Local Books For Your Winter Reading Pleasure

From time to time I like to give a shout out to some authors and their books. It’s been awhile. Actually, longer than I thought once I got looking back on old posts. Since I do like local (as many of you know) this shout out is for some local books that have recently come onto my radar. I wanted to mention books that I hadn’t previously mentioned on my blog, books that are new to me! From picture books to novels, I really don’t care. A book is a book no matter what age you are. I hope you’ll check some of these books out this winter when you’re curled up by the fire on a cold blustery night.

Explosion Newsie by Jacqueline Halsey.

imagesOn December 6, 1917, two ships collided in the busy wartime harbour of Halifax, Nova Scotia. The resulting explosion was the biggest man-made blast prior to the development of nuclear weapons. It flattened one fifth of the city. Thousands of people were killed that day and thousands more injured or made homeless. One lucky survivor, ten-year-old newsie Macky, has a key job to do — get the news out.

The beautiful and compelling illustrations in this book help tell the story of what it was like to be a working child of ten in the city that day. Macky, an unreliable and fun-loving boy, has to deliver the news to a confused and wrecked city where the only way to know what happened to missing loved ones was to read the local newspaper.

Red Coat Brigade by Vernon Oickleimages (1)

On a warm, beautiful sunny day in June 1782, the women and young children of the village of Chester come together to defend their still-fledgling settlement against the invading and much more well-armed Americans. Armed only with their cunning and imagination, this rag-tag group of settlers pushed back the marauding intruders without the loss of a single life. In this fictional account of those events, veteran author Vernon Oickle weaves facts and legend to tell a story that has become part of Nova Scotia’s heritage and folklore.

 

These Good Hands by Carol Bruneau

downloadSet in the early autumn of 1943, the These Good Hands interweaves the biography of French sculptor Camille Claudel and the story of the nurse who cares for her during the final days of her thirty-year incarceration in France’s Montdevergues Asylum. Biographers have suggested that Claudel survived her long internment by writing letters, few of which left the asylum because of her strict sequestration; in Bruneau’s novel, these letters are reimagined in a series, penned to her younger self, the sculptor, popularly known as Rodin’s tragic mistress. They trace the trajectory of her career in Belle Époque Paris and her descent into the stigmatizing illness that destroyed it. The nurse’s story is revealed in her journal, which describes her labours and the ethical dilemma she eventually confronts. Through her letters, Camille relives the limits of her perseverance, and through her journal, Nurse confronts the limits of hers; these limits include the faith these women have in themselves, in the then-current advances in psychiatric medicine, and in a God whose existence is challenged by the war raging outside the enclosed world of the asylum. In her dying days, Camille teaches the nurse lessons in compassion and, ultimately, in what it means to endure.

Lonely Angels by Heather D. Veinotte

As a medium, Kelsey Gordon has had to deal with people’s distain of her gifts for most of her life. 51RqiF2VF7L._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_Through her firm, “Gordon’s Agency” she’s been hired by the Mayor’s Task Force of the city of Bridgeview to help find three little girls that have vanished without a trace. As soon as she’s introduced to the very handsome Lieutenant Jake Carson, she feels his contempt for what she stands for and realizes that this assignment will not be an easy one. The murderer must be found, but she knows if she and Jake work together, her heart will be lost to a man who detests what she is. Lieutenant Jake Carson is stunned to learn that his uncle has hired a medium to work on the task force when he knew what his nephew thought of so called psychics. Anyone who declares that they have psychic powers are the lowest life form on the planet, but Jake has no choice but to work with her. To make matters worse, he can’t keep his eyes off of this beautiful, but phony Kelsey Gordon. Time is running out. Kelsey’s life is threatened by the murderer and to complicate the situation they’re fighting the sexual cord that’s pulling them closer.

Random Acts By Valerie Sherrard

download (1)In the haze of a food-induced stupor, Zoey Dalton and her best friends Bean and Jenna make a pledge to begin performing random acts of kindness—anonymously. Their previous track record for altruism is pretty much a flat line, so anything they do to help others is bound to be an improvement.

Or is it?

What if the random acts of kindness are unwanted and misunderstood? What if, instead of spreading joy and good will, the trio’s actions stir up trouble, wreak havoc and maybe even cause bodily harm? That, of course, would be a different story.

This story, in fact.

