Thursday, 31 December 2009


overcast, mild, temps minus 2

We're back in Sutton. Seems even uneventful days become eventful. We never know what the day will bring. Very fun.

Today we awoke in Montreal, packed the car, returned the video of 30 Rock (loved it!) - went for breakfast at Nick's on Greene Ave - then drove to Michael's son's home to deliver the Christmas gift he intentionally left at our place over the holidays - he was going into the States and was concerned about explaining it at the border coming back.

This was also a good chance for Michael to show Vic his new Mercedes. I think the thing that thrills Michael the most is the key...or the fact you don't actually need the key to get in, or start the car. Well, you need it on you somewhere, but he can keep it in his pocket and it works.

He's like a kid. Vic says the Prius he drove over the holidays does the same thing. Great car, the Prius. We seriously considered it too - but no AWD.

Then we headed home - easy highway drive - and met Kirk in Cowansville to transfer ownership of my volvo to him. We're so happy it is going to people we love. It's a fabulous car. The other thing that was terrific was how easy the whole transfer thing was. We have an SAAQ in Quebec. Stands for the Societe Assurance Automobile du Quebec. Now, in Montreal going to the SAAQ is akin to walking into a black hole. Never to be seen again. or certain, never to be seen by a clerk.

Out here it's a small office, very efficient. No crowds. We were in and out in five minutes. Phew.

And now we're home - waiting for Trudy. And Kirk. He'd dropping by because we need his designing help with blinds for the bedroom windows...and the sofa in the living room I write on seems to be sagging. No doubt the weight of my words...the huge import of what I do...the staggering intellect has finally sprung the springs. Not the croissants and gummy bears.

But, while we're away in St. Lucia we'd love Kirk to arrange to have it re-strung or sprung or whatever you do with sofas. This is one of the huge, long things made, apparently, of wrought iron. Michael's mother (did I ever tell you this?) collected wrought iron. Some people collect spoons, or plates, limoges china, antiques. Michael's mother collected wrought iron stuff. Most of it gates we have lugged from place to place. This sofa, thankfully, isn't really made of iron but it sure feels like it. Solid oak I think. We also need it re-covered.

So, Kirk Lawrence to the rescue.

Oh, he just arrived. Must run.

have a happy and safe New year's eve! Speak to you tomorrow.

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Born Excitable

snow flurries, windy, bitterly cold - temps minus 17

Actually, for most of the day it was desperately cold, then late afternoon it got milder and started to snow. We're still in Montreal...having a fabulous day. Breakfast at Nick's on Greene Ave (bacon and eggs for Michael, porridge for me) - then home to do least, I did nothing but sit on the bed and watch Entourage.

Michael wrote his book.

At about 2pm I decided to head out to the Second Cup coffee shop for a cappucino, and read the latest version of my manuscript.

Michael wrote his book.

Then I went off and got sushi for dinner...and walked home through the back alley. Not something I normally choose to do, not because it's dangerous, it is just not the most attractive of the possible routes home. But as I was almost there I looked up from my boots - and there was Michael. He'd finished writing for the day and came out looking for me.

So we turned around and went off to a local patisserie for coffee...he had a hot chocolate, and I drank the cafe au lait to go I'd got him at the other place. And he told me all about his writing.

Then home...Michael printed out what he'd written and we sat on the bed together as I read it.

It is brilliant. Not just good, not even's glorious. I've read other parts of the book he's written and adored it - been blown away by his talent, but this section was even better. I'm so proud of him!!

Had a fun email from Abhijiit Dasgupta, who writes for India Today. He also does a blog on their site...on his recent blog he wrote about his experiences trying to get anyone interested in his unpublished novels. It's both hilarious and inspirational. Here's the link. I especially adore his first line in the blog...

"there's no greater fun that being born excitable."

Now, here's the link...

Hope you enjoy it. Off home tomorrow - having a quiet New Years Eve, by choice. Given a choice these days I will always choose quiet. Although I know exactly what Abhijit means - it is wonderful to get excited about things - to really celebrate. But sometimes, it is equally wonderful to be quiet.

