April's Real Blog

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Signing

So Mike has had his book signing at Lilliput's and want 2 share.

Formerly little sis. I must say it was a great day to have a book-signing at mom’s old store, Lilliput’s. It was snowing and icy outside, but when doesn’t it do that in Milborough during the winter? Lake effects, I understand, but they couldn’t “effect” the mood in the store. I sat at my table with dozens of unsigned books and a pen ready to go at a moment’s notice. The room was filled with little Christmas doo-dads and leafy things hanging from the ceiling catching on people’s heads and garments, just like it was during mom’s days of running the store. Christmas decorations abounded. On a nearby shelf was a group of Styrofoam snowmen imitating a scene from some old movie involving top hats. Fred Astaire maybe? My whole family was there, except for Elizabeth of course. They were there to see the moment when you finally gave into your promise from last summer.

You said you wouldn’t read my book until it made the New York Times best-seller list, and I know you were surprised when it did. As you picked up your copy of Stone Season, mom was there with her camera to capture the moment. My kids were there looking on as Auntie April said, “Could you sign this book for me, please?” For the sake of your readers I will skip over the part where you first said, “All right. You’re a best seller. Now sign the book, so we can get this over with.” And I said, “Say ‘please’.” And then you stomped off and left the store for awhile before you finally came back with your collar on your coat turned up trying to look “cool.” But once you did come back and you said, “please”, it was my pleasure to say back to you, “It would be my pleasure. What would you like me to say?” I think my cordiality was throwing you off. Either that or the silhouette of dad openly carrying that flask. Frankly I found dad’s behaviour during the signing a little disconcerting myself, but that’s a story for another day.

However, dad or my cordiality did not throw you off for long. You threw your head back, rolled your eyes skyward, and said, “How about…to the most wonderful, beautiful, talented, fantastic, intelligent person I have ever…” Well right then I knew what you were up to. You were planning on giving a copy of my book back to me. It would be ironic to have my own book signed by me to me given as a gift. I think it was a clever idea, formerly little sis, but I really don’t need to have a copy signed by me to me. So, I interrupted you and said, “Right!...’To a cool sister…Love, Mike!”” You didn’t seem to like that dedication, but I can assure you that my daughter was excited that I called you “cool”. And that large lady with the polka-dotted shirt and the jacket, who covered her mouth with her deformed hand just at that moment, to try to keep from laughing at you in front of your face, did find it very amusing.

In the meantime, mom has a picture she has captioned, “The Martian admits defeat” she has placed in her scrapbook, which I expect we will reminisce over in about 30 years.

Michael Patterson
That, of course, was pure torture. Sorry abt my lack of posting yesterday, but Mom forced me 2 keep my so-called promise 2 Mike abt reading his book. OMG, I am so lucky I had Jeremy 2 make that all less painful 2 me. Thanx, Jeremy, 4 that and also visiting my Gramps w/me. W/the rest of my fam so pre-occupied, it was a perfect opportunity 2 sneak in a visit.

Oh, and thank God we R back 2 real-time stories, even if that means Michael gloating. Erg.


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  • At 7:14 AM, Blogger DreadedCandiru2 said…

    Funny how he's all terse when it came to signing your copy of the book, isn't it? Even funnier, in a sickening way, that he didn't just give you a copy since you kept him from having to interact with his children. I suppose he'll have some long-winded explanation about how something that looks like a particularly egregious act of selfishness is really the purest of charities.

  • At 12:07 PM, Anonymous jeremy jones said…

    april, i found evn the worst books r better if they’re read in a “pirate voice.” u laffed rilly hard evry tyme i sed “sheilarrrgh” insteada “sheilagh”. ‘course when u started readin’ all the stuff ‘bout sheilagh shaughnessy thots like the leprechaun frum , i lost it. i laffed so hard i wuz cryin’. ur so funny. ur definitely the most wunnerful, beautiful, talented, fantastic, intelligent person i have ever met. but u gotta stop sayin’ "fend 4 urself" w/that accent 2 me in class. it always makes me laff the way u say it. the teach iz startin' 2 get mad.

  • At 12:15 PM, Anonymous michael patterson said…


    Formerly little sis. Of course, your friend the Amazon River catfish has accused me of not giving you a free copy. It is certainly not selfishness on my part or the purest of charities. I would be happy to give you a free copy in lieu of paying baby-sitting fees (like for tonight, remember). What the catfish has forgotten is that (a) I only got ten copies to give away and (b) my wife has hidden them away where I can’t find them.

    While you are over baby-sitting tonight, if you can find where my wife’s hiding place is, I would be more than happy to hand over another book to you and sign it just the way you want. There are a number of things Deanna has hidden from me that I wouldn’t mind getting back.

