A friend of mine, Nell, has this saying — whenever the sky’s blue and the birds are singing, she’ll say, “Wow, what a beautiful day. Yessiree, nothing could possibly ever go wrong on a beautiful day like today.”

Clown
Microphones
BBC Radio 4 microphones, London

Such a saying was crafted almost intentionally for last night. In Stratford, Ontario — a dream audience on a beautiful Shakespearean stage. And me excited to try out an hour’s worth of new material from a new novel. Perfect sound. Dream lighting. Beautiful vibe. And of course I’m waiting for the disaster, and yes it happens: flies — an infestation that gravitates towards me as I’m beneath the only bright light in the building, a pin light aimed directly on my face. At first I swatted the flies away, and it got a few giggles, and then it stopped being fun and I realized that the only option I had was to ignore them, so I read for an hour with insects crawling over me. The show must go on.

I was taping something with CNN once, and I swallowed a fly on camera. It’s still in their vaults, just waiting to come out should someone ever decide to make a bloopers reel of my life.

Talk Show
CTV Talk Show set, Agincourt, Ont.
News Team
Star photos in CTV lobby, Agincourt, Ont.
Hallway
Microwave and cell tower, Portland Ore.; Hallway, CTV, Agincourt, Ont.

Moonbase

I got an e-mail message from a Danish reader who asked if I would judge her boyfriend’s entry in a Lego castle/moonbase design competition. I didn’t think it appropriate for me to do so, but you be the judge.

Time of Day
13:10:06 EDT, Toronto
London Hotel
Hotel, London

Scrabbled

My 10-year-old nephew is going crazy because in my new novel I put a list of all 972 three-letter words legally allowable in Scrabble plus one invented word which isn’t allowed. He refuses to cheat and check online or elsewhere. Perhaps you, dear reader, might be interested in finding the word yourself. Herewith, 972 words plus one fake, and for what it’s worth, my spell check rejects most of them:

