Notes on prize day

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View out hotel window.

In a little over an hour, I’ll be walking across the street in my high-heeled clogs to attend the reception and ceremony for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Prize. Today has been a really lovely day, just infused with loveliness, and I want to sketch out my thoughts and observations, because it’s the little things that get lost. And I want to keep the little things.

* I was woken by a fire alarm. I hurriedly dressed and then did not leave my room, confused by an announcement repeated every thirty seconds or so, telling us not to panic, that an upcoming announcement would let us know what was happening. So I stayed in my room, completely not panicking, as instructed. Until the next announcement, about ten minutes on, which informed me that it was now safe to return to my room. Ah. So that message about not panicking did not mean “do nothing.” It meant, in an orderly fashion please leave your room, as there is a fire alarm going off. Survival of the fittest, I tell you.

* I was asked last night if I was feeling nervous about today’s announcement. No, I replied. I feel happy. It will sound like a cliche but it’s true. I am happy to be here. I am happy to be marking this moment with a ritual, a ceremony, no matter what happens. I get to be here, doing this, now. And that makes me happy.

* Walking up the street today, I passed by a performing arts centre. School buses were lined up out front, and children were being organized and sorted into their various groups in preparation for boarding the buses. My heart kind of cracked open. The children looked to be in grade seven and eight. My children. I actually started to cry because I missed my kids so much. I’ve been burying it in busyness, and I’ve been having a lot of fun, don’t misunderstand, but I miss them so much. Why was this a lovely moment? Because I felt enormous affection for this age group of kids just bursting from me. They’re on the cusp of great change. They’re vulnerable and confident and awkward and real.

* I had a lot of feelings today. Still having them, it seems. I walked around town in the rain feeling all kinds of feelings, and I was happy. I am happy.

And that just about sums it up.

xo, Carrie

In Toronto, different anonymous hotel room
What is life-changing?

3 Comments

  1. just massive hugs just at this brief mo while I put ma wee laddie to bed xo

    Reply
  2. No small thing, happiness. As big an achievement as the fact that you were there at all, I think. I hope you are so proud of yourself and your book. Girl Runner keeps going!!

    Reply
  3. You are so right in everything you say, Carrie. It is an honour, not only to be nominated, but to be a writer, a runner, and above all, to be a parent. To be happy.

    Reply

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