In our hotel at breakfast, the lovely Ukrainian Ganna was asking me what brought me into town. In the past I have always avoided too many details because every time you say you’re a writer, the whole topic becomes your job. On this particular Sunday, the day of Word on the Street in Saskatoon, I tried to lure our waitperson to come, told her how I was speaking at 4:00 in the Brave New World Tent with Gail Sodanie Sibot.
What I’m thinking of late, is only the writing community goes to literary festivals, which makes the whole writing and reading experience rather elitist. I want to share my passion with Everyman or Everywoman as it is in this case. Cabdrivers, flight attendants, hotel clerks, waitstaff all get treated to more detailed answers as to why I’m travelling or in town etc. So I told Ganna about who I would be going to see in the different tents, especially my favourite cookbook authors Greta and Janet Podleski. I talked about how great their recipes are, how funny all the cartoons and side bits are and how inspiring their rise to success is, and encouraged Ganna to come.
As I went to sit down, imagine my surprise when a dark haired lady approached and said she couldn’t help overhearing my pitch for the festival and for Looneyspoons cookbooks. She thanked me and said she should be offering me a commission. Of course, it turned out to be Janet Podleski who introduced me to her “looney” sister Greta.
I begged them to wait till I got my camera, up on the sixth floor. Ganna then did an entire photo session with the sisters and me. “Please could you check if it is all right?” she asked me.
No photos. The camera memory card was stuck in my computer back upstairs. How patient are these kind creative cooks. Back upstairs I ran and caught my photographer husband on his way down. Janet and Greta allowed me to interrupt their breakfast again as Bob took our picture: Greta is on the left, Janet is on the right.
Their session was packed. These ladies are as funny and genuine in person as they are in print. Okay, I know that sounds funny but you know what I mean. My only regret is the lineup for their cookbook signing was too long for me to buy one,line up and make my own presentation in time. I’m digging out the three I have and cooking with a new sense of camaraderie. I’ll ask for the new book for my birthday (Next Monday, hint, hint)