Saturday, 14 August 2010


sunny, hot, temps 30

Very hot, by Vancouver standards. Gorgeous day. Woke up to very loud sounds coming from outside our window. Since there's not much there except water we were a little baffled until we noticed...fins! A dorsal fin...two, three...and arched backs. A pod of dolphins was playing right outside our window! We didn't realize it at the time, but learned later that this is an extremely rare sighting. It was just after 6am. We threw on some clothes and ran out onto the then they'd moved on, but not too far. Though too far for a photo - sadly. But we were astonished, and thrilled and amazed.

We went for a walk, then, along the shore, and spoke to the people there - including two people sitting on their verandah's, and both had seen the dolphins too. And told us they'd never seen them there before. And were enraptured too.

There's also a grey whale out there, but we didn't see it.

Lonnie and Susan picked us up at 8:30 - we'd packed and checked out - and drove us to the literary festival grounds. We went up to the I have to say, I was a little worried that at 9am on Saturday there'd be four of us there....and 400 empty seats. So I was relieved when there was already a line-up. And by the time Lonnie introduced me the place was packed.

Lonnie was hilarious - telling everyone how our reaction to everything we saw was, "oh wow' or 'oh my God'. Not particularly creative or descriptive. He had them howling with laughter! And it was quite true. Even coming back on the ferry tonight Michael and I kept repeating, Oh Wow...Oh my god, look at that.

It is so beautiful.

The event went very well - always a relief...and great questions from the audience. Lots of books to sign - which is also a relief. Then Michael and I had a coffee with Lawrence Hill and his wife Miranda. Such incredibly kind people. So supportive of other writers. Warm and funny and generous.

Then Pat picked us up to take us to a gathering of three book clubs, who'd invited us to this wonderful pot luck lunch down the coast. Such nice people - fascinating to listen to their lives and experiences. And it was sure a treat to have a healthy, home-made meal.

Then back to the festival...chatted with a few people - then changed into travel chothes, and Lonnie and Susan took us to the ferry. An airport limo met us at the other side, and now we're at the the gate...with three hours until the flight!

Long day. We arrive about 7am (or might be 8) in Montreal. Will grab a cab to the apartment, pack our stuff, hop in the car and get to the Granby hospital to see Jacques and Louise. How wonderful that will be!

And then, home to Sutton. Long day. But a good day. I'm thinking we might call Pat and ask if she can pick up some groceries for us - milk and fruit...just something for breakfast Monday. I think we'll be way too tired to do shopping.

Looking forward to our own beds.

But, as you've probably gathered, the Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts is one spectacular literary festival. I think it's the best we've ever been at. To get more than 400 people at each event, at give each author a full hour to talk, read, take's bliss.

I'll blog again Monday. Our friend Susan's arriving Monday for a couple of weeks stay in the cottage...coming for dinner Monday night. I hope she doesn't mind milk and fruit. And a photo of a pie for dessert.

Speak to you then.


Darlene said...

Such a thrill to meet you and Michael, Louise. Your presentation rocked. I loved the biographical bits: your childhood, how you developed as a writer and your time with the CBC. The humour was delightful and your approach to writing very interesting. If my attention hadn’t been so glued to each word I would have taken notes, but I was afraid I’d miss something. It was my first time at the Sechelt Literary Festival and I found the venue so serene. The experience filled a whole page in my book of rare gifts. The bookmark will be laminated and hung over my desk. Thanks so much for being there.

PS: The word verification for the posting will appear if one previews one's comment first.

Marjorie said...

Darlene, thanks for letting the rest of know what seeing Louise "in action" was like.

--Marjorie from Connecticut

Louise Penny Author said...

Hi Darlene and Marjorie,

It was such fun meeting you, Darlene. How supportive you are. I so appreciate it.

And always a joy to hear from you, Marjorie - wonderful woman.

Jodi said...

I'm sooo jealous. Thanks for sharing with us. I love your line about the experience filling up an entire page of your book of gifts.

Darlene said...

I am so grateful to Louise for coming all the way to the western edge of the continent to the Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts (I keep forgetting the whole title) and thank goodness it was sunny. Usually I'm the one who's jealous when great events happen on the east coast.

I've been to many literary and writers' festivals, but Louise's presentation and this Festival spoke to me on a different and deeper level. Just an amazing, joyful experience. Merci beaucoup!

Darlene said...

Should add, Marjorie, that it's a real bonus to be able to share this with others who admire Louise and her work as much as I do. It's really selfish because it extends it for me, but I hope it does give you some idea of what it was like.

And Jodi, thanks for the compliment. It's really appreciated.