Scotia Sinker by Alison Delory

download (2)Cameron and Erin take a new adventure in their cardboard box — this time, to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean! In Lunar Lifter, the first story in their adventure-packed series, they used magic markers to transform their box into a spaceship that took them to the moon. Now, when they find their damaged Lunar Lifter on the beach, they use their remaining pens to repair and transform it into a small submarine called Scotia Sinker. Their new adventure pulls them far from home, deep into the ocean’s wild waters where many thrills and threats await. Here, Cameron and Erin need all their bravery, wits and the help of some interesting aquatic friends to outrun a fearsome predator.

 

Just Beneath My Skin by Darren Greer

download (3)In the small town of North River, every day that goes by bleeds into the next. Poverty begets hopelessness, hopelessness breeds violence, violence causes despair. The only way to change fate, a minister tells his son, is to leave. The minister’s son, Jake MacNeil, chooses to ignore his father’s advice. Only when he realizes what has become of his life – working a grueling dead-end job, living with a drunk, friends with a murderer – does he decide to make something of himself. But nothing comes without a cost: in choosing freedom, Jake abandons his own son, Nathan, to the care of the boy’s abusive mother. Years later, a reformed Jake comes back for Nathan, to finally set things right. But in North River, everything comes around again; and when a dangerous figure from the past becomes hell-bent on dragging the new Jake “back down where he belongs”, three generations of MacNeil men must come together to pay the full price of hope. Gritty, unrelenting, yet peppered with Darren Greer’s trademark mix of wit and poignance, Just Beneath My Skin is the work of an author at the height of his game.

Grist by Linda Little

download (4)“This is the story of how you were loved,” Penelope MacLaughlin whispers to her granddaughter. Penelope MacLaughlin marries a miller and gradually discovers he is not as she imagined. Nonetheless she remains determined to make the best of life at the lonely mill up the Gunn Brook as she struggles to build a home around her husband’s eccentricities. His increasing absence leaves Penelope to run the mill herself, providing her with a living but also destroying the people she loves most. Penelope struggles with loss and isolation, and suffers the gradual erosion of her sense of self. A series of betrayals leaves her with nothing but the mill and her determination to save her grandchildren from their disturbed father. While she can prepare her grandsons for independence, her granddaughter is too young and so receives the greater gift: the story that made them all.

Somewhere I Belong by Glenna Jenkins

download (5)In Somewhere I Belong, we meet young P.J. Kavanaugh at North Boston Station. His father has died, the Depression is on, and his mother is moving them back home. They settle in, and P.J. makes new friends. But the P.E.I. winter is harsh, the farm chores endless, and his teacher a drunken bully. He soon wants to go home; the problem is how.

A letter arrives from Aunt Mayme announcing a Babe Ruth charity baseball game in the old neighbourhood. But Ma won’t let him go. P.J is devastated. The weeks pass, then there is an accident on the farm. P.J. becomes a hero and Ma changes her mind. He travels to Boston, sees his friends, watches Babe Ruth hit a home run, and renews his attachment to the place. But his eagerness to return to the Island makes him wonder where he really belongs.

Amazing Grace by Lesley Crewe

download (6)Can you really move forward without putting the past to rest?

Grace Willingdon has everything she needs. For fifteen years she’s lived in a trailer overlooking Bras d’Or Lakes in postcard-perfect Baddeck, Cape Breton, with Fletcher Parsons, a giant teddy bear who’s not even her husband. But Grace’s blissful life is rudely interrupted when her estranged son calls from New York City, worried about his teenaged daughter.

Before she knows it, Grace finds herself the temporary guardian of her self-absorbed, city-slicker granddaughter, Melissa. Trapped between a past she’s been struggling to resolve and a present that keeps her on her toes, Grace decides to finally tell her story. Either the truth will absolve her, or cost her everything.

Crackling with Lesley Crewe’s celebrated wit and humour, Amazing Grace is a heartfelt tale of enduring love and forgiveness, and the deep roots of family.

Hopefully, you’ll get the chance to take some of these books out for a test drive this winter. You might be amazed at how much local talent we have here in the Maritimes. Keep warm and Happy Reading! If you’d like to give a shout out to a local book in the comment section please do. I love promoting local. 

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Next Time

I’ve got to admit, the passing of Wayne Dyer earlier this week had me feeling a little sad. I’ve most of his books and loved what he had to say. I surely looked up to this man.

A few years back, I went with a friend to one of his talks when he came to Halifax. I would have liked to have gone to meet him after the show, but we didn’t. We left with me longing to have met him on a more personal level. Afterward, I promised myself if I ever got the chance again, I wasn’t going to let it pass. Even if it was just to say “Hi” and get a close up photo. My mind was made up. Next time, things would to be different.

