I have to admit, over the last few weeks I’d been feeling such an overwhelming foreboding of disaster when it comes to American politics that I had basically resigned myself to a Mitt Romney victory.

It started when Obama fared so poorly during that first debate.

I actually thought he handled himself well.

And watching that whole bit with Eastwood talking to the chair, maybe I give Eastwood too much credit, but I actually thought it was clever.

The fact that I’m completely outnumbered in my opinion matters not a whit. Never has. I doubt it ever will.

I always take what the majority believes into consideration–because of that Abraham Lincoln saying ‘you can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time (there is strength in numbers)–but I wouldn’t be Muslim if I’d ever let majority sentiments completely sway me.

So, I’d basically come to terms with a Republican in the White House. I thought that Romney’s momentum would hold up and he’d waltz right into the oval office with every shred of entitlement, he so judiciously tried to hide, still intact.

Maybe it was because the Democrats were up against THE ESTABLISHMENT. White middle aged men and white middle-aged women, in all their GLORY!

Men and women that are about my age or a bit older, who REALLY REALLY like the status quo, and EVERYTHING that Romney represents.

And for once they were thwarted by a coalition of blacks, gays, asians, Hispanics, Muslims and liberal white people.


I was so stunned that Obama won another term in the face of such opposition, that I could not even be happy for him. It just felt unreal.

I wonder if it wasn’t cynicism on my part.

I wonder if it wasn’t an over-estimation of the nefarious forces at Fox News et al.

One of the things I love the most about The Lord of the Rings trilogy is the way in which Tolkien was able to not only convey the hopelessness of the denizens of Middle Earth, but also the way, through all that orc dialogue that Sam and Merry and Pippin overhear, he is able to convey how Sauron and the forces of evil are also afraid of losing. Things aren’t all that hunky dory in Mordor either!

Here I went ahead and believed the bluster of the folks on Fox news!

Cynically, I gave them way too much power!

And I’m wondering if that whole attitude doesn’t translate to other areas in my life as well.

Here I am chugging along under my own steam wondering if my work will ever really gain the audience I wish it had. I mean I think my work is really really good. I think it compares favourably to the best children’s literature out there. But no way am I where I want to be, and part of me thinks it’ll never happen. Part of me agrees with that relative who said so many years ago, “You’ll never get published, look at the way you dress!” Part of me does think that people can’t get past the packaging.

Then today I had to do a presentation at a school on Wanting Mor.

Of course it’s not the first presentation I’ve done on it! I do it often! But this school was an experience that really sent a lot of those lingering feelings of cynicism packing because I reacquainted myself with a lady I’d met nine years ago at Word on the Street.

Word on the Street is a yearly book festival that is basically what it sounds like, a book festival, out doors, on Queen St. Toronto and many other cities in Canada. It’s usually held on the last Sunday in September. I used to go, many many years ago. Had a booth with my husband and I often met teachers and librarians and teacher/librarians down there.

Cindy met me in 2003, had me sign a copy of my first two books for her library and as soon as she saw me walk into the school today, she ran up to me and said, “I just have to have a hug!”

I’m afraid I didn’t recognize her. I meet a LOT of wonderful librarians, so many in fact that it’s REALLY hard for me to remember them all, and as it is I’ve always been terrible at recognizing faces and names! (Even the faces and names of some family members for goodness sakes!)

Cindy had kept up with my career. She ordered all of my books for her library and just the way she gushed about my work did my heart a load of good!

She’s one of those dedicated types that actually dresses up as literary characters to encourage the students in the school to read! She has a ‘Paperbag Princess’ outfit, a ‘Sam I am’ outfit and loads of others.

The teacher who invited me was in the process of reading Wanting Mor to her grade seven class. She said that when she finished the first chapter, they all applauded. They actually applauded! (The teacher had read it in one sitting last summer!)

She said, “I told them, I don’t know why you’re clapping for me. I didn’t write it.”

The class had read up to chapter three.

I tried not to spoil it for them. But they do know the basics of what’s going to happen.

Hmm. No, that still doesn’t spoil it.

Came home feeling much much better and a WHOLE lot less cynical!

In fact, I was feeling dowright grateful for teacher/librarians like Cindy and the teacher who’d invited me!