More Information on Books and School Visits

Friday, 11 November 2011

You Can Find us Somewhere Between Sexuality and Psychology

Did that get your attention?

My writers group, The Anitas, meets every second Thursday at McNally’s. The bookstore graciously allows us into their store so we can talk children’s writing, surrounded by shelves of writing success stories – a.k.a. published books. It’s our own Nirvana. Jocks have their stadiums, music lovers have their concert halls, and writers have their bookstores.

Our favourite location is the Atrium, where we gather, nestled under the ceiling-high tree, at a safe distance from the curious attention of customers. Its wide branches cocoon us in a safe space as we share our latest work.

If the Atrium is being used for book launches, we slide over to the Travel Section, which is still cozy, tucked into a far corner of the store. But, here there are more interruptions into our “safe space” by book lovers searching the shelves to discover their next dream vacation destination.

Now, if the travel section is full we’re bumped and relocated to our most entertaining location, wedged between Sexuality and Psychology. Not so much two hours of safe sharing, but more a night of living on the wild side.

At our first meeting in S&P, we thought it somewhat appropriate for a gaggle of young-adult writers. Teens’ hormones are surging, their brain development is struggling to keep pace with their body development, and the adults in their lives are desperate to better understand the young adult their child is quickly becoming.

Ooh, that does sound like a match made in writing heaven, doesn’t it?

Perhaps. But more often we find ourselves transformed into a circle of giggling adolescents, as the “sexually adventurous” scour the shelves behind us.  

We’ve had couples snuggling far, far too closely, leafing through the pages of Karma Sutra for Dummies, hipster men on quick reconnaissance, no browsing; just in and out with how-to-book in hand, and finally our least favourite; the greasy trench-coat wearing geezers. They slowly lurk behind us while we sit wide eyed, staring at each other, willing ourselves to remain mature and not break into fits of laughter.

But last night we had a new shopper. Last night we had a lovely looking girl next door twenty-something, scanning the titles for help with, ahem, the big “O”. She arrived while I was reading a particularly steamy first kiss scene from my latest WIP.

Think back to when you were 15 or 16. Do you remember sitting in the bleachers, watching a high school basketball game and your knee bumped against the cute boy sitting next to you? And he didn’t move away when it did? What about the first time a girl held your hand? Who can forget their first kiss?

The girl, on her quest for o capitalization, could hear every word as I read this section:

His lips glide towards mine and…he’s kissing me. Fireworks explode in my brain and shoot down to my belly, blasting through my legs and arms. A kaleidoscope of emotion bursts out of me. Sheer joy mixed with something so…intoxicating, and raunchy. That’s it. Total, raunchy lust. It’s the ‘I’d like to rip his clothes off’ lust you read about in Cosmo and I gotta say, I like it!

At which point, we were interrupted by her giggles. She turned around “O” book in hand and asked, “Maybe I should be asking you guys, which book to buy. Is this one any good?”

After we calmed down, we were able to explain that we were not “those” kinds of writers. 

So, we survived our first interaction with the sexually adventurous. Hmm, another first. This encounter went smoothly, but not something I’d like to repeat, because the odds are against us. Pretty sure this would be a far different posting if an old greasy dude had invaded our circle of sharing. Shudder. Gag. Blanch.

If you see us in the S&P section next time you’re at McNally’s, don’t stop for a chat. It’s awkward. Just sayin’.


  1. Still makes me laugh! Very well said. You make my life sound exciting. I love the line about jocks have their stadiums, music lovers their concert halls, etc. I might quote you on that.

    That girl's reaction was wonderful, though. A story to share when the book's published!

  2. I was just so floored that she spoke to us, with such confidence and humour. I want to be as brave as her when I finally grow up.


  3. Ditto, Jodi. And totally awesome piece!