Friday, February 22, 2013

I made history

...and didn't know it until last night. Whenever we go to McNally Robinson we head straight to the Prairie Writers section. Such was the case yesterday. And there The Literary History of Saskatchewan Vol 1 was facing out. I picked it up, turned to David Carpenter's foreword and whoa! My name jumped out at me from the second paragraph. I just about fell over.

I quickly skimmed the first two paragraphs and saw he was discussing how Saskatchewan writers "cobble together a literary network" in this large, sparsely populated province, and I am one example of the distances writers will go to make this happen. Reading this after making the very drive he describes was downright bizarre and incredibly uplifting. "I'm in the foreword! I'm IN the foreword!" I must have sounded like a three-year old kid as I walked around the store.

Of course yesterday was another act of cobbling. H and I drove to Saskatoon so I could read with Saskatchewan's poet laureate Don Kerr (who, needless to say, appears more than once in The Literary History of Saskatchewan Vol 1). I didn't want to miss this opportunity and had agreed to do the Bard-uary Nights poetry reading before I knew how difficult, or at least impractical, it would be to actually get there. I don't make long drives by myself these days, the bus runs every other day, and H wasn't able to get days off to drive me down. It's spring break and only so many people can be off work at once. To make the trip possible H worked extra hours during the week and went in to work very early yesterday morning, then came home, loaded the car and off we went.

It's a long drive, but it was so worth it. We had supper with Paul Wilson, co-publisher at Hagios Press and the editor of Grid. You can learn a great deal while eating a quesadilla. Then I met Don Kerr. He's every bit as amazing as I'd heard. Charming, smart and witty, with a voice both dreamy in quality and range. He gave a terrific reading. Afterward I had the chance to meet for the first time another writer whose work I know. I chatted with other writers. Family. It was quick, but wonderful. It took forever to settle to sleep after all that.

Today H drove us back. I took this pic when we were well past Little Bear Lake, a couple hours left to go.

When we got home, H unloaded the car, fed the cat and went to work.


pam said...

Ahhh this made me smile big big. What a lovely wonderful fella Harvey is. Wish I could have been at the reading to hear you and Don.
Sounds like a fabulous evening.

go easy ~p

ps and congrats on being historic!

Brenda Schmidt said...

Thanks! :)

Brenda Schmidt said...

Oops. It's not "spring break" - just people off on holidays.

Audrey Hulmes said...

Congratulations on making history Brenda.
Loved reading your blog!

Brenda Schmidt said...

Thanks, Audrey! I look forward to sitting down with the book and learning more about my literary roots.

Leona said...

And I've heard Carp mention your name at least twice, in presentations to do with the book. Pretty cool.

Brenda Schmidt said...

Nice. Thanks, Leona! Sure puts a little jump in my step. I've now read the intro, and ran into you of course. And I spent time going through the index, a moving encounter that kind of choked me up. A lot has happened in Saskatchewan.

Leona said...

I'm in the intro?!

Brenda Schmidt said...

Yep! You're also on page 246.

Pearl said...

now you can say you are comfortable with being foreword.

neat times.

Brenda Schmidt said...

Ha! I guess I can!

Neat is right. :)