Ten years married. Ten years since I last read in Ontario. What more is necessary in order to decide to not only arrange, but to bring the wife along on a six-city (Windsor, Sarnia, Hamilton, Toronto, London, & Brampton) book promotional tour. She does the driving in the family, and we both can get time off from our grind-based jobs, so the decision was an easy one. I mean after all a marriage is also about the creation of memories, and seeing how we never had a real honey-moon get-away, the car immediately became the choice of transportation. It would’ve been easy for me, all by myself, to choose the bus, or jet, or train like so many tours in the past. No, this time it had to be different, so my dear Lainee agreed, and we set our sights and directions on Windsor.
We were scheduled to be there October 1, so knowing it would take around 19 or 20 hours to drive, our departure date became September 29. What a great feeling once on the highway, but it was quickly realized by both of us this would be sort-of new home for a number of days, in fact almost two weeks. I had so many things on my mind but one of the main thoughts was how I was soon to meet my publisher, Marty Gervais, and hopefully those people I worked with on both of my Black Moss press titles. So much gets done online these days in regard to new books, so to be able to be rid of the keyboard and screen was exciting; a handshake, a smile, even a hug would be our exchange soon.
There is something about rolling into Windsor at 1:50 AM, a city neither of us knew, after driving through and surviving endless construction zones, the speedy madness through Quebec, 40 miles in the wrong direction outside of Montreal, the middle-lane, and only the middle-lane of the Toronto strip of the 401. And that something, after somewhere around 14-15 hours of driving was that we didn’t have a clue (again) on how to find the motel we were to stay at. Anyway, not too many screams of frustration occurred, and somehow we located it. And once settled I realized I was to be up and ready for a visit to Walkerville School at 9 AM.
Somehow, pretty much after no sleep, I am picked up by the new assistant at BMP, and driven to the school engagement, but along the way there is a very necessary stop for coffee. Due to the lack of sleep I am caught by finally being in Windsor, and must have came across as rather hyper, because I couldn’t stop talking, especially after thinking I saw downtown Windsor when in fact I was seeing Detroit. My first thought was how surprisingly close it seemed, and was told is. I am not much of USA lover, so it didn’t take me long to focus on climbing out of the car, to make my way into the students of Walkerville. A school visit has always been a gift to me. Anytime I have the opportunity to be in a place of education, elementary, secondary, college, or university level, the appreciation set in very quickly. What a great group of students! And I even sold a copy of my new book, Learning To Settle Down, to a teacher I found extremely friendly, and glad to have the group of BMP authors I was with. My favourite part of the visit, I have to confess, was when Marty Gervais showed up, and had camera in hand.
A nap is really quite a drug. Another attempt to revive the mind meant a quick trip to a coffee outlet, all the time knowing a meal is approaching, a chance to sit with my publisher and other BMP authors, before the launch and my feature. Nothing feels better than knowing you have a feature, especially after driving all the way from Truro, Nova Scotia. But the driving was over, the plan being to retrieve my wife and I, dear Vanessa, taking us to the Sho Gallery, where once I was inside I felt a feeling like being at home. A sign I have had before, that tells me this reading is going to be one of the good ones, because as the other readers read I had to accept that the washroom was on the other side of where they were reading from, so before I began I insisted the reading take a break, so I could relieve myself before I began to read. And, as it worked out, many others also had to relieve themselves too. Ah! Relief all ’round.