Tuesday, September 27, 2016

I know this is late…

by Rick Blechta

I’m well behind my time once again this week, but it has been an extraordinary day in a number of most excellent ways.

I go to Toronto’s world famous St. Lawrence Market every Saturday, usually in the company of one of my adult sons. We’ve done it for many years like clockwork and it’s a very important and enjoyable part of our week. So enjoyable, in fact, that I’ve used the market in several scenes in my most recent full-length novels.

However, this past Saturday, I was playing the music teacher role once again in helping a friend and former student get a French horn class started down the road to their music careers, and so I didn’t get to the market.

My son had the day off today so we went down this morning. It’s a completely different experience going there on a weekday. The stalls are less full of wares and the place has maybe 10% the business as a Saturday. We got a chance to chat with many of our shopkeeper friends.

We came home, dropped off our goodies and then I headed back downtown to stand in line for tickets to an open rehearsal of Norma by the Canadian Opera Company this evening.

While waiting (I scored a bench seat because I was there early!), as is my want, I was scribbling notes and writing a bit of dialogue for a scene I’m working on in my current novel-on-the-go, and as usual, I was writing with my favourite fountain pen. A woman of a certain age sat down next to me and noticed my pen.

“I noticed your beautiful pen. Are you a fountain pen lover, too?”

I didn’t get much more work in as we compared our pens (she had a lovely vintage Waterman; mine is a special edition Pelikan my darling wife gave me a number of years ago) and discussed different brands of ink. Someone else in line overheard us and said he, too, loves fountain pens.

Now, I love discussing fountain pens with anyone – but the day was about to get even better.

The question of my journal soon came up. I told them I was working on a novel.

“Oh, it’s nice you’re writing a novel. I’ve always thought I’d like to try. Are you hoping to get it published one day?”

I explained that I’ve already published ten and an eleventh is on the way in less than a month.

That sort of set the two people back on their heels. They asked my name.

“How come I’ve never heard of you?”

Good question and one I’ve answered many times — as have most authors I know.

The end result was — after I revealed that my two most recent novels have an opera singer as the main character — these two new “friends” were going to head over to the nearby Eaton Centre to look for the two novels in question (The Fallen One and Roses for a Diva).

Another person in line: “Excuse me for eavesdropping, but did I hear correctly? You wrote The Fallen One?”


She said loudly, “I really enjoyed that book! And there’s another one out with Marta in it? I’ve got to get it.”

I’m sitting here writing this post — far different from the topic I had originally planned for today — and I’m still on cloud nine.

This has turned out to be the best day ever!*

*Well, as far as my writing career goes…


Sybil Johnson said...

So very, very cool.

Vicki Delany said...


Donis Casey said...

Fantastic! Just what we all live for.

Charlotte Hinger said...

Love it. Good things DO happen

Rick Blechta said...

It's only taken 20-something years for it to happen, but man, was I over the moon -- and surprisingly, a bit embarrassed.

Mary Jane Hopper said...

That's great! I love to read that kind of news.

Rick Blechta said...

Thanks, everyone!

Eileen Goudge said...

You just described the dream encounter of every author. How wonderful!!