Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Second printing!!!

Sunny, mild, beautiful, temps zero

Lovely day - woke up to huge soft flakes falling outside our Quebec City window. Forgot to get coffee yesterday while shopping so were forced to go out for breakfast this morning - Chez Temporel on rue Couillard. 2 bowls of cafe au lait each and croissants aux amandes (only one each). Then picked up some coffee and fruit and spent the day writing at home.

Our friend Susan wrote to say she couldn't come this weekend, so that freed us up to go home...so much work to do there and the research is all but done here. We're going on a private historical walking tour of Old Quebec tomorrow morning, with David Mendel - have loads of questions for him and places we need to see.

Then back home to Sutton Thursday. Working on more edits on The Brutal Telling. This is a process that lasts quite a while. Am trying to say 'no thank you' to most events this year - outside the launch period - since there's so much work to do and I don't want to get too far behind with the sixth book - Bury Your Dead - the one set here in Quebec.

Had great news just now from the New York publishers...A RULE AGAINST MURDER has gone into a second printing. That is because you are all buying the book and spreading the word and I am deeply grateful!!! Thank you.

Had another email from Sheila in Melbourne. The fires are better, though while some go out others spring up. And as the smoke literally clears the full extent of the loss is becoming clear and it's almost more than people can bear. The towns wiped out, the historic and artistic heritage lost forever. The people, families, killed. The animals gone.

Often, during the crisis, people can cope. But it's afterward the real pain is felt. Like a personal loss - the grief builds, not diminishes, as the days and weeks pass. And the cards and casseroles stop. And people expect them to get on with their lives, and they expect it of themselves. But, weighed down with grief, people can just stop.

I think many people in the Melbourne area are feeling that now.

We're approaching the 15th anniversary of when Michael proposed to me - at Hovey Manor. And instead of flowers or gifts or a dinner we've decided to donate to the Australian Red Cross, and to the wildlife relief fund.

I'd also talked earlier about adopting a specific fund for this blog and my website. Well, I've thought about it a lot. As you know I'm quite active in literacy issues and a huge proponent of literacy as essential for the long hard climb out of poverty. There is no hope without literacy.

But after reflecting on it and sitting with all the options and the causes close to my heart I realize what moved me the most are issues to do with animals. Anti puppy mill crusades and legislation, animals affected by disasters, abandonned and abused animals. I can't do the work myself even if I had all the time in the world. I'm just not emotionally equipped. I can, and have, volunteered at palliative care for people but I couldn't do a single shift in a shelter. Especially one that had a euthanasia policy.

Now, there are a lot of exceptional people doing amazing work for animals. In Australia, certainly. In the parks in Africa to save endangered species. There's a fund called Noah's Wish in the US and Canada that is amazing. It rescues animals caught in natural disasters and was very involved in forest fires and hurricane relief.

But I think the one I'm going to propose is right around the corner from Michael and me, in the Eastern Townships. It's the SPCA Monteregie. It's a small shelter with a no-kill policy. It spays and neuters all the animals who come in. It goes on raids against puppy mills, and saves neglected and abused farm animals. All with volunteers. It staggers along on almost no money and the goodwill of friends.

A donation of a hundred dollars makes a big difference. A thousand is celebrated and used wisely. To buy food, and pay vets bills, and pay for heat. Our friends Kirk and Walter down the road will be hosting the annual Afternoon Tea this August as a fundraiser, and we've offered our property for the following year.

I realize this is a tiny operation, and you might not want to donate to it. I totally understand, and maybe you want to consider a shelter or organization closer to home. But I do know any money given to the SPCA Monteregie will be used well.

You can check out their website at www.spcamonteregie.com

As I say, they aren't particularly polished in their site, though it is informative and open. But I know the people and the operation. And it's where our hearts (MIchael's and mine) are.

Be well. And every now and then, on top of the normal good feeling I have about the people who read my books, and this blog - I feel overwhelmed with warmth. I do now. I have a wonderful life, filled with creativity and company and love. And kindness. And you're a big part of it. All you give to me. Thank you.


Bobbie said...

Dear Louise, thank you for having such a caring heart, and for giving this so much thought. I agree, it's a wonderful anniversary gift, makes it very special to share your own happiness with money to a place where it is so needed and appreciate.

I also agree, people can sometimes cope with immediate crises and grief...and then the long time afterward starts. It never goes away, and the pain is awful.

So, though I can't contribute very much, I am wanting to share this time with you and everyone who cares, and a small donation will be sent to your ongoing blog charity. And a small donation to Australian charity of my choice.