AAH AAL AAS ABA ABO ABS ABY ACE ACT ADD ADO ADS ADZ AFF AFT AGA AGE AGO AHA AID AIL AIM AIN AIR AIS AIT ALA AL B ALE ALL ALP ALS ALT AMA AMI AMP AMU ANA AND ANE ANI A NT ANY APE APT ARB ARC ARE ARF ARK ARM ARS ART ASH ASK ASP ASS ATE ATT AUK AVA AVE AVO AWA AWE AWL AWN AXE AYE AYS AZO BAA BAD BAG BAH BAL BAM BAN BAP BAR BAS BAT BA Y BED BEE BEG BEL BEN BET BEY BIB BID BIG BIN BIO BIS B IT BIZ BOA BOB BOD BOG BOO BOP BOS BOT BOW BOX BOY BRA BRO BRR BUB BUD BUG BUM BUN BUR BUS BUT BUY BYE BYS CAB CAD CAM CAN CAP CAR CAT CAW CAY CEE CEL CEP CHI CIS CO B COD COG COL CON COO COP COR COS COT COW COX COY COZ C RY CUB CUD CUE CUM CUP CUR CUT CWM DAB DAD DAG DAH DAK DAL DAM DAP DAW DAY DEB DEE DEL DEN DEV DEW DEX DEY DIB DID DIE DIG DIM DIN DIP DIS DIT DOC DOE DOG DOL DOM DO N DOR DOS DOT DOW DRY DUB DUD DUE DUG DUI DUN DUO DUP D YE EAR EAT EAU EBB ECU EDH EEL EFF EFS EFT EGG EGO EKE ELD ELF ELK ELL ELM ELS EME EMF EMS EMU END ENG ENS EON ERA ERE ERG ERN ERR ERS ESS ETA ETH EVE EWE EYE FAD FA G FAN FAR FAS FAT FAX FAY FED FEE FEH FEM FEN FER FET F EU FEW FEY FEZ FIB FID FIE FIG FIL FIN FIR FIT FIX FIZ FLU FLY FOB FOE FOG FOH FON FOP FOR FOU FOX FOY FRO FRY FUB FUD FUG FUN FUR GAB GAD GAE GAG GAL GAM GAN GAP GA R GAS GAT GAY GED GEE GEL GEM GEN GET GEY GHI GIB GID G IE GIG GIN GIP GIT GNU GOA GOB GOD GOO GOR GOT GOX GOY GUL GUM GUN GUT GUV GUY GYM GYP HAD HAE HAG HAH HAJ HAM HAO HAP HAS HAT HAW HAY HEH HEM HEN HEP HER HES HET HE W HEX HEY HIC HID HIE HIM HIN HIP HIS HIT HMM HOB HOD H OE HOG HON HOP HOT HOW HOY HUB HUE HUG HUH HUM HUN HUP HUT HYP ICE ICH ICK ICY IDS IFF IFS ILK ILL IMP INK INN INS ION IRE IRK ISM ITS IVY JAB JAG JAM JAR JAW JAY JE E JET JEU JEW JIB JIG JIN JOB JOE JOG JOT JOW JOY JUG J UN JUS JUT KAB KAE KAF KAS KAT KAY KEA KEF KEG KEN KEP KEX KEY KHI KID KIF KIN KIP KIR KIT KOA KOB KOI KOP KOR KOS KUE LAB LAC LAD LAG LAM LAP LAR LAS LAT LAV LAW LA X LAY LEA LED LEE LEG LEI LEK LET LEU LEV LEX LEY LEZ L IB LID LIE LIN LIP LIS LIT LOB LOG LOO LOP LOT LOW LOX LUG LUM LUV LUX LYE MAC MAD MAE MAG MAN MAP MAR MAS MAT MAW MAX MAY MED MEL MEM MEN MET MEW MHO MIB MID MIG MI L MIM MIR MIS MIX MOA MOB MOC MOD MOG MOL MOM MON MOO M OP MOR MOS MOT MOW MUD MUG MUM MUN MUS MUT NAB NAE NAG NAH NAM NAN NAP NAW NAY NEB NEE NET NEW NIB NIL NIM NIP NIT NOX NIX NOB NOD NOG NOH NOM NOO NOR NOS NOT NOW NT H NUB NUN NUS NUT OAF OAK OAR OAT OBE OBI OCA ODD ODE O DS OES OFF OFT OHM OHO OHS OIL OKA OKE OLD OLE OMS ONE ONS OOH OOT OPE OPS OPT ORA ORB ORC ORE ORS ORT OSE OUD OUR OUT OVA OWE OWL OWN OXO OXY PAC PAD PAH PAL PAM PA N PAP PAR PAS PAT PAW PAX PAY PEA PEC PED PEE PEG PEH P EN PEP PER PES PET PEW PHI PHT PIA PIC PIE PIG PIN PIP PIS PIT PIU PIX PLY POD POH POI POL POM POP POT POW POX PRO PRY PSI PUB PUD PUG PUL PUN PUP PUR PUS PUT PYA PY E PYX QAT QUA RAD RAG RAH RAJ RAM RAN RAP RAS RAT RAW R AX RAY REB REC RED REE REF REG REI REM REP RES RET REV REX RHO RIA RIB RID RIF RIG RIM RIN RIP ROB ROC ROD ROE ROM ROT ROW RUB RUE RUG RUM RUN RUT RYA RYE SAB SAC SA D SAE SAG SAL SAP SAT SAU SAW SAX SAY SEA SEC SEE SEG S EI SEL SEN SER SET SEW SEX SHA SHE SHH SHY SIB SIC SIM SIN SIP SIR SIS SIT SIX SKA SKI SKY SLY SOB SOD SOL SON SOP SOS SOT SOU SOW SOX SOY SPA SPY SRI STY SUB SUE SU M SUN SUP SUQ SYN TAB TAD TAE TAG TAJ TAM TAN TAO TAP T AR TAS TAT TAU TAV TAW TAX TEA TED TEE TEG TEL TEN TET TEW THE THO THY TIC TIE TIL TIN TIP TIS TIT TOD TOE TOG TOM TON TOO TOP TOR TOT TOW TOY TRY TSK TUB TUG TUI TU N TUP TUT TUX TWA TWO TYE UDO UGH UKE ULU UMM UMP UNS U PO UPS URB URD URN USE UTA UTS VAC VAN VAR VAS VAT VAU VAV VAW VEE VEG VET VEX VIA VIE VIG VIM VIS VOE VOW VOX VUG WAB WAD WAE WAG WAN WAP WAR WAS WAT WAW WAX WAY WE B WED WEE WEN WET WHA WHO WHY WIG WIN WIS WIT WIZ WOE W OG WOK WON WOO WOP WOS WOT WOW WRY WUD WYE WYN XIS YAH YAK YAM YAP YAR YAW YAY YEA YEH YEN YEP YES YET YEW YID YIN YIP YOB YOD YOK YOM YON YOU YOW YUK YUM YUP ZAG ZA P ZAX ZED ZEE ZEK ZIG ZIN ZIP ZIT ZOA ZOO

Escalator
Toronto Metro Convention Center escalator; Open window louvre, seat no. 3A, 747-400, Oct. 13, 2001
Reader
Event attendee, London