What We Dream About

For as long as I’ve been seriously working away at fiction, I’ve said that my expectations were modest; to learn the craft insofar as anyone can learn to make “art”, to let go of my work when I know I’ve taken it as far as I can go and the next step is up to the world of editors and publishers, to appreciate an audience wherever I find it. One of my more specific dreams has been to sit down in a public place—a train, a boat, a plane, a park bench—next to someone who is reading one of my books. (Initially, this dream involved one of my stories in a magazine, but now that I have books, it’s expanded in a glorious way.) Hasn’t happened yet, but yesterday, I was at my local library, and there on the “New and Notable” stand, was a copy of A Crack in the Wall, the collection of stories published last spring. I noticed a short while back, that the Calgary Public Library had ordered 15 additional copies of this book. This has to do, I’m sure, with my being their Writer in Residence from September thru November this fall. But for whatever reason, I’m thrilled. So back to standing there gazing at my book on full public display. A woman was browsing next to me. I scooped up A Crack in the Wall, turned to her with one of those you-know-what-sort-I-mean grins, and said, “Here’s one you might like. Stories set in Alberta, many of them in Calgary, local author, easy reading for summer.” She, non-committal, daresay I say even disinterested, took the book from my eager little hand and began to riffle pages. I scooted down to the other end of the display— really, I didn’t want to appear too pushy—but when she looked as though she might be about to put the book back on the shelf, I sidled up. “I wrote it,” says I, with a wink. And she, with a wink back at me, “All right then.” And she slid it onto the top of the pile in her arms and off she went to the circulation desk.
Okay, so it doesn’t take much to satisfy my author-needs. Some publications, and an audience wherever I can find it. But I freely admit to watching the Giller Gala every fall, and imagining what I’d wear to the party.

3 thoughts on “What We Dream About

  1. That sounds like a great time, the kind of thing we all have in the back of our minds while we’re looking for markets, fielding rejections and, uh, writing. It doesn’t get much realer than that, never mind galas.

  2. I can easily visualize you at the awards, and as always you will be dressed in something classy and perfect for the occasion. You are a true inspiration to many.

    • Thanks, Pat. I think one strong motivation to stay in the writing world is the good company!

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