Here I am, reading in Toronto at The Garrison. (There was a stage and a green room!) Luckily I was up first, before the front row ruffian was got completely tanked. (Do you call it heckling when someone laughs ridiculously loudly, at Every Single Thing, to the point that it's no longer supportive, just distracting?)
I read, I signed and, even amid the whirlwind, I saw some sights, ate wonderful food (Montreal bread! Wonderful Sri Lankan in Toronto! Bakers market in Vancouver!), and best of all got to spend time with family, far-flung Winnipeg friends, poets I met last year in Banff with whom I workshopped many of the poems, and writers from all over.
It was exciting (the air travel, the hotels) and made me feel like a real writer. But, back home in Winnipeg, all I can think is: "now what?"
Learned on tour:
- Mont Royal Park is overrun with pushy gangs of pan-handling squirrels. Seriously. It's worse than walking past Portage Place, because of the distinct possibility one will run up the inside of your pant leg.
- Peter Mansbridge wears a pinky ring. Also, he has a lot more hair than you'd expect (it's on the sides and back).
- Everything at the Vancouver Airport's Westjet terminal closes at 6pm on Saturday. Even the RELAY. Pack a sandwich.
Seen on tour:
- Pug eating bacon, wearing vintage aviator goggles, in bicycle sidecar. (I saw plenty of other things as well -- like a crow eating a rat, massive redwoods in Stanley Park, and a gang of skateboarding Santas -- but nothing else really compared to this little guy.)