Sunday, September 27, 2020

Musing in the heat

A sublime day - 26 degrees feeling like 31. So much more appreciated than summer sun because - we know why.

A perfect day, though I am sad. Went for a bike ride - Safe Streets Toronto closed Yonge Street down to the lake, so I rode down and then along the lake in the sun and wind. 

Yonge Street as it should look
Sugar Beach with a sugar tanker 
Soon all will be aflame

Home to do Jane Ellison's class on Zoom, only she froze after 20 minutes and couldn't get back. Which was a relief, actually, because after yesterday - riding to the market and then line-dancing with Gina in the Sprucecourt playground as we did in April, a great deal of fun - and then the ride today in a stiff wind, my legs are tired. 

This afternoon, listened to Eleanor interview filmmaker Mira Nair while making ratatouille and braised broccoli and leeks to go with marinated market pork chops tonight. And soon, rosé on the deck. Perfect.

But also, even in the hot sun, I'm a bit melancholy. I'm at a crossroads: my book needs me to spend tons of time learning to navigate social media, posting about myself and the book on FB, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn. I gather that's the only chance it has to find an audience. So, spent hours figuring out LinkedIn yesterday. My practical friend Ellen is urging me to do this, make myself a marketing maven; I just need to Like a lot more people, to Follow all the people the people I'm Following Follow - and then engage with them about my book. For someone like me, almost completely unknown in CanLit with no name to speak of, no writing prizes (except for winning the Canadian Jewish Playwriting competition in about 1998 - not a crowded field), no recent essays in magazines (except a short piece about memoir writing last year in Zoomer) which all equals NO PLATFORM - the only chance for my book to thrive is for me to jump through those hoops. 

Is it laziness to resist, to say, it's not me, I just can't do it? Complete lack of discipline? For that matter, I'd rather write here, in this blog, than start my next project. I'm acknowledging my deficits as a writer, coming to terms with the fact that my books may always languish in obscurity. 

C'est la vie. I would not trade ma vie for another. Many things through the years have taken priority over writing. C'est la vie. 

Speaking of la vie - I did do a CBC radio interview about the book the other day. It was Radio Canada, French CBC, an interview in French with my friend Sylvie-Anne Jeanson that will air next Wednesday, she says. Unfortunately, my book is in English, so this will not help sell it. But still, I wrote to Sylvie-Anne and did an interview. That I can do. 

Yesterday was Celebrate Daughters Day. As the mother of a daughter and the daughter of a mother, I posted this, from 2010, on Instagram. That I can also, with great pleasure and another kind of sadness, do.


  1. "Is it laziness to resist, to say, it's not me, I just can't do it?" Not laziness at all. I think there are those of us who think of the self-marketing as not just out of our comfort level but, well, maybe impossible. I think the supreme self-confidence required to create a big social media presence isn't gifted to everyone. (And to be honest? It's not always that effective anyway. There are books I avoid because their authors are so loud and in-your-face.) Be gentle with yourself.

    1. I hear you, dear friend over the mountains, with bears in your backyard. I'm not sure it's supreme self-confidence as much as habituation - being used to photographing oneself in every situation and posting for public consumption - yes, impossible for those of us not habituated. I seem to recall you too had a moment of sadness like this about the fate of your books. I was trying to imagine Virginia Woolf's Twitter account. But then, Virginia Woolf wouldn't need a Twitter account. Well, it's a strange new world, and all we can do is all we can do. But happily, I just got an idea for an essay, or the next book, or something. So - onward. Stay tuned.