By Treena Mielke
The town of Rimbey will soon be infused with a host of talented, award winning writers, photographers and musicians who have agreed to participate in this year’s Words West of the 5th in celebration of Alberta Culture Days.
Award winning author, Fran Kimmel from Lacombe is one of the celebrated writers who come to Rimbey for the event.
Kimmel’s short stories have appeared in literary journals from coast to coast, and her plays have been produced for both theatre and radio. Fran’s debut novel, The Shore Girl, was named a CBC Top-40 Book and won the Alberta Reader’s Choice Award in 2013. No Good Asking, Fran’s most recent book, was shortlisted for the Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction in 2019 and has been translated for international markets.
“I’m very excited and looking forward to coming to Rimbey,” said Kimmel in a telephone interview from her home, Thursday. “I always like coming to Rimbey and it is a nice drive from where I live.”
In her blog, Kimmel says she seems to be hard wired to learn through writing, whether it be fiction, internet writing, newspaper and magazine features, teen magazine columns, radio drama, educational videos or corporate writing.
She says she has written since she was a young girl.
“It is the easiest way to express myself, I guess,” who admits to being quite shy and quiet.
For Kimmel, ideas for stories seem to spring from her imagination while driving down snow covered country roads. While most people see only the reality of a cold and rugged landscape, Kimmel sees, in the shadows of her mind, stories of real people, people scarred and human, characters who come alive on the pages of her books.
“I am inspired by the landscape around me,” she said, “and I love writing about children.”
Kimmel’s career choices have been many and varied. After graduating from the University of Calgary with a degree is sociology, she completed a professional writing certificate from Mount Royal University.
Since that time she has worked as Boys and Girls Club director, young worker career counsellor, proposal writer, communications coordinator, instructor and vice president for a national management consulting firm. She has sold roses in front of liquor stores, guarded troubled kids in hotel rooms and held women’s hands at shelters.
Presently she is very much enjoying being a grandma and, when she is not writing, is happy to slip away to the magic forest with her three grandchildren.
Kimmel will do a reading from one of her books and take part in a fiction discussion panel with award winning authors Joan Crate, Kate Boorman and Jocelyn Brown beginning at 2 p.m. at the Beatty Heritage House on Sept. 28.
Culture Days will kick off with a Friday night performance at the Beatty House by Sid Marty, a celebrated poet, author and singer.
On Saturday afternoon, beginning at 12:30 a poetry cafe will be held at The Empress Theatre Coffee House with poets Joan Crate, Bruce Strand and Linda Siebenga reading from their works. They will also hold an informal question and answer session.
From 4 to 5 p.m.non-fiction “writing your passion “ panel authors Myrna Pearman, Patrick Rurka and Judy Larmour will give presentations. Pearman will be presenting an audio-visual show of wildlife photography as a part of her discussion of writing.
The Culture Days presentation will conclude on Saturday evening starting at 7:30 pm at Hawk Tail Brewery. Here, local writers and readers along with featured authors are invited to share their work at an open mic.