Speak tomorrow - take care!


Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Where's my key, agenda, cheque, head?

snow in morning, very windy, then bright sunny skies temps minus 14

Drove in to Cowansville for breakfast this morning, then on to Montreal. Took the back roads since there was a lot of snow. But mostly the danger comes from ice, and blowing snow - which we had in abundance this morning.

Michael drove the Mercedes home - hallalujah!

Though it took a while to get here to the Montreal apartment. It was, in many ways, a day of remebrance - following a day of forgetfulness. Our DOF happened last visit to Montreal. Michael forgot to bring the cheque for Volvo, Steve at Mercedes forgot to give us the second key, and I forgot my agenda at Lemeac Restaurant. All in a matter of hours.

So today we retraced our steps...took the cheque to Volvo for the final payment before selling the car...picked up the second key for our new Mercedes (adore it!!!) from the dealer...and met Michel at Lemeac for lunch and picked up my agenda at the same time.

Lunch was great. Michel will be the person translating my books into French. Over a lunch of calamari, fish soup, cuisse de canard, baguette we discussed all sorts of things, including translation options and turns of phrases. Can you believe this is work??? Hope to convince Revenue Canada it's work, but it sure didn't feel like that. Michael and Michel laughed about the role of a hematologist in designing murder mysteries. We had a blast.

And speaking of blasts - that's what met us (after we forgot the key to the car in the restuarant) as we walked to the car. A bitterly cold wind right in our faces. Feels like the skin is peeling away. Poor noses. And ear lobes.

The new car is fabulous...a real dream. As you know we agonized over what to get. We needed an all wheel drive, we wanted something comfortable for the highway, and something environmentally responsible. We got two out of three. Situational ethics, c'est moi. However, to right the imbalance - and because they're cool - we're also going to get a used Smart Car for tooling from home to the villages, and only use the Mercedes for trips to Montreal or further afield.

I've quite lost my heart to the Smart Car - but I wouldn't want to drive them around our mountain home in winter...nor would I want to drive them on the highway in any weather. people do, I know...but not these people. We first saw a Smart Car in Paris about five years ago. I remember standing stock-still and staring...mesmerized by the tiny car. Adoring it right away. So it will be such fun to have one.

Rob - Barbara Peter's husband (she of Poisoned Pen books) in Phoenix - has a Smart Car and we got to see it. Course, it might make a little more sense in Phoenix than in two feet of snow. But I'm sure I can justify it. Oh, wait...I don't need to. What a relief.

So now we're home in the Montreal plans for tomorrow, except to maybe lose a few more things.

Fruit salad for dinner...craving healthy food - finally.

Hope you're to you tomorrow.

Monday, 28 December 2009


snowing, temps minus 2

Picture perfect winter day...snow gently falling and clinging to the pine and spruce trees and the giant honeysuckle in the front garden, the one with the bird feeders. We're expecting about 10 centimenters today - not huge, but nice after the rain yesterday. We need to remember there is ice under all this nice fluffy snow.

Having a great day. Sending the edit for The Hangman off to the editor. Spoke to my brother Doug - just back from India, and his kids. Did a load of laundry. Got back on the elliptical torture device (a clothes hanger of late).

Had breakfast this morning with Cheryl. Michael came too (I think because I can't stand being more than 10 feet away from his new car). We stood on the snow main street of Sutton, listening to what sounded like Turkish-Dervish-ish music piped through the loud speakers. I guess now that Christmas is over the town feels it can't really keep playing Christmas music, but it is still the festive season so in a monumental act of decision making they opted for Turkish music. To be frank, it sounded fabulous. Cheryl, Michael and I did a little dance. Then stopped.

Michael told me the funniest story from his past. Before i knew him. He was staying at this apartment and doing laundry when one of the other residents said they'd dropped something between the machines and asked Michael's help to get it back. Well, Michael didn't have anything - idea. He went back to the apartment and got the biggest knife he could find...a honkin' great carving knife. Then got back on the elevator...only to realize, too late (as is so often the case) that this might look just a little suspicious. Instead of saying anything he decided to hum, and watch the numbers go down. Not surprisingly, everyone else got off at the next floor. And five minutes later security guards showed up at the laundry room.

