Aakroveil – a group reading of Marian B’s Novel

unnamedThe second weekend of this year, a group of creative friends gathered together to read through Marian B’s fantasy novel for the first time, as a group. The group consisted of many of the Ekphrasis faithful, as well as some auxilliary members who’ve come to occasional events.

We were hosted by Elaine S in her beautiful home on the outskirts of Kutztown, Pennsylvania. We arrived prepared with food for the weekend, comfy clothes and blankets for long reading sessions (with a fireplace roaring, no less!) and various phones, tablets, and laptops from which to read our parts.

Josh L, Sharon G and I read the main three perspective characters. Josh read Dorian, a young (secretly half-farie) lord trying to keep war from breaking out between the humans and faries. Sharon read Meg, Dorian’s love interest. I read Draven, Meg’s love interest. Oh, he is also Dorian’s brother, and the person who is trying to cause the two races to go to war.

Other parts were read by Momo S, Betsy G, Beth B, Earl P, Lindsay S, Elizabeth S, Amanda L, Jeff H, Steph H, and possibly some other people that will angrily admonish me for fogetting them after they read this blog post.

We spent several hours Friday night reading, and got quite a good start on it. This has been the fourth group reading of a complete work that we’ve done and we seem to be getting the hang of it. After reading, some of us played board games for a while, then we went to bed.

We got up early Saturday morning to eat pancakes and continue our reading. We read most of the day Saturday, taking occasional breaks for snacks or to stretch. In the evening we assembled at a local diner for a meal. After some excitement with a flat tire, we eventually got everyone back to the house. An impromptu dance party commenced for the people who were staying overnight, which eventually evolved into the group laying around in a circle and asking difficult philosophical questions of one another.

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Sunday morning we went off to various local houses of worship, and met back at 1 pm to finish off the novel. Overall I think that it went very well. Marian’s novel was a lot of fun, and we had a lot of good discussion about parts of the novel that worked and that didn’t. I think that the information garnered over the weekend will be a valuable tool for Marian as she is revising her work and beginning the process of shopping it around.

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About Andrew Stirling MacDonald

Andrew Stirling MacDonald is writer, video producer, composer and actor. He worked as a composer on a number of projects including Twenty Third Street Production's Exile, Perfection, Come On Down, Shindigital Productions' Into the Black, and several professional theatre productions. He is a founding member of the sketch comedy group "The Pippens," and once had a small role in an episode of HBO's Flight of the Conchords. He's also worked as a producer for Twenty Third Street Productions for the past twelve years, and has been the showrunner for Exile, a post-apocalyptic web series. In real life, Andrew can often be found writing unpublished novels, monopolizing pianos, extolling philosophies he understands little about and valiantly attempting to raise his three adorable children. If you want to find him it won't be that hard; he'll be the big hairy loud one in the kilt.

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