Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Very Existential

rain, cool, highs 8

Had a great time in Russell last night! I am, frankly, pleasantly surprised. Since this was clearly a very small town/village I was expecting to be speaking to Michael, the librarian Helene and myself. But the place was packed! Standing room only. Wow, does that feel good. I'd love to think it was my fame that had spread, like Bishops weed, all over the county. But I suspect it was because Helene is extremely dynamic and passionate, as were the people there. Many belonged to the book club and had discovered my books.

I put in a paragraph break here for aesthetics - I find a solid page of words is daunting...some breaks feel better. Anyway, they'd discovered my books, but didn't realize they're a series and it's generally a good idea to read the books in order, though not necessary. As a result, some had read all three, some only the third, The Cruelest Month, etc. Happily it didn't seem to matter. Though there was agreement it is best to read in order, and I agree.

Had a very humbling moment while sitting in this great cafe in Russell. It was teeming rain - so much so there were rain warnings out from Ottawa to Nova Scotia - so Michael and I decided to drive up early, take our time. We stopped at a village and found a small restuarant. Home made food. Booths from the 50's. They made Shirley Temples!!! I ordered my favoirte 'road food' - hot chicken/turnkey sandwich. It came with real chicken, gravy, fresh homemade mashed potatoes in ice cream scoops. Perfect! The only thing missing were the runny green peas. Michael had his favorite 'road food' - bbqd chicken legs and fries. And diet coke. Then we had a mountain of chocolate cake so high we could barely see each other over it. Outside the rain pelted down and we drank coffee in white chipped mugs and tunnelled our way through the cake.


Then on to Russell and found the cafe. Michael had a hot chocolate and I had assorted teas. Outside Helene had put a sandwich board on the sidewalk saying LOUISE PENNY AT LIBRARY 7:30 A young woman came into the cafe and called to the owner 'Who's Louise Penny?' Not once - it felt as though she yelled it ten times. I think she mis-read and thought this Louise Penny was going to be at the cafe. Which, of course, she was. I sank down under my 'O' Magazine and willed Michael not to say anything. He was deep in Sudoku and didn't notice.

Who's Louise Penny? Now there's a good question.

Had an annoyingly correct email from our friend Susan - she who stays at our cottage and never leaves, but bakes great Eccles cakes and gives them to us sometimes. We pretty much just see her as one of the finest journalists in Canada and a leech. Well, she noticed that my grand announcement about the Crime Writers of Canada event at the Atwater Library I'll be at isn't tonight (as I said in yesterday's blog) but tomorrow - Wednesday night.

She reminded me I used to be a journalist and wondered what had happened to my rigor.

I ate it.

So this is a correction. For the thousands of you planning to come to the panel and CWC Ellis award announcement at the Atwater Libary in Montreal tonight - it's tomorrow!

And finally - who is Louise Penny?


Elizabeth said...

Yum! Isn't it great when you find "real" food out there? Bill and I have a few fave places, with the Evangeline Snack Bar in Wolfville, NS at the top of the list. But seriously, how do you manage to eat like this and not weigh 200 pounds?

Louise Penny Author said...

Hi Elizabeth,

How do you know I don't? Actually, Michael and I had just that discussion over breakfast this morning. Swallowing my pride and ego are especially fattening.

I love walking - and while I'm quite a calm person I think I have a pretty good metabolism. I'm also 6 feet tall. Had I been 5'5" I'd be a bowling ball.

Thanks for the Evangeline Snack Bar suggestion.


Larry Marshall said...

"Who is Louise Penny?" she asked.

"She's the winner of the 2008 Agatha award for best novel, of course."

Cheers --- Larry

Hilary said...

Dear Louise,
I have made it to shore, and want to tell someone who'll understand. I completed writing the third draft of my first mystery novel this morning. For the first time, the whole story's there. Just a handful of scenes to clean up, the polishing finish(and maybe killing a few babies!), and it will wing its way into the world. Challenge and disappointment may follow, but right now I'm on Cloud Nine too, and finding it's not rarefied air, but very egalitarian(unlike First Class). It's large enough to accommodate small achievements like mine as well as big ones like yours. I celebrated with my feet firmly on the ground (actually, the accelerator) -- taking a truckload of old tires to the dump. Call it a hobby.


Louise Penny Author said...

Dear Larry,

Aren't you wonderful!!! Still yippeeing, I'm almost embarrassed to say.


Louise Penny Author said...

Dear Hilary,

Oh, my God - that is HUGE. I'm really not just saying this - but finishing and polishing a first novel - having the courage, the perseverance, the courage, the discipline, the courage to do that - well that is a FAR greater achievement than ANY award. It's the prize you give yourself and I know EXACTLY how that feels. Wow.

You go right back to nthe dump and celebrate some more, girl.

Really - fantastic. Yippeee!!! SO exciting. Anything can happen now. And remember and know - no matter what the world thinks of what you've created - you did it! No regrets. No regrets. Maybe disappointments - but never regrets.

Well done, Hilary!!! And thank you so much for telloing me. I'm dancing for joy myself.


Hilary said...

Dear Louise,
Doing it erases the potential for one big regret -- not doing it.
Thanks for your enthusiasm and support.
You're a gem.