Michael had some 'splainin' to do.

Wow, looking out the it ever beautiful.

Off to Montreal tomorrow...having lunch at Lemeac with the new translator of the Gamache books. We finally have a French publisher! He apparently already has some questions. This is understandable. Indeed, when Still Life first came out we had to also do some translating, from Canadian into US and British English. I kept getting questions like...'What's a tuque?' 'What's a Double Double?' 'What's a 2-4?'

Be well, will blog from Montreal tomorrow.

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Goals, and getting there...

rain, snow mix - temps freezing

Poured with rain this morning - went out to feed the birds and came back drenched. but it's snowing now - huge, soft flakes. Very pretty.

Loved some of your suggestions about multi-tasking while walking Trudy. Espcailly the suggestion that I attach a kindle to her bottom, since that is where many people think it belongs. But have decided to simply pause while I walk, and even if just for a moment, look around.

Have More Fun. Being very task oriented I often forget to simply enjoy the 'doing' not just the goal. And keep forgetting my new mantra. have More Fun.

Finished the editing on The Hangman - will send it off tomorrow morning. Want to write the January newsletter today. And will also register for Malice Domestic. It's a fabulous mystery readers/writers conference in Washington every year...focussing on traditional mysteries. people like Julia Spencer Fleming, Jacqueline Winspear, Ann Perry, Rhys Bowen, Margaret Maron and loads of others are there.

Also need to sit in a bubble bath and watch Relocation, Relocation.

So much to do!

Had two bowls of cafe au laits and a bowl of pretzels today. Diet on track to drop dead in about 2 years. Not a great goal, but the journey sure is fun. So it also fits with my new mantra. Very spiritual.

Dinner at the Beau Lieu restaurant in sutton with friends tonight and breakfast with Cheryl tomorrow. Funny, I have the impression that I work a lot, but reading over this blog it appears not so much.

Ooops, ten to three. Kirsty and Phil are calling. Speak to you tomorrow. Hope you're well.

Saturday, 26 December 2009

New Best Friend

overcast, mild, windy

Freezing rain in the forecast, but for now it's quite nice. Just came back from breakfast with Joan, then took Trudy around the pond...a trudge through the now. head down into the blowing wind and drifting snow. it occured to me I definitely see more of my boots than anything else in winter. Beautiful vistas are lost on me...all I see are the tips of my boots as they sink into the snow. Boots should be more interesting. Perhaps build a video monitor into them, or a book. When I do look up all I see, through the swirling snow, is Trudy's backside.

Ahh, a Canadian winter.

And, I have a new best friend. Her name is Long Underwear. It's quite an intimate relationship, and God help Michael is he tries to steal her away. He has his own best friend.

However, I am leaving Miss Long Underwear behind in a few weeks when we take off for our first winter vacation ever!!! To St. Lucia. Yippee.

Have a fairly quiet day. got the notes a few days ago on suggested adjustments to the novella for literacy I wrote. It features Chief Inspector Gamache et al in a murder in Three Pines. It's called The Hangman. Hope to get the notes finished by the end of the weekend. Also want to write the January newsletter. How times slips away! It's almost January.

Off to a birthday party tonight. Indeed, am hoping to have all the editing etc done by the beginning of January...and then, for the most part, take two months off! I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am, though I imagine you know.

Things always appear - an event here or there, an interview, some more unexpected editing. (Just got, on Christmas Eve, the line edits for the paperback edition of THE BRUTAL TELLING - they need to be read by the end of the week, and any corrections sent to England). But what I hope not to do is do any writing in two months. Spend the time relaxing, playing...and thinking about the next book, which I will begin writing the first of March. It needs thought, and some planning. Mostly what I need to do is give it some time to just start hearing conversations, seeing scenes, fleshing out characters until they can walk and talk on their own. Quiet time. Preferably on a beach.

Be well - will talk to you tomorrow. If I figure out how to attach a book to the toes of my boots, or, to Trudy's behind, I'll let you know.

