Here’s where I’ll be tomorrow (or today, if you’re reading this on Wednesday, March 7th): at the Harbourfront reading series in Toronto, 7:30pm.
Which is exactly where I was a little over two years ago, except then I was in the audience, listening with such pleasure and joy to a conversation between two literary lionesses, Alice Munro and Diana Athill. At the time, I jotted down the moments that stuck out for me, including Alice Munro’s confession (and I’m quoting my own post here) that “she doesn’t consider herself a very brave person, and though she might be a brave writer, it was very difficult to come back from that writing world and have to deal with the consequences of what she’d written. She admitted that she’d caused pain, not purposely, of course; and one could infer that it pained her greatly to have caused pain.” Kevin tells me that both with Hair Hat and now with The Juliet Stories, coping with being published has been much harder for me than doing the writing work itself. And so I appreciated re-discovering Munro’s insight. Maybe I, too, am a braver writer than I am a person.
But I’m trying.
And on that note, here’s also where I’ll also be tomorrow: lunching with a few of my very favourite Canadian book bloggers, one of whom, Deanna, was a friend in grad school. It will be the first time I’ve had the chance to meet Kerry Clare of Pickle Me This or Patricia Storms, who is best known as a children’s author and illustrator (if you subscribe to Chirp magazine, you see her work monthly). Kerry and I spent last week emailing back and forth, questions and responses, and you can see the results of our interview here. Kerry proved both a sympathetic reader and a sharp interviewer, and she’s not afraid to go in-depth even on the blog medium. I must confess that I’m a little nervous about meeting these three. Blogging creates these strange relationships, mediated through the very specific information we choose to share. Sitting down to lunch at the same table — What will we talk about? What won’t we talk about? As much as I love blogging, there’s nothing like meeting in person and diving into the shared space of a moment. I might be nervous, but, oh, it’s going to be a treat.
And be warned, I’m bringing my camera. Toronto, here I come!