Another book in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series was launched on November 5, 2013. It’s called O Canada The Wonders of Winter with 101 stories about bad weather, good times, and great sports. A very typically Canadian book, it is filled with iconic Canadiana, community spirit, the great outdoors Great White North-style, hockey stories, snow stories, ski stories and stories about our internationally famous politeness and kindness and of typical Canadian holidays and traditions.
On page 178 of this book, you will find the forty-seventh story called The Angels of Hockey and it was written by me. The challenge for me was not in writing this 1,200-word piece, as the words and emotions flowed freely considering the subject matter which some of you might recall reading about in my post last year called, A Zamboni of My Own. That would be the one in which my husband decided that the best time to go golfing would be during hockey season on a weekend where all three of our hockey playing-kids were in three different hockey tournaments. I know. I know. I’m trying to forget it too.
No, the ultimate challenge for me turned out to be committing to the book launch party in Toronto and in publicly reading my story to about 100 people who had gathered to celebrate its launch. I realized, though, if I could marshal the resources required of a weekend with ten hockey games in forty-eight hours and not kill anyone – and write a story about it which would ultimately end up getting published in a Chicken Soup for the Soup book – surely I could get myself to Toronto to celebrate this personal achievement.
So, I took the afternoon off work and drove four hours to Toronto from my home in Ottawa and arrived at the Keating Channel Pub and Grill at Lakeshore Blvd and Cherry Street, with my sister in tow. After all, you never know if this is your ‘fifteen minutes’ or not! I was soon directed to a group of thirty or so other contributing authors and we sat and signed one or two or 300 copies of the book for the publisher. Just the day before, I had received an email from the publisher asking me if I would be interested in reading my story to the crowd. Of course my inclination was to say, “No way” but once again, you never know if this is your ‘fifteen minutes’ or not! I was one of four people chosen to read and, while I realize the crowd was a gracious gathering of almost entirely family and friends, my mouth felt stuffed with cotton the whole evening. So with a little liquid courage in hand, I stood and read my story, which took probably no more than four minutes and concluded with an appropriate amount of laughter and polite applause -mostly from my wonderful family, my cousins, their spouses, and my friends!
I can take forward the experience of ‘contributing author’ and ‘public reading’ to my repertoire and still have ‘eleven minutes’ of fame remaining!
Oh yes, and my husband wished for me to add this disclaimer: no husbands were harmed in the writing of this story. Not this time anyway.