    Michael Patterson

  • At 12:54 PM, Blogger DreadedCandiru2 said…

    Like your manhood, clever-boy? Or maybe your sense of humor.

  • At 1:38 PM, Anonymous michael patterson said…


    As an Amazon River catfish, I am not surprised you would be jealous of us humans’ manhood, to make a suggestion that my wife has hidden it or that such a thing could be hidden. Rest assured it is firmly attached to my body and used regularly. My lovely Deanna has told me many times how seeing the manly way I sign books, makes her excited.

    As for my sense of humour, a lot of people have come up to me at signings and told me that after reading Stone Season and seeing how well it has been selling, there is proof that someone has a rich sense of humour. It is nice to be appreciated by the reading public. Once again, catfish, Michael Patterson has his humour intact and available for public consumption.

    Michael Patterson

  • At 6:00 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    i m at mike's current [my former] house babysitting merrie an' robin. jeremy is here helping me and doing all the jobs on the job list mike left 4 him. mom is actually gonna make me take a quiz 2 show i really did read mike's book, so jeremy also is helping me review. bleah.


  • At 6:17 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    comment glitch

  • At 7:07 PM, Anonymous jeremy jones said…

    april, ok. ur mom just dropped off the 1st 8 questions of the test. let’s c if ur ready aftah my review. i dunno. sum of these questions look kinda tricky. wut do u think?

    The Quiz

    1. Sheilagh Shaughnessy is a young woman from

    a. Devon, England
    b. London, England
    c. London, Ontario
    d. Bodner, Saskatchewan
    e. Milborough, Ontario
    f. Some disgusting town in Québèc

    2. Sheilagh Shaughnessy marries a man named:

    a. Harvey Rood
    b. Harvey Not-so-Nice
    c. Harvey Bad Manners
    d. Harvey Chews With His Mouth Open
    e. Harvey Does Not Recycle
    f. Some disgusting man from Québèc

    3. Sheilagh Shaughnessy has two sons. Their names are:

    a. Charlie and Mitchell
    b. Charlie and Schroeder
    c. Sparky and Hank
    d. Skippy and Linus
    e. Hi and Lois
    f. Frank and Ernest
    g. Some disgusting Québècois names

    4. Harvey Rood dies because he:

    a. After falling from the saddle of his horse, Ben, Harvey was too drunk and listless to get up and walk the mile to his house to save himself from freezing to death
    b. After falling from the saddle of his horse, Ben, Harvey curses at Sheilagh while at the same time asks for her help to save his life
    c. In revenge for having been beaten by Harvey Rood, Sheilagh tells him to fend for himself, and leaves him to freeze to death outside
    d. Women are stronger than men are. Men may have physical strength and men may show courage, but the strength that women reveal in their ability to endure, to support others and to give of themselves ultimately led to Harvey Rood’s death.
    e. Caused a great, old, family dog to have a heart attack.
    f. He came from a Quebecois background.
    g. All of the above

    5. Wilm deGroot finds his way into Sheilagh’s heart because:

    a. He sold Sheilagh a horse.
    b. He only had one arm
    c. He did watercolours, when watercolours were not cool.
    d. He stole school supplies and gave them to Sheilagh’s children.
    e. He punched out Harvey Rood and then pledged his love to Sheilagh and asked her to leave with him, like another fine, young man we know in Milborough has done for his childhood sweetheart
    f. He did not make his career in the entertainment industry
    g. He came from Dutch ancestry.
    h. All of the above.

    6. Sheilagh Shaugnessey gives birth to her first son:

    a. On the kitchen floor
    b. At home in bed
    c. At hospital
    d. In a pizza delivery car
    e. In Milborough
    f. As far away from Québèc as possible

    7. Michael Patterson will win what awards for Stone Season:

    a. Greatest Milborough Author of All Time Award
    b. The Great Canadian Novelist Award
    c. Best Canadian Book Evah Award
    d. Sod Farmer Association Award for Mentioning Sod Farming in Any Kind of Respectable Non-Sod Farming Publication
    e. One-Handed Watercolouring Association Award for Mentioning One-Handed Watercolouring in Any Kind of Respectable Non-One-Handed Watercolouring Publication
    f. Bodner, Saskatchewan Historical Society Award for Mentioning Bodner, Saskatchewan History in Any Kind of Respectable Non- Bodner, Saskatchewan Historical Publication

    8. The person who deserves the most credit for the success of Stone Season is:

    a. The writer, Michael Patterson
    b. The writer’s wife, Deanna Patterson
    c. The publisher, Reiner and Browne
    d. The writer’s editor Elly Patterson
    e. The writer’s mother Elly Patterson
    f. The writer’s inspiration Elly Patterson
    g. d,e,f and maybe a.

