Happy Victoria Day! For all of you non-British Columbia people, today is a holiday here. Let’s hear it for Queen Victoria. Sure, she was often photographed with an expression that is best described as “sucking on a lemon,” but she had her fun side. Some facts you might not have known:
I’m also quite fond of her because we get a three day weekend out remembering her. Go Vicky!
I’ve got a lot planned for this summer and early fall. I’m speaking this coming weekend at the Shuswap Writing on the Lake Conference up in Salmon Arm BC.
There’s still time to register for the Willamette Writer’s Conference in early August. I’m going to be there with good writing friend Joelle Anthony so I am quite certain a good time will be had by all- hope to see you there.
I’m always excited about the Surrey International Writer’s Conference held in October. Registration for this conference opens up in June. Mark your calendars! I’ll be teaching a master class for them and also doing a few panel workshops. I may also spend some time with my divine agent, Rachel Coyne, in the bar as we plot worldwide literary domination. When in doubt, look for me there.
I’m teaching this fall too! A class with Simon Fraser University on writing a YA novel and my class on character creation for Capilano University. Be sure to sign up for these classes so I look popular. I’ll post registration links when they become available.
The summer is going to be busy so there may be a bit more sporadic posting around here. You can always find me on Twitter (usually procrastinating when I should be writing.) Hope everyone has a great summer planned!
It seems there is a shortage of nice these days. I’m not talking about taking off to volunteer your time in the Peace Corp building wells or adopting a herd of stray dogs or cats. I’m talking about generally being nice to other people. We’re all so busy, or proving we’re right, or we think we’re too important to be nice to someone who’s below us. Being nice, apart from being a good thing to do can pay off with good karma.
I got a parking ticket this week. I had it coming. The fact that it was my own fault in no way made me any happier about getting it. So I went to pay the ticket, as if you don’t pay it quickly in this town, it jumps from $40 to the same amount as a mortgage payment or enough to buy a small private jet. The woman in charge of payments was clearly not having a “good day.” She asked me if I had any excuse I wanted to offer and I admitted that “nope, it was all my fault.” Apparently, this isn’t a common answer as she laughed. Their computer was having trouble so it was taking time to find the ticket. We chatted for a few minutes while she found me in the system. When she found the ticket she looked up at me and then said: “You know, I’ll wave the ticket this time. You have a good day.”
Just a day later I called to book a service person to come to the house. Apparently sixty zillion other people were also trying to book a technician. The receptionist told me that she’d check the schedule, but it would likely take a few weeks. I could hear in her voice that she expected me to lose my mind. “No worries,” I said. “It’s a sprinkler system, not a kidney I’m waiting for.” She then paused and said, “you know, I can squeeze you in next week.”
I wasn’t nice with the hope that it would pay off, it just did. I didn’t even think I was being that nice. My guess is that I was the only one who had been nice to them all day. Try it some time- let me know how it works for you.
While it may seem as if I’ve dropped off the face of the earth, this isn’t true. Merely traveling and then having some family in town. This week things get back to normal. Or at least what passes for normal in my life. This means more time spent making stuff up all day and swinging wildly back and forth between loving what I just made up and thinking it’s total crap.
I spent last week in one of my favorite places in the world, NYC. It’s hard to say how much I love that city. Could be the library (divine), the shops (insane), the cocktail lounges (sinful), the galleries. museums (educational and fascinating all at the same time), or simply wandering around watching people. For an obsessed people watcher, NYC is like crack.
There is also no doubt that part of my attraction is having a chance to catch up with various people I know in publishing. I love this in part because the people I’ve met in publishing are darn nice and also happen to share my passion for books. However, part of it is still the thrill of thinking “I know people in publishing!” This never gets old for me.
I’ve also been to NYC a few times so I am starting to feel like I know my way around a bit. Or to be more precise, when I get lost, I am much more confident in my ability to eventually figure out where I am supposed to be. While there someone on the street stopped me asked for directions. I was THRILLED. They thought I looked like I belonged there! Granted, there are a lot of odd people in NYC so looking like you fit in may not always be a compliment, nevertheless it felt great. What made it better is that I even know where they wanted to go. I felt like a rockstar.
It doesn’t take much for me to feel like a rockstar. When people find out I’m a writer sometimes they’re impressed and I try and act cool. “Yes, I have a few novels out now.” Of course in the inside what I’m saying is: ”I know!! Isn’t that awesome! Can you believe it? Me neither.” Some people have an inner child, I have an inner dork.
While NYC was great it is good to be headed home. I miss my dog, my own bed and being on a sidewalk that is not shared by sixty bazillion people. I have family coming to town tomorrow so it’s my turn to show off my city!
It’s a crazy week for me. A good kind of crazy, seeing friends, chatting writing, going here and there. As a result I am fresh out of amusing stuff. In the meantime, enjoy this.