Friday, 25 December 2009

Merry Christmas!! Joyeux Noel!!

misty, mild, moon, temps just at freezing

Merry Christmas!

I've been quiet for a while - taking time to myself - doing some work, doing some lounging.

But I missed you. I blog, you know, because I like it. I like you. I'd stop if it became a huge chore. It was nice, though, to take some time away.

But it's Christmas and I wanted to make sure to say, Joyeux Noel. Snow on the ground, a mild day, perfect for walking, skiing, snowshoeing - or in our case, sitting by the fire listening to King's College Cambridge and Bing Crosby, and slowly opening gifts. The aroma of stuffed turkey filling the home.

Our friend Wilder dropped by at 2pm - with a huge, lovely bouquet of Christmas flowers - and we ate around 3. Leisurely meal of turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, mashed potates, peas. Michael did a fabulous gravy. Then coffee and an assortment of desserts friends had been kind enough to bring over in the past week. Yum.

And now the dishes are done, the leftovers sorted - Wilder has left with a turkey casserole thanks to Michael. And now it's a quiet evening - back to the fireplace, and bing and the boys.

Last weekend I wrote a piece for the Globe and Mail about our first Christmas in the country. If you're interested here's the link...

Hope it works! and I hope.your day is filled with joy, and peace and contentment...and wonderment. And light.

Michael joins me in saying Merry Christmas. And thank you, for the gift of your company this past year.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Happy Hanukkah, Chanukah etc-ah

mostly clar, cold, windy

Dear Lord, I had to walk most of the way around the pond backwards. I could feel the bitter wind shoving me and slipping past a crack in my scarf and down my back. Brrrr.

Nice to be inside. Warm.

Had a fabulous day yesterday...lots done. Breakfast in Cowansville. Got the mailing done. I'd forgotten my jewel case (such as it is) in the hotel in Burlington and bless them, they found it and mailed it to me in Richford, VT. So I popped down, send off a signed book and tip as a thank you.

Then last night Michael and I and most of our neighbours went to the Annual General Meeting of MECA - which is the Mont Echo Conservation Association...the association of neighbours who have banded together to get as much of the land made into protected property. No development...just left natural. As you might know, we donated 40 acres to MECA last year.

The AGM was also a Christmas party and was a blast. Unbelievable food...the best maple roasted ham I've ever had. It was at the home of the brothers who run Turkey Hill Farms, which does maple syrup and sugar products. We'll often give them as gifts when we travel.

Also wanted to say a great big happy Hanukkah to everyone!

We're off to Hovey Manor tomorrow for 4 days, then Montreal for a couple. Probably will not blog while away.

Finally turning in the ridiculous car that is the BMW. Wouldn't you know it, in scraping the snow off it today Tony and I realized the mice had gotten in under the hood and eaten all sorts of insulation. Can only imagine how much BMW will charge for that. Oh, well.

This - the trip to Hovey etc - is all part of Michael and my new mantra. MORE FUN.

We are determined to not be as stressed about slow down, relax. When on book tour take a few days to actually enjoy whatever city we're in...if possible. We're investigating doing a Sandals vacation in January or Feb. And will go back to london in April. And just have more fun.

My life has been filled with unexpectedly wonderful events but it feels as though I've been racing for 5 years. It really is time to exhale, and really enjoy.

Have More Fun. And happy Chanukah, eh.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Entertainment Weekly!

sunny, blowing snow, then suddenly another snowstorm! temps minus 4

Funny sort of day. Bright sun, but almost blotted out by all the blowing snow. Like a sandstorm. the snow wasn't falling, just swirling around.

Had a great day...did want to mention that on Monday night I had my very last event for the year...and Phoenix Books in Essex Junction, Vermont. Wonderful independent bookstore. And even though the weather was pretty poor the turnout was great. Always wonderful to see that.

Next morning I drove Susan back to Montreal then drove home to Sutton. I guess you have gathered how I feel about being...home.

Michael, by the way, is feeling terrific...It's kind of a miracle that he could take such a tumble and only be bruised. Quite a colourful one on his left hand and a nearly perfect circle around his left elbow. But we are both so grateful it wasn't worse.

