Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Lesley Crewe

So just ask me how my weekend went…go ahead…ask me. Okay, I'll tell you. My husband, John, daughter, Sarah, and I went to Halifax for the weekend, where we picked up our son, Paul, and went to the Rolling Stones concert on Saturday night.
Get this. We stood…STOOD…with fifty thousand other idiots from 4:30 p.m. until 10:30 p.m in the POURING RAIN.
We had a blast!! Once you're wet, you're wet. I mean, it was miserable and we all wore garbage bags over our rain clothes and had a huge tarp around us, and our clothes will never be the same again, and our hair will never be the same again, and our feet will never be the same again, but how often do you bond as a family like that? All four of us singing (badly) "I can't get no…satisfaction!!" as Mick Jagger gyrated his bony hips about forty feet away! (The stage came towards us at one point and they got closer and closer…I thought I was hallucinating with all the weed in the air.)
It'll be a great story in fifty years…just about when I recover from the ordeal!
I apologize for digressing. I'm supposed to be writing about Word on the Street.
So just ask me how my weekend went…go ahead…ask me. Okay I'll tell you. I was reading from my new book Shoot Me at the Word on the Street Festival the next day. Since I was stuffed up from my bonding experience the night before, my voice was a little cracky and weird, but everyone in Halifax sounded the same way, so who cared.
And of course my children were supposed to attend the reading, and they sort-of did. Sarah was pacing outside the building on a cell phone trying to give directions to her three girlfriends who'd parked about two miles away by mistake and were running along the Halifax waterfront to try and get there on time, and Paul and his girlfriend had just woken up after John called him to say "where are you?" The answer wasn't supposed to be "in bed."
So three-quarters of the way through the reading I'm trying not to be aware that my out-of-breath children are running through the venue with friends and significant others in tow. To make up for it, they plunked themselves into the front seats and clapped vigourously as I said, "Thank you for coming" and walked off the stage.
It's a good thing a mother's love knows no bounds.
Not that something like that is very special for them. I've been reading to them since they were in the womb and I'm sure they're heartily sick of it. As Sarah's friends apologized to me afterwards, I told them not to be ridiculous and I can read to them any old time they want. Strangely, they all started yammering to Sarah and the subject was dropped.
I'm starting to get the hang of these things. After a year in the "business" and with my second book to flog, I'm not as freaked out about having to show up for these events any more. Once upon a time I assumed I'd run away in a flood of tears if no one showed up for a reading or a signing.
And it has happened.
 I had two people come for a reading in New Glasgow on the most glorious Friday evening in early summer. Believe me, if I didn't have to go I wouldn't have been there either. But I had the nicest time. Just me, the librarian, the bookseller (whose children won't be attending university), my husband, the two ladies and the camera guy. (Yes, it was taped. Just me and the empty seats.)
And then there was the signing in the dead of summer in Antigonish. It happened during the Lobster Festival weekend, which everyone in the surrounding counties waits all year for, apparently.
I became fast friends with the mall's security guard.
But it's all part of this wonderful journey. I was thrilled to be asked to read at Word on the Street. What a pleasure to be surrounded by people who love books and who love to read and who work so hard to promote reading. I still have to pinch myself when I realize that I'm now on the other side of the desk, actually signing books instead of just buying them. To meet other writers and know that I am one of them now, is just sinking in.
I have satisfaction up the yin yang.


Blogger lanners said...

I wish I could have stayed for the reading.

I was there in spirit, in the front row, clapping like a madwoman with your daughter!


2:24 PM  
Blogger sue said...

Lesely, I love your humor. I tried to make both and am sooo sorry I didn't make the effort. I promise, I am taking my three (wow) book club members in tow the next time I see your name on the WFNS site!! There are book lovers in Cape Breton. Oh yah, I almost forgot, I have three writing pals. Hell, we'll make a weekend of it! See you Oct. 11 in New Glasgow

10:12 AM  
Blogger Steve Vernon said...

Glad you had a good time, Lesley. I had a blast as well. Reading, signing books, reading palms, and just enjoying the humming buzz of the whole darned show. Best of luck, ma'm.

6:53 AM  

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