Feb 18 2012

You can tell a lot about a woman by her hands…

My friend Melanie, who has the gift of making me (and most everyone else lucky enough to know her) laugh almost every time she opens her mouth, came across the following image recently and sent it along for my — and now hopefully your — entertainment.

(Just to be clear, I am in no way advocating this particular use of hands, but in addition to being amused by the unexpected punch line, I loved the disconnect between the medium and the message.)

May 13 2011

Naming rights and the virtue of wiliness

Naming books is the publisher’s prerogative, and when I first pitched Scott McIntyre the idea for I Feel Great About My Hands two years ago, he reminded me of this.

“Don’t get too attached to your working title,” he cautioned.

But it was too late – I was already attached!

So I paid a visit to the Wakefield studio of photographer Helene Anne Fortin, who captured dozens of beautiful
 images of my hands (see one of my favourites here). We sent half a dozen of the best ones to Douglas & McIntyre and D&M’s senior designer Jessica Sullivan ended up selecting the cover image from among these. She also 
provided a beautiful package for the essays,
poems, drawings and one-woman play the book contains.

As a further bonus, Helene Anne herself contributed both a short essay — “Beauty Redefined” — and a photograph of one
 of her clients to the book.




May 3 2011

Unexpected encounter of the joyous kind

So, I’m on a plane bound for a literacy festival in Saskatoon where I’m delivering eight (what was I thinking – eight!) high school presentations in two days. I’ve spent the entire flight doing something I love: selecting tantalizing excerpts from seven of the essays in I Feel Great About My Hands and stringing them together with transitions and introductions of their fearless authors.

When the plane lands, I stand up to put on my coat and a woman seated in the row immediately behind says to me, “Has anyone ever told you, you have great hands?”

I look at her stunned and manage to blurt out ungraciously, “Are you kidding me?” Because I’m thinking, OK, I must know this woman… or she must know about the book. But how could she, it’s only just out and none of the national papers have reviewed it and we’re in Saskatoon, for Pete’s sake….

And then with a flash of recognition I realize I must be speaking to the brilliant and beautiful Sheree Fitch, the inspirational master of words who penned “At This Stage” — the one woman play that appears in the book, and that I can’t wait to see her perform, hopefully one day soon!