Today was a lovely day. Spent most of it editing, speaking to my agent, doing mailings. Bits and pieaces. But no stress.

Couple pieces of wonderful news....

In the latest edition of Entertainment Weekly (Johnny Depp on the cover) they asked Aunt Agatha's bookstore for their bestseller list. And THE BRUTAL TELLING was top of the list!!! EW even did a small write-up. yay. And wonderful for Aunt Agatha's in Ann Arbor...fabulous mystery bookstore!!

And, Sarah Weinman in her blog, Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind, listed the best books of the decade, and STILL LIFE was on it! Yippee.

Great day!

Our friend in the guest cottage came over for tea with his daughter Kelly and her daughter. One year old. Very fun. I'd known Kelly as a baby herself...and now to see her again all grown up and lovely, with an infant of her own was great. Very moving.

then Michael and I hopped into Knowlton to see Lucy at Brome Lake Books, and have dinner (steak frites) with our friends Jack and Jane in a local restaurant.

But, while we drove to Knowlton in clear weather, sometimes while we were in Brome lake Books, a storm rolled in. Driving, slashing snow...falling sideways. Michael and I walked straight into it on our way to the restaurant. Snowed all during dinner. fortunately we have an all wheel drive volvo with winter tires and getting the 10 kilometers home through the mountains was no problem.

Loads of mailing to do tomorrow, and other errands. But when I'm not doing major editing or writing, and not doing any events, well life is just less stressful. I can feel myself decompress.

Speak to you tomorrow!

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Home sweet home

snow storm, temps minus 3

Home, home, storm, blwoing snow, home, breakfast, home, home, writing cards, packaging and wrapping gifts for mailing, home, home, home, fireplace, home.

Cafe au lait, home, home, pannetone, walk Trudy. Home.

Michael falls on ice getting mail. Bruises hand, but nothing broken. Home. Quietly by fire. Hand puffs up. Hospital? No. Can move everything, just bruised. Still home.

Snow swirling outside. Feed birds. Wind and snow takes my breath away. Snow down my boots. But love it.

Michael's hand feels better. left hand. Good. Hot chocolate by fire. Home sweet home.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009


clear, cold, temps minus 6

Home, home, home, home, home, home, home, home, home, home, home, home, home, home.

With Michael and Trudy.


Monday, 7 December 2009

Phoenix books - burlington

dusting of snow, cold, temps 30

In Burlington, Vermont now! Had a wonderful weekend in sutton etc. Picked up Susan at the bus from Montreal at 11 Saturday morning. Went to lunch in Sutton, did some grocery shopping, then headed home. While Michael and Susan read and chatted by the fire I wrote a piece for the Globe and Mail about Christmas in the townships.

Then Wilder came over for dinner. Duck. (dinner, not a command - try not to think of Rosa!)

Sunday morning after breakfast susan and I got in the car and drove to Burlington, in time for lunch at Al's French Fries. this is the same diner Michael, Wilder and I stumbled upon last weekend...not realizing it's a Vermont institution. Poor Michael panicked and ordered a Caesar salad...though I gave him half of my burger and Wilder shared his fries,

This time I was prepared and Susan and I had burgers, fries and I had a milkshake. Yum!!!

Then "Christmas" shopping in Burlington. I actually did buy some things for Michael though I believe for the sake of voracity Christmas really does belong in quotes since most of the "gifts" were for me. I hate clothes shopping - but this was a gas. And Susan had done loads of homework so she knew where we should go. Besides, we were hopped up on fries, so had plenty of energy. Ended the day with a fabulous dinner at a bistro on Church street in Burlington. Church street is actually closed to vehicle traffic and is a pedestrian thoroughfare. wonderful shops. They're so eco-aware here it is inspirational, and terrific to be a small part of. Love it. The Christmas lights had just gone up so after dinner we stood on Church street, mesmerized. white lights in the trees the full length of the street, culminating in a multi-coloured huge pine at the very end of the street, in front of the old church.


And now we have some snow to simply gild the effect. Gorgeous.

