January 7, 2013

on gratitude and anticipation

Today is my last day to finish up writing the acknowledgements for Bone and Bread, a task I've been postponing because how on earth can you thank everyone who helped you over a five-year period?!  

Short of listing the name of every single person I know, it's hard to think of how I'm going to avoid leaving somebody out.  There are the people who read pages. The people who listened.  The people who have been cheering me on all along.  The people who live far away but whose few emails a year I cherish dearly.  

....Okay, I've sent it.  And I hope that everyone in my life knows how much they have helped me, just through their friendship alone.

A couple of amazing things happened over the past week or so.  The Montreal Gazette featured me as one of the Stars to Watch in 2013 and also included Bone and Bread in a look ahead at anticipated books in 2013. Having my photo in the paper twice in the same day is pretty much guaranteed never to happen again, so I felt compelled to blurrily document it for posterity:

(I love these pictures of me...both taken at different times around my old apartment in Mile End.  Gazette photographers, in these cases John Kenney and Dave Sidaway, are really something.)

The Afterword (aka pretty much the best Canada national news outlet literary blog ever) also featured Bone and Bread as one of 13 most anticipated books of the first half of 2013.  Being listed alongside all of these amazing writers, including Andrew Pyper and especially Lisa Moore, was enough to make me almost, well, swoon. 

And Alexandra Yarrow, Ottawa librarian extraordinaire, mentioned it as an upcoming release she's looking forward to on her savvy blog Only Connect, too.  This international list has so many books I'm looking forward to, too, that it makes me blush (and, okay, grin) to see Bone and Bread there along with the new Kate Atkinson and Lionel Shriver novels.

AND...Bone and Bread was also included in illustrious company in this spring preview list of "the books we're waiting for" at the 49th Shelf (aka essential CanLit central).  This list in particular includes a number of new-to-me authors and titles I'll be adding to my to-read list.

I should say that I'm sure at least part of the reason it has made these online lists is because of the striking cover, so thank you to Alysia Shewchuk for her design (I found out who it was!) and because of Anansi's stellar reputation in publishing really excellent books.  I'm so lucky my novel found a home there.

One of the nicest things about all this is that it lets me share what is so often a hidden or invisible process.  I'm finally finishing this big, exciting project (which is thrilling for me simply for being done, even if nobody buys it or reads it or likes it), and it's so lovely to have these little signposts out in the world that say, I'm a writer!  Really, I am!  And this is what I've been doing!  A number of people who know me only through my day job have been sending kind notes or coming up to me to say they heard about my book in the newspaper and asking when they can buy a copy.  
And besides all of that wonderful advance notice of the book last week, as if it wasn't enough to put me over the moon, I also received a wonderful email from a writer whose opinion I value very much, who had some very kind things to say about the novel, including the sort of things that made me feel as though she understood exactly what I was trying to do.  It's the kind of email that makes me feel like even if nobody else likes it, I won't mind all that much.  This is the second such email I've received (almost nobody I know has read it!), and it means more to me that I can properly express here.

So it was a wonderful week for writing excitement, and I'm glad that it coincided with the finish line (I think!) of the process.   Now back to regularly scheduled programming.  (That is...more writing?) 

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