ah, nanaimo, land of nanaimo bars. nanaimo bars are. . . no, actually. i'm not going to tell you. there's a recipe here. you must discover the artery-clogging goodness for yourself.
i had another conference last weekend. this was a children's literature conference, and i was talking about a local book banning incident, which took six years of court cases to end up with Asha's Mums still not allowed in the kindergarten. you can find some information about it on wiki. wait for my article to be published to read the rest!
the conference was pretty sweet. my talk went well, and i learnt some interesting things from other people's presentations. but, BUT, i got to hang out with one of kidlitcrit idols! and i went to dinner with both guest speakers! and *didn't* say "i've read all your books! eeeee!" which was very restrained compared to other people at the conference who brought their books to sign. anyways. yes. exciting.
nanaimo itself is pretty dull. the locals call it "land of the box store". it's kind of like bacchus marsh or something, except situated on a stunning BC coastline, with little islands dotted all around, and a distant view of the snow-capped mountains on the mainland.
it's also cherry-blossom-time again:
i took an extra day after the conference and went for a bike ride round gabriola, island of nature and back to the land style hippies.
it was a really nice bike ride. gentle rolling hills, huge trees, fresh salty air. it only took two hours, and i took it slow. everytime i stopped i saw something beautiful. i saw deers and fawns, sheep and lambs, great fluffy alpacas, bald eagles, lots of northern goshawks (beautiful big birds of prey with speckled wings), several great blue herons flapping up from dams, their long legs dangling behind them, a northern flicker (a kind of woodpecker) and american robins everywhere.
everyone's all friendly on the islands (even nanimo, which is on vancouver island). cars shared the road with me, and i had lots of rather intimate chats with people on the ferries and in coffee shops and on street corners.
on the ferry back from gabriola i saw three white sided dolphins leaping out of the water, very close. it was stunning.