Today, more shopping then off to a Vermont Public Radio interview at 4pm, and dinner with Mike deSanto of Phoenix books, in Essex Junction before a 7pm event there tonight.

Home tomorrow - actually to Montreal...appointments there.

Tonight is my LAST event of the year!! As much as I love them, and SO looking forard to Phoenix books (wonderful store) - I am also looking forward to putting my feet up. And exhaling.

speak soon! Hoppe you're well.

Friday, 4 December 2009


Partly cloudy, mild, temps 5

We're home!!! Wow, when we left last Sunday it felt like we'd nmever make it...just so much to do in 5 days...but it all worked out so well. Indeed, nicely organized and timed. We had a travel day, then a work day, then a travel day and then a work day etc. And not being terrified of flying (just of speaking to 800 people) helps.

When they first asked me to do the Arts and Lectures event I said no. And debated whether to tell them the truth. That the idea terrified me. Made me sweat just imagining it. I decided to tell the truth and the two Susan's (the producers of the series) were so sympathetic and understanding, and comforting...telling me it doesn't feel like that many, and everyone is kind. So I agreed.

Then grew more and more fearful as the event approached.

Happily, 20 minutes before going on, Susan put me into the 'green' room by myself. It's a library! I immediately felt myself relax. I realize I respond very strongly to scents. And this place smelled of books. I could feel my tearing heart calm. And I could breathe deeply and start to relax and the scream in my head became a howl, become a moan and finally became just a whimper. And I could start to think straight.

Said a couple prayers. Thought a bit about what I wanted to say...then it was time to go on.

Amazing feeling to be backstage, in the darkness, but see through the crack of the curtain Susan at the podium, bright lights on her, doing the introduction. And seeing the faces. Fortunately, I could only really see the first few rows. But so many tickets had been sold they had to put seating on the stage, so there were tiers of people on either side.

And then to be introduced, take a deep breath, and walk through the curtains.

Honestly? It feels like falling off a cliff. Just opening my arms (figuratively) and doing what seems inconceivable. Walking out there.

But the Susan's were right. Everyone was very warm. I was quite nervous at first, then it receded, but about ten minutes into a 50 minute speech it came pounding back, like being blindsided. I don't know if any of you get panic attacks. I do. Not often, that God, anymore. But I still can. And speaking engagements are often a trigger.

I could feel it up there - the sudden light-headedness - becoming twitchy - having trouble breaking. But I know enough to realize a few deep breaths will solve it, so that's what I did - and it worked. Could feel my heart calm again.

And the rest was actually fun. Wonderful audience in Rochester. Very attentive and responsive. I didn't ever feel they were bored, or restless or being anything other than supportive.

We had about a ten minute question and answer at the end. Then it was over.

A year of worry, over.

Boy, does that feel great. But you know what feels the best? Standing in the dark, looking through the curtains, hearing my name....and doing the inconceivable by walking out there. Actually doing what scared me so much.

I feel good about that. And deeply grateful to my Higher Power for putting me in a library where I could inhale books. And grateful to the susans for insisting, and to the audience at the Arts and Lectures series for being so warm.

Finally met my publisher's mother in law, Esther. She came for the event, as did Donna and a few others...Maddie. Peoiple I'd never met, but have corresponded with.

This morning at 6am the two Susan's came by the hotel, picked us up and took us to the airport. Quick 40 minute flight )JetBlue -yay!!) to NYC, then another 40 minute flight (jetble - yay) to Burlington. Our friend Wilder picked us up - in our BMW - trying to get as much use squeezed out of it before we turn it in.

And now we're home!!!! Our friend Susan is arriving tomorrow - staying with us, then Sunday she and I will head off to Burlington again...for a girl's weekend of shopping, eating, yakking - and I have a couple of events too.

Then nothing until the new year. Yipppeee!!!!

