Word Vancouver

It’s almost September! My calendar is a mess of kids’ activities and parent meetings and, in a pale yellow colour that seems to disappear amidst the family chaos, my own book events.

I’m thinking of changing my colour to fuchsia.

In case you’d like to mark your own calendars, in fuchsia or otherwise, I’m doing two events as part of Word Vancouver.

At 6:30 pm on Friday, September 22nd, I’m reading from Shadow Warrior at Christianne’s Lyceum as part of a Heroics and Heart evening. Rachelle Delaney and Kallie George are also reading. AND… here’s the best part… you can wear your pyjamas. I know! All book events should occur in pyjamas. Why don’t more people think of this?

At 2:30 pm on Sunday, September 24th, I’m talking Eyes and Spies in the south plaza of the downtown Vancouver Public Library. (I don’t actually know where the south plaza is, but hopefully we’ll all figure it out and end up there together. It can’t be that hard, right?)

Come and bring friends and fuzzy slippers! (To either event. I won’t judge.) I’d love to have friendly faces in the audience.

DNA Detective at the Lyceum

I visited Christianne’s Lyceum last night to meet with the Chronicle Crusaders, a parent-child book club. Then I faced off against the readers on a DNA crossword puzzle (I lost), and tried my hand at genetics pictionary (thus demonstrating why I don’t illustrate my own books).

The Lyceum is truly an amazing place. It’s chock full of books and curiosities and it draws the loveliest readers of both grown-up and kid varieties. One of the kids asked how royalties worked, so we had a rather depressing conversation about how writers get paid, but honestly… I could have been born on a farm in the Ukraine, and spent my life telling stories to chickens. How blessed am I to find myself in the Lyceum loft instead, eating dragon fruit and talking dragon’s blood trees?

Thank you, Chronicle Crusaders, for a fantastic evening!

Book love at the Lyceum

I spent yesterday evening at Christianne’s Lyceum, chatting with the Novel Knickers book club about When the Worst Happens.

First of all, if you’ve never been to the Lyceum, you must go. It’s a book-lover’s dream. A library downstairs, good tea, snacks (more on those later), and a loft filled with people who have gathered for a few hours specifically to talk about reading.

Last night’s topic was survival. This meant I had to complete Christianne’s crossword puzzle of survival answers from my own book (I failed miserably), and also illustrate, Pictionary-style, the word “cannibalism.” That part, I did quite well.

cannibalism

Yes, I’ll be illustrating all my own books from now on.

Next, there was a snack, which a volunteer had created based on the book! Unfortunately, most of the foods in When the Worst Happens are things like bat blood and maggots. So she decided upon foods one might dream about while in a survival situation. (A rather good idea, no?) If there are any other writers out there hoping to one day attend a Lyceum event, I would suggest writing appealing snacks into your manuscript.

And finally, there was a craft! Yes, a make-your-own survival chart. If you’ve read the book, you’ll recognize these as David Parkins’ “I’m cool and collected,” and “Yikes! I’m frozen,” and “PANIC!!!” survivor icons.

survivalicons

A huge thank you to all the book clubbers who made my evening at the Lyceum so interesting and so much fun.

Weekend learning

I spent a lovely few hours on Sunday evening with the Book Burglars book club at Christianne’s Lyceum, talking about 50 Poisonous Questions. And wow! Every time I stop by that place, I learn things. Here are just a few of the eye-openers from yesterday:

  • According to an ex-military dad named Bernie, the best way to poison people and get away with it is to inject potassium chloride between their toes. (Bet that’s not what you thought we’d be talking about at a book club for intermediate students, hmmm?) What we couldn’t figure out, though, was how to inject people between their toes without leaving incriminating evidence. You can’t exactly say, “Excuse me, would you mind holding up your big toe for me while I get this hypodermic needle ready?” (And if anyone ever does say that to you, you should run.)
  • There is a type of underwear made in Vancouver called STUD briefs which is supposed to increase men’s fertility. We got talking about THAT because I’d brought in a copy of 50 Underwear Questions and apparently the makers of STUD live in Vancouver and their kids attend the Lyceum. Who knew?
  • There is no such thing as a brontosaurus. How crazy is that? Something about two palaeontologists fighting and both of them rushing to identify the most dinosaur bones and one of them getting the wrong head on the wrong body. Obviously, I need to look into this further.
  • I can draw a killer pair of oxen. I know this, because they were correctly identified while I was frantically trying to draw “dioxin” in a competitive round of Pictionary. Okay, there were guesses for deer, cows, and… um… bunny rabbits before someone (Bernie the ex-military dad, actually) hit upon oxen, but still. I think Ross Kinnaird now has competition. If we ever do 50 Oxen Questions, I’m totally illustrating it myself.

Thank you, Christianne, Laura, and Book Burglars, for an illuminating visit!