See where that thinking got me?

There’s something to be said about seizing the moment and not letting opportunities pass because, seriously, we never know when our encounter with someone is going to be our last. I should have learned that lesson many years ago on the day my father died. I was at the house when he left to go to town and I don’t even think I took time to say goodbye. (The day was busy. He was just going in to town and I’d likely see him later that day. If not that day, the next.) He never made it home.

We put too much dependence of these “next times” in life, giving ourselves and easy out. (No problem… I’ll just do it next time!) While that thinking is fine and dandy so long as we get that “next time”, but what about the “next times” that never materialize? Think of all those missed opportunities.

So, I’m going to try and change this. If I have something on my mind to tell someone I’m not going wait until the “next time.” No more “next times” for me if it’s at all possible. From now on “next time” has been wiped from my vocabulary. I’m going to be a “this time” kind of gal. If I have an urge to meet someone, to say hello, or to stop and talk a few moments, even when I’m in a hurry, I’m going to do it. This may not work all the time, I mean, sometimes we do need these “next times” in our lives, but I can almost be sure that many of my “next times” won’t be filled with regret later on. That’s all I can do.

I hope you’ll join me on Wednesday when author/blogger Darlene Foster pops in for a visit to talk about why she writes for children. Darlene’s the author of the Amanda Adventure Series for young readers. Hope to see you next time. Oops there’s that “next time” again!

Doing the Street

I was doing the street on the weekend.—Word on the Street, that is–down at the Halifax waterfront. I was on stage at the Vibrant Voices tent with Hugh R. MacDonald, and I apologize to Hugh for the lack of photo. My cameraman seemed to be preoccupied and only took two shots of me as it was. This one turned out the best. None of Hugh, I’m afraid. Hugh read from his ya novel, “Trapper Boy,” of which I am now the proud owner of a signed copy. Hubby is reading it at the moment and when things die down a little in the Best Household –post book launch—I’ll be diving i next

DSC04152This year was a bit different being on the author side of things, even though I also love being a spectator at these events. I got there in time to see friends, Jan Coates, JoAnn Yhard and Jill MacLean, all super great YA authors, at the Vibrant Voices tent. If you haven’t checked out their books yet, you really should. I was amazed at how these ladies can speak so fluently in front of a crowd, something I one day hope to achieve. But for now, I have a long way to go.DSC04134

Kathy Stinton was also there. I love Kathy, but only had a few moments to listen in. I discovered Kathy about 30 years ago when my second daughter was born. A copy of her book, “Big or Little” was included in a hospital pack they gave new moms back then. Little did I know I’d get to see her in person. Wish I would have had time to say hi. But I was too busy doing the street.

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Unfortunately, I didn’t get to meet Jackie Halsey, either. It was a busy day for me with book signings at both the Nimbus Publishing table and Woozles  table—and  doing the street.

DSC04129

Did I mention I got a really neat Nimbus Publishing T-shirt? I probably would remember if I had mentioned it already. I’m in heaven! And yes, a few people even wanted me to sign copies of my book for them! I met up with Lesley Crewe at the Nimbus table and got to personally congratulate her on the movie deal for her book, “Relative Happiness” which will be filmed in Hubbards starting in November. Lesley has even promised me a small part in the movie. Just kidding, but I bet I’d be in there if Lesley had any say in the matter.  😉

I also met Patti Larson at the Woozles booth when she popped in to sign copies of her picture book.

I had a bit of time to listen to Susin Neilson talk about her new book, “The Reluctant Journal of Henry K Larson.” So proud to say that my niece was part of the TD book club who interviewed her for the CBC. Yay Emma!

DSC04150I’m trying recap everything and remember all that happened. It could be some time before I’m invited to do the street again. I do have to mention meeting Patrick Murphy, managing editor of Nimbus Publishing. We had a nice little chat while I was at the Nimbus table. I saw him again while he was on the panel for  “Pitch the Publisher.” I could’t get over all those brave souls pitching their books in front of three editors. I never would have done that, coward that I am.

The coolest moment of the day was meeting blogger, and now author, Libby Schofield.  I had no idea she’d be at Word on the Street. Made my day.  🙂 Thanks for stopping by Libby. I hope you enjoy the book. So there you have a bit of a rundown on my day at Word on the Street. Wish you all could have been there to see the local talent. I know you would have enjoyed it.

