The Devil made me jive with Margaret Atwood

The Devil made me do it. I knew it was wrong. I knew I had no business inviting an iconic Canadian writer out onto the dance floor. I knew people would hate me for it. Who did I think I was? But a little voice told me to go ahead and ask her to dance. Graeme was there, standing tall. Sheena was there, camera in hand. 

But I’d better come clean. We had danced together at least once before, Ms. Atwood and I, at a meeting of the The Writers’ Union of Canada. This was back in the day. 1985, I think it was. Things were different then.

Now it was 2011 and I had reason to be wary. We were voyaging around Scotland with Adventure Canada, having a blast, and had ended up in this community hall on the island of Jura. George Orwell had lived somewhere in this vicinity. Here on Jura, he had discerned that Big Brother was always watching. Coincidence? I thought not.

But I shrugged off all that and plunged ahead. I mention this in what you now learn is my “year-ender” because I grow skeptical about the way browsers function. My stats tell me that my all-time most popular blog post, with 17,300 viewings, is entitled A younger male writer crosses swords with Margaret Atwood. I ask you: have more than 17,000 people cast their eyes over my divigations? Or does that total derive from an algorithm that automatically counts “one” every time it chances upon “Margaret Atwood.” So, yes, this is a test. That, anyway, is my story.

My other greatest hits are also all included in last year’s greatest hits, which featured voyaging in the Northwest Passage, my book Dead Reckoning, and Let’s Invite Scotland to Join Canada.  I remind myself that this means not that I have been less entertaining this year than last, but that “all-time” is cumulative, and so it takes more than one year to reach the upper echelons of even these modest heights.

But now I refrain from adding a second photo to this post. The Devil insists that I could justify an image of the cover of Dead Reckoning. No, I say, and stand firm. People would accuse me of being shameless and worse and that . . . that would hurt my feelings. For the rest, I would add: Merry Christmas! Happy New Year. Party on!

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