The Georgina Public Library event was a great success! Thanks so much to Jo Scott, Bev Walsch and Amanada for organizing.
I was worried I wouldn't get there on time, so I got to the GO Bus at Yorkdale Mall ahead of schedule. I thought it would take longer for the bus to actually get to Newmarket, so when I missed the bus, thanks to someone butting in front of me at the ticket stall, I was so upset! Luckily, another came just twenty minutes after the first.
The trip out to Newmarket was uneventful. I was really excited to see the rolling hills of the countryside and the beautiful farms with real cows! (I'm a city girl, how could you tell?)
Bev Walsch came to pick me up at the bus stop in Newmarket and then we went on to pick her daughter Pia up at the mall where she works. Everyone was so friendly. I loved hearing about Bev's life before becoming a librarian. She was part of a back-to-the-land movement which is how she originally came out to Newmarket, Ontario when it was still a farming area, before it started becoming another suburb of Toronto. It is amazing how fast they are building up there. Everywhere trees and farms are making way for strip malls, stores and new houses. The sky feels so much bigger there with no streetcar wires overhead or tall buildings blocking off the view.
I was marvelling at all these new sights when the car we were in began to smoke from the engine! Luckily a nice chap at the Silvercity theatre we passed by pointed it out to us, otherwise the whole car might have gone on fire!
Bev had to pull into a gas station to wait for a tow. Amanda from the library was sent to pick me up tout suite. She arrived in her car. We zipped past interesting looking houses on massive plots of land, unthinkable in London, let alone Toronto as we drove to the library. Amanda was friendly and talkative too and it turned out she was as into Dr. Who as I am! Nice to meet another female that is! I amazed her with tales of the widespread popularity of Dr. Who in England. In North America it's still kind of a cult taste.
Then we finally arrived at the library. It turns out the library, in a very intelligent move I think, was attached to a skating rink. There were tons of people milling around with hockey bags so I felt right at home trailing my rolling suitcase which held the Little Jane dolls I'd be using for the presentation. These are dolls of Little Jane, Bonnie Mary and Long John I made by modding Groovy Girls dolls. I gave the Long John doll, that started out as Knight Keenan an amputation and now he has a pegleg made out of a paintbrush handle. Weird crafts I know.
I finally got to meet Jo Scott, the writer of my very first fan mail! She was all dressed up like a pirate, down to fake tattoos on her knuckles reading "Hold Fast/" It was quite the sight!
The kids were sitting around on rugs and on desks. Some of them seemed pretty impatient. They'd been waiting a long time due to the car incident and it was a school night. I read from the First Chapter. Not sure if it was a good choice to start with, might try the prologue next time, but some of the little kids seemed to hang on my every word which was kind of exciting. One of the older kids spun around behind me on a rotating chair which was a little distracting. I sensed the natives getting restless, so I moved on to my slideshow of drawings I did for the story.
The kids really perked up at these, asking me lots of questions about them. As always, some of the kid's questions were pretty funny. At the end after most of the kids left a few boys remained. I gave them a few of the books I had brought along and one for Jo for all her help. I suppose I should have charged but I didn't have the heart to. I just really want people to read and enjoy the book and take it into their heart, that's the most important thing.
Afterwards as Jo drove me home we had an awesome conversation all about punk rock, (yes Jonesy in the book is based on Steve Jones from the Sex Pistols), her children and her moves from Scarborough to Markham to Georgina and how she came to work at the library. She told me about the support work she does for a school in Jamaica and how she's helping send a girl there to school and all about the history of pirates in Port Royal in Jamaica where she visited.
I will definately have to go to Jamaica one day! Jo dropped me off at the bus stop. The whole bus stop and parking lot were deserted it was so late. I ran with all my bags to the bus stop and made it just in time. The bus driver seemed very amused. I talk to the bus driver as I was the only passenger on the bus. He told me about how he went spelunking in caves on Vancouver Island in BC. Further proof that often ordinary looking people have some pretty amazing adventures to talk about if you just ask the right questions! He told me all about the limestone formations in the caves and how there are pools of water there that go up into other caves that few people have ever been to.
As we drove back into the city I watch the structures around us change as we went. I saw Bathurst St. and Yonge Street and Leslie Street all the way up there, miles and miles out from the city. I knew Yonge Street was the longest street in the world but had no idea Bathurst and Leslie went so far up too. The buildings glowed with light in the night and the bus was so high up we seemed to hover over them.
I saw a giant Go parking garage and huge movie theatres out in the middle of nowhere and an old Aurora train station and a pumpkin farm with tall metal things sticking out of it that looked like tilted ship's masts. Eventually the bus came into Union station. I watched the lights of the city come into view below us from the height of the Gardiner Expressway. Everyone in the bus seemed to be sleeping and it was quiet and dark inside. It felt so magical and peaceful.
When I got into the city and off the bus, I looked up at the CN Tower. It was glowing and there was a Journey concert playing at the Air Canada Centre. At least I think there was. I could hear "Don't Stop Believing" all the way out at the station and there were spotlights lighting up the tower. Lights illumined the big white donut shape near the top of the tower and it looked like the bell of a jellyfish softly glowing on and off. It was relaxing in a way, but tired as I was I wasn't home yet. A subway ride, a car trip and a short walk later I was home and then to bed.