Monday, 18 April 2011

Coming home

overcast, cold, temps about freezing

Blustery as well. But I keep thinking of those people in North Carolina, Virginia and the other places hit by those monstrous tornadoes. Trying to imagine how terrifying that must be. And almost no warning, of course. heard about the people in the big box store herded to the back of the store by the manager and workers (most of whom were probably very young themselves) within seconds of the tornado hitting. Everyone saved - but would almost certainly have been killed had the employees not reacted.

the difference a split second can make.

On a much lighter note, Susan and I drove back from Quebec City yesterday. We had a fabulous time. I went to the Salon du Livres to sign and meet people on Saturday and Sunday. What a terrific event. Just packed with readers. And tons of kids. All excited. About reading, and meeting their favorite writers.

Wish there was something like this in the rest of Canada. There are festivals, but it's not the same as having booth after book of authors, just there to say hello, to talk to, to sign books. A few panels and talks, but mostly a warehouse of books and writers there for the reading public.

I realize Susan, who was the official photographer of our weekend to celebrate her birthday, took loads of photographs - but all of them of our meals. So we have pictures of steak frites, pouding chomeur, croissant, our magnificent meal at Panache, and finally our last meal in Quebec City - as we drove out.

All weekend Susan had been going on and on about this one restaurant. I kept trying to ignore it, thinking she must be kidding. But no. It was the one place she wanted to eat on her actual birthday, which was yesterday.


It's a Quebec fast food chain, like McDonald's...where poutine (that most Quebecois of Quebec dishes) was apparently invented. Though places in Drummondville and Victoriaville both claim to have invented poutine. Why anyone would fight over that honour is a mystery.

When I mentioned poutine in an early Gamache book both US and UK editors wrote to ask, 'What's poutine.' When I told them they thought I was making it up.

It's french fries, gravy and melting cheese curds. There are some fancy Quebec restaurants who make it with lobster. and fois fras. I'm not kidding.

Susan was pining for real poutine, in the cradle of poutine-dom. So we stopped at Ashton's. When she sends me the photo of that meal I'll post it. You might want to keep your children away. it might blind, or blight, them.

Then we drove home. I dropped her off and got back to the apartment by 7pm. Too tired to drive back to Sutton.

got up early - put in a few hours of writing. I was worried that it would be difficult to get back into it, but it wasn't. I'd felt uneasy about what I'd written just before leaving for QC. Not the content, which was necessary, but worrying that it didn't belong just there. That it was also too dense.

So when I got back to it this morning I pledged to trust my instincts, and sure enough, about a quarter though, I realized I needed to stop there, and change the scene. I loved it up to there....then I just knew something else had to happen. And I knew what.

So I saved the rest to a 'bits and pieces' file - about 4,000 words... and wrote a fresh scene.

Feels much better. And I know I'll use the other stuff I took out....eventually.

Well, off to pack up and head home. It sure will feel good! Oh, and great news. We're finally getting out car back!! The mercedes. Our accident was in January - and here it is mid-april, and we're just getting it back. Idiot garage the insurance people had us take it to didn't order the new parts until they came to need it was delayed by weeks and weeks while awaiting parts. Then they'd start work again and discover they needed more parts. Then ordered them.

It's incredible. If I worked like that I'd never hit a deadline - and would certainly lose my contract. I sometimes feel like a crotchety old woman. I could use another word, but won't. You can fill in the blank.

And you know what? It sometimes feels good. And sometimes is necessary.

Hope you're well, and safe. and prayers for the people affected by the horrendous storms.


Barbara said...

I've also been thinking of the tragedy that the people hit by tornadoes are going through. They inevitably lose some irreplaceable items, like baby albums and wedding photos, and that's the worst. So glad you found the problem with your ms and fixed it. Now you can go on more easily.

Colombine said...

Une vraie bonne poutine, miam, miam! Ce n'est qu'un p'tit péché de plus de temps en temps. Je vous comprends Susan :)

J'aurais bien aimé vous rencontrer au Salon mais le devoir m'appelait. On se verra au prochain... à Montréal peut-être?

Bon retour à la maison.

Miss Diane said...

C'est bien triste de voir que des gens, ailleurs sur notre petite planète, le Japon, Haïti et maintenant le sud des USA, ont tant à souffrir alors que nous sommes si bien au Québec.

Je vois que vous êtes très disciplinée si vous écrivez tous les jours, même ailleurs qu'à la maison. C'est bien!

Bien que je sois une Québécoise "pure laine", je n'ai jamais mangé une poutine, sauf celle au foie gras de Martin Picard, et je n'en suis pas devenue "addict". Désolée Susan!

À bientôt Louise!

Miss Diane said...

Encore moi..!!! Susan est un peu comme nous, les blogueuses de cuisine, elle aime prendre en photo tous les plats. J'ai hâte de voir ses photos!

Cyndy said...

We were lucky to be 10 miles West of the tornado track. It swept through the poorest areas of the state of North Carolina. Over and over we hear the comment, "I don't have insurance." But the sense of community is strong and there will be an outpouring of help...although it cannot be enough to replace what they have lost through a ruthless twist of fate!

Diane said...

My sister and huband are vacationing in NC. They`re ok but the devastation, horrid.

Poutine - I`d journey to Quebec to get the authentic, although not too bad here in the Maritimes. Oddly enough we can buy it at any New York Fries outlet but had it once in Montreal and there`s no comparison.

Anonymous said...

Your blogs are as fun and interesting as your fabulous Gamache sagas. Can't wait for the next one! And I've re-read the 6 that I've got and love each one more. Thanks for your great writing and sharing your wonderful talent with us.