Catalogued, world tour, etc.

As an ex-library staff person, I have to say it was a pretty big thrill to look myself up in Calgary Public Library’s catalogue the other day. On order. Cool. My chum Jan even put a hold on the book, doncha know, so it really looks official now. Yep, things are really rolling along here — we got a price (two, actually — $39.95 hardcover, $19.99 paper). We got ISBNs. My son Nick asked me if I’d memorized them. No. Not yet.

In between house showings, I spent the last week trying to set up the big tour I’m going on after my Calgary launch on November 13th. I’m booked in at McNally Robinson in Saskatoon and am trying to get a date at Audrey’s in Edmonton. I had initially hoped to hit Victoria as well, but it seems not so easy to set up a reading there as I’d hoped. So for now I may just leave it at Edmonton and Saskatoon.

As of Wednesday, we’re on vacation until mid-August and all looking forward to some Island time. This summer has been absolutely nutty so far and it will be great to get away for a while. Maybe we won’t want to come back.

Mein goodness!

This morning my contract arrived from Thistledown for Nothing Sacred, my short fiction collection which will be out next fall. Contract, and much more …author handbook, publicity and promotion information, author questionnaire, contacts sheet. It’s great. Lots of the information will be useful for Love Minus Zero, too.

Yesterday, the collections librarian (another former supervisor of mine) from CPL got in touch to find out how they can order Love Minus Zero. They want to start with six copies, she said. Cool!

House is still for sale. Agent is on his way over to discuss pricing strategy.

You know, with all that’s going on, I’m really looking forward to our vacation. Twelve more sleeps.

Ray Davies

I had the very great pleasure of seeing Ray Davies perform at the Jack Singer last night. He put on a fantastic show; better, I think, than the time I saw The Kinks play in Vancouver in 1981. I was really expecting him to stay away from the older Kinks songs, but he and his accompanist played a whole whack of my very favourites along with material from his new CD (which is very good): “Well-Respected Man”, “Dedicated Follower of Fashion”, “Tired of Waiting”, “Set Me Free”, “I’m Not Like Everybody Else”, “Sunny Afternoon”, as well as the obvious ones you would expect like “All Day and All of the Night” and “Lola”, which he saved for the very end just like in 1981, after teasing the audience with the opening chords several times. He insisted on audience participation, so we all sang and had a great time. It was like an evening with an old friend — he seemed to be enjoying himself as much as we did, and he played for a good hour and a half. Probably the best live concert I’ve ever been to.

Thanks, Ray!


My website is finally up — a big thanks to my sister Cathie of Hahnel Studios for her fabulous web design, and to Bruce, for his fabulous technical stuff. Check it out here:

Enjoy your visit!

Ebb and flow

Things do keep happening, good and bad. I enjoyed the CAA conference very much: good sessions, good to meet with old friends and make new ones. The food was excellent. Ian Ferguson almost gave me a rupture — one funny guy. Returning to Calgary yesterday meant housecleaning, as our real estate agent came over in the evening to take pictures in preparation for listing our house tomorrow. Today I had a chance to review and sign my contract from Oberon, and it’s ready to go.

That was all the good stuff. On Friday, a family friend died — a 43 year-old mother of a 13 year-old girl and ten year-old twin boys who’d been diagnosed with brain cancer only twenty-eight days earlier. It’s very sad. Going to the funeral tomorrow.

Everything happens all at once

I’ve also noticed that nothing seems to happen all at once, but at this moment it is the everything phase. A few of the exciting things happening: my forty-fifth birthday, buying a new house in a better location in our neigbourhood and getting ready to put our current one up for sale on Monday.

And the arrival of my contract (and cheque!) for Love Minus Zero from Oberon Press. Yay! Naturally it would arrive as I’m about to go out the door to the CanWrite conference here in Edmonton. However, I’ll have a good look at it when I get home on Sunday. It feels good, though. There are still times when I think I just imagined all of this. Thistledown Press also sent me a heads up that my contract is on its way for my short story collection, Nothing Sacred, out in Fall 2009.

And I won a pair of tickets to The Vinyl Cafe Xmas Show thanks to my contribution to the 100 Years, 100 Stories Project on the CPL site. Cool.

The conference looks like it’s going to be excellent. The opening reception at the U of A Bookstore was fun, and the sessions look great. It’s very hot here in Edmonton, especially so in my dorm room here in Lister Hall, but I got the last fan at the front desk and it’s helping. More later.