Thursday, 11 February 2010

Dorothy L

light flurries, cool, temps minus 3

Lovely day...winter, without the cruel bite. We've been watching, along with most of NA, the terrible storms on the east coast. poor Baltimore, Washington, Philadephia...New York City. Wow. Of course, the real problem is a loss of power. that's when it gets frightening and dangerous.

We have a large generator here because when we lose power we lose water too. but I know, of course, in cities people don't have generators.

If you're affected by the storms, and I know many of you are - you really are in our thoughts.

We've been having fun watching the Today Show etc in Vancouver for the Winter Olympics. We Canadians don't often wave the flag, but I have to admit to feeling my heart swell when I see Vancouver, Canada on all the TV's and in newspapers. Very proud of how beautiful it looks...and how efficient everything seems to be. Of course, the games haven't even started - so I suppose it's a little early to crow! Still, I'm very happy - and proud - and excited. I love the Winter Olympics. I suppose as a Canadian they just strike a cord. We were raised skiing and skating and doing a lot of the sports...until that great well of laziness was tapped. ow we watch others.

Can hardly wait for the games to begin. In truth, I root for Canadian athletes, but I also often also root for athletes from other countries. Some just have such inspiring, amazing stories. Imagine the work for these young people to get there? And they are all so young. Amazing. Humbling.

Had fabulous news from the website Dorothy L. It's a very prestigious site dedicated to crime fiction, with a bent to traditional mysteries _ ala Dorothy L. Sayers. Every January they poll their members for the top books and favorite writers....

Can you see where this is going....

Well, The Brutal Telling was the top book! And Louise Penny was the favorite writer!!! It actually feels very strange writing this because it feels way too much like bragging. And yet I've told you about other unexpected and wonderful events and honors...not sure why this feels different. and I suppose, really, it is bragging. But I'm just so happy about it. And frankly surprised. But mostly astonished and really, really joyful.

Do you know what I find amazing??? That I live outside a tiny village, in a french speaking province, in a lovely but quiet country - and readers have found my books. And enjoy them. And far from Canada and Quebec being a handicap readers seem to find it a good part of the series...a real benefit.

How open readers are. And how I have benefited by that. Honestly, what are the chances a middle aged woman writing in front of a fireplace in an old farmhouse would be discovered?

When I think of it my heart soars - and I'm aware again that it happened because of you, being open to what appeared to be a small Canadian village mystery series...but is in fact (I hope) set not in a place, but inside all of us. that's the real landscape. They're not about death but really about goodness and kindness, about friendship. About the light, not the darkness.

Enough of this - I just wanted to tell you the great news - and to thank you. I suspect many of you reading this now are also members of Dorothy L. You have a very, very happy author here...and I thank you.

Oh, another bit of news - Michael and I decided to go for our Nexus cards, which would speed our passage through Canadian and US customs. Since we travel so much, especially my air, it is huge to be able to avoid what is often a very long line. In some cases it takes an hour or more of shuffling forward. So we applied and guess what???

Michael got accepted, but I was rejected? Do they know who I am? Apparently they know perfectly well. I'm the idiot who got caught not once, but twice trying to sneak something into Canada. A Lands End bathing suit - then a month later, a restoration Hardware swing arm lamp.

Honestly - what was i thinking? It was humiliating. And apparently the border security people have long memories.

We went for Michael's interview two days ago at the Montreal airport and I explained my situation. The extremely kind (and beautiful - and powerful) customs officials looked up my dossier and discovered the infractions. I asked if maybe, since it was clearly a minor issue, it could just be, well, maybe, erased? (cue huge smile).

No. (cue their huge smiles). These cards are, they explained, for TRUSTED travelers.

They had me there. The irony is that I am actually, now, probably the most trusted traveler you could find. Nothing would entice me to lie at a border now. But the horse has already bolted. I am deemed untrustworthy.

Michael found this both amusing and annoying since we travel together all the time and his being able to sweep through customs means he just has to wait on the other side for his recidivist wife. Well, his fault for marrying me. He should have seen this larcenous streak in me.

But i have to say, the customs people really were very sympathetic and kind - and very helpful when Michael's eyes didn't want to have the retinal scan. Very patient they were. Finally, holding his lids open so wide I was sure the balls would roll out, they got the scan.

Hope you're doing well - and if you've been in the path of the storms, that you haven't been too, too badly affected.


Jodi said...

Congratulations on the Dorthy L honors!

Too bad about customs. Maybe they flag crime writers??

I love the winter Olympics too. I understand Vancouver is short on snow. Perhaps they could get some from DC and Baltimore. They have plenty extra, and are probably happy to share.

We're fine here in NYC. Only 10 inches of snow, not as bad (or as windy) as predicted. And, our power lines are underground.

Marjorie said...

Hey, Jodi! Do you have any great restaurant suggestions for around 55th and 7th? Any cuisine, not wildly expensive. Thanks.

