Monday = essays

A post-Super Bowl morning writing two essays and firing/whipping/lasering emails all over the place. This is where it gets complicated having three different publishers headed towards release of River of Stars. There are different issues in each market.

The essays aren’t for here, though I’ll signal where they end up. But Elena and Tanya of Wunderkind would defenestrate me if I didn’t do some writing for them to make use of. (Should post a photo of the window for the Defenestration of Prague. It was a weirdly great moment being in that room – and not being hurled out the window. It is a seriously long way down. No idea how the defenestratees survived, but apparently they did, layout of Prague Castle must have been different. Or – miracle!)

Why would good-hearted, nimble-minded publicists do violent things? Because they can? No, because this is part of what publicists do: they are working right now to set up ‘placement’ for some pieces by me, interviews, articles, in the period just before and after the book comes out. And although they push me stay busy here (don’t really need pushing, the Journal is a part of the process I actually enjoy – does it show?) they make sure I know that our marketing needs to ‘go wide’ as they say.

(San Francisco went too wide in that last goal line stand last night. Not happy with the play calling.)

So I’m writing the essays (one done, another started) on two completely different topics. One, actually, was suggested by Elena, and I am not even that suggestible. But she had a terrific, throwaway email query, a reader’s question not a publicist’s, and it started me thinking. (Not teasing about this, I will alert when I get it written and it pops up somewhere!)

Tomorrow is drinks with a magazine editor at new favourite bar in town. It puts me in a John Cheever state of mind: midday Old Fashioneds or Sazeracs at a long marble-top bar under a copper ceiling while the snow falls outside and winter dusk descends.

Wednesday, Liu Fang and her husband come into town for a dinner, then Thursday is the Book Lover’s Ball, where Fang is performing a piece to honour River of Stars. I wrote here last week (don’t be lazy, just scroll!) how pleased I am about that. I also just like the idea of the BLB: how can writers not support libraries, especially as so much is changing with them? It sometimes seems to me that I grew up in Winnipeg on the hockey rink at William Osler School or cycling to the River Heights Library. And I remember the same kind of inner buzz, anticipation, as I approached either of them. I did get thrown out of the library a few times (not defenestrated, mind you) for tripping or cross-checking people on the way to the New Arrivals rack. You can take the boy off the rink but …

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