I tend to write a lot of blog entries in my mind. Many that don't make it to the page because of the time involved and especially lately I've been concentrating on fiction. Spending quality time with my grant book. It's been wonderful, at times, and challenging, at times. Sometimes it's both of those things at the exact same time! But I hope that when I'm finished the new YA book I'll be able to translate some more of my unwritten blog entries into words.

Before any of that happens, though, I'll be taking a short book break to spend a few days in Montreal. Billy Bragg's currently on a North American tour and since I haven't seen him live since 09 catching only his Toronto gig didn't seem enough. So we're heading out to Montreal to see him play there too: Bragg-o-mania! In anticipation I've been listening to his new album, Tooth & Nail, over and over today.

When I'm sitting at my laptop actively working on a book I need silence but today has been what the Irish call "a doss day." A lovely one at that. The warmest, sunniest day we've had in Southern Ontario in months and months. So what did we do with it? Well, we drove out to the next town over (Billy Bragg accompanying us on the stereo) where we didn't have to pay for parking because a woman leaving the lot generously gave us her unused minutes. Then we munched on melts and pasta salad in a cute little coffee house, strolled on the beach and sat on the warm sand. Drove halfway home (Billy Bragg once again providing the soundtrack) and stopped into a European supermarket, terrific used bookstore that must not have been open long because I've never seen it before, and a wonderful British import shop that I love to death. Bought crisps, British chocolate and an off-shoot show of Spooks that I've never seen: Code 9. If you've read my new adult book Come See About Me this shop will be familiar to you because it's one of a few that I based Leah's workplace on. In my dreams I win the lottery and buy a shop exactly like this!

While at the bookshop I overheard a customer at the register. Upon realizing he was offering too much money for his books (overpaying) he remarked to the clerk, "Oh well, it's only money—I would rather have the books." The remark made me grin to myself in my corner of the bookstore. It was a perfect comment in a perfect day. I hope that before I get back here to blog again you all have some perfect days on the way too! And thanks, always and forever, to Billy Bragg, for the music, the poetry, and for being a voice of compassion and reason.

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