November 24, 2010

National Book Tour Recap: Regina Rocks

Regina book launch at the Fainting Goat

It was a long haul through five provinces, and now the first leg of the Adventures in Solitude National Book Tour is complete. Sandwiched between book events in Toronto, Ottawa, Halifax, Montreal, and Regina were music industry conferences, galas, and seminars, a non-stop daily schedule that kept me on my toes, kept a beer bottle near my mouth, a boarding pass in my hand, and sleep to a minimum.

I had a fantastic time in Regina on the weekend. Everyone told me it would be so, SO cold, so I was kinda freaked out about it, but what they didn’t tell me was how beautiful it would be. There’s truly something to be said for a majestic late fall day on the Canadian prairie, everything covered in a few centimeters of snow, a brilliant blue sky overhead that stretches from horizon to horizon. It certainly didn’t FEEL like -23 in that type of stunning sunshine and sky, the scope of which we just don’t get on the west coast with our towering mountains that love to keep the clouds close. I found the prairie weather invigorating. And no, it wasn’t windy. Apparently that makes all the difference?

Many thanks to Judd and the Fainting Goat for hosting the book launch. The Fainting Goat is a fantastic little restaurant in Regina, easily my favourite eatery in the Queen City, with their 100 km menu of excellent local foods, beer, and wine. Also thanks to the sultry Belle Plaine for performing a couple of songs that perfectly fit the mood of the book and the afternoon, and to the many fans-who-have-become-friends that were in attendance, some having braved the snowy roads from places like Moose Jaw and Swift Current.

Matt Lawson truly went out of his way, not only decking me out in the finest Roughriders apparel but also supplying fresh banana bread (courtesy of his Mom) to go along with my reading of the “Nude Potluck” story. Judd served up warm slices to all the patrons. It was perfect; both the moment and the banana bread! Thanks to Jenelle for selling every single book I brought.

There was concern that the book launch would clash with the Roughriders football game, but not only were we able to wrap up the event before kickoff, I was also able to join a group of friends at O’Hanlon’s Pub to watch the team win the semi-final and march to Edmonton this Sunday for the Grey Cup. I’ve seen a lot of sporting events in a lot of places but I have rarely seen the type of pure passion I saw in Saskatchewan this weekend. Thanks to Jason for the slip-slidey ride back out to the airport.

The next book event is this happening this Sunday in Winnipeg at McNally Robinson Books, 2pm, with music from Del Barber. Yes, that threatens to compete with the Grey Cup too, but I guarantee we’ll be done before the game starts!

Oh yeah… here’s my favourite quote overheard in Regina: “I’d love to go curling tonight, but my jeans are just too tight!” Love it.

(1) Comment

  1. pat mcphillips says:

    Thank you for articulating what it is that we prairie folk love about our winters. It is often hard for others to understand how we can love that cold, still air, but the bright sun shining off new snow with shocking blue skies is a beauty that needs to be experienced.

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