Scriptus, the annual Toronto pen show, is coming up, October 29th, and I have big feelings about it: anxiety, nervousness, panic, free-falling terror, a bit of nausea. We have things planned. Stay tuned.


Each year the show gets a little bit easier and a little bit harder, which is, I suppose, the way life works. Brendan has his warehouse lists, Jon is trying to locate the debit machine, I have the three monkeys. It turns out okay every year! So I’m trying to bury my feelings in emotional snacking.


Things continue to be a bit crazy over here, the two parallel threads of my universe: work and life. Junia caught something and was running a fever. I dug out the digital thermometer that I had gotten back when you had to submit your kids’ temperature and symptoms and close contact tracking and a background check and a polygraph and a commitment for organ donation in order to send them into their preschool. I had hidden it away because the older two go bananas over it, shooting each other with the tiny laser, and it’s interesting to see that even as time goes by, some things never change. Caleb and Naomi were giving me advice on how to use it when I was trying to take Junia’s temperature, dozens of fingers all pressing into the various buttons and beeping.



But life! In its soupy goodness, we are savouring it all.


Junia and I have been collecting chestnuts at one of the parks where we’ve been hanging out while waiting for Caleb and Naomi to be freed


At one point, I’d been giving them to Junia, who’d been following behind me putting them in her pockets. My eyes were trained on the ground thrilled to find more and more, hunting chanterelles. More and more! How many could there be on ground I’d just covered! An endless amount! It turns out she’d been putting them in her pocket and then taking them out and throwing them around for me to find again, channeling our inner Charlie Chaplin.


Along with life, the chestnut thing has been getting a bit out of control, me channeling my inner squirrel, loading up Junia’s backpack and my own pockets with them. Each time we come home, we’ve been bringing more and more chestnuts, and finding them clanging around in the washing machine, in beds, in the pots in the pantry, in the couch cushions. Little delights from the journey.



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October 21, 2023 — Liz Chan

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