Hey, Louise! I can't believe that you are on the "bad" list for air travel! I guess that bathing suit and that lamp cost you a lot more than you had considered in the long run. Oh dear!

--Marjorie from Connecticut

Jodi said...

Hmmm food (one of my favorite things - tied with books).

Can't speak for this place personally, but it looks lovely and gotta love the name (tea house and books):

Radiance Tea House and Books
158 W 55th St
New York NY 10019
(Btwn 6th & 7th Ave)

If not, search menupages (west 50s)

Hope this helps!

lil Gluckstern said...

I too send my congratulation on the Dorothy L honors, and alerting us to the site. I don't think of you as middle aged since you are so young at heart, and in your action-scuba diving, yay! I am rapidly becoming a Canada-phile. is there such a word? I read Giles Blunt for many years, and now have discovered Peter Robinson- his books read like cozies, which can be really soothing, and I have had a thing about Gordon Lightfoot for years. Now I am looking forward to Vancouver as well. It's in the same time zone. I will root for Canada with you, because we might not have any skiers left by the time Friday comes-injuries, etc. You are a pleasure to read, and I am really having fun with this blog, and reading all your bloggers. Stay warm, and dry, all of you, hope you have power, and get dug out soon!

Marjorie said...

Thanks, Jodi!

--Marjorie from CT
p.s.--I forgot to say congratulations to you, Louise, on the Dorothy L. news!

Dana said...

Congratulations Louise and welcome home. I am NOT surprised you are the favorite author, esp. after reading your competition this winter. A few I did not even finish, and, even worse, was not tempted to read the end first.

Thank you for the lovely visit to St Lucia and for the lesson in having fun.


Bobbie said...

Louise, very hearty congratulations on the DorothyL win! Yay for you!! I used to be a member long ago, dropped off but now am thinking of rejoining. After all I am a big fan of yours, love mystery books that are well done, and would probably enjoy maybe next year I'll get to vote! :-)

Enjoyed the story about the trustworthy flying. Surely you can work that into one of your plots?

We have a lot of snowy wintry icy stuff here, but are surviving. And those birdpigs..or is it pigbirds..keep us busy going out about twice as often to give them their seeds. But bird tv is still our favourite show, so it's worth it. :-) Fluffed up twice their size trying to keep warm, and those brilliant cardinals in that's worth feeding them for that view. :-) And ice sparking in the trees at sunup...thank goodness we didn't get so much to make us be without power. Mother nature sure knows how to prove who's boss. Best wishes to all those who've had to brave this winter stuff, and other stuff too from the weather.

Best Olympic Wishes! Yes, be proud! Enjoy!


Charlotte said...


Would you please share the web site address for Dorothy L.

Thank you

Marjorie said...

Charlotte, it's:

but it's not a regular website. You have to sign up to be on the list and receive emails from the ongoing discussions. The homepage will explain more.

--Marjorie from Connecticut

Deborah said...

Greetings from Dublin, Ireland. Congratulations Louise, well deserved! I would just like to add that both my Mother and I are huge fans of your books. We wait in anticipation of the next one.

Charlotte said...

Marjorie, Thank you.

Susan D said...

Congratulations, Louise, on that signal honour from the DLS crowd.

And though the Nexus refusal is very hard on you, I really, truly had to laugh at the Canadianness of it all.

You, for smuggling in completely benign things: a bathing suit and a lamp. Not, we notice, a key of cocaine or a dozen iPads.

Them, for being nice while turning you down. Like the Canadian embassy guy in French Kiss.

Jo B. said...

That's great about the Louise L.
You deserve all recognition.

We are having snow in Georgia can you believe? Even South Georgia. What a winter!

I am one of those Olympic fanatics also. Can't wait for the games to start. When the games were in Atlanta in '96, we snagged tickets to the Opening Ceremonies...will never forget the excitement.

Louise Penny Author said...

Hi all,

It's true - the Nexus refusal was very Canadian, everyone apologizing to each other, eh?

And thank you all for your good wishes - makes me feel much better about the bragging. I always figure that eventually all this will stop and my time in this particular light will be might as well celebrate. But I also know that I don't want to appear to be rubbing noses in what is clearly amazing good fortune for me.

Well, we keep bumbling along, don't we. At least I do.

Thank you all - and Hi to those new to the blog and the to hear from Charlotte and Deborah etc.

Bev Stephans said...

It seems that I got behind in your blog. Hearty congratulations on your Dorothy L!!! What a great award for you.

Hopefully, we've had all the snow were going to have for awhile....a little over 30 inches.

As for your Border problems, will you be the next Farley Mowatt?


Tammy said...

Wow! You give me hope that perhaps, one day, a middle-aged woman who writes by the woodstove in the tiny town of Broadway, VA might just be discovered... ;)