An unhappy thumb is a wonderful problem to have to deal with, since it’s caused by swarms of fans wanting their book signed. The Calgary reading was one of my favorites —intimate, yet of a good size. They forgave my stumbling delivery. (Note to self: write my talk out, experiment with reading different sections, practice.) And then they bought books and lined up to have them signed.

I write out names before I sign because people often want me to sign more than one and I fear misspelling a name. And so I have a record, neatly recorded in the lovely Moleskin I thought would be for recording thoughts about my next novel, but was rather quickly taken over by promotion notes. So: at my Toronto launch in February, I signed for 28. This was considered a smashing success: many had more than one book to be signed, and several, as well, only wanted a signature.

In Calgary, however, I signed for 46! Many, many of these were for more than one book. It seemed like I was signing for a very long time—an hour and a half—(Impossible, surely.)

The next morning, in Vancouver, my right thumb showed signs of stress. This worried me: if my thumb completely gives out, I’m incapable of shaking a hand, much less holding a pen—much less writing.

Add to survival gear list: an ergonomic pen.