Back from a week in Winnipeg, Manitoba where the cold wind blows off the prairies and the snow crunches like cornflakes underfoot. We were treated to some fabulous curling, and although our daughter's team lost in the semi-final, they worked hard the entire week and were one of the last teams standing. If you've never been to a major curling event, it is quite a spectacle.
I spent part of Wednesday afternoon at the beautiful Winnipeg Public Library speaking to about 65 adult learners and reading from the Anna Sweet mysteries. I was treated to an attentive audience and some great questions about writing and the writing life. Thank you to librarians Kathleen Williams and Brenda Giesbrecht for organizing the event and making my visit so successful.
Thursday evening, I signed copies of In Winter's Grip and Second Chances at McNally Robinson. What a lovely store! The store is a community gem with a full schedule of author readings, signings and launches. I wish that I'd had more time to look through the books, but after the signing, I instead opted for some supper in their cafe with my friend Karen Cornelius, who put us up for the week and squired us around the city. We had sweet potato soup with peanuts, crusty bread, white wine and the most delectable fruit tart known to man. Sweet dreams are made of this. Karen is on the far right in this picture and my high school friend Teresa is next to me - Teresa and I hadn't seen each other in thirty years!
On our travels around Winnipeg, I was struck by the old stone buildings and graceful architecture. The Assiniboine and the Red River can be seen at various locations, and just across the Assiniboine is Saint Boniface where we drove to find the home of author Gabrielle Roy, who won not one but three Governor General awards. I now have The Tin Flute on my to-read list.
And back in Ottawa, I met up with some fellow Crime Writers of Canada mystery authors at a Royal Oak for a Christmas get-together. A few nights later, I joined the Capital Crime Writers for their Christmas dinner at a local restaurant. This year, Howard Shrier made the journey from Toronto to read to us from his latest mystery Miss Montreal and to share a few stories about his writing. (very cool website) I bought a copy and look forward to this latest instalment in the Jonah Geller series - the Calgary Herald says that Howard is "making the world of crime fiction a better place, one Jonah Geller book at a time".
So for me, this is a very busy time of year with Christmas shopping, tree decorating, parties, family meals . . . the list goes on. I'll be rushing around today with the promise of a snowstorm and frigid temperatures starting at dusk. Then you'll find me typing away on my latest manuscript with a glass of wine at my elbow and my gas fireplace taking away the chill. I haven't had much time to write this past week and am itching to get back at the story.