Let the Excitement Begin

A friend recently asked if I was excited. She was of course speaking about the upcoming release of my new book and I knew immediately what she was referring to. Not that I’m physic or anything, it just seems that’s all I have on my mind these days. It’s kind of a big deal for me. My answer was something like, “not yet.”  Can you believe it? Truthfully, it felt so far into the future with still two months to go, and I was feeling kind of tired from the heat that evening. Really, it must have been the sweltering heat that sent my excitement scurrying for the corner. A rung out dishcloth would have had more enthusiasm in that heat.

But I want to change my answer. Yes, Torry, I’m starting to get excited! I’m soon hoping to see what the back cover copy looks like for my book and I’ll share it here once I do. I don’t expect any big changes to the cover as the image really is the focal point, and I love it more with each passing day.

At the moment a tentative date has been set for the launch, although at this point it’s a bit early. Apparently books can sometimes get hung up at the printers and we may have to change things around a bit. Can’t have a book launch without books!  I’ve also recently learned that I’ll be reading at Halifax Word on the Street, which I’m quite excited about. It’s always a bit unnerving reading from your book for the very first time in public, and you can believe I’ll be practicing like mad before September 22. I do a lot of readings in church and that really helps, and in ten days, I’ll be reading at my sister’s wedding. Can hardly wait for that (the wedding, not necessarily the reading!)

So even with all this going on, I still need to stay focused and keep writing. That’s sometimes the difficult part. Despite what other might believe, we writers often struggle to stay motivated, especially when we’re going as we try and smooth out any of the rough patches in our plot and bring our characters to life. I wish it wasn’t so. I wish I could say that words flow as smooth as silk all the time and all I need to do is show up at the computer. I’m half-way through a first draft on another novel and I’d really like to have that first draft finished by the end of summer. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. So many things can set our schedules off.

That’s it for the moment. I’m struggling to visit blogs these days and totally not liking Feedly. Maybe it’s just because I haven’t logged in enough times, or often enough, to become familiar with it. If I don’t soon warm up to it, I’ll have to come up with another system to keep track of you all.

 

I hope your summer is turning out to be everything you hoped it would be. What excites you this summer?

Books, Books & More Books

When my daughter phoned to say the local library was having a book sale on Saturday my little heart went pitter-pat. As the previous year, books went for 5 bucks a bag– all you can stog. (Ah, the word “stog”. Isn’t it a dandy word? I think I discussed the word “stog” once before on this blog.) Used book sales are kind of like an all you can eat buffet for book-lovers. Don’t you think?

So while I was looking through the titles my hand stopped suddenly when I spied a copy of Bitter, Sweet. Talk about a surreal moment. I mean, I expected one day to come across a copy of my own book at one of these sales, but when it’s there on the table the reality of it kind of hits you.

A friend asked if I signed the book but I can tell you right now, that thought never crossed my mind. I was too busy stogging books into my bag, I guess. So here’s the silly part, I grabbed up my book and stogged it in the bag too. I mean, it was my book. Not taking it felt wrong in a twisted sort of authorish way. But have no fear; it’s not going to sit on my bookshelf. I’ll have you know I’m not THAT lame!  I’m actually planning to give it away, which is silly in itself because someone was bound to take it home. Yet I didn’t want to stalk my book to find out who.

So here’s the plan:  I’ll go off in search of someone to give the book to, someone deserving, someone kind, and trustworthy…Perhaps I shall scour the land for said person, over mountains and dry deserts.

Okay, so that’s way over the top and totally ridiculous, but sometimes ridiculous is kind of fun. Seriously, when the time is right, I’ll know exactly who to give the book to, unless one of you have a suggestion.

So the really big news on Saturday was meeting author Lesley Crewe at Coles in the Bridgewater Mall. Lesley was there to sign copies of her new book, “Kin” and I wanted to pick up a copy for my mum, who is a big fan, and meet Lesley. Lesley is a Nimbus author, like me, so that in itself gave us mutual ground, but she’s so down to earth and friendly we had no problem chatting it up. Best of all she made me laugh. I could have stalked spent the whole afternoon with her—that’s if she would have let me.  LOL!

So I’m an author groupie. I’ve met my share of authors over the years since my book came out. I can honestly say I’ve never met an author I didn’t like. It’s a strange business I find myself  part of, and as different as our lives are, all writers share our love for the written word. Through the writing journey I’m on I’ve met some truly wonderful people, some whom I consider close friends.

This weekend was all about writers and books. Sunday, was the annual Word on the Street event in Halifax, and I was glad to have made it in. I’ll be posting about it next time and sharing a few photos.

Do you go to book signing events or writing festivals in your area? Have you met an author who left a lasting impression?

