I’ve always loved the thought of a brand new year, like a sparkling white field of snow spread before me, unmarred; perfect and new. I wait for it with anticipation. I have never been one for New Year’s resolutions. Our resolutions tend to fall to the wayside a few weeks into January. We promise ourselves we’ll loose weight, start an exercise regime or give up bad habits. We undertake to be less judgemental of others, have more patience, be more loving, all with a strong resolve that this is the way we will better our lives. And we do mean it…Damn it!
So I scrapped the idea of a New Year’s resolution many years ago.
Instead, on New Year”s Eve I create of list of intentions for the coming year. I prefer the word intentions instead of dreams because dreams sometimes have a way of eluding us, something that we hope for but can never attain whereas intentions seem very plausible; something that we intend to do or accomplish. If we intend it we CAN make it happen and why not?
This past year has been an amazing year for me. What once occupied a space on my list of intentions has become reality, sometimes surpassing even my own expectations. My first novel was published, I participated at Word on the Street, attended book signings, and met so many, many wonderful people, hopefully learned a bit about the publishing industry and so much more. It’s been a year of much joy and happiness. It’s been a year for family and friends. A year when perfect strangers have bestowed acts of kindness upon me that will never be forgotten.
I haven’t yet sat down to write my list but I know that number one will be.
I intend to always give thanks for all the remarkable blessings in my life!
So, Happy New Year to you all! Thank you all for your support and your over all remarkableness…May your intentions become reality….
As we head into 2010 what are your intentions for this brand new year?
Posted by Laura Best on December 30, 2009
Far off in the distance a tree stood out in the open. A handful of its orange leaves waved at us across the gap and I told Mama I had never seen such a strange sight as autumn leaves in the summertime.
“The world is filled with many strange things. So many that you couldn’t count them all even if you wanted to. But its not the knowing of everything there is in the world so much as it is the imagining of everything there could be,” said Mama. I wasn’t sure I knew what she meant but her words seemed to bring me comfort.
By the roadside in East Dalhousie, a locust tree stands rooted deep into the ground. A spring breeze scatters its scent into the air leaving behind a thin, sweet trail. I resist the urge to run my fingers across its textured bark. Forty-nine years and I have yet to feel it beneath my fingertips. I don’t know why that it.
Kitchen knives and pieces of broken glass were tied around the trunk of that locust tree to protect it from feasting porcupines that frequented its branches at night. What a strange sight it seemed to me as a child.
Despite the owner’s fear the locust tree flourishes today, bigger and greener than ever before having outlived the owner who is no longer around to protect it. Written words are like that locust tree—- rooted deeply and continuing on long after we are gone.
Posted by Laura Best on December 28, 2009
Is this something I can read, too?
You’d be surprised how many adults have asked me that very question in reference to my book. I like to smile and tell them, “Only if you’re over twelve.” And hey I’m going to be honest here—– most of the adults I know are over twelve—- at least in terms of chronological age. But how many adults are still young at heart? All of them…at least that’s my hope.
I guess the thing about young adult novels is the fact that a lot of adults actually do read them as well. I’ve had university professors tell me they read young adult fiction, teachers, seniors and people from basically every walk of life.
So here’s the good news, people….You don’t have to be a young adult to read and enjoy young adult fiction!! All you need is a love of reading and a willingness to read stories that involve young people. There is some pretty terrific young adult fiction being produced every year. Two of my favourite authors of young adult fiction are Barbara Haworth-Attard and Carol Matas. I haven’t read all of their work but what I have read I have enjoyed immensely.
If you like to read but don’t have a lot of time then perhaps Y/A fiction is for you. Some of us just can’t seem to tackle a five hundred page novel. It just seems to be too daunting a task and if you’re not an avid reader I’m sure the mere thought of starting can be a bit overwhelming.
What I’ve been finding is that many people have bought Bitter, Sweet simply because I wrote it. Some of them scarcely read for enjoyment at all, so when they tell me they’ve read my book I really do feel quite honoured to think they would give up their time to enter my make-believe world. I happen to think it’s quite possibly the most supportive thing anyone could do. Our time is precious. One lady stopped me in the mall one day to thank me for writing the book. Talk about a humbling experience!!
Not only are people telling me that they’re buying the book for their kids/grandchildren but for themselves, their parents and their grandparents, as well. So are you young at heart? Do you find yourself reaching for a young adult novel when you have a few moments to spare? If you’ve never read a young adult novel perhaps it is time. You might be quite surprised. You might actually enjoy it!
Posted by Laura Best on December 19, 2009
Jeffery Simpson of the Chronicle Herald did an email interview with me last week about my book for the book section of the Sunday paper. It can be found by clicking on the link.
Posted by Laura Best on December 14, 2009
I know what!!! You should open a lemonade stand and then give away a copy of your book with each glass of lemonade you sell!…..My 6 year old niece’s eyes are wide with enthusiasm as she shares her idea with me the day I was at Coles in the Halifax Shopping centre. Hmmm… Maybe she’s got something going there. After all she’s a pretty smart cookie. Little Molly hasn’t got any suggestions for me. She’s only four and likes to giggle. She stares at me with her big brown eyes. I notice a giggle behind those eyes just waiting to jump out at the slightest provocation. There’s a lady hovering around my table, feigning interest in the book, my guess she’s really listening in on my conversation with Miss Emma. Yup, she’s smiling…..she’s heard it all. I can see the utter delight in her eyes. She’d like to hear more.
You really gotta love the honesty of a six year old, not to mention the ingenuity. I mean, I never would have thought to set up a lemonade stand….Never! What would I call it? Perhaps the “Bitter, Sweet Lemonade Stand.” Kind of has a ring to it. Don’t you think? Although I’m not sure it would sound so appealing to anyone actually wanting a tall glass of lemonade. But what the heck, sometimes you have to go out on a limb.
So I’m thinking maybe I can talk Miss Emma into having a photo snapped with me while I’m sitting there waiting for the next person to come along wanting a signed copy of “Bitter, Sweet.” No such luck! She wants a dollar for that privilege she tells me. Sheesh! I guess having an aunt with a published book isn’t near as exciting as you might imagine, at least to a six year old… I hope Santa realized that day what an honour was bestowed upon him when Miss Emma let him have his picture taken with her…
It was all good in the end. My two nieces returned later in the day after their visit with Santa. A bag was opened and a Mars bar was being waved in front of me. Yup…..another successful book signing…Halifax Coles, you did me well!
Posted by Laura Best on December 8, 2009
Maggie is just starting to write stories. She told me she’s written one about an alien and one about a bunny. She even wrote one about a princess. There’s nothing like a good princess story I always say!! Little sister, Katie is just learning to read. She turned a bashful eye my way as she stood across the table from me. With smiles so sweet and innocent, they really brightened my day.
Maggie and Katie’s mum stopped by during one of my signings to explain to Maggie that I had written a book and to instill in both of her young daughters the importance of writing stories. She seemed like a pretty neat mom to me. While I was singing a book for their Nanny Francie, I told Maggie that if she kept on writing that one day she might be sitting at a table and signing her own book.
My favourite moment was when they passed my table once more before leaving and gave me a little wave. Made my day. How could it possibly not? I’m a real push over when it comes to little moments like that. Have you ever stopped to think how small gestures can make such a big difference in someone else’s life? And what can be more important when that small act is remembered with fondness far into the future? Thank you Maggie and Katie. Thank you for making me smile even now as I write this..
Posted by Laura Best on December 5, 2009