Riding the train

I recently spent six days away, in the Saskatoon, Saskatchewan area, speaking at a women’s retreat, and while there anyway, enjoying a visit with two of my sisters and their families, as well as launching my new book at Saskatoon’s McNally Robinsons. The retreat was the main thing, of course, some 45 in attendance from Mennonite Church Saskatchewan considering the theme “Called to Rest, Called to Renewal.” And such wonderful women they were, blessing me with their warmth, participation, and conversation.

But I’m finding that the piece of Away that seems to hook the most curiosity when I’m asked about it — and answer — is the fact that I took the train to and from. It’s understandable, I suppose; I hadn’t been on a Canadian train myself for at least 25 years. So, today I’m blogging about riding the train. Continue reading

What it’s like to launch

It’s a good thing I promised to say something about the launch of my book, because I’ve slipped back into regular mode, meaning it feels somewhat distant already, so why go on about it? And we’re having wintery weather at the moment – yes, that’s snow caught in the grass – when just days ago, pre- and launch days, that is, it was gorgeous autumn. As if in the meantime a season has come and gone.

It’s good for me, though, to remember and also explain things to myself, and in addition, Shirley Hershey Showalter, in a FB post, said, “I hope you’ll describe what it’s like to launch,” so here I am, on about it. (She’s very close to completing a memoir manuscript for which she already has a contract, so her launch lies soon ahead of her.)

For me, then, and Shirley, and anyone else interested, this is about the launch of my collection of short fiction, What You Get at Home, last Tuesday. Continue reading