Back to Toronto

The past month in Florida has been fantastic starting with the Miami Book Fair, moving along to the wonderful evening with the Venetian Arts Society, and including meeting so many great new people. Thank you to everyone who has added their enthusiasm, talents, and support to the ongoing success of The Bridge Club. In the midst of packing to go home to Toronto for the holidays, this will be a short post. I have photos and video to edit and add later on.

The very best part of this time down here has been having readers come to speak to me about the story I have told in The Bridge Club and end up sharing some of their own stories. There’s nothing better!

Thanks for a wonderful evening!

The salon evening hosted by the Venetian Arts Society in Fort Lauderdale on Friday was a great success. I was so honoured to be the guest literary artist. The weather co-operated perfectly – well, it is south Florida where the weather almost always co-operates perfectly (!) – and the large multi-level patio of Inspired Interiors provided a beautiful setting overlooking the historic Himmarshee River. The cocktail party, including some of the most delicious hors d’oeuvres I have ever tasted, offered everyone an opportunity to wind down after a busy week and settle in for a relaxing evening. A lovely young violinist named Laura performed during the evening and her talent was obvious. A fellow Canadian (from New Brunswick), she added another fine touch to the whole experience. Wandering indoors to view the eclectic art displayed in the Inspired Interiors studio and showroom along with the unique and original hand-painted furnishings was a bonus. The intent of Inspired Interiors is to “rescue” worthy antique, reproduction, and vintage home furnishings by refurbishing and refashioning them into original, beautiful, and functional works of art for the home. The results are not only a contribution to the “greening” of our living choices but also exquisite! William Riddle along with his business partner/artist, Stephanie Knight, are to be admired for their vision.

As the guests settled into seating outdoors, William introduced the vivacious Janice Chai-Chang, the president of the Venetian Arts Society who spoke firstly, in her elegant and articulate fashion, about the goals of the Venetian Arts Society. I’ll tell you more about that in another post as it is a concept to be copied. She then introduced me followed by Marti Smye, another most affable Society member, whose smile immediately lights up any room. Marti and Janice then led an energetic Q&A about The Bridge Club to which the audience also contributed. I so enjoy hearing other people share the experiences of their friendships when discussing The Bridge Club. One of my hopes in writing the story was that readers would reflect upon the relationships in his or her own life. The book-signing period afterward was busy with many people sharing thoughts and opinions. That means a great deal to me and I’m discovering it is absolutely THE best part of writing. Feedback and response from readers who bring their own copies of The Bridge Club in for signing is such a gift. Thank you to everyone who attended, who purchased The Bridge Club, and particularly to all who took the time to speak with me. I must add how warm and welcoming I found everyone to be in this fine city.

I learn so much from each of these opportunities. Afterward I always think of many comments I wished I had made and better ways to present other aspects of the novel which I believe are also of interest to readers along with the all-important relationship and issues of the women in the story. For example, there are the wonderful Canadian settings in the story including not just the great city of Toronto but its nearby environs of rural Halton county and the scenic Georgian Bay area. The story also spotlights the historical Eastern Townships of the province of Quebec, the magnificent ruggedness and beauty of Whistler, British Columbia, and the appealing tranquility of the forests and waters of the Muskoka Lakes District.

Then there is the final chapter. Controversial and current in subject matter, the hope is that it sparks introspection and debate. I’m told that book clubs are finding this chapter a strong point of discussion involving a wide range of opinions, not only on the decision made but also in determining which character is the focus. The latter being something I leave to the reader although there are clues built into the chapter. Most readers ask when they write me if they have chosen the correct woman and I’ll confirm it if they have but won’t disclose if they haven’t. Back to the drawing board! As I explain to them, I myself did not know who it was when I wrote the chapter. More on that later!

Photos of the Friday soiree to follow once I get them edited. In the meantime, take a look at this link for more information about Inspired Interiors. You’ll be glad you did! Click on “Subscriptions” on their website to read about the Venetian Arts Society, its mission and calendar of events.
Click here

Thank you, thank you, thank you once again to all involved!
p.s. Please ignore the automatically generated links at the end of messages if they look strange. I don’t put them there!

Venetian Arts Society invitation – Dec. 3rd

I’m honoured and delighted to have been invited to be the guest artist tomorrow for the debut evening of the Venetian Arts Society in Fort Lauderdale. This cultural arts social club meets in an intimate salon atmosphere on the waterfront of the historic Himarshee River in downtown Fort Lauderdale. The setting is beautiful and just off the well-known Los Olas Boulevard, so easy to get to. In addition to enjoying wine and hors d’oeuvres and scintillating conversation, I’ve been asked to participate in a Q&A as well as doing a reading from The Bridge Club. I’m so looking forward to it and to meeting a lot of new people. The beautiful warm weather we have been enjoying here in south Florida has turned evenings chilly – I know, I know, I can hear my Toronto friends muttering that this is NOT chilly – but I may have to reconsider my attire for the evening. At the moment I’m feeling a small wardrobe crisis coming on!

Liquid Lunch with ThatChannel.com

I was fortunate to go back to hip Hugh Reilly and his fabulous co-host for the day, the talented (and so much fun) Marla Lukofsky, at www.ThatChannel.com and be interviewed a second time about The Bridge Club.
For those of you unable to watch it live, here it is!

