Toronto Scrapbook

(this was written on the way home from Montreal this past week)
It seems odd to be writing about Toronto while sitting in the Montreal Airport, waiting for a flight to Halfiax…but I have a bit of time before boarding the plane, so here I am.
One quick airport food note: I’m a popcorn-a-holic, so when I saw “Maple Popcorn”, I thought, hmm…maybe.” Now that I’m munching it, I’d say, “ummmm…definitely a no.” I’ll stick with cranberry juice and a bag of pistachios.

The Toronto leg of my tour was intense and fun. Highlights included:

A Reception and reading at the Riverdale Community Midwives’ “birth house”
An afternoon with midwives, doulas, and mothers in a warm Victorian house in Riverdale. (There had even been a birth there that morning!) We munched on groaning cake and fruit, sipped tea and talked about birth, women’s traditions, and the importance of community. I read sections from the novel and talked a bit about the stories behind the book. One midwife read from their birthing diary (a journal with entries from each family who has had a birth assisted by the Riverdale midwives). It is a beautiful tribute to the work they do there, with entries in many different languages including Spanish and Arabic.

An Interview with Carolyn Weaver for Fine Print
Carolyn is delightful! She was enthusiastic about the book and it was a breeze to visit with her. We taped the show in her home, and with her sweet puppy running around I barely noticed the cameras were “rolling”. Great questions, great company and I can’t wait to see the show (It airs on CLT, BookTelevision, and Rogers Cable I’ll be sure to post the air-date on my appearances page.)

The New Face of Fiction 10th Anniversary Party
My TO launch and NFoF party was held at Soulpepper Theatre’s home – The Young Centre for Performing Arts. It’s an amazing venue in the heart of the Distillery District. From a theatre brat’s perspective it’s a dream…a versatile space, with two walls of exposed brick and the seats can be removed, leaving room for any number of possibilities.(I find myself dreaming a lot of theatre space these days since I’m working on a play for Two Planks and a Passion Theatre Co.)

The party…it swelled, it sparkled, and I was swept along by a steady flow of introductions (while rubbernecking at the literati.) As I said in my thank you’s before I read from the novel, I feel fortunate to be standing at the end of the first decade of Knopf’s New Face of Fiction program…looking back as a grateful reader, looking forward as a newly published author.

I finally met blogger and illustrator extraordinaire, Patricia Storms (of BookLust). She and her husband, Guy are wonderfully nice and I only wish I had had more time to chat with them! (check out Patricia’s blog entries on the big night! She’s got some fun illos of some of the attendees.)

In addition to meeting many new people, I ran into old friends and was especially glad to have my writing coach and pal from the WFNS mentorship program, Richard Cumyn there.

And, since many have been asking…
yes – I met Ann-Marie MacDonald! We chatted about motherhood, the writing life, and swapped Oprah experience stories. Of course, my experience with Ms. Winfrey was a bit backwards compared to hers – generally writers go on the show AFTER they’ve written their book. (It was being on the show that helped me get my nerve up to write a novel. But that’s another post.)

Details about Montreal will probably come while I’m in Vancouver. Which reminds me,
I’ll be reading with Gail Anderson-Dargatz at Fireside Books, Thursday March 9 at 7pm.
2652 Arbutus Street, Vancouver

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