I’m currently on the TD Canadian Children’s Book Week tour in Toronto (and nearby areas) and I’ve committed to journaling (blogging) each day about my experiences.

TD Canadian Children’s Book Week is the single most important national event celebrating Canadian children’s books and the importance of reading. Hundreds of schools, public libraries, bookstores and community centres host events as part of this major literary festival.

One of the great things about this tour is it takes Canadian chidlren’s writers, illustrators, and storytellers and sends them out of their “home” territory. I chose to visit Toronto, because well, I like the big city and it also gave me an opportunity to tack on a day to visit my god daughter.

Before that? Well, I’m going to babble myself to death talking about my new book, The Secret of Zoone.

Secret of Zoone - fancy door background.jpg

Today was “Day 0” of the tour. How can a tour have a “Day 0”? That’s easy! It’s called a travel day.

I had chosen an 8:00 am flight, which meant getting up bright and early to get to the airport. I had packed the day before, including carefully arranging my Wizard’s suitcase and setting it right by the front door for a quick departure:

wizard_suitcase_readytogo.jpg

I had also prepared my “travel survival kit”, which includes:

  • Coffee
  • Throat tea
  • Emergency snacks
  • Hand sanitizer

. . . and bookmarks—I thought these would be particularly helpful if I had to explain to airport security why I was carrying such a unique suitcase.

tour_survival_kit.jpg

Well, I got up bright and early at 5:20. I had checked my flight the night before, but forgot to recheck it at such an early hour. I simply jumped in a cab and off I went. On the way, my driver told me that they were busily closing down many of the major routes in Vancouver for the annual marathon.

“In another hour or two, you’re not getting to the airport quickly,” he told me.

Whew! I congratulated myself on choosing such an early flight—but all the relief evaporated the moment I arrived at the airport. Turned out my flight was cancelled.

Not delayed.

Cancelled!

I quickly hopped into the ticketing line and got rebooked on the 10:00 am flight.

Which was immediately delayed by two hours.

yvr_delayedflight_screen

So much for my plan to get into Toronto early to give myself prep and relax time before hitting my first visit Monday morning.

First things first, was getting through security. I had already been worried what they would think of my suitcase and I watched in amusement as I saw it appear on the X-ray monitor, with all the metal bits (the keys!) jumping out on the image.

Sure enough, the case got pulled over. The attendant took one look at it, with the gear and the locks, and told me to open it.

So what caused it to get an extra inspection? It wasn’t the dragon eggs, the potion bottle with glowing stones, the bestiary, or even the secret key to Zoone. It was those pesky bookmarks! I guess they couldn’t tell what they were!

suitcase02

Well, I eventually boarded my flight and from there it was pretty smooth sailing, with us landing at Toronto Pearson airport without further delay. I snatched up my check bag, picked up my rental car, and off I went.

But not without circling the airport car rental lot first. That’s because I missed the turnoff to the highway, and it reminded me of the LAST time I did the TD Book Week tour. On that occasion, I was travelling with fellow author Tanya Lloyd Kyi and we must have circled that airport lot three times. So, I guess my work has improved—this time, just one circle and I was off and running.

Now, I’m finally ensconced in my hotel room, ready for my first suite of visits tomorrow. On the sched? A public school, a Catholic school, and one children’s book bank!

 

 

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