t stand in front of a crowd – and the speaker himself – and humiliate myself with the blunder. FALL- is. I know..I know. Only once did it start to slip out wrong and I fixed it before anyone noticed – I think. Anyway, nobody laughed out loud or threw tomatoes at me, so it turned out pretty well. I did make a weird comment in front of Terry and the WCSC board about slipping into the bath to read his book later. That was slightly creepy of me, but what can I say? I did great right up until the end.

As for our speaker and what resonated – I think the strongest element of his message was that of tenacity, humility and faith in yourself (and a blend of perfection and impatience). These character strengths are essential in a writer’s survival. If I could only bottle his recipe and take a daily swig, I’d be in good form. I took notes though, so I’ll do what I can.

If you haven’t read a Terry Fallis novel yet (where have you been?) you can get them at your local bookseller, or check out his link:  

Tenacity, humility and faith in yourself…not a bad way to live life as well.


6 Responses to “Falling for Fallis…”

  1. Lisa Llamrei Says:

    Ooops. I’ve been pronouncing his name wrong, too. Good thing I wasn’t there to mess you up. Sounds like a great luncheon. Sorry I had to miss it.

    • You were missed Lisa! I have to say – glad to know I’m not alone in goofing his name – I feel much less like a dolt now that so many people I respect were making the same mistake. Fallis…phallis…big difference now that I think about it…lol.

  2. Dale Long Says:

    I enjoyed hearing him speak at the WCDR breakfast. I’m sorry to have missed him again. I finally got my copy of his book back (loaning books requires patience, apparently) and after what I’ve been reading lately, it’ll be a nice change.

    • Hi Dale,

      I missed seeing him at WCDR, so I caught him at Humber this past summer. He owned the room there too. He is just so approachable and down to earth. Humble and brilliant – great combination!

  3. Annie Says:

    I am ashamed to say that I haven’t read one of his books. I will have to correct that! I do think his advice is spot on and inspirational. To write with humor is a real trick and anyone who does it well, has my praise.(P.S. I’ve been saying his name wrong too.)

    • Hi Annie
      I agree – being able to write with humour is a special gift, and he’s got it. What a great speaker too – someone you wish you could sit down over a coffee (or beer) and chat it up. Great guy. (P.S. can you imagine if I said it wrong during his introduction??)

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