Big exhale. Home.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Rochester Arts and lectures

showers, gray, cool, temps 40

actually, way milder than Rochester normally is this time of year...but we're here and it is wonderful! Flights yesterday were very easy, but long...Phoenix to New York, then New York to Rochester, arriving 1030 last night. Met by the two Susan's - terrific producers for the Rochester Arts and Lectures series.

they'd already checked us into the Hyatt and when they dropped us off here, making sure we had everything we could need, we went right up to the room and found a collection of snacks from them! They know us well. Not a piece of fruit, not a whole grain in sight. Perfect!!!

So we subsided into bed with ginger cookies and flavoured water...and just exhaled.

Had lunch today with the two Susans and Maddi from Barnes and Noble. And Michael of course. At the Museum. Terrific lunch. and snow back in the hotel to relax - and speak to you.

Event tonight sold out. more than 800 people. Hope I don't eff up. Or throw up and pass out. Which would pretty much being to eff it up. Hope to have fun. Might as well. I know this intellectually, but we'll see what my body decides to do. One thing I know for sure - if the audience is as tenth as kind as the producers I'll be fine, even if I do throw up and pass out. I'll awake to 800 people staring down at me, with concern.

Still, best not to put it to the test.

Back home tomorrow...Wilder picking us up. 7:30 flight. to NYC then on to Burlington. Lovely.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Valley Ho!!

sunny, warm, temps 72

No - we're not in Quebec anymore! We're in Phoenix and it is gorgeous. Apparently this is a cold spell. Ha, I laugh in their general direction...or something else. This is fabulous.

Wilder drove us to Burlington. We got stopped at the Vermont border by a guard who decided it was deeply suspicious that a Canadian crime writer would be on book tour in the states. pulled us over, asked a bunch of odd questions, searched the car. Never happened before. But we also discovered, once in the burlington hotel and wilder had left that Michael had raced out of our home so quickly (in the snow) he'd only brought his snow boots. So we arrived in Phoenix _ after a 4am wake-up, 6am flight to NYC - 8:30 flight (5 hours) to Phoenix - in snowboots. Spot the Canadian, eh?

the first thing we did after checking into the Valley Ho (not kidding) hotel was hop on the trolley (wonderful service - free through scottsdale) to the mall and bought the boy a pair of shoes. Such fun to sit on the bus and look at historic scottsdale. What a remarkable life we have.

Our hotel is the BEST we've ever been in. I stayed here last january when A Rule Against Murder/The Murder Stone was released. LOVED it, so when Barbara Peters of poisoned Pen issued the invitation I told Michael he just had to come. Didn't need to be asked twice.

We arrived and I went through the usual "is it possible to get an upgrade" routine. And voila...we ended up in the MOST spectacular room. Living room, HUGE kitchen (fun to look at) - amazing's like this 1950's designer loft. Open concept. Massive walk-in shower with wonderful pale blue glass tiles. changing room. I'm assuming this is our room - might be the lobby. oh well, we slept in it last night! there's a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over the pool, and palm trees, and the red mountains in the background. Unbelievable.

Full moon last night.

Barbara picked us up at 6:00 for dinner. peter Robinson and his wife Sheila were there as was Dana Stabenow and of course Barbara's very gracious and funny husband Rob. The evening was hilarious and thoughtful as we all talked about our lives...almost nothing about writing and books - thank God. It's nice not to - to just get to know each other personally.

Dana is flying back to Alaska today. I have a 3:30 event at the Tempe library then Michael and I are having dinner with Lesa and Patti - then a 7pm event at Poisoned Pen with peter.

Last night - after dinner - we were exhausted and came into the stand on our 4th floor balcony and see the soft blue christmas lights wrsapped around the truck of the palms outside our room (enchanting) and see the full moon.

Awoke to a magical, colourful sunrise over the mountains...clear, clear sky. Sat on the balcony and spoke to my agent in London and knew if there is a luckier person on earth I'd love to meet them.

Of course, I also knew that being with Michael for this made it magical. I could, and have, done it without him. indeed, I can do everything without him. But why would I want to? having him with me is the greatest of the good luck.

Am sitting by the pool - Michael about to go swimming - writing to you. I'm sipping on a Shirley Temple and he has some non-alcoholic concoction with everything but an umbrella.

off to Rochester NY tomorrow and more adventures. Speak soon. Be well.