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Just one more surreal TBLP moment…

A few weeks ago at the Writers’ Trust Gala, I chatted for a few minutes with Margaret Atwood. Yes, Margaret Atwood. If you’d told me three years ago that in November of 2011 I’d actually be speaking with Margaret Atwood, I’d have scoffed until I had no scoffs left to offer. I’m still amazed that I managed to construct complete sentences and not fall down throughout the brief but memorable (for me) conversation. Margaret (I dared not use “Peggy,” which I assume is reserved for closer acquaintances) left me flabbergasted when she said that several audience members at a reading she’d given recently in Picton, Ontario had suggested strongly to her that she read both of my novels. She went on to note that they were so eager to ensure her compliance that the titles of my first two novels were dutifully written down on a piece of paper and given to her lest she forget them. As she conveyed this miraculous story, I did my best to plaster a modest smile on my face even as what felt like a hockey game broke out in my stomach and my heart rate soared into the red zone. I thanked her and let her move on to the throng of fans gathering on the periphery of our conversation. I then sat down for a moment to… well, to recover. Eventually I collected my wits that were strewn about me on the floor, stood up, and ventured into the reception. It was a lovely night, but my brief exchange with Margaret Atwood was certainly a highlight.

Our encounter came back to me this morning when I opened Twitter on my iPad to get caught up on all the news. Of course I’m one of Margaret Atwood’s nearly 289,000 followers. I had to sit back down again when this Tweet passed through in my Twitter stream:

I guess she kept that piece of paper from Picton. What a thrilling way to close out a wonderful year in my still fledgling life as a writer. Well, twelve hours later, I’m still sitting down. Tomorrow I may try to stand up, but I don’t want to rush it…

9 responses to “Just one more surreal TBLP moment…”

  1. Yep… that’s a “wow”… Terry, I hope you favorited that tweet 🙂 That’s the one you show the kids/grandkids… Big hugs and Happy Holidays!

    Phase 2: ask kindly that she write the foreword or a blurb for the next one 🙂

    Maybe you can get that tweet stitched into a pillow for the living room?

  2. What an amazing moment and honour, Terry. Congrats! I passed her on the street in Toronto about a month ago. That was my closest encounter with her. I know that I would have been the bumbling fool had we the chance to talk.

  3. Dan York says:

    Wow, Terry, that is indeed quite the surreal moment! Congrats for the (well-deserved!) recognition!

  4. Sue Reynolds says:

    And you’re surprised?! The books are a delight – I’ve been prescribing them to people for two years. 🙂 I’m often the one writing the names on the piece of paper and pushing it on people. Seriously, Terry–Congrats! Your way of writing about the encounter is as delightful as the books.

  5. Julien says:

    Must be an amazing feeling.

  6. Shel Holtz says:

    That’s mind-blowing, Terry, but nothing less than you deserve. I’m already looking forward to owning the Blu-Ray of the mini-series.

  7. Doris says:

    The Best Laid Plans was recommended to a friend of mine. However, the lady that recommended it, would not lend him the book. She said it was so good he must buy it.
    Your books give so much pleasure to so many people and now we can all count ourselves as having Margaret Atwood’s literary taste.

  8. Ruth Walker says:

    I agree with Sue Reynolds. TBLP has been on my highly recommended list for years. I was delighted to stumble upon it and your website shortly after the Leacock Award. I’ve been singing your praises (and the book) ever since. Margaret Atwood has a brilliant sense of humour — of course she loved the books — she also has a brilliant sense of great writing. Well-deserved, Terry. Well-deserved.

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