Kindness, and love, and caring. That is what makes life wonderful. Sharing that does help me when there is a bad time, to know there really IS kindness and love and caring--in my own home and in this blog and in the world. Thank you, Louise.

YAY about the second printing! And best wishes on your last days in Quebec and going home. It's been a true joy sharing your happiness with the book sales and reviews, and your happiness with this Quebec time.

Be well.

hilary said...

You have a big heart, Louise Penny, and deserve all the good that comes your way. I will donate -- in your honour -- to my local no-kill animal shelter, also small and staffed by dedicated volunteers.

Thanks for taking the lead.

humble.pie said...

now is the hour
when we must say good-bye
and thank our glowing hostess for this unforgettable house party.

the cambridge pages were magical. But the québec pages are something else again. Let me show you my house, says louise as we first arrive on a frosty evening. Look, here's your bedroom on the mezzanine. And we'll be upstairs, just under the roof.

here in québec city, we readers had a rare insight into the very roots of creativity. We were present at the conception of the book. How many artists would dare to permit this. Offhand i cannot think of any. And how well louise managed to alternately show us a stunning genetic field and then veil the view to protect the fragile oocyte.

and the house guests! Weren't they lovely. All so in tune. All dancing to the fiddlers' beat. Once a day they gathered noisily at the table to hear the latest adventure, to toast the hostess as the good news from new york city poured in, to down delicious mouthfuls of la bonne bouffe, to exclaim, to laugh. And to pray while louise whispered blessings and words of help to sisters in australia.

on a practical note, our hostess once wrote that the advantage of writing about a bistro in a novel was never having to cook the actual dishes. So the advantage of a virtual house party must surely be never having to do the laundry.

good-bye for now, mille mercis, a thousand thanks, une expèrience inoubliable, we'll remember forever, salut, huge hugs & kisses, gros bisoux, au revoir, à la prochaine.

Louise Penny Author said...

Dear Bobbie,

How moved I am by your post. And by your generosity. I know how tough times are - and for you to find some money is such a blessing. And I know will come back to you ten fold. Or thereabouts.

Thank you! Beautiful woman.

Louise Penny Author said...

Dear Hilary,

I think you are being very kind to me, because I suspect you've given to your no-kill shelter before...you need no lead from me. Thank you for walking side by side with me, and Bobbie and so many others.

It feels good, doesn't it? How lovely you are.

Louise Penny Author said...

Cher Hum,

Honestly, one day I'm going to collect your emails and publish them! They are not only very funny - but brilliant. Like reading an abstract piece of art...impressionist. Wonderful - beuatiful. Astonishing images and words swirl from your comments. What an interesting person you are. Avec, je pense, un esprit ouvert. With a soul that soars.

Thank you for always coming to the table, and celebrating. And sometimes just witnessing. And not looking, or running, away.

Bless you.

Linda said...

Dear Louise,
I do volunteer work at the local Humane Society. There are days it can be heartbreaking when it is very hard to continue but the animals need for love and a kind touch keeps me going back. Bless you for your kind heart and reaching out to help those who are at our mercy. I hope many will follow your lead. And may I add my plea that pet owners PLEASE get your pets spayed or neutered. And if you are looking for unconditional love, just check your local shelter.


Anonymous said...

We already contribute to our local no kill shelter, but thank you so much for bringing attention to this.

On a completely different note, when is the launch date for book five?! I am eagerly anticipating the next book!


hilary said...

Busted. But I haven't contributed to my local animal shelter on a regular basis -- that will be the difference. Nothing compared to what my dentist does. Every single night he goes downtown, and the town strays gather to meet him to get their dinner. His own home is full of cats -- he refuses to say how many. He built a beautiful new country home, and equipped the basement as a "cattery," from which the felines have access to a safe outdoor enclosed space. He has them spayed and neutered and funds any operations they might need when they fall ill. He's still working in his practice well into his seventies -- quite possibly because he has to "feed his habit." He cannot turn away a cat that's in distress.

Some people, I guess, would think he's nuts. I think he's a beautiful soul with remarkable compassion that goes further than merely "feeling." He's doing.

Leinda said...

Congratulations on the second printing for A Rule Against Murder! I'm not surprised at the success of this book since you write about such wonderfully drawn characters caught up in interesting plots. Many more successes are to come, I'm sure!

Louise Penny Author said...

Dear Leinda,

Thank you! Am about to start writing book 6 - looking forward to it too, though always a bit frightened just before I start.