…and sealing wax, of cabbages and kings.
I said to Bev at dinner tonight, I hope it’s teaming rain tomorrow, then I can stay in and write all day. I paused, then said: I hope it’s warm and sunny tomorrow, then I can go out and work on my wall (a stone wall that I’d like to finish before it snows). How lucky am I, how incredibly lucky! Nearing seventy and there’s so much to do. A new novel, a new wall. The idea is to make them both seem inevitable, like they’ve been here, in the world, forever.
Downtown Bookstore: Owen Sound
On October 17th I sat in the window of the Downtown Bookstore, almost literally, and Hazel Lyder, the congenial and energetic owner, served coffee while I chatted with people, and sold some books. It was a wonderfully warm and intimate event. My brother Steve and his wife, Janmarie, arranged for me to be there. Among those turning up, a dear old friend, Jack Morgan, and his wife Linda, whom I’ve known almost as long, appeared on the scene. Jack and I lived next door to each other in residence at Huron College, UWO, in 1958. We’ve known each other fifty years, plus. Now, does he remember every name in our corridor? Let’s start with Winston Nelson, from British Guiana, who was on the other side of my room, due north. When you’ve known someone so long, it’s hard to believe you don’t remember the exact same things. Linda was great at the event, answering questions and promoting; she should be working for Dundurn Press. Jack, of course, knows what I’m writing about, even when I’m not always too clear, myself.
Writers Reading: Westport
October 25th found Bev and I in Westport, Ontario. It’s a town to remember. We parked and wandered down a few inviting sidestreets, looking for a place to eat before the reading, which was to be held at the Westport United Church. When we passed people they would nod, some said hello, everyone smiled. What a beautiful, gracious, congenial town. And the reading, organized by Stillwater Books and the charming and enterprising Steve Scanlon, along with the Westport Arts Council, represented by Norman Peterson, Brin Jones, and others, was a mega-success. I led off the program, followed by the irrepressibly entertaining Mary Jane Mafini. After a break for the fifty or sixty members of our audience to refresh themselves, Barbara Fradkin talked and read from her powerful, Ottawa based, novels, followed by Giles Blunt, who likewise talked and gave a great performance, doing a theatrical reading from No Such Creature. It was a balanced afternoon, fun for us as writers, and, I think for the organizers and attendees, alike.
Prime Crime: Ottawa
Next Saturday, October 31st, I’m doing a signing as the guest of Linda Wiken at her bookstore on Banks Street. If anyone in Canada knows Canadian mystery novels, it’s Linda. It should be a good time.