“There are two literary maladies – writers’ cramp and swelled head.”
- Colson Kernaban
A few things stand out from Monday night’s book launch in Halifax. One is the sound of Editor J’s voice as he brought greetings from Quattro Books in Toronto. The other is the sound of author John Calabro’s voice as he read from his novella,The Cousin, which I can’t wait to start reading.
(Reader take note: Editor J and John Calabro are one and the same person. As a writer, he practises what he preaches.)
And a third thing involves another voice, that of C, my little neighbour, who appeared by my side – well, my knee, really, she’s that small – wearing sparkly silver shoes and with pigtails sprouting out the sides of her head. When I crouched down to whisper hello to her during John’s reading, she fixed her frank, unwavering gaze on me and announced, firmly, “I HAVE A SNIFFLE IN MY NOSE.”
It was just the thing for my nerves as I was called upon to give my reading. I stepped out from the pillar I’d been hiding behind, and looked out over a sea of faces – over a hundred of them! – and started reading.
What a thrill to see so many people gathered on a Monday night to celebrate the launching of two little books. It was great fun. I signed lots of copies of Harbour View, which the Business Guy was hawking cheerfully at the book table, and had reunions with relatives who’d driven long distances, an old friend who’d flown a great distance (across an ocean!), neighbours, colleagues, friends of the Resident Teenager and his Non-Resident older sister, and a nice lady who works at my bank.
I slept no more than about thirty-seven seconds through the night – it’s impossible to fall asleep with a daft grin on your face – and then spent a lovely afternoon and evening rehearsing Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Night’s Dream for a coming concert.
I sat on the stage with my eyelids propped open with toothpicks, trying to hide the same daft grin that had kept me awake all night, and thought about how lucky I am to enjoy the best of both worlds.