Well, Word on the Street in Halifax was a blast. The first night we got there, there was a VIP reception for those participating in the literary festival. It was at Brussels Restaurant and Brasserie. What, you may ask, is a brasserie? Well, it’s a French word and means a place that serves beer and food. And boy, do they serve beer. At the brasserie, there were 17 different draft beers and over 130 imported and Belgian beers by the bottle. No, we didn’t try them all but we did quite a lot of sampling, we’ll say and were among the last to leave the reception (actually long after the official reception was over). I had a great time chatting and laughing about all things literary and non-literary with fellow panelists the next day on the main stage, Russell Wangersky and Darren Hynes. As well, got to meet and have a few laughs with a local publishing force and her niece, along with some members of the Word on the Street organizing committee, who were all warm and welcoming, and, of course, my husband who came up to Halifax with me. We all walked back to the hotel the Word on the Street people had put us up in, in gorgeous suites, and stood around outside chatting some more on what was a beautiful and warm September night. Next thing I heard someone say, “Tina Chaulk” and turned around to see a friend from Aspen Cove I haven’t seen in many years. She just happened to be in Halifax for the night and happened to be walking by that hotel at that time. There were screams and hugs and I guess I should apologize to the guests at the Radisson for all the noise.
The next day was a bit cooler but still fairly nice for the actual festival which took place in beautiful Victoria Park. Having it there, in tents for various venues, meant lots of foot traffic and curious people. I did a book signing and a reading with the panel on the main stage and then another signing. I’m happy to say that my fabulous publisher, Breakwater Books, had sold out of my first novel, this much is true, and only had a couple of copies left of A Few Kinds of Wrong when I left the festival around 2:30. I enjoyed signing all the books and meeting the great people there who obviously love books and reading. All in all, it was a great festival.
Vince and I stayed in the Radisson another night and then went off to another hotel we had booked that was much farther away from downtown (we would have stayed on at the Radisson but they were booked up–we’ll know better next time). At this time, the cold I had been battling for more than a week, set in. My body held out until my duties were done and then hit me with a cold, two ear infections, and a sinus infection. As I sit here, I am on the second round of antibiotics trying to get rid of the ear infections which were well rooted by the time I got back home and got a doctor’s appointment. It’s hard to hear and even harder to know how loud I am talking all the time so be glad you just have to read this post and not listen to it or else you’d probably hear shouting or mumbling too low. Anyway, the rest of the trip to Halifax was mostly just relaxing, a bit of sightseeing and walking around, and some shopping. It was nice to have time to ourselves without the kids but we missed them a lot and were eager to get back home. Halifax is a great place with a waterfront that St. John’s could take some cues from. It was a fun and productive trip and I’d do Word on the Street again in a heartbeat. Thanks to the organizing committee for all their hard work.