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Pickle Me This

December 7, 2011

On being in a book (!)

In 2007, my friend Rebecca Rosenblum had her story “Chilly Girl” published in the Journey Prize Stories 19. And I will never forget how exciting it was to go into the Book City at Yonge and Charles (which is, like many other bookstores, no longer with us) and her buy her book off the shelf. Rebecca’s first story collection came out the following year, and the whole thing was so exciting, but to me, nothing ever topped the excitement of that first actual book with Rebecca’s story in it.

I also remember that a bird shat on my hand as I was walking down Charles Street toward the bookstore, and the good luck that I was wearing a mitten at the time, and I remember thinking as I contemplated good luck, “One day, I want to be in a book like that one, with binding, and editors, and everything.”

Last night, a crowd of some of the very best people I know came out to the launch of Best Canadian Essays 2011, and I proceeded to have 2 pints of beer and fall even more in love with everyone. (I had to stop at 2. At 3 pints, I get feisty and start offending people even more than usual.) It was really, truly a spectacular night, and I felt honoured that my essay was chosen, that it was published along with so many other wonderful pieces, and that so many faces in the crowd belonged to people I love as I read from “Love is a Let-Down.”

I’ve got a sense of proportion about these things. I know the pond is big and I am small, but I’m still in awe of the fact that I get to swim in it. And I really would like to publish a book of my own one day, but who among us doesn’t have a dream like that? In the meantime though, I’m feeling a tremendous amount of satisfaction about an accomplishment that bird-shit on my mitten may have portended years ago: I am in a book. And more over, it’s a pretty great book.

I’ve been revelling in every bit of all this, and it feels as wonderful as I imagined it would be.

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