Paul Blogs -- #1

Look ma, I'm blogging! And publishing. And being promoted. At the risk of getting mushy, I feel truly blessed to have such supportive, creative people in my life. The people who know me, the ones who know me through my work alone, and weren't afraid to chance it with a relatively unknown writer (such as editors of lit mags, and my publisher, who turned my words into such a beautiful object) and those who don't know me from a speck on the sidewalk.

Cases in point: I sent a couple of emails, and before long I was launching my collection in Perth, Ontario, my old stomping ground, where familiar faces kept coming into Valley Bookshop to get their signed copies. I set up a reading at Type Books in Toronto, a fabulous independent bookstore on West Queen West, where it seemed like the audience would've sat and listened to
another story or two. I was feted, grandly, at a house party in Toronto afterward, where my friends actually created a drink list inspired by my stories, with a cocktail to match each story, complete with a quote from the work. Lucky, indeed. And now FFF!

All of this is not to brag or boast, but to acknowledge the community that springs up around a book. A few of us have mentioned the fear of launching our "babies" out into the wide world, and this has certainly visited me from time to time. (I had to give my grandmother repeated warnings and disclaimers before actually setting the book in her hands: the first story's
narrator drops an F bomb in the first paragraph. She surprised me by reading half the book in a day.)

Generally, I've found this community to be an encouraging one. This month I'm featured in a local Victoria magazine. Mothers at my daughter's school are pitching the book to their book clubs. I've had a couple of strong reviews. Books are actually selling. But what will happen when I receive the inevitable bad review? My husband swears he'll read all reviews first, to screen them. I'll read them anyway. If nothing else, the years of "Sorry, we aren't taking your work" from lit magazines do get a writer used to rejection.

Hopefully, I'll just have a "False Spring" (a.k.a. a Margarita) or three, and get back to work on my novel.

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