Events: Cool Date

2012-09-09 23:25:PM ago by nicole.boyce

On Saturday I took some time out from werewolf-slaying and trapeze-soaring to join our fS crew at the Choose Yer Own/Hot Dates with Blank Pages crossover event. Greeted warmly by Emily, filling Station collective member and Hot Date mastermind, we gathered downtown on a grey afternoon to brave rain and small talk in the name of community.   
Emily, in true blind date style, held a poster identifying herself as the event organizer. Acting as a wind sail, it ensured we were both visible to potential joiners and aware of the challenge before us. The sky darkened by the minute. We stood nervously as if awaiting further instruction. The air was thick with the expectant discomfort of a junior high dance.
Deciding to commit, we walked down Stephen Avenue, notebooks under arms. As I wondered whether the clouds would best our optimism, we reached our first prompt: an iron horse.
We settled on a nearby bench to contemplate public art, scribbling our lo-tech masterpieces with fingers more used to pounding keyboards. Passersby looked at us with quiet curiosity. A busker played Merv Griffin songs on a blue cello and I cringingly produced a freewrite studded with How I Met Your Mother references.
Undiscouraged, I took a break from scrawling to appreciate the atmosphere. On a street as busy as Stephen Avenue, it’s hard not to be inspired. Sandstone buildings towered over us. Pedestrians scurried for shelter. A nearby festival sent music our way. Though I was initially wary about writing in public – considering my first drafts a private humiliation – the experience was a nice equilibrium of absorption and expression. As someone who mostly writes in bed, with no stimulation but a bowl of Ritz crackers, this was a welcome change from a typically bleak routine.
After our first prompt the weather got the best of us, so we retired to a pub to meet our second prompt: Strongbow. To those who say you can’t find inspiration in a dank, windowless haven’t read enough Hemingway.   
All in all, it was a fun afternoon, an interesting change of pace, and a great way to meet nice people. So next month, throw on your best hoodie and join us for the least romantic date this side of Taco Bell. Forget kissing in the rain – try writing in it.

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