The Serendipity debrief

You will be happy to know I was dressed appropriately at Serendipity this weekend. Well, mainly because Norma Charles caught me just as I was entering. She suggested that I rearrange my name tag so that my name faced out, and then she untucked my sweater from the back of my pants. (You thought I was joking about my inability to dress myself, didn’t you?)

Because 50 Burning Questions won the Information Book Award (thank you, Roundtables!) I talked about non-fiction for a while at the beginning of the day. And I was very, very happy to have spoken first because the next speakers were so mind-blowingly poignant and funny and wise that I would have been much too intimidated to speak afterwards.

The theme of the day was Year of the Dragon: Asian Themes for Young Canadian Readers. Paul Yee, author of Money Boy (a copy of which is now on my beside table) talked about embracing one’s own personal identity, past and present. Editors Marjorie Coughlan and Corinne Robson talked about Paper Tigers, an amazing website. Allen Say, with a lovely combination of gravity and dry wit, told stories from Drawing from Memory that made everybody cry. In the afternoon, Lisa Yee talked about contemporary fiction in which ethnicity is a factor, not a focus.

Looking for a quiet corner to eat my lunch, I found myself in a side room with Norma Charles, Jacquie Pearce, Ellen Schwartz, Beryl Young, Irene N. Watts, and Deborah Hodge. We had a lovely hour eating sandwiches and talking books, and I felt honoured to be in such company.

Oh. And I learned some Bollywood dancing. Yup. About three minutes after I leaned over to Shannon Ozirny and whispered, “maybe we should move back, in case they ask for volunteers,” we were on the stage. It’s even on video. But I’m not telling where.

Fan mail

After receiving bookmarks in the mail from Irene Watts last week, my daughter decided more fan letters were in order. This is what she sent off to Annie Barrows. I’m particularly in love with the paragraph structure, personally.

Dear Annie Barrows.
I love your Ivy and Bean books.
My favourite character is Ivy.
I am just like her.
I love to read.
I love face paint.
And I always read big books.
At school I am writing a novel.
I am six years old.
I am from Vancouver Canada.

How old are you?
Why did you chose the names Ivy and Bean?

On the goucher list

What’s a goucher? Well, if you’re a dedicated tlk reader, you’ll know that it’s a “a coincidence that goes beyond the realm of mere coincidence.” (You can click here to become one of those in the know.)

How’s this for the list? My daughter reads No Pets Allowed, by Irene Watts, and loves it. She reads it twice in one week.


So I e-mail Irene to pass on the compliments. I once met Irene’s daughter, whose name is also Tanya. And when Irene gets my e-mail about my daughter, she sends me a message back to say her eldest daughter has the same name as mine.

What a coincidence…

But wait! I then e-mail Irene (are you following all this?) to say that my son’s name is the name of one of her main characters. And then she e-mails me to say that’s the name of her eldest grandson!

Goucher.

If by some miracle of birth control failure I ever have a third child, and it’s a girl, I’ll obviously have to name her Irene.