Monday, September 24, 2012

Word on the Street 2012

Yesterday was the Toronto Word on the Street, a book festival that has been running in our fair city for . . . well as long as I can remember.  It's pretty fantastic.  All the publishers and literary publications set up booths (some authors do too, and this year there were several theatres who were there as well), there are tents where panels and readings are held.  There's also a stage for performances for kids. 

Setting up for Word on the Street the day before.

It's always very well attended, and this year since I don't have a book out until December and thus couldn't really read or sign, I was invited by Penguin to moderate their Women of YA panel at The Penguin Pavilion.:

So my day . . .

The delightful Lesley Livingston and I planned to meet up at said Penguin Pavilion at around 12:30pm.  We'd had a rather late evening the night before (involving a very loud pub) so we thought that that would be reasonable. 

The Penguin Pavilion - lovely setup, but, that's a poster, not an actually wall of books :)

I arrived, and said hello to the Penguin people, including my publicist Vimala (a total rockstar).  I noticed that they were giving away some swag, and asked what was going on.

"Oh we're giving away swag for following us on Twitter, if you would like anything -"
"A mug."

I might have jumped the gun slightly on that.  But let me explain.  When I was living in London, UK, I and my housemates had purchased a couple Penguin mugs.  Why?  BECAUSE THEY ARE AWESOME.  They have the classic Penguin covers on them, and come in a variety of colours and titles.  But when I moved back home to Toronto, I couldn't bring the mugs with me.  It was just too much to bring something so breakable along with three years worth of things.  Since then I've been longing to acquire said mugs once again, but aside from online I haven't been able to find them anywhere.

So when I noticed they were giving away said mugs yesterday . .  .

"A mug."

And I got a mug!!!!!!

I used it for the first time at breakfast this morning.  Yay!

Shortly after the mug incident, Lesley found me and shortly after that moment a host of delightful blogettes found us as well, totally by accident.  One such blogette - Wendy - had evidently at that moment been speculating if I would be signing at Word on the Street (I wasn't), and then poof!  I appeared!  I'm like Voldemort that way, you say my name and I show up.  And I'm evil.  And don't have a nose.

At any rate it was awesome, because she had an ARC of TFS, and I signed it.  And I just happened to have a HERO button on my so I gave it to her as well. 

Courtesy of Wendy's instagram

Then we all became Lesley's posse and followed her to the This is Not the Shakespeare Stage, where she and authors Mariko Tamaki, Deborah Kerbel and Natalie Walschots were reading:

Note: up until this point it had been relatively warm and sunny.


Deborah mentions her gratitude it is nice and sunny and not stormy.

Lesley starts to read a scene involving a huge storm.


Seriously, it started to pour.  We were under the tent, so we were okay, but still.  It was pouring.  It also was freezing.  And by the end of the hour I, the lovely blogettes, and the authors on stage were shaking. 

Lesley signed some stock, and then we quickly wound our way to the VIP room for food and hot beverages. So cold were we, we just kind of sat there wondering what the heck had just happened.

Then, we had to go to the Women in YA panel.  Which I was moderating, and which Lesley, Mariko and Alyxandra Harvey were panelists on.  It went very well, was very well attended, and I think some very good conversation was had.

Earlier that day: me moderating Lesley.

Our glorious audience.  Which got even fuller when it started to rain.  AGAIN.

Lesley, Mariko and Alyxandra

 After that I parted ways with Lesley, said hi to my parents who had come to watch, and my aunt and uncle.  And a neighbour.  Yeah.  I have a very supportive group of people behind me.  I'm kind of really lucky :) .

And my friend, Lisa.  With whom I then wandered through the rest of the event (where we saw the Polkaroo - and as any good Canadian knows, a Polkaroo sighting is a most special thing indeed), before running away to a coffee shop to warm up again.

The Polkaroo!!  He DOES exist!

That was the day!  It was wonderful, and I think The Penguin Pavilion was such a brilliant idea (it was their first year having their own tent for panels), and seemed to be quite successful.   In all, despite the cold, it was a lovely day.  I'm already looking forward to next year :) .


Kate said...

Wow - sounds like you had a great time! I'm sooo jealous of your mug!

Doug A Scott said...

Polkaroo? Brilliant!

Okay, Lesley herself must be part fairy, right? It's the only explanation for the storm and every other unlikely coincidence that seem to follow her around.

... Actually, it might also explain her near-chameleon-like abilities.