A few days after returning to Montreal from Cape Breton, Andrew and I hopped in the car (with our cat in the backseat because it turns out that this Siamese really enjoys roadtrips), and drove down to Toronto. The purpose of the trip was to attend the Writers’ Union of Canada dinner/dance on Saturday night where they would also be presenting the Danuta Gleed award, but I managed to fit in a few other events over the course of 48 hours: a viewing of Bridesmaids, some patio drinks, a visit to a charming café. I’ve never been to a more formal writerly event, and gladly took the opportunity to dress up a little. It was held at a hotel near our friends Soraya and Chris, so we got ready at their place, took a few photos and went on our way.
The Danuta Gleed ceremony took place after dinner, and it was nice – the first page of each book was read out loud by either the author or, if they couldn’t be there, someone else. Readings still make me nervous, even super short ones like this (basically, a paragraph), but it was over in a blink of the eye. And then the winners were announced! Darcie Friesen Hossack and Alexander Macloed were the runner ups and Billie Livingston won. Congratulations!
Especially big congratulations to my girl Darcie, who I so wished could’ve been there, but was busy doing superstar authorial duties like giving keynote speeches in Edmonton.
And then there was dancing! A room of dancing writers sounds a little scary? Okay, maybe it was. But I’ve been in rooms of dancing accountants, which sounds similarly scary, and we’re all the same when it comes down to it. Dancing is just embarrassing and lovely, like many of the best things in life. At the very least there was wine, and interspersed between that was the chance to chat with other writers.
It’s funny when people ask me if I’m sad that I didn’t win the award because it’s hard to convey how not-sad I am about it. Anyone who’s ever wanted to publish a book understands how impossible the act of it feels, the writing part and actual publication. And then, if the book comes out, it feels impossible that people will actually read it. So a nod like this for my first little book, stories that I wrote when I was a little younger than I am now, is so encouraging. And then after we left the hotel, we went down to The Lakeview for midnight burgers, and these are some of the best moments – wearing a party dress, hair frizzy from the humidity, eating a plate of fries in a city I love after going to an event where people had actually heard of my book? Dude. Amazing. I’ll probably turn into a more jaded writer one day, but for now I’ll enjoy it for what it’s worth.