Posted by: rocketbride | August 29, 2013

oh that this too, too sullied flesh would melt

maggie, weeping at her own mortality, in elmo shoes. photo by paul hillier

maggie, weeping at her own mortality, in elmo shoes.
photo by paul hillier

Way back in the summer, before Ottawa and Nova Scotia and everything summery, I dragged my baby girl and my husband to the Choose Your Own Book Launch. Ryan North and David Malki! were doing a side-by-side launch for “To Be or Not to Be: That is the Adventure” (a.k.a. the choose your own adventure Hamlet) and “This is How You Die” (a.k.a. the sequel to “Machine of Death”). To sweeten the deal (not that it needed sweetening), there was an abridged production of Hamlet, costume shoots for participants, a choose-your-own reading, a Machine of Death pictionary game, author and artist signings, and the chance to check out squishy Yorick and get a reading from the Machine.

Whew. I get tired listing all of that. Chris Butcher is a mad genius.

Since this was a Sage night, we were in town already, so when Mason returned Sage to his mom’s house I took Maggie two blocks west and watched the event set up. I had brought my own skull from home, for reasons I can’t fully fathom, and I slipped it in with the other props and costume bits. Then I chased Maggie up and down the street for an hour.

It was sort of like a mini-TCAF. I got my books signed, got a reading from the Machine (“poison”, so I assume Brett Michaels has it in for me), and chatted with Stacy and some of my artist acquaintances. The performance was really, really funny; Zub remarked on how spastic it all was, but I’m very used to “let’s make Shakespeare hyper and fun for the children!” performances, so this was all what I had expected.

Probably the best part (other than prop-bombing, and my Machine of Death bandaid, and conversations with people I never get to see enough) was falling into conversation with an older woman who was eyeing Maggie. Since she was next to the awesome Kate Beaton, I made the obvious assumption, but I didn’t geek out and we just talked about raising little accident-prone kids and our then-upcoming trip to Cape Breton. When she went inside for a minute, I quietly asked Kate to sign my 2BorNot2B. “Your mom is adorable!” I stage whispered, “I didn’t want to freak her out by saying that I saw her from a comic.” I may, however, have bragged about it on twitter.


When Maggie started to get sleepy and the signing line had become too big for me to talk to anyone, I packed up my skull and my family and set off into the night. It was the perfect way to spend a Monday night in the summer, and I’m so glad that we could drag Maggie into the madness without keeping her up too late.

photo by paul hillier

photo by paul hillier



  1. […] I am a goddess tonight. Not only did I get through the whole first day of school without yelling at anyone, tonight was my first Girls’ Night In of the year. This meant that I cooked dinner, cleaned up the room, bathed the baby, put her to sleep, did my usual tidying and my daily mission and my 15 minutes of de-cluttering, all with a silly baby (although to be perfectly honest, I got a lot more done once she was in bed.) This is normal, however; what makes me a goddess is that I also made chocolate chip banana bread. Also, I set up this last night, in preparation for our first school morning… It’s not a mememto mori (remember: you will die); it’s a memento percepi (remember: you will learn). (Why yes, that is squishy Yorick and the skull I used to prop-bomb the TBoNTB launch.) […]

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