Thursday, May 21, 2009

Why I Loved My Trip To France So Much - Part One

So yesterday when I arrived home, hugged and kissed the wife and kids, and am sitting in the car driving home, Gudrun remarked that I seem unusually happy. "You don't usually say how great it was when you come back from a trip," she observed.

And right she is. Because usually I'm tired and cranky and have had enough of people and just want to get on with other things. This time, however, it was different.

Why? Lots of reasons. It's hard to know where to begin, so I'll do it in parts.

This morning I'm grabbing a few pics from Cheryl Morgan's site: Cheryl's Mewsings. She was over in Epinal as well, and did a great job of documenting the entirety of the experience. (As opposed to myself and my focus on... well, my experience.)

So what was cool about Imaginales? Well, it helped that there were weird people around... Granted, there weren't a ton of costumed people around, but the ones that were there really helped to create a vibe.

And not just FoxGirl here. There were a pair (pun not intended or even much appreciated) of bare breasted vixens in full body paint patrolling the grounds. Good fun, that, although a bit unnerving. Alas, I have no picture of them to offer. I do know that cameras were clicking away, so perhaps someone else can direct us to photos of these vixens?

But I'm getting distracted. Truth is there were lots and lots of panels, lots and lots of authors (mostly European), and lots of time spent signing books and chatting in broken English and flowing French. A little German every now and then as well. Crowds were good, and people seemed quite interested in all manner of mysterious topics.

Personally, most of the time I had no idea what I was getting ready to talk about. It was stuff like...

Propheties, Predictions, Divinations... Quand la fantasy scrute nos destinees...

and..

Tous le Sorciers ne s'appellent pas Harry! Magie et magiciens d'aujourd'hui...

That sort of thing. And, yes, I did have a translator (more on that later), but the titles of the panels were as much riddles to me in English as they were in French. But hey, that was part of the fun.

And look at the crowds! I'm tempted to say that these young people were gathered to meet me, but that would be... a... lie. Still, they were gathered for some fantasy-loving event. That's the truth.

And it's also true that Imaginales is really well-run. There were difficulties. Like a day of rain, drunk or hungover authors (no names), etc, but overall things ran smoothly. Part of why this happens is that the town itself choose to host the festival. They make it work, and they seem quite proud and engaged to have the event in Epinal. If they ever invite me back I'll most certainly go! (Blatant hint, that.)

More on this cat and his multi-hued compatriots later...

And, okay, courtesy of whoever posted the photos on flickr, "those" women...

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4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

But of course:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/nouvelles-des-deux-rives/sets/72157618493952775/

7:08 PM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...

Yep. That's them. Thanks!

7:12 PM  
Blogger A. Hartman Adams said...

Wow, those pictures are fascinating. Sorry, David--the bare-breasted painted ladies have your pics beat hands down. Are we to assume you didn't snap any shots because you could only stare in amazement? If so, I can totally sympathize...

8:56 AM  
Blogger Brendan McGinley said...

Magnificent costumes!

2:00 PM  

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