The week in review
I drag my exhausted frame to the keyboard to offer a brief recap and reflection on events of the past week. It’s brutal, being a new parent: up in the middle of the night, the damn novel won’t stop crying, etc., etc. But despite exhaustion and a bout of what I believe to have been food poisoning, I am here. Do your worst, critics.
Monday: Launched Combat Camera at the London Public Library to an appreciative crowd. Alexander MacLeod also read from Light Lifting, fresh off his Giller nomination. By a strange coincidence, both of our selections referred to acres of Canada Goose droppings. Must be something in the zeitgeist. In the general post-reading excitement, I forgot to pick up a box of books I needed from Biblioasis publisher Dan Wells, with devastating results….
Tuesday: Drove downtown at 2 am to pick up said box of books from Dan, who was still hard at work. Slept one hour, then got up to pack, drive to the airport, and catch a flight to Winnipeg via Toronto for the Winnipeg International Writers Festival. Snoozed briefly on flight.
Spoke to a classroom full of creative writing students at the University of Winnipeg, who to my surprise actually took notes and stuff. I felt like saying, “No, don’t write that down. These are the ramblings of a sleep-deprived hack—do I look like I know anything?” The students asked lots of good questions, questions to which (writing being writing) there is often no single answer.
Stumbled back to hotel room and worked feverishly to find a good excerpt to read on the main stage. After two hours, returned to my original plan, wishing I had slept. Folded my carefully prepared notes into the book and went on down to face the music. Got to the podium and found my carefully prepared notes had somehow changed places with my to-do list. Lesson: plan to wing it, remarks-wise.
Wednesday: Flew back to London. Ate something.
Thursday: The day of food poisoning. Awoke to discover something trying to eat me back. Stumbled into the bathroom and lay on the floor, moaning. “Oh, the tragedy,” quoth I, “the flower of Canadian literature dying so soon after his first book!”
Wife ran into bathroom in obvious panic, and said, “Alex MacLeod is dying?”
Spent remainder of day moaning in emotional distress.
Friday: Wildly successful Biblioasis fall launch at Phog Lounge in Windsor. Dan Wells elected me to read first, although I had not yet decided what to read. Decided en route to microphone. Somewhere between this and the carefully prepared notes, there must exist a happy medium. Shot two rolls of Delta 3200 at a desperate ISO12500. We’ll try them in Microphen. Then drove back through the night: firearms safety course starts Saturday, 7:30 am.
Fall is far too busy.