Incoming, outgoing

November has been busy so far, between various political scandals, and teaching my first-ever writing workshop. I was at the lovely Tatamagouche Centre last weekend, with a group of eight or nine writers all interested in kick-starting their fiction-writing practise, many of them committing to the insanity that is NaNoWriMo. It was really great to be with people who were in the early, fevered stages of writing, their eyes shiny, their hair standing on end after every writing session. Really inspiring. And I may have, totally by accident, started writing something new.

The less said about that the better, at the moment.

Because there are busy Fallsy Downsies times upon us! My tour begins in just a few days. Wednesday, November 13, I launch in Truro at the library. The following week, I’m at the Keshen Goodman Library on Tuesday, November 19 and at King’s on Thursday, November 21, and I do hope you’ll come see me!

But before all that, the excellent Andrew Kaufman is coming to town, and you should meet me at the Spring Garden Road Library next Tuesday, November 12 at 7pm to hear him read from Born Weird, his latest and most amazing novel.

Can we call it a date?

Here we go again

I seem to have inadvertently begun writing a new novel.

All I set out to do was keep up with the participants in the writing workshop I’m teaching this weekend, and bam, just like that, a spark got lit.

God damn it.

Great. Full. Grateful.

Well, it’s hard to know where to go from here. Wednesday night’s launch for Fallsy Downsies was pretty much perfect. My inlaws came down from Moncton, friends arrived from the south shore, and even from Ontario (they were coming anyway for the Halifax Pop Explosion, but organized their travel so they could arrive a day early for my launch), to be part of the big night. The Carleton laid on the snacks, the King’s Co-op Bookstore had a lovely set up of my books, and the small but mighty crew from Invisible was on hand raring to get going.

The venue was packed to the gills. My voice was giving out, heralding a cold now in full bloom, but I could have read all night. What an absolute pleasure to launch my book among such lovely, attentive company. There was a nice line up of eager readers afterward, waiting patiently to get their books signed and over all it was just a perfect, perfect night.

I am so grateful that this is the life I get to lead.

Madly mixing my metaphors

Here’s a piece in the Chronicle Herald about me and my book! Shit’s getting real, people. Sometimes I read things like this and think: I should talk less, or more slowly, and then I wouldn’t mix metaphors around building worlds and furnishing nests and the like. And then I think: Oh well. The Farmers’ Market awaits.

Consider it a date

With my Halifax launch a mere week in the future (details here), plans are coming together nicely for a wee tour of Ontario in about six weeks.

After a smattering of dates around the Halifax area in mid-November, I’ll drive up to Toronto for a launch on Friday, November 29 at the excellent BellJar Cafe. I can’t wait to launch Fallsy Downsies in my old hometown, with friends and family and you, I hope, in attendance.

On Tuesday, December 3, I’ll take my show on the road to Guelph, to the Bookshelf. And then on Wednesday, December 4 I’ll launch in Kingston at the Grad Club, as I begin to make my way back to Halifax. If you’re in or near one of these places, you should definitely come see me and say hi. If you have a notion of where I ought to read on Sunday December 1 or Monday December 2, drop me a line and let me know!


On The Coast

The day started with beautiful weather and tennis. It progressed through oatmeal with raisins, maple syrup and a bit of butter. I read The Coast, the paper I used to edit, and in which I am this week featured, and felt glad and grateful at the lovely write-up Whitney Moran did on me and my book. Then I heard Alice Munro won the Nobel, and basically, it’s the best day ever. And I mean ever.

Hitting the road

Plans are coming together for my book tour! I’m excited to get in a car and trace the route Lansing and Evan drive — at least as far as southern Ontario. I’m delighted to say that I’ve nailed down dates and venues for a Toronto launch (Nov 29), an event in Guelph (Dec 3) and an event in Kingston (Dec 4). I’d love one more in the area on Dec 1 or 2, but hey, if it ends up that I have a couple extra days to just hang with my family, so be it! You know what will really make the trip for me? If you come out and say hello when I pass through your town. And definitely, if you have a venue in mind at which you think I should read, drop me a note in the comments!

It shall be released

It’s here! Official book release day is finally here! The day I thought would never come, through long years of trying to eke out a few sentences alongside my day job, then those intense months of winter and spring of writing and rewriting thousands of words a day, and the endless-seeming summer of waiting, waiting, waiting for it to be October 1. You need to know I’ve never wished for October 1 to come before. Usually I’m the one still in her bathing suit at the end of September, holding off autumn as long as I can but this year — this year I longed for October 1.

Fallsy Downsies is now officially available in a bookstore near you! If you don’t see it on the shelf in fiction, ask the store to order one in for you. Or you can order it online if you’d rather. Or take it out of the library. It doesn’t matter how you get it, so long as you do. I’m so keen to hear from you about what you think. 

This part of the writing life is so strange. The writing and editing are done and there’s literally nothing else I can do for my book but hope people want to read it. And so it’s a bit of a lonesome time — so keep me company in the comments, wouldja? If you read it and you like it, let me know. If you read it and you don’t like it, you could let me know that, as well. Though there’s nothing I can do about that now but be sorry. So maybe… don’t let me know in too much detail, yeah?

Thanks for reading. This update, my book, books at all. It’s so good to be in the company of readers. At last.

On someone else’s radio show

If you’re near a radio in Halifax this evening, or near the internet anywhere, you can tune in the weird and wonderful Potato Salad Radio Show on CKDU. David Dahms is a visual artist and deep-thinking guy who hosts this terrific two-hour show on Saturday evenings. Tune it in here tonight starting at 6pm Atlantic, and if that’s not convenient, look for the podcast here, later on!

And here we go!

It is my job to describe things. Occurrences, emotions, scenes, feelings. I ought to be able to tell you all about Word on the Street on Sunday, to take you inside my own head and show you how it felt to hold Fallsy Downsies in my hands and read from it to a packed tent, overflowing with attentive people who wanted to hear more-more-more of my story.

It’s my job to be able to make you feel what I felt.

I am sucking at that job right now. Partially because I cannot even name to myself what I felt. Pure joy. A sense of rightness. A frisson of nerves, but only a frisson.

It took so long to get here, and then it passed like that, and I am on the other side of it trying to hold onto it for a moment longer, long enough to figure it out, to name it, maybe to bottle it so that I can dab it on my wrists when times get tough, when I eventually get back in the weeds with some other project.

The book is out, it’s here, people bought it on Sunday and some of them are reading it RIGHT NOW. You can go get it, at the King’s Co-op Bookstore and you should probably go there anyway, because it’s a great little bookstore with everything you need.

I’ve been interviewed by a number of thoughtful, intelligent, funny interviewers and I can’t wait to see what they have to say about me and my book. I’ll post links here as they arrive.

Meantime, I’m preparing for my official launch party at the Carleton October 23, and trying to nail down some dates in southern Ontario for late November early December. I’ll keep you posted on that too.

And I’ll work on getting my feet to touch the ground again. But I won’t work too hard at it. This floatiness is kind of great. I just wish I could describe it to you.