partly cloud, occasional snow/rain mix. temps - cold
What a weather mess. Huge amounts of snow in Ottawa. Lise wrote to say it was white, white, white in Sutton with more on the way. Very pretty. But these late fall snows are treacherous. Very wet, heavy. Hard to drive. Snows like this cause a lot of accidents...it grabs the tires and makes steering almost impossible. And since leaves are still on many trees the snow sits on them, weighs them down and often snaps trees in half, to takes limbs off. Like so much else in Canadian weather, it's beautiful and dangerous.
Had fun last night. Did the Harbourfront reading with Dennis Lehane, Mark Billingham, Leonie Swann and Adam Sol. The room was packed. Very atmospheric. Candles on the tables. Everyone read brilliantly. I always think I'm the dullard of the group. And I find readings the most difficult - very stressful. Apparently most authors do, so that's comforting. Always a relief to find I'm not alone.
There's an analogy a former boyfriend told me, decades ago. he described gorilla behavior and said when threatened the gorillas will advance toward the threat, glaring at it, howling and thumping. But every now and then they'll reach out and touch the gorilla next to them. Just to make sure they're not out there alone.
Before the event there was an authors dinner at an Indian restaurant. Traveled over with Ronald Wright and sat beside David Bergen. After the reading and signing we went off to a publishers party put on by McArthur and Company. Started at 10pm and went to 2am. There's at least one party, often two or three, every night before and after the events. It feels a bit like a battle (not that I've ever been in a battle) but as authors at this festival we all take turns 'going over the top'. The authors who have events that night are treated as 'special' or different - as slightly braver, slightly marked - heading into the line of fire. The other authors commisserate, and count their blessings their number wasn't called for that night. But there's a foxhole mentality in that eventally we all get called. A genuine comradery develops. Baptism of fire. We're all bloodied.
Last night was my turn, along with a number of others, of course. But we all came through it - having summoned the courage to get up, do our very best, and take what's coming.
Today's a fun day. Michael and I are off to the 1:30 matinee of THE SOUND OF MUSIC at the Princess of Wales theatre in Toronto. We're actually going to see Michaela Snoyer, the daughter of friends of ours. She auditioned and was chosen to play one of the Von Trapp family kids. We're so excited for her. Apparently she's just having the BEST time. So we're off to see her and applaud.
Then at 6pm I'll be signing at Sleuth of Baker Street in Toronto, along with Mark Billingham and John Brady. My brother Doug and nephew Brian are coming along with Michaela's parents Rob and Lynda and her older sister Megan who is reading STILL LIFE. Amazing me that a kid reads at such a high (and exalted) level. I think Megan must be something else. Looking forward to meeting her. And a number of other friends will be there too.
Then we're off for another literary dinner.
Tomorrow Ann Ledden, of McArthur, is picking Michael and me up at the hotel and driving us to Collingwood for two events - 3pm at the Thornbury Public Library for a talk and reading then 7pm at the Collingwood library for another talk and reading.
Talk to you tomorrow!