So you can head on over to Coffey. Tea. And Literary. if you want to hear my excuses for being MIA lately. Suzie and Meredith were nice enough to pick up the slack! But no more. This agent is back and ready to blog.
And the first thing I want to tell you guys about is a book store chain I recently discovered in British Columbia while attending Surrey International Writer's Conference (SIWC). It was quite a journey....
I arrived in Vancouver in the middle of the night (Cathay Pacific--best airline ever!) and was ushered straight to my hotel. Because it was so late and I had worked earlier that day, I was more than a little bleary-eyed. Basically, I didn't pay attention to my surroundings. As soon as I got to my room, I crashed.
The next morning, I woke up with a rumbly in my tumbly. So I pulled back my curtains (I was on the 12th floor) to see if food was near by. This is what I saw:
I spy something edible....
I threw on a sweatshirt and headed over. Only to discover that EVERYTHING in the store was in another language that I couldn't read. So I picked the first thing that looked recognizable and brought it to the register. Where the cashier somehow swindled me into buying TWO boxes (she'd be some terrifying competition if she were a literary agent...).
Each box had 18 Choco Pies. Dude.
But the conference didn't really start up that day for me (I arrived a day early because of the red eye flight I took) and I wasn't sure if food was available, and I looked both ways outsides of my hotel and nothing. See:
To the left.
To the right-->
The Choco Pies held me over until the afternoon (although, after 3 I thought I might puke), but by that time I decided, if I didn't eat real food soon, I would wither away into my bed sheets, unable to take a single pitch or teach a single workshop. Now, any who knows me, knows I'm not one to shirk on my duties. So I threw my sweatshirt back on and took the stairs down 12 flights (I was trying to pump myself up for a long journey), and walked outside. And this time, I took a right and kept walking.
Well, I didn't need to go far before I ran into a HUGE shopping mall (that wasn't there before, was it?).
This shopping mall had a food market in it (something I now adore Canada for).
And you didn't have to lift a leg on the escalator (seriously...freaked me out at first, but then I used it 6 or 7 times for fun).
AND...look what I found right across from the book store (this is clear proof that the Literary Gods had a hand in designing this mall):
I grabbed the coffee first. Then I went shopping at Black Bond Books.
Yay! Canada loves THE DUFF! Look at it snuggled right between The Hunger Games and Thirteen Reasons Why...brought a tear to my eye. (This selection was made by Christina, a Black Bond employee--thanks, Christina!!)
Of course I had to buy a book (I don't think I've ever walked out of a bookstore without buying something). This time it was Stephen Hunt's THE KINGDOM BEYOND THE WAVES.
And I met the manager, Trish Petrie, who put up with my yakking all afternoon (I can't hold back when it comes to talking books!).
I also discovered some hidden talent in the book store. Check out these pictures done by Black Bond bookseller April Pierce:
When I left, new book in hand, I thought "It can't possibly get better than this."
Well...I was wrong. Because I turned the corner and lo and behold, one of my FAVORITE treats of ALL. TIME.
I had three that weekend (hey, I needed to stock up--they're not in NY anymore!).
**In case anyone is wondering, yes, the hotel had a restaurant and room service. I finally came to my senses and ordered a grilled chicken sandwich that night. :-\**