Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Such Off?

Mainly sunny, warm, temps 20

Now it's oddly mild. Am in Kingston now for the WritersFest. GREAT literary festival - only two years old but has fantastic writers.Including Joyce Carol oates, jane Urquhart, Lisa Moore, Bill richardson. And lots more.

The event last night in Ottawa went very well....but I had something to eat before that didn't quite agree with me, so halfway through my talk and reading, as I sat on the stage and face the audience, I could feel my stomach kinda twist. Oh. My.

fortunately nothing bad - and memorable - happened. I'm deeply grateful to the god who looks after these things that a) nothing bad happened. b) that I am now very comfortable speaking about the books and doing a reading or two. Was a time when in was deeply nerve-wracking. And that steals a lot of energy, and a lot of enjoyment. I realize many actors say they need to be nervous before a performance - some even throw-up (which I can understand)... but frankly if that's how I felt years into my career, I'd stay at home. Or hire someone to impersonate me. Ernest Borgnine comes to mind.

There was a satisfyingly long line-up to sign books - but I always feel a little stressed because I want to chat briefly with everyone, but don't want those at the back to have to wait an hour. So I end up scrawling a bit in everyone's books. Now, my handwriting is never all that wonderful, then add the need for speed (or perceived need) - and this is a recipe for disaster.

One narrowly averted yesterday. Two young women were there - one having a birthday, the other buying books for herself and friends...so I wrote a few things in each book, and signed.

Then this morning I heard from a woman - Gail - who'd been there. When she left with her signed books she noticed the two young women sitting outside, looking at the books I'd just signed and the one said to the other, 'I can't believe she just wrote that in your book.'

They looked, apparently, quite upset and insulted. Gail - bless her - went over and enquired and they showed her my scrawl. She was curious to see what in the world I could possibly have written to get this reaction. It needed, she admitted, a little de-coding - but it seemed clear I'd written: 'Such fun meeting you.'

Gail told them that's what she saw and the woman took another look and her brow cleared...'Oh, yes. I can see that now. Thank you.'

I would pay money to find out what they thought I'd written. As I sat in the train down here, listening to music and staring out the window at the early autumn countryside, I wondered... Such fun meeting you... What could that look like?

Well, two incidents narrowly missed.

Miss Michael, of course. He calls and describes sitting on the screen porch, or walking Trudy, or reading his manuscript with a cafe au lait by the fire - and I just want to be there. But then I remember that this book tour is a dream - and Sutton will be there when I get home...all the sweeter for having been away.

I also realized I've been counting the days until I get home...but it's not 60 days - the count started at 18. And I realized those were the days until I see Michael again - when we meet for Canadian Thanksgiving at the family reunion in Regina.

Michael is my home.

but in the meantime, the tour is going gangbusters.

Have an event at 1:30 tomorrow as part of the Kingston Writers Fest, with Peter Robinson - called Cops and Authors. then someone's driving me down the road to the Belleville Public Library for an event 6 to 8pm. then hop the train tomorrow night for toronto, arriving about 11pm.

Will be very, very careful about what I eat. Stick to gummi bears. At least I know they agree with me. Such good dispositions.

7 comments:

suzy said...

LOL! Poor Louise....That is exactly why when I am travelling I only eat at a particular mundane family type chain (I know the menu by heart)....very plain and boring, but I do not get sick. I also have a bottle of pepto in each and every purse I own. I know it sounds terrible, but that discipline allows me a good trip. However,I am much more adventurous about the menu when at home. Hang in there, and enjoy the tour.

Shelagh said...

Hi Louise, I love your comment "Michael is my home." - such a powerful, loving statement. And I am so glad you do not have to wait 60 days to see one another!

I ordered BURY YOUR DEAD from Danny and Lucy and am anxiously awaiting it. In the meantime, during exchanges of e-mails with Danny, he told me Jessie is Trudy's mom! How wonderful is that!

Hope you have no more upset tummy incidents. I'm sure you don't have the time but if you ever do, the locks in Kingston are well worth a visit!

Hugs, Shelagh from Michigan

Cleo said...

Hi Louise, it's the two crazy women (and devoted fans) from Ottawa. Before we go any further, let us just say that there was not one moment we were upset last night, despite the fact that we could not decipher what you had written. We were actually laughing our heads off ...and here's why: it looked like you had written (and just to reiterate, we were laughing then and we are laughing even harder now after reading your blog post)...Suck for meeting you! We knew that couldn't be right. So we decided to go back downstairs to ask you for clarification when we bumped into 'Gail' and bless her heart, after a moment's pause, she solved the mystery! So rest assured we are very happy with our inscriptions and Cara thought it was the perfect birthday present.
Safe travels and make sure to come back to Ottawa again soon. Such fun meeting YOU! MJ and Cara

Marjorie said...

Cleo,

That is so funny! You should have said to Louise "suck to meeting you, too!".

Thanks for clearing up the mystery.

--Marjorie from CT

lil Gluckstern said...

Wonderful-except for the bad tummy! Thanks for letting us know about the mystery of what Louise wrote-MJ and Cara. Love just radiates from you, Louise, when you write about Michael. I'm so happy for you both for all your success.

Louise Penny Author said...

Hi all,

thanks for coming along. Trying not to count down the days...trying to enjoy each day for what it is. But it is hard.

And MJ and Cara - that you!!! How baffled you must have been. handwriting...I shudder to think what an expert would say of mine!

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