Playing the Name Game

Do you ever play the name game?

Sitting here with my current WIP, I’m shuffling around for character names. I’m terrible when it comes to choosing names, last names in particular. I’m not sure why. I didn’t really have any problems naming my kids, although to be honest, I hadn’t decided upon a name for my second daughter until right after she was born

Some characters seem to find their own name, something that fits them right from the start. You give them a name and it fits like a glove, and that’s a good thing. To be honest, I find it difficult to change a character’s name once I’m very far into a story, so I’m usually hoping I get it right from the very beginning.

There have been a few times when I’ve stubbornly wanted to use a particular name and yet it didn’t seem to fit the story at all. Kind of like trying to shove a square peg in a round hole. No matter how much you want it to fit, it just doesn’t.

I have a book of baby names that I like to check from time to time. Checking the meaning of the names is helpful too, as sometimes that will help determine what name I end up with. Often, something on the unusual side will appeal to me as I feel it makes the character more memorable. The names I choose are not always ones that I particularly like, or wish I’d named my own kids. I’ve always secretly felt that people with unusual names seem to be recognized in the world in a way that maybe those with very common names are not. That probably sounds silly, but sometimes secret thoughts have no real basis. That’s why we keep them secret.

There are some great sites with names as well that I have bookmarked and like to check out from time to time. A quick Google search will help you track some of these sites down. Gah, what did we do before Google?

One thing I have learned from another writer is to make sure not to give your characters names that begin with the same letter as it can be confusing to the reader. I think it’s a good tip, one I like to stick to.

For last names I usually check the telephone directory or the obituary column in the Halifax paper. While at a book signing for Bitter, Sweet, one lady bought my book because I’d used the last name Burbidge for the family in the story. She wondered where I’d found the name as she said it was her last name and not very common in these parts. Got that name from gleaning the telephone book, I told her.

After I make a list of possible names I begin to narrow the list down. Deciding what would sound appropriate for a particular character and which names I can immediately mark off the list. I like to get a feel for the name, get used to in my own mind, decide if it fits in with the setting and plot before I start using it. It kind of sounds a bit more complicated than it is. Still, if it’s a main character, I want to end up loving that name as much as I do the character I’m writing about.

How do you come up with character names? Do you have any special tips about naming your characters that you’d like to share?

I Heard the Word, and it was on the Street

Word on the Street was held on the Halifax waterfront this year. It’s the annual celebration of book and magazine publishers, authors, anything to do with the written word. Two years ago I read from my manuscript as my book wasn ‘t yet back from the printers. This year I went to be part of the audience, brought along my camera and enjoyed the day as a spectator. Okay, so I hung out around the young adult stage for much of the time we were there. It only seemed natural. Plus, I was hoping to get some photos with some of my favourite YA authors.  I’m putting together a scrapbook, one that I hope Miss Charlotte will adore when she is old enough to be reading these authors for herself. Hopefully, she’ll be impressed to see that her Nanny Bee actually met these incredible authors for real.

We arrived in time to hear Jan Coates read from, “A Hare in the Elephant’s Trunk.”  I’m not sure why I didn’t make Jan pose for a picture with me. Maybe it was because she was in a hurry to get over to the Woozles booth to sign books. As many times as what Jan and I have had coffee together it makes me wonder why there isn’t one single shot of the two of us together. Why is that Jan?

 

 

 

We checked out the various publishers who were set up. Got a few pictures of the books on Nimbus Publishing’s table.

Look, there’s JoAnn Yhard’s books Lost on Brier Island and The Fossil Hunter of Sydney Mines. Sorry that I missed JoAnn’s reading, I blame the chauffeur, although I can’t complain because he does a darn good job of driving the old folks around the city. Thanks, Matt!  Not to worry, we took him to have his photo snapped with Theodore Tugboat. It was all good.

When I asked for a photo with Sheree Fitch, she pulled out her glasses from her big Mary Poppin-sized bag and asked me to put them on. Well, you don’t say no to Sheree Fitch.

What do you think? Do I look any taller in these?  Hmmm, I’m kind of wondering now what all she keeps in that purple bag of hers.

So listen up, I learned a valuable lesson while talking to Sheree yesterday. Never, ever tell an author, such as Sheree Fitch, that you loved her book. You’ll be sure to get a somewhat polite but confused response when they ask you “which book?”  Duh! Like Sheree’s been published a gazillion times and I have read a number of her books, but I don’t think she’s yet mastered mind reading. Always remember to mention what book you’re talking about. It just makes it  SO much easer for the author.

