Okay Thomas Wolfe is a brilliant writer and his novel You Can’t Go Home Again is a masterpiece, but he can kiss my arse because clearly you can go home to St. John’s, Newfoundland, as long as you don’t take the weather personally — gale force winds, snow and ice pellets, freezing rain that travelled sideways. It was like Antarctica or what they call spring in the homeland.
But as they say on the Rock, what odds. The brogue was thick and the arms were open wide as I came back for the first time in almost 10 years, blook in hand. I managed to survive another CBC radio interview (Weekend Arts Magazine, airing this weekend) and I gave another newspaper interview. Then we were go for launch.
Well, what a time. Old friends (including the beloved Judy who was instrumental in my finding Neil), new friends, the gang of the best cousins in the world, famous local writers who had me all swoony. I met all kinds of silent Finders and vocal Finders, a woman who spoke to me in French and people who had bought a house in France and wanted my top 5 tips (pace yourself at the bakery was #1).
I also had my own paparazzi guy who asked me and my utterly glamourous pal Brenda to pose while reading the book. He was spread legged against the wall, then over us, under us, barking orders for smoothed hair and posed yet casual chatting while smiling. Look for us on the cover of the tabloids: “Bobbi & Brenda at Bianca’s-Wild Topless Rampage or Good Clean Fun?”
Anyway, it was wonderful. We sold a bunch of books, we had a bunch of laughs and I sweated through another outfit just like I did in Halifax. Neil received the appropriate amount of praise for his design work — enough to be declared a genius but not so much as to eclipse the true star here (for anybody new here, this is a cheap joke, my ‘style’ as it were). He even signed a few books for people, but enough about that fool.
Then we hit Costco and Chapters for two more signings which went very well. I was dubious to say the least about Costco (I sat between pallets of bug repellent and garden hoses) but here’s all I can say: when I landed they had 108 blooks in stock and when I left there were 8 left in the book aisle. Do the math my friends and the answer is Costco rocks! Plus, and this is a very big plus, an incredibly sweet lady who bought the book came back with a giant bag of individually wrapped premium dark chocolates as a gift for us. Score!
Anyway, I’m all in. As my countrypeople say, I’m a victim. It was an amazing whirlwind of excitement. Thanks be to god it’s done. All that’s left is that small matter of 21 straight hours of travel back to the housette. Somebody kill me.