Sunday, 6 September 2009

Drugs? No thanks, I have a pink pig.

sunny, cool, temps 18

Am sitting in Montreal in the apartment sipping an extra strong cappuccino and eating a brilliant pink pastry shaped like a pig and filled with cream.

Life doesn't get much better.

Michael and his son stayed in the country to have a day or so to themselves. Susan and I drove back this morning. Had a riot yesterday. Susan loves farmers markets because she's such a good cook. I love to just crawl from stall to stall and table to table, wishing we were aquiring rather than thinning out our worldly goods. Still S. and I went to the Sutton market, got vegetables and baked goods and some jewelery and bits and bobs. Then off to the Knowlton market...which is very nice, but more serious...not as much a market/yard sale. I didn't get anything, but Susan bought some sausages.

That took all morning an slightly into the afternoon. The guys headed off to thge Broke Lake Fair. Victor had never been and Michael was happy to show him around. The had a fabulous time too...learned all about how horses were shod. and a thing called The Cage of Death!!!!

Then Susan came over for dinner...bbq steaK, as well as fresh zucchini and corn barbequed as it was unfortunate when 30 seconds in the BBQ ran out of gas.

Oh, dear. We seem to be power-challenged of late!

Happily, Susan had made a HUGE peach crisp for dessert, so there was always that to be had, along with baguette that didn't need to the barbequed. The other fortunate thing was that the bbq at the guest cottage still had gas, so we zipped over there and took the tank. Slightly late, the dinner was done. It was a spectacularly beautiful day and evening, so it was lovely to hang by the pool, barbequing, listening to everyone talking and laughing.

A perfect Labour Day long weekend.

Now I have a day or so to myself. have rented some DVD's - got some pastries - and other nutritious food and plan to write some of the novella, prepare for Tuesday's news conference on the literacy project and just relax. Will be meeting a woiman I don't know but is married to the son of an aquaitance...I've met the son. Terrific family. Anyway, had a call from the son, David, to say his wife has written a book and... I could see it coming. Would I mind reading it? Critiquing it? Sending it to my agent?

These are TOTALLY appropriate and understandable questions, and ones I asked of authors when I was desperately trying to get a toe-hold in publishing. I never, ever get upset being asked that - and indeed have only admiration for people who have the courage to ask.

But -

Thge unfortunate fact is right now I just have run out of time. So I've instituted a 'no more endorsement' policy, and the most I will agree to do is read the first few thousand words of a manuscript and critque it. The fact is, within the first few thoiusand words you know if the person can write, if the characters and setting are alive, and if a reader would want to go further. Truth be told? You generally know in the first 100 words. Most agents, editors and the general public give a book one maybe two paragraphs to hook them.

So - I was actually dreading what David would say because it is extremely hard to say no to a friend or aquaintance...especially people from the country. So I was stunned and delighted when his next sentence was that his wife has landed a two book contract with HarperCollins Canada!!!

How wonderful is that??

He simply wanted to know if I could speak with her and tell her some of the things I wished I'd known when I'd first started out. So she and I chatted and have arranged to meet for coffee in Montreal tomorrow afternoon.

I cannot tell you how happy I always am to hear when authors land contracts. So this will be a joy.

Hope you're enjoying your long weekend and are healthy and well. At peace. If not, may I suggest a violent pink pig pastry and a double cappuccino?

Speak tomorrow.


Marjorie said...

"...may I suggest a violent pink pig pastry..."

Dear Louise, I wonder in what way was the pastry violent? Did it explode and was there cream strewn in every direction? I love your blog so much. It is so you. Which would seem obvious, but I think that some blogs are not indicative of their authors. I think that yours is. Woo hoo.

--Marjorie from Connecticut

Lesa said...

You have the best pastry in Canada! But, then I'd probably weigh twice what I do now. I have a sweet tooth. On the other hand, I made buckeyes for Jim today, and for pictures for the blog MysteryLoversKitchen. I'm guest blogging there on Sept. 20, and I had to make something and take pictures! Ahhh!

Buckeyes are perfect. Most people wouldn't turn down chocolate coated candies that taste better than Reese's peanut butter cups.

But, a violent pink pig pastry sounds enticing right now! Enjoy it, Louise!

Lesa -

Louise Penny Author said...

Hi Marjorie,

Wouldn't you be violent if you were about to be eaten? And eat it I did! Am considering going back to the patiserie for a green cream frog pastry. Such delicacies.

And thanks for the compliment. It sure is nice to know someone is reading the blog - though, like the books, I'd write them anyway!

Louise Penny Author said...

Hi Lesa,

A buckeye!! I'll definitely have to check out your guest blog. chocolate covered you shoot them at Jim? Or is that buckshot? Never mind.