Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Season’s Greetings!

Joyful wishes to everyone no matter what you may celebrate! In fact, we should all simply celebrate every single day and that might be a good resolution for the new year if it’s not part of your routine now.

Life drops challenges in our laps on a regular basis – some small, some mighty. My wish for everyone is a trusted friend by your side.

May 2011 bring each of us the best of health and happiness.

Book signing for The Bridge Club – Whistler, BC

We’re all packed to fly to Vancouver tomorrow. Ski conditions sounds great and I’ll take a break from 2 to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, December 21, for a book-signing appearance in Whistler’s terrific Armchair Books. I’m looking forward to greeting old friends and meeting new readers! Hope to see you there.

Click here to read about Armchair Books in Whistler

Positive FABULOUS Women

Thanks to Katia Millar, the organizer of Positive FABULOUS Women, for offering a morning meet-up for forty of us that was a lot of fun and in support of a fine cause, WomenAide. It was an interesting experience to be part of the studio audience at the CBC building on John Street for the Steven and Chris Show. Great fun all around and a fine group of women with whom to spend the morning!
Links to both websites may be found in my previous blog.

‘Tis the season

We’re keeping an eye on our flight this afternoon from Fort Lauderdale and hope we don’t get caught in the huge numbers of cancellations from the previous two days. Nasty weather up north! As a matter of fact, it’s not balmy down here today. It’s 3 degrees Celsius on our pool patio right now! The poor orchids!

Never mind, it’s winter and the holiday season is in full swing. Tomorrow morning I’m joining forty members of Positive Fabulous Women bringing gifts to the Chris & Steven Show to support WomenAide. Read about this Toronto not-for-profit organization committed to assisting women in crisis and their children.

Click here for more http://www.womenaide.com/

Here’s more info on the meet-up and the website for this dynamic group
http://www.meetup.com/positivefabulouswomen/calendar/15680069/

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