[blip.tv http://blip.tv/play/hY86go7nHQA%2Em4v]

A second Thanksgiving celebration

How lucky is that? One of the advantages for a Canadian visiting the USA at the end of November is getting to celebrate Thanksgiving all over again. This really is my favourite holiday as the only present required is the gift of words. There is nothing better than taking the time to focus on all the blessings in life with family and friends at the top of the list. In fact we should all practice a few moments of daily thanksgiving and I know many people do.

Close friends from Sarasota visited with us for a few days. We spent Thanksgiving day playing bridge on the patio and dipping in the pool after a long walk at the beach in the morning. Perfect! The traditional roast turkey dinner was scrumptious with the hint of curry in the butternut squash a big hit. We will be back in Toronto to see our family and friends and to shiver and bundle up soon enough … and we’re looking forward to that too … well, maybe not the shivering so much …

In the meantime, I have a planning meeting tomorrow to organize the details of The Bridge Club book-signing event in Fort Lauderdale next Friday evening. I’m giving thanks for that as well!

An invitation for December 3rd

William Riddle, Nancy Myers and Janice Chai-Chang

request the pleasure of your presence on Friday evening December 3rd to celebrate the debut of the Venetian Arts Society, a cultural arts social club located in an intimate salon atmosphere on the waterfront of the historic Himarshee River in downtown Fort Lauderdale.

December 3rd’s invitation only soiree will feature Patricia Sands, the author of the acclaimed novel, The Bridge Club. In addition to wine, hors d’oeuvres and a strolling violinist, guests will be treated to a book reading and a provocative Q&A with this fascinating Toronto native.

Location: Inspired Interiors of Fort Lauderdale

111 SE 8 Ave.

Ft Lauderdale, Fl 33301

Time: 6:30 pm

Parking: Styline Furniture

116 South Federal Highway, the corner of SE 1st St and Federal Highway, diagonally across the block from the venue

RSVP: By November 26, 2010 to info@inspiredinteriorsftl.net

MIAMI BOOK FAIR – Friday and Saturday

On Friday, my super supportive husband and I drove down to the Miami Book Fair and were pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to find. Coincidentally, Friday was “School Day” and there were thousands of children of all ages eagerly checking out all the booths. Fortunately I had taken postcards for the teen novel “Masks” written by my friend and fellow iUniverse author Patricia Caviglia  (Click here for her website.). The timing was perfect with all the school children looking for new books to read. Patricia Caviglia’s excellent writing skills weave a story filled with important lessons for teenagers and parents.

Yesterday, Saturday, I spent the day at the Book Fair with Janice, my friend and Florida “mentor” for promoting The Bridge Club. After months of e-mailing, telephoning, and skyping, it was such a pleasure to finally be standing in front of each other. The hug was a big one!

What a day we had amongst the literati! We walked the Book Fair from one end to the other handing out The Bridge Club postcards and chatting with readers, authors, and book-lovers in general. The response was great and the weather perfect so it was the best combination for strolling and chatting.

It was a thrill to see my novel displayed along with other iUniverse Rising Star authors and a great pleasure to meet Joy Owens from iUniverse. Again, after months of communicating by e-mail it was so nice to meet her in person. Along with all of this activity, Janice and I managed to catch five author presentations – among them, Michele Norris from NPR, Emilio Estefan, and the best way to end the day, the amazing Salman Rushdie – awesome, as expected.
This was the 27th year for the Book Fair and the diversity of programing and the eclectic mix of the 350 visiting authors was impressive. It is truly an experience not to be missed for people in the area and reminded me of Toronto’s own Word On The Street that is held in late September every year. If you’ve never gone, mark it down for 2011!

The Miami Book Fair

At 6 a.m. last Sunday the 14th, my husband and I settled into our car for the 24-hour drive to our winter home in southeast Florida. We have it down to a fine art now, driving in three-hour shifts, more or less 12-hour days and it’s really not bad at all as we plan the trip and route around the weather. It’s always nice to see that the house has made it through hurricane season (another lucky year with no significant storms) and all is well. Having been totally neglected all summer just sitting out in their pots, my orchids continually surprise me with glorious blooms upon our arrival. They do like to be left on their own!

Tomorrow we will go to Miami, a 45-minute drive, and visit the Miami Book Fair where The Bridge Club will be on exhibit in the iUniverse Gallery. I’ll write a full report after that.

Click here for the Miami Book Fair website

Pictures from the Launch Now Online!

Happy Friday everyone!

Click on the following link and you’ll be whisked away to the gallery of photos from Monday’s launch of The Bridge Club at The Gladstone Hotel in Toronto.

A wonderful evening, now you can feel like you were there!

Click here to visit the gallery & enjoy!

Never Forget – Support Our Troops

Today is Remembrance Day in Canada. Last year my husband and I spent several days in Normandy. We visited the burial place of my uncle who was shot down over France a week after D-Day. We toured the battle fields and absorbed the very emotional and important history of the area. It was an experience everyone who has the opportunity should have. Sadly, wars go on. Whether or not we believe in today’s assignments, the men and women whose lives are on the line deserve our support in combat and upon return. Wear a poppy and observe a moment’s silence at 11 a.m. It’s the least we can do.

In Flanders Fields

Poppies (©greatwar.co.uk)by John McCrae, May 1915

 

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.