A Week of Celebration

The past seven days have been, well, awesome. Full-on celebration mode!! Wahoo! Life is good!

It began with a party to celebrate our wonderful volunteers for this year’s Victoria Writers Festival, where a small but very engaged group of us debated the virtues and dangers of social media, and talked about books between sips of wine.

Then it was onto a celebration of West Coast Writers at Russell Books the next day, where a full house was lucky to hear readings by George Szanto, Jan Zwicky, Dede Crane and Bill Gaston (who read from his current project, a memoir).

Then (drum roll, please), I got that call that every writer waits for: a publisher’s voice on the other end of the line, offering me a contract for my next book. I believe I was rather calm on the phone with her, but once I hung up, after jotting down a few details beside a very festive-looking doodle, I did a little screaming. Yes, Brindle & Glass, a wonderful press in Victoria, will publish my book of stories, The Pull of the Moon, in a year or so.

WAHOOOOOOOO!!! I haven’t really stopped smiling since then.

That same night, as luck would have it, this publishing house was hosting their annual showcase of their authors at the Maritime Museum, so I was able to pop in for a short visit and see their “machine” in action. Word had already gotten out to a few people there, including Aaron Shepherd, whose book is coming out with the same press in the spring. This was pretty darned exciting, and just the pinch I needed to assure myself that it was not just a dream. Not a dream!

At home, later that night, a few toasts definitely chimed the news out into the world.

crop cake

The following night, I had a choice of two more literary events, but I had to decline since I was preparing for the next celebration: my husband’s 40th birthday. Finally, we’re in the same decade again. Cake and cupcakes were baked, clutter cleared, and the house made ready for family and friends to join us the next evening. This included his identical twin, and the boys blew out their candles together and the kitchen rocked with homemade music. And speaking of blowing things, my daughter and her friends took their fun into the backyard, where they perfected the art of breathing fire (the secret is cornstarch; don’t tell her I told you).

breathing fire

This is what happens when they turn into teenagers. I know it could be a lot worse. No eyebrows were harmed in the making of that picture.

Yesterday, I popped into the Sono Nis book launch, and got to congratulate two writers I’ve had the pleasure of working with: Monique Gray Smith and her book, Tilly, and Jenny Watson and her book, Prove it, Josh. How exciting to celebrate the launch of these books–first books for both writers.

And, today…. I’ve made a lemon poppy seed cake for my mother’s birthday (which happened to be a few days ago), which we’ll celebrate over a family dinner. My father’s actual birthday is today, and I wished him well as he drove through a storm in Ontario. (hands-free cell, so it was legit). He’ll be here in a week or so, when we’ll carry on celebrating.

Tomorrow, I’m toasting once more with a few writer-friends, another of whom just got a book deal for her book of poetry.

It’s all a little dizzying. It’s all wonderful. And then there’s Christmas… wow.

What goes hand in hand with celebrating is this: immense gratitude. I AM SO THANKFUL for all these blessings. Thankful for the support of family, friends, and a community of creative folks who’ve helped me get to this day, still doing what I love: writing. Thank you, one and all.

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