Yesterday I was guest speaker at the Vancouver One-to-One Literacy Society's annual party. Hycroft Manor, where we were, is some amazing house. It recently suffered a flood, so we had to move from the downstairs ballroom to a smaller but very lovely space, full of gorgeous plasterwork and adjacent to a green-tiled solarium, on the main floor. According to the Ghosts of Vancouver website, Hycroft is haunted by at least seven spirits and a black football-shaped orb. I saw none of these.
I did see about 150 Society members, who are some deeply amazing people. The volunteers work on reading with struggling individual kids in elementary schools for several hours a week, and many of them have been at it for years.
As part of the talk, I read from a part of my novel when Daniel is learning to read and write with his own tutor, his sister-in-law (I had to alter the history a bit--it wasn't actually Israel's wife, but another brother's wife who helped him). Yesterday made me realize what a key scene it is, though it's a quiet and relatively uneventful one. Reading is his first escape from the confined life he dislikes. The tutors I talked mentioned that the escape goes both ways--they feel it too when one of their students breaks through with a book.
I'm still in Vancouver today, which feels like a little holiday also. Flowers all over the place. This morning I recorded a radio interview for CBC. This afternoon I went back to bed for a while. This time, the hotel room seems to be haunted only by a vacuum cleaner revving every so often next door.
I'm the author of My Name is a Knife, All True Not a Lie In It, and The Old Familiar.