The trip over to Vancouver Island was uneventful. Not only did I have enough gas, I also had a reservation (this was an authentic reservation, unlike Shetland where we pretended to have one), so I wasn't worried about getting a spot on the busy Friday sailing.
While I was waiting in the line-up to board I noticed the lady in the car next to me was knitting. Being a double introvert, I'm not the kind of person who usually strikes up a conversation with a perfect stranger. I do, however, make exceptions for fellow knitters. We had a quick conversation about the fingerless mittens she was making for her granddaughter and I assumed that was the end of that chance encounter.
Shortly after that it was time to drive on the ferry. That turned out to be quite the experience since I was first in line, which meant I was the first to board. This also meant I got one of the coveted spots at the very front of the ferry. The view was gorgeous, and I didn't leave my vehicle the whole time except to pop out and take a couple of pictures (the ride is an hour and a half long). In case you are wondering how many cars I was competing with for one of those front three positions, this ferry holds over 400 vehicles.
|A sample of the view I had from my vehicle!|
Just as we were pulling into the terminal on the Victoria side someone knocked on my window. It was the knitting lady. It turns out their car was the one next to mine. She wanted to know if I was from Vancouver Island, and when I told her no she filled me in on where all the good knitting shops in Victoria are. I thanked her and rolled up my window.
Then I remembered that I had some Ting Ting bookmarks and her granddaughter was eight years old, so, gathering up my courage, I went over to her vehicle and knocked on her window. I told her I was going to Victoria for a book launch, and thought she might enjoy the bookmark. She thanked me and rolled up her window.
A few minutes later there was a knock on my window. It was knitting lady, and she was quite excited. It turns out the mother of the granddaughter she was knitting the fingerless mitts for is Chinese, which means her granddaughter is half-Chinese. She told me she would definitely be buying the book for her. As I rolled up my window I was really pleased about the whole thing, not so much because she was going to buy the book, but more because the book was going to find its way to someone who seemed to be the perfect recipient.
Friday afternoon Jenny Watson, one of the other authors involved in the book launch, came over to Karsten and Diana's for tea. I was a bit nervous about meeting her, but it ended up being a lot of fun. We compared notes about our journeys on the road to getting published. She couldn't believe I had had the nerve to phone the publisher, and I couldn't believe she had ignored the publisher's calls for a week thinking they were from a telemarketer.
Friday evening Diane Morriss, the owner of Sono Nis Publishing, hosted a dinner at a great little restaurant in downtown Victoria. More courage was needed on my part since social functions involving people I don't know is not one of my strengths. As usual, I worried about nothing. It was a lot of fun, and I especially enjoyed finally getting to meet Diane in person.
The next day was the book launch, an event I had been both dreading and looking forward to. The problem is this. I have a horrific fear of speaking in public. I'm living, breathing proof that there really are people who would rather attend their own funeral than get up and talk in front of a crowd (crowd being loosely defined as a gathering of more than three people). Writing and public speaking are two completely different skill sets, sort of like knitting and crochet. I can make a complicated cable sweater, but couldn't produce a granny square if my life depended on it.
In the end there was a compromise. It was agreed that I wouldn't do a reading. I would just get up and say a few words. Even this seemed like more than I might be able to handle, so I decided I needed some help. Yes, I shamelessly, or perhaps I should say shamefully, took Lucy up with me. I figured she would steal the show, and even if I was a blethering idiot she would more than make up for her ridiculous grandma. It turned out to be a brilliant plan.
The event was an enjoyable experience once I got rid of that microphone. There were plates of goodies, which in my nervous state I forgot to take a picture of. People bought books, and I even signed a few copies.
Here's the really neat part. Just as things were winding down I was approached by a lady holding out the copy of Ting Ting she had just bought. It was the lady from the ferry!
I'll tell you about the rest of the trip in my next post, including an update on this little munchkin.