  • At 7:23 PM, Blogger howard said…


    My wife, Beatrice Alfarero hated, just hated that book-signing your brother gave at Lilliput’s where she works. In order to placate your mother, she had to pad the crowd with silhouette people, who are notorious for not buying books. She had to placate the parents of younger customers who did not appreciate your brother’s reading of the more gruesome sections of his book, particularly that kitchen birth part, in a children’s book and toy store like Lilliput’s. She also had to placate those readers who complained that they had picked up the book expecting it would be a comedy as advertised and were angry to find the story was so bleak and depressing with stories encompassing 17 years of domestic abuse. And most importantly, she had to keep the angry people away from your brother and your mother. By the way, she really appreciated the fact you bit the bullet and got a book for your brother to sign and to publicly abuse you. She is pretty sure that if you had not done that, then no one would have.

    Howard Bunt

  • At 1:35 AM, Anonymous michael patterson said…


    Formerly little sis. There are times in a Patterson’s life when you appreciate just how many friends and relatives you have. You realize how wonderful it is to be in a family whom everyone knows and adores and feels as though they are a part of (even though they aren’t). Then there are other times, when you wish your friends you haven’t seen in years would wear a nametag, so you would know who they are.

    For example, our neighbour Anne Nichols was next in line at the book-signing at Lilliput’s after you and I almost said, “Who the heck are you?” This is because the last time any of us remember seeing Anne Nichols, she looked like this. And yet at the book-signing, for the very first time, she was sporting glasses, was a lot fatter, and her hair changed colour back and forth from light to dark brown. Fortunately, I heard my lovely Deanna behind her with my kids saying, “Robin. No. Just because she is our neighbour Anne Nichols, doesn’t mean you can put her skirt in your mouth.” Of course Anne wanted the book dedicated to someone else I had never heard of. She said, “Hi, could you sign this for my cousin Arli, please? She’s getting it for Christmas.” As the coffee counter behind me was going in full force, I replied, “Sure! Thanks for buying my book, Anne!” I signed the book, “To Arli. Your cousin Anne says someone is really giving it to you for Christmas. Love, Mike.”

    The odd thing about this line at my table was that there were two of them. There was one to my right and one in front of me. Why there couldn’t be just one line I don’t know, but I knew I would not get any help from either mom or Moira Kinney, the store owner. They were busy standing across the room, drinking coffee, and talking about how wonderful mom was, as most people who share coffee with mom do. So, after signing a book for Anne from the line on my right, I had to sign a book for Jean Baker who was in the line in front of me.

    Jean Baker I recognized from the years she had worked with dad. She said, “I’m so excited! I saw you on television! (She didn’t say if it was CBC or CHCH.) Could you sign this for Daniel? He’s an aspiring writer! Say something like, ‘Don’t give up!’” I took the book from her and said, “Good advice, Jean!” and wrote for her “To Daniel, Don’t give up, even though you will never write a book as good as this one! Love, Mike”. I think that got the idea across nicely, although I wonder who Daniel is. I thought Jean was married to Mark and had a daughter Brittanny. You never can tell with people who work in dentistry who they might be giving gifts to, if you know what I mean, formerly little sis.

    Well, April, the highlight of the book-signing was having Josef Weeder come all the way from Toronto to see me, and he didn’t bring Carleen with him. Naturally I had to stand up to sign Weed’s book. He held it close to his body, so I had to lean into his strong and wiry frame just to sign. All of you were around me. You, and dad, and Gordon Mayes and mom were there as Weed and I stood together holding my book. I have often dreamed such a day would happen, where all of you would be standing around and looking proudly at me and Weed, I mean, at my signing Weed’s book. Gordon said, “Awesome turnout, man!” which is not really a Gordon kind of phrase, so I had to look at him carefully to make sure it was really he. Weed said, “Your book is selling well, Mike!” Of course, you might wonder how Weed would know such a thing as that, and the answer is that I told him. Reiner and Browne, my publisher, keeps me apprised of my sales figures.

    Of course you were skeptical. After I signed Weed’s book standing up and leaning into him, Mom said she wanted me to do the same thing for her. She put her hand on my shoulder and beckoned me to lean into her body. Of course, you nearly ruined the moment by saying, “Yeah…What would we do without friends and relatives?!!” I know that is your way of saying my book wouldn’t be selling well without the help of my friends and relatives. This is probably true, but I narrowed my eyes at you anyway. In know dad bought several copies to give to underprivileged people with bad teeth. Gordon Mayes said he bought several copies in honour of my dad to donate to a new landfill project he is having built. Between those two, I am sure I became an instant best-seller.

    It was a great day at that book-signing. I’m glad you were there to share in my success.

    Michael Patterson


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