Or just one, really. The infected one. Yes, the raw throat I developed on tour developed into a sneaky cold, then a hugely painful earache that was the harbinger of my current misery: an ear infection. What am I, four years old? Feels like it. Nothing like an earache to make you cry for your mama.
Book tour is well and truly wrapped, with a small but mighty event last weekend in Fredericton and what should have been an event at Box of Delights in Wolfville but instead became a big snowstorm during which I stayed home in my pajamas and tried to hear out of my blocked ear. Do I know how to party or what? Sorry, I can’t hear you.
We will reschedule the Wolfville event at some point in the new year, and I’m hoping to schedule a south shore reading as well, perhaps in Mahone Bay or Lunenburg. And hey, if you want me to come read in your town, just let me know, and I’ll see what I can do! Meanwhile, there’s this: http://seaandbescene.com/2013/12/stephanie-domet-at-home-here-in-nova-scotia/
Voice is one of those things you have to find as a writer. Find your own voice, find the voice of your characters, the voice of your story. All that feels easy in comparison to preserving my voice on tour.
The first night of my southern Ontario book tour was raucous and fun, and I definitely did a little too much talking over loud music after the reading and Q&A. I could feel a corner of my throat bruising. Then I went to a party afterward. And then I knew for sure I’d injured my voice.
I use mine a lot, in my day job as radio host, so I know all the things you’re not supposed to do: whisper, scream, talk in a loud room, make funny voices. I have pretty much done all those over that last five days, coupled with not getting quite enough sleep and not drinking quite enough water. Add to that the nightly demands of being on tour: reading for twenty minutes, answering questions for another twenty or more, spending another twenty signing books and chatting in a loud room…every night. I don’t stand a chance.
Two more nights of tour — which I love, and which is so hard on my voice, but which I love — a long drive to Halifax with my bestie (I’m sure that won’t involve ANY talking at all, oh no) and then a big annual holiday party at my house with a huge crowd, a noisy room and lots of live music.
If I see you and I don’t say much, don’t take it personally — that’s just me, trying to find my voice again!
I grew up in a part of Mississauga known broadly as Clarkson, Sheridan Homelands on a more granular level. (Now that I’m an adult with critical thinking skills and an awareness of Idle No More, I am mortified that those Homelands are rightly the homelands of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, and that I lived there in blissful ignorance, probably occasionally cheering on sports teams called the Mississauga Indians, god help me.) Aaaaannnnnyyyyyhow. I grew up there. It was the seventies and eighties. I am doing my best now.
And let’s be honest, from the time I was about six years old, I was determined to leave behind the burbs for the city, and that’s what I did the first opportunity I got. In Mississauga, I saw little evidence of the kind of life I wanted. I never encountered an artist, never saw an example of that sort I could follow. My parents encouraged me, and that paired with my insatiable drive to write, propelled me along my current path.
But Mississauga holds a place in my heart, of course it does. It holds the surviving members of my family of origin, for one thing, the home in which I grew up still the place to which I return several times a year. Despite the many other homes I’ve found in my life, Sheridan Homelands is still my home.
So it was a strange kind of thrill to see this on Friday. Probably one of my first childhood goals, met.