Sunday, October 14, 2012


After the whirl and distraction of three weeks of book tour (if it’s Tuesday it must be Boston, is my version), I’ve come home to find a lovely groundedness with friends. This week will be busy, yes, as I do publicity things in Toronto and Montreal, but somehow I’m feeling less scattered.

Some of that may be just simply because I have literally done some gathering-up of pieces of paper. I’m talking of course about receipts. On tour, while hotels might be prepaid, everything else pretty much is paid for by me as I go. Then the challenge is to keep track of all the recipets and submit them to the publisher for reimbursement. I’m happy to be able to tell you that I’ve got them all sorted and stapled onto sheets, will photocopy them on Tuesday, so I can have a copy, and then off they go to New York for processing. Hurrah.

But the other reason I’m feeling great is a note that came in this morning as a comment on my facebook fan page:  A very nice man named Simon Khin commented under a photo of the BURMA book as follows:  “I got this book as a gift from Kyi Kyi (Aung San Suu Kyi) during her brief family visit to Pacific Northwest a couple of weeks ago. I’m still reading it and thoroughly enjoying it. A big thumbs up from Kyi Kyi, Alex and me.”

How amazing to hear this. What a gift! After all, Aung San Suu Kyi, this icon of Burmese democracy, is one of the symbols of all that we hope goes well in Burma. She’s working for conciliation between the central government and various important groups in the border states such as the Shan, the Karen, the Kachin, the Chin. And she’s the symbol of the Burmese people’s tenacity in the face of years of political oppression and mismanagement by their rulers.  So for me to hear that she has given a copy of my Burma book to friends and family, and that she and her son Alex and others give it “a big thumbs up”... well, it doesn’t get any better than that.

I meant to write more here tonight, about various wonderful encounters in New York and Boston and Charlotte and Seattle, but suddenly it’s late and I have a whole day of media tomorrow, followed by a real treat, a book launch party at a bar in kensington Market. Being on home ground is always a pleasure. But it takes being away to make me realise how much I value life here in downtown Toronto.

Please wish me luck and clarity with all the interviews and conversations and presentations that lie ahead...

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