Wednesday, May 13
Toronto—I should have packed last night. It takes longer than I’d thought. I’ve filled a box with clothes and books I won’t need in Toronto to send back to New York. Rush rush rush…my plane to Toronto departs at 8:50. I can’t miss it!
As soon as I’m in the car Vicki tells me the bad news. I’ve been bumped from the Rosie O’Donnell show, scheduled for May 21. Vicki says “postponed” but we both know I’ll be heading west and the show will be going on hiatus soon. This is bad news for the book. I’m disappointed. I like Rosie. She’s emotional and honest.
This morning’s author escort wants to talk on the way to the airport. The problem with author escorts is they want to be friendly and chat with you and when you don’t feel up to it you run the risk of being seen as difficult. So this morning I’m difficult.
At the airport an American Airlines employee takes my carry-on bag away from me. I protest. I’ve been carrying it on for a couple of years. It’s made to carry on. She doesn’t care. Worse yet, I don’t have my passport and am on my way to Toronto. She scolds me, saying I won’t get back into this country. I tell her I’ll take my chances. (But the minute I get to Toronto I call home to have my passport Fed Ex-ed.)
Vicki has flown back to New York and in Toronto I’m met by the publicist from the Canadian division of BDD, Adrienne. She’s taller than Vicki, who is at least 5’8”, and equally beautiful.
We do the noon news which goes well then Adrienne drops me at my hotel where I’m shown to an opulent suite. As soon as I call down to order a sandwich, the phone rings. I am told there are two women downstairs from the CBC, to tape a radio interview.
I don’t know anything about this interview so I try to get Adrienne on the phone but I reach only her Voice Mail. I call back and ask for her assistant but it’s lunchtime and she’s out of the office, too. I call a third time and ask for any human…explaining the situation and asking what I should do. How do I know these women are really from the CBC? They could be anyone!
I decide to let them come up anyway. They seem okay. By then I’ve reached Adrienne’s boss at the publisher’s office who explains they’d cancelled this interview to give me time for lunch and I should just send them away. But I can’t. It’s easier to do the interview than try to explain. So we tape for fifteen minutes. I still have a few moments to chow down my sandwich
3-4PM. A taped one hour TV interview with Pam Wallin, national evening talk show host. It’s a real luxury to talk to someone for an hour and Pam is well informed, intelligent and articulate. I’m now wearing two coats of makeup, one from the noon news and one from Pam’s show.
As much as I enjoyed the show I’m wiped out. I’ve been going since 6 am. Back to the hotel for “rest” before tonight’s event – the Harbourfront Reading Series. But I haven’t yet prepared my reading and I spend the next few hours mangling my book, trying to put a twenty-five minute piece together reflecting the friendship at the center of Summer Sisters, as well as capturing the change in tone as the characters go from twelve to thirty.
I order a bowl of pasta from room service. It’s delicious but I gobble it up and wind up so bloated I can’t button my slacks. Oh well…my jacket will cover my middle.
7:30. We join the other readers, who’ve had dinner together, at a harborfront restaurant. I hope they understand why I wasn’t able to eat with them. I’m not sure they do.
The Reading Series takes place in a room set up like a cafe. The audience sits around small candlelit tables facing a stage. The readers are called in alphabetical order so I am first.
I’ve never actually read to an audience from one of my books. I stand at the podium and look out but the rest of the room is pitch black, except for the flickering candles. It’s an eerie feeling. I know the room is filled with people but I can’t see any of them. I’m reading into the darkness. Now and then there is laughter. I actually enjoy myself. Find that I like reading from this book.
In this Section
- Judy’s Anxiety Diary
… somehow we feel we’ve come home—that an old friend has welcomed us into a world we once knew … Blume challenges us once again, coaxes us to examine our past … proving that, often, struggle and pain can unearth life’s richest offerings.
Amazon.com Readers’ Comments
That same old magic … I thought Summer Sisters was a great book.
The Best of Blume … I cannot put it down.