Friday, 23 April 2010

Earth Day - plus one

sunny, mild, temps 10

A little cool in the shade...still wearing my all-time favorite coat - a waxed Barbour we bought years ago in London. In fact, the photo to the right - me sitting on the bench at home - in that photo I'm wearing it too. Love it. Because it's waxed I smell more than a little bit like an old tent.

An oddly comforting smell, actually. At least for me - not sure if it's as comforting for my companions.

Like most people, I'm drawn to fragrance. Roses, sandalwood, coffee, bacon, fresh cut grass, peony, lilac, smoke from maple logs in the fireplace - and old tents. I read once that my generation (I'm turning 52) tends to relate to chemical smells - gasoline, Ben Gay, cool aid. Things that are manufactured. The older generation reacts to natural aromas - like grass.

I thought that was interesting - and perhaps even true. I know when I smell Ben Gay I feel comforted. I suspect when my mother smelt it she felt simply stressed. One more sick child.

Had fun yesterday - very hectic day. Supposed to have breakfast with our friend but there was a confusion of dates. Frustrating since we'd have loved to see her, and it pushed our day back by 2 hours. We'd normally be at the restaurant for breakfast by 7:30 - 8am - home by nine and writing...but she wanted to meet at 9am. So lost 2 hours of precious writing time when I'm rushing and working hard to try to finish before we head to Washington next Thursday. Not catastrophic if I don't finish, but having to stop writing for four days in a first draft is never a good thing for me.

But, got home and got 2 hours of writing done anyway, before heading off to our tax accountant. Great news - I'm getting a refund. Not great news - it will be eaten up and then some by Michael's taxes! All those pedicures, I suspect.

Then we hopped it over to the Delta in Montrealfor the Blue Metropolis Literary Festival - met Nancy and pat and Barbara and Anthony for drinks and dinner. I scooted away briefly to meet with Louise loiselle, the president of Flammarion Quebec, my French publisher. She was there with one of her authors, James Frey. Rejoined the others then we headed to the event room.

It's always a little scary, thinking no one will show up - but the place was packed. Barbara Fradkin and Anthony Bidulka were sparkling and fascinating...and then Anthony was nominated for the Arthur Ellis for Best Novel...which was thrilling!

there was a wine and cheese afterward - sponsored by the Crime Writers of Canada. Nancy Grant - the VP of the CWC did the most wonderful thing. She took all our book covers and turned them into wine labels, then stuck them on wine bottles. It was a riot.

Home by shortly after 9pm...pooped.

Hope you had a happy Earth Day. When I think of the changes in our lives - environmentally speaking - since the first Earth Day 40 years ago I shudder. At the waste I'm responsible the fear of what we've collectively done - but also at how easy the changes are to implement. Our garbage is easily a quarter what it once was. We have one car (and a horse). We compost and turn off lights. And still we could do so much more.

I look at old movies - from the 40s or 50s - and want to shout at the screen...don't do it. Don't ruin everything. Don't build big cars and create fast food and strip the rain forests, don't rip of passenger rail routes and don't believe plastic is the future.

But apparently screaming at the TV doesn't work. if it did the montreal Canadiens would be winning their series!

Be well - speak to you tomorrow. Back to work for me.


Anonymous said...

Add the fragrance of baking potatoes and rain on hot streets and the smell of vegetables cooking in a wok. I like all yours, too.

It's nice you can write after being with people and doing things rather than needing absolute peace and quiet.

Hope you finish the book on your schedule but if you don't, it will keep.


Marjorie said...

If anyone wants to read about Malice Domestic, here is the link (I have also posted it on Louise's Facebook page. Have you friended her yet?):

--Marjorie from Connecticut (who is tempted to go because her sister lives nearby, but I am also trying to save up for Bouchercon.)

Diane said...

Hi Louise:

Agree with what you say about smells, they can repel and entice, bring good or bad memories, and rumour has it as one of the senses that becomes stronger as we age! I love the smell of sheets (all clothes actually) fresh from the clothes line.

CWC - go Canada go! As for the Mtl Canadians, not sure they would hear me. Good luck with your writing today.

Louise Penny Author said...

Hi Mary, - oh, yes...wonderful aromas.

And lemons...hmmm.

Hi Marjoire - thanks for the link!!! Sorry you won't be there - but how wonderful to know you're saving for Bouchercon in San Francisco. Excellent.

Hi Diane...I forgot that one. Sheets off the line. And the Canadien's won!!! Yipppeee.