Bye Bye Sagors

“It is better to spend one day contemplating the birth and death of all things than a hundred years never contemplating beginnings and endings.” ~~Budda

I’m always anxious for the new year to start. For me it represents beginnings. Beginnings are usually exciting and fresh, filled with so many promises I can’t close my eyes at night. Beginnings have the ability to tantalize, surprise and delight. With all that, do you wonder why I love beginnings so much? I have to admit, however, 2012 doesn’t see me beginning anything new on the writing front. I’m actually reworking a story I wrote some time ago, one of those stories that keep creeping back, begging me to keep working at it until I have the story told just so. Once that is finally done to the story’s satisfaction, I have a few new ideas I’m anxious to get started on. But all in good time. The wonderful thing about beginnings is that they can come to us at anytime not just when a new year begins.

Of course with every beginning there are also endings. It’s the way life is. Endings are sometimes as welcomed as what beginnings are, but not always. This post is about an ending to something that I only wish would never have had to end—at least not for a good long while.

In early December I received an email from the good folks at Sagors’ Bookstore in Bridgewater informing their customers that they would be closing their doors at the end of the month, and it made me SO sad. I hadn’t been expecting this, at least not just yet. Over the years I’d come to think of Sue and Ron as good friends, and their store a great place to stop by and chat when I had some time to spare. Sue and Ron helped me launch Bitter, Sweet, and I think they were almost as excited as I was that day! I did say almost. At any rate I was delighted to be able to share the day with them.

Sagors’ Bookstore has been on King Street since 1972. That’s a very long time. It’s hard to believe that the new year won’t find me browsing their selves for some of the latest YA Fiction. And in most cases, when I wanted a book ordered in they were able to do so. My mum also ordered many of her books this way. King Street has seen the loss of many small business over the years and it’s a real shame. Times change and people are often forced to shop in the larger stores where they can get the best deals. It’s the reality of the world we live in today. Some of us accept it willingly while others do not.

We are slowly losing our little bookstores and I can’t seem to put a positive spin on this. I wish it didn’t have to be so. I wish that people were able to support our small, independently owned bookstores instead of buying online from the larger distributors.

I can only wish for a future filled with nothing but the very best for Sue and Ron. I hope great things await you both.

Are there any independently owned bookstores in your area? Do you support them or do you purchase your books from a larger retailer that often has better buys, or do you buy your books online?

The Year Mrs. Montague Cried

Last September I received an email from Susan White of New Brunswick. She had read my book and, like many others, had looked me up on line. Through some shared emails I found out that Susan had a book soon to be released by Acorn Press. I also learned that she was a retired school teacher and that she had suffered a tremendous loss when her son died in car accident.

I’ve invited Sue to write a guest blog post to talk a bit about her book. I have to say, this book really struck a cord with me. Thanks Sue. I wish you all the best with your wonderful novel.

The Year Mrs. Montague Cried

Almost a year ago I received the news that I had won first place in the Y/A category of the Atlantic Writing Competition. I had entered my manuscript The Year Mrs. Montague Cried hoping to get a positive response after having had sent it to six publishers and having had received six very polite rejection letters. I believed that if someone read the entire manuscript they would see the value of the story.

Just like most writers I waver in my belief in the worth of my writing and always must push myself to send it out and to renew my confidence after rejection. It had always been this way for my writing but this manuscript came with a whole lot of emotion and personal grief and was more than just words on paper.

I had spent a year crafting a story that held the very essence of the loss I felt after losing my oldest son Zachary in an automobile accident. I believed in this story because I knew the truth of it and had felt every word, every line, every page. And having felt it so deeply putting it out there seemed to wage war with the feelings of instinctually protecting myself from the vulnerability the pain of loss creates.

But winning the contest decided that for me and I was soon swept up with a proposal for publishing, the editing process and the eventual coming together of the book I now hold in my hands.

I am grateful for that journey and am encouraged anew to sit before my computer and write. Whatever The Year Mrs. Montague Cried becomes for the reader I know what it has been for me and I let it go just as we let go of the people we love, letting them go and keeping them at the same time and no one and nothing can take that away from us.

To learn more about Susan and her book you will find her at author-susan-white
There’s a lovely review of her book that appeared in the Chronicle Herald in July on her site right now. Thanks again Sue. I’m so glad we *met.*

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