Worth the drive to Yarmouth

Had a lovely time in Yarmouth yesterday, despite the long solitary drive there and back (seven hours round trip). The Library people I was there to talk to were great, great, great. They asked really thought provoking questions and they seemed to really enjoy the reading. Lots of them bought books and stuck around to chat afterward. It was exactly what you’d hope for if you’d driven three and a half hours on a rainy Saturday morning and had not much to look forward to but a three and a half hour drive back.

It was nice to take Fallsy Downsies out for a bit of a walk as well. I read them a short section about Dacey Brown and her dream life. I love the image from one of her dreams, in which she is driving two cars along a sere winter road. She lurches a few feet forward in one car, hops out, goes back for the other, brings it forward, and on and on. I feel like that so much of the time with writing and working. These twin lives, each of which I seem to need, neither of which I’m willing to abandon, and so they lurch ahead slowly, so slowly, one getting momentum, then stopping for the other.

The talk I gave was nominally about balance, which is hilarious, considering it’s the thing I struggle toward most. But maybe that made me a good choice for the conference. I’ve certainly thought about it a lot, that’s for sure.

Anyhow, onward to the next: Mount Saint Vincent University on Tuesday night, then Porkpie Four on Thursday. I am going to try to write something new for Porkpie.  Not sure what, nor about which character. I guess you’ll have to drop by the Company House on Thursday to find out, yeah?

Feeling bookish

There are so many bookish events coming up in the next few weeks. What a great way to usher in the season of curling up under blankets to read and write.

On Tuesday night I’ll be giving a talk at Mount Saint Vincent University. They’re celebrating writing next week, with many fine events. Here’s a link to some highlights. My colleagues Carsten Knox and Ryan Turner are taking part in one of the panels… and I wish I could go, but my damn day job generally keeps me desk-bound (and it only becomes my damn day job when it gets in the way of something I want to do.)

Then on Thursday next, it’s Porkpie Four at the Company House, featuring a pile of good writers as previously mentioned.

On November 3, Anna Quon is launching her beautiful book Migration Songs. I’ve been asked to read and speak at that event and I just cannot wait. That’s happening at the Company House as well. Busy spot!

Later that week, Zach Wells is launching his new book. I think his launch is on November 5 if I’m not mistaken… and possibly also at the CoHo. All I can tell you is that I’m glad that place is stumbling distance from my house, as it looks like I’ll be spending a lot of time there over the next two weeks.

Then Ryan Turner‘s book launch (can’t wait can’t wait can’t wait) is happening at the CoHo on Friday, November 13.

And then I collapse under a stack of delicious new books.


After a weekend of houseguests and much cooking and laundering and organizing, I figured I might as well do a little digital housekeeping as well. I have a small stack of events coming up this month, so the Out and About page has been updated accordingly. Hope to see you…out and about, as they say.

Fall fever

You never hear of anyone coming down with that, and I wonder why. Spring fever, absolutely, but no fall fever.

I get it every year.

Maybe because my birthday is at August’s end and seems each year to usher out the summer, even though officially summer has several weeks left to spend. But the summer mindset, the headspace of summer, it goes by the first of September. Then it’s all sharpened pencils and too-hot sweaters and stew, even though the weather stays summery.

In an effort to buck that particular trend, I agitated for  a trip to the beach this afternoon. We ate Dragon’s Breath blue cheese, and local peaches and got sand between our toes… and wore scarves with our sunglasses. I stepped into the ocean for the first time this year and damn, it was cold. But good. My feet still feel unusual. They know they’ve been in the surf.

On the way we stopped at some big box housewares store, because we have a sudden yen for a Crossley turntable thingy. Thought we might find one there. We did not. But being in there stoked my fall fever, which always manifests as a desire for new lamps and ottomans (ottomen?) and a new rug. And some boxes to put things in. What things, and then where will I put the boxes? Please don’t bother me with your petty concerns, I am attempting to treat my fall fever.

The other thing that’s going on, quite suddenly, is a desire, a deep, deep desire, to be writing Fallsy Downsies. So far, I’ve pushed it away, my usual laziness, or lack of willingness to give everything to writing. But I can’t hold it off much longer. The fall is a sure time for writing for me. The dark wraps right around, and I dream people and things up. So.

The complicating factor right now is the screenplay. Tomorrow night I have a meeting, at which I will be furnished with notes on the treatment. I know it’s broken, and I hope to figure out how to fix it. More with the birds, for sure. Plus, cut out two thirds of what happens in the book. Ah, but which two thirds? And how to show Nathan alive and interacting with Leah, without making a four-hour movie? These are questions to which I hope to have answers this time tomorrow.

Where I’ll be tonight

At Pier 21, at 6:30, to help celebrate the launch of Under This Unbroken Sky. It’s Shandi Mitchell’s debut novel and it’s been keeping me up at night this week. I am just at the point where the story starts to unravel, everything’s going to hell in a handbasket, and I want to finish reading it SO VERY BADLY. But unfortunately, my day job requires me to… work. Sigh. Anyhow, come down to Pier 21 and let Shandi blow your mind with her talent tonight.

A little lunch music

Quick note to say Kev Corbett is playing Tunes at Noon at City Hall in Halifax today… grab your lunch and I’ll see you there!