Just a thought… Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations. [Author Unknown]
It’s here. I’m here. Back in the 416. We’re about to begin a brand new adventure, you and I, and we can hardly believe it. (And yes, things went way more smoothly between Victoria and Toronto than they did from Palm Springs!)
As the pre-interviews and tapings begin today, it’ll be a blur of lashes and concealer, time cues and questions. I don’t think I’ll cry during any of these interviews; I’ve managed to package my pain in a very special box that I rarely open (at least intentionally).
When The Marilyn Denis Show revealed her son Adam and daughter-in-law’s baby’s gender on Monday, I cried with joy watching her. Next week I’ll have a chance to hug my radio friend and congratulate her in person: a granddaughter on the way, a new husband and life full of happiness. Who could hope for more? It turns out the interview will air April 26th, but Marilyn has graciously adjusted her vacation schedule to tape with me on Monday.
Today, I’m paying sweet Tracy Moore a visit as we shoot a Cityline episode to air on March 13th (again, she’s adjusted her schedule to accommodate me). It was on Tracy’s show that this part of our story began: as I’ve told you here, it was on my final radio show day in Dec. 2016 that I was a guest of Tracy on her show (which we’ve seen in the US, too, by the way). Iris Tupholme, SVP of Publishing for HarperCollins Canada, happened to be on a “girls’ day” with her sisters in the audience. It was Iris who reached out and said, “I think you’ve got a book in you.”
There is NO way I would have written this book – never mind trying to shop it to publishers and risk repeated rejection – without Iris’ encouragement and gentle, firm guidance. It’s been a true HC/Real Family team effort and Rob and I will always, always be grateful.
Yesterday we had a wonderfully warm afternoon reuniting with our friend dear Helen (who turned 89 last December) and last evening with my beloved Mike Cooper. Once again, it was a blurry blend of tears and laughter and, of course, the amazing Sam, who is such a friend to Debbie and Mike that he came to her memorial.
Today we’re getting our body clocks turned around and gearing up for a big, big weekend. We’ve been told that my interview with Paul Hunter of the Toronto Star will go live on thestar.com as of 5 am, and is also scheduled to be in the Saturday paper. Tomorrow, my first official event happens, as Blue Heron Books hosts a weekend of events at Wooden Sticks Golf Club. I can’t wait to talk, to sign and to hug. I’m going to try my best to be present.
I shall not walk this way again and this is a moment that some people live their lives dreaming of: a book launch. I never had the audacity of hope in that regard (I always had lofty broadcasting dreams, though) and this is something that I do not take for granted. It’s just…taking it in. I have to do that. Breathe. Sleep. Repeat.
And I need to ask you this favour: because so many people have reached out and made a connection with me in the last 16 years of writing this journal, the 30 years in radio and the past two years of renewed and even new contact, I will not remember every story. When we meet, please say, “I’m Janice – I lost my dad last year and we wrote back and forth…” or “I’m Sharon. I put the brick in Lauren’s name in Orillia.” If you say, “Remember me?” I’ll just ask you to help me. So I’m asking now.
I wish I’d made lists and kept details straight, but I don’t think I believed we’d ever really get a chance to meet. Please help me with your name and how we know each other and we’ll go from there. Thank you for understanding. The signings are going to be a blur. I’m going to want to spend as much time with everyone as I can, while also worrying about those people waiting patiently in line. I’m new at this and we’ll all figure it out together, okay? Thank you again!
After a second event in Uxbridge Sunday for Blue Heron, onward we go to Oakville Sunday night and, oh, yes, the PVR is set for the Oscars this Sunday. Please don’t tell me who wins ’til I get home March 4th. LOLOLOL. Like I could miss it!
A couple of notes: I’ll be on Citytv’s Breakfast Television on Monday in the 7 am hour (probably around 7:20) and then I go on to tape Marilyn. Tuesday is jam-packed with live appearances on TV and at Rogers, so I’ll be sure to fill you in on Monday.
If you’re coming to the CHFI event on Tuesday and plan to buy a book, I’m told they take major credit and debit cards, tap and cash. (A winner asked, so there you go!)
If it sounds like a whirlwind, it is. In between the things I’ve told you about are pre-tapes, a meeting and taping with a charity that helps bereaved children, podcast interviews and, next week, a series of CBC radio interviews to air across the country next weekend.
Forgive me if this is all too much – I understand if it is and will ask you to bear with me, as this won’t last more than two weeks, I promise. But this is a week I’ve been preparing for, seemingly, forever. To every palm reader, psychic, listener or friend who said, “You’ve got a book in you,” I say, thank you. To Rob who asked, “Are you really sure you want to do this?” I say thank you for putting aside your worries about me and your own pain, and diving in with me as we rode out these waves of grief and remembrance together.
Hopefully this book will bring people like us – anyone looking for light – to a shore where they can look back in love and gratitude and look forward to a life where, yes, the sun shines again, laughter fills the air and the vision of the future continues to widen and brighten in ways we didn’t think would be possible ever again.
Here we go, my friend. Here we go.