So I've been on the island actually technically for three days, but really my tour of schools etc began yesterday.
Sunday was quite something, getting up at 4:45am to catch a 7am flight for Vancouver, then connecting flight to Victoria. Watched The Taking of Pelham 123 and Julie/Julia (which I'd already seen). Pelham 123 was actually quite a lot of fun, John Travolta was ridiculous.
Got into Victoria, got to the hotel, and slept for a few hours, before getting up to go for a walk around downtown. Not sure if you've ever been, but the place is beautiful, even in this rainy cold weather. Stopped into Munro's bookshop, signed some books and chatted with one of the employees there, Ellen. Was great, and the bookshop is GORGEOUS:
On the way to meet with my friends Doug and Lynn Scott, I passed Darth Vader playing the violin on the street. Just fyi.
Had dinner with Doug and Lynn (SUCH good food, omg) and another friend of theirs, and then was back to the hotel to SLEEP.
Monday was the start of the tour. 3 school groups and one evening talk:
Central Middle School
Sidney/North Saanich Branch Library
Cordova Bay Elementary
Victoria Children's Literature Roundtable
Let me tell you guys, the kids on Vancouver Island are AWESOME. Enthusiastic, kind of nutty (like me!) and very smart. It's been crazy fun, and today was no different.
Oh, and also I've been provided several lunches, and I think the residents of Vancouver Island must take a mandatory sandwich making class in school, because I've never had such good sandwiches. Odd to say, but the truth.
Went back to Cordova Bay Elementary today after going to Torquay elementary (both awesome again). And then I ferried over to Salt Spring Island which is absolutely gorgeous. Spoke at a school there, to a group of just 29 but with the enthusiasm of three times as many. Signed paper. Signed journals. Signed bags and shoes. Arms and faces. I'm so sorry parental units, they made me!
And now I am in Nanaimo, getting the evening off.
Couple of points. Really having a lovely time with the guy who organised the whole trip and who is also my lovely chauffeur - Lee. He is a former forest fire firefighter turned librarian, which I think is awesome and I think you may find someday a character in one of my books with a similar story . . . Poor guy's had to sit through the same presentation many many times over now, but he does it with a smile. Also it's been raining almost non-stop since I've been here. I don't really mind, but everyone here keeps apologising to me for it. I've tried to explain to them that I'm the variable, that if anything, I ought to be the one saying I'm sorry. But they refuse to hear it.
People on this island are just way too nice.
I've also been canvassing for votes for the Red Cedar award, for which "Alex and the Ironic Gentleman" has been nominated. The Red Cedar is voted on by kids in BC (so cool), and I've got some serious competition - Jean Little, Gordon Korman etc. So I need to take advantage of this situation. And I mean, come on! Those other authors have already won like tons of awards, so I think it's only fair that it's my turn! So kids of BC . . . we can do it! Yes we can!
[To be perfectly honest, I'm just having fun hanging out with the kids, I'm no politician, but it's fun to pretend . . . :) ]
And that's it for now! Here are some pics of Salt Spring Island for your enjoyment!