We listened while Sheree, Jill MacLean ad Don Aker read from their books and answered the audience’s questions.

I chatted with Jill MacLean later. I met Jill last year at at the book launch for author Cynthia D’entrement’s book  Unlocked . Jill even wrote me a lovely note  last year to congratulate me on Bitter, Sweet’s nomination for the Bilson Award. So it’s obvious that I could have used Sheree’s glasses this time too., or would you believe I was sitting down for this shot?

 

 

 

I was excited to meet Valeria Sherrard. Valerie’s latest book, The Glory Wind, won the Ann Conner Brimer award this year. Yay Valerie!  I’m SO looking forward to reading it. It was remarkable to watch as Valerie answered questions from young readers. Seems to me, those young readers had some well thought out questions. Glad it was Valerie on the hot-seat and not me.

I ran into Syr Ruus yesterday as well. She was off to sign copies of her book, Lovesongs of Emmanuel Taggart. Okay, so Syr scrunched down a bit for this photo to make me appear a bit taller. How’s that for friendship, I ask?

Before heading back out of the big city, we listened to Steve Vernon read from his YA novel, Sinking Deeper.        Having already read the book, I knew what to expect. My son did not. I do believe by some of the chuckles he quite enjoyed Steve’s sense of humour, and his lively writing which comes out quite nicely in this book.  Steve’s a great story-teller and very entertaining. A real pro.                                                                                                                                                                                

So, I think I covered just about everything. Of course, there is so much more to Word on the Street than what I covered, but I can’t be in every place at once . If you have never gone it’s well worth going to. We have some truly remarkable and talented authors in our area.

Just Being Human

I am a human being, not a human doing. Don’t equate your self-worth with how well you do things in life. You aren’t what you do. If you are what you do, then when you don’t…you aren’t. – Dr. Wayne Dyer

When I came across this quote by Wayne Dyer, I immediately thought I don’t want to be a human doing all the time. It is so easy to become caught up in life, always working, never feeling able to take time to relax and simply enjoy life. When it comes right down to it, family and friends should always be at the top of our list. As important as writing is to my life, it can’t be all there is. Suppose for some reason I was no longer able to write, I would like to think that some other area in my life would replace that void, but I do know for a fact that my family would never replace it because they are far more important.

I sometimes think we can become so consumed by following our passion that we forget there is much more to life. Sometimes it’s as if we wear blinders, keeping our eye on that one goal in life. We hunger for it. We forget the more important things in life. This past week spent with Miss Charlotte helped put things in perspective for me yet again. Since my daughter and her husband live in another province being grandparents is a bit of a challenge. I only hope that Miss Charlotte will come to know us in a way that our kids knew their grandparents who lived quite handy. Not as easy to do with the distance between us, but luckily the Internet makes it is much easier.

One of the nice things about having Miss Charlotte home was having our other children visit during that time, and knowing that, they too, are building a relationship with their little niece despite the distance. It may not be a prefect situation, but we’re making the best of it. With any luck Miss Charlotte will come to think of “Ant Grub” and “Uncle Mutt” as two very important people in her life.

Tomorrow we’re off to Halifax Word on the Street. We’ll spend the day with our son, say hi to some authors who will be reading, and hopefully get some great pictures to share.

The really best things in life simply happen when we pause for a time and stop being human doings and allow ourselves to simply be human beings.

Do you ever find yourself becoming caught up in “doing” instead of “being?” What helps to put life in  the right perspective for you?

Weekend Plans

On Saturday evening the NS Children’s Literature Roundtable celebrates local children’s authors and International Children’s Book Day at the Writers Federation in Halifax. All local authors who were published in 2009 have been invited to take part in the celebration and of course I was invited as well.

There will be a host of children’s authors on hand and I can hardly wait. I’ll get to meet some of my favourites. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get some great photos to post.

There is also a book launch for Unlocked, a young adult novel written by Cynthia D’entremont, which I plan to attend in the afternoon. (If I’m going into the city I might just as well make a day of it. Right?) I met Cynthia at the book launch for A Maritime Christmas back in 2008 and we’ve kept in touch. I’ll share some of those photos as well. It’s nice to be able to support our local authors. It’s so very important.

This evening we’re off to the dinner theatre in town. Each year the Parish Players in New Germany preform a play written by Heather D. Veinotte.
Nothing like good friends, good food and plenty of laughter to round off the evening.

What are your plans for the weekend?

If all else fails I can always sell lemonade..

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!

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