Book Launch Pics

A couple of pictures taken at the book launch by Cheryl Chen of Red Deer Press. I’ll try to post more on my pictures page. Thanks, Cheryl!
Thanks to everyone who attended my session at the provincial school librarians’ conference in New Glasgow on Friday. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and so appreciated your feedback and interest:)


Jacob and I were overwhelmed by the support of the almost 200 people who attended our launch at St. Mary’s University Wednesday evening. Friends came from Tatamagouche, Amherst, Truro, New Glasgow, East Dalhousie, and, of course, Wolfville. Dr. Dodds introduced us, Woozles sold every book we could scrape up, Kojo provided wonderful atmospheric music, Jacob spoke from his heart (and without notes) with his usual passion, and I managed to read without stumbling too much. Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone for your support and friendship; I hope the novel will contribute a few bricks to Jacob’s dream school in Sudan. Thanks also to The Kentville Advertiser, CBC Halifax and Breakfast Television for your interest and coverage.

As well as being available in bookstores, the novel can be purchased from Wadeng Wings of Hope, Jacob’s charitable society: (please see link in my Blogroll to the right…)

Red Deer Press is very generously donating 40% of sales through Wadeng to the foundation.
Next week, I’ll be visiting Lockeport Elementary School through the Writers in the Schools program and also presenting at a provincial school librarians’ conference in Pictou County. Today, I’m writing!:)

Good advice from Joan Didion

I’m reading SIX MONTHS IN SUDAN, an account of James Maskalyk’s time in Sudan with MSF. Before I even began reading the book, I had to digest this quote from American author, Joan Didion, part of a commencement address at the University of California, 1975:

“I’m not telling you to make the world better, because I don’t think that progress is necessarily part of the package. I’m just telling you to live in it. Not just to endure it, not just to suffer it, not just to pass through it, but to live in it. To look at it. To try to get the picture. To live recklessly. To take chances. To make your own work and take pride in it. To seize the moment. And if you ask me why you should bother to do that, I could tell you that the grave’s a fine and private place, but none I think do there embrace. Nor do they sing there, or write, or argue, or see the tidal bore on the Amazon, or touch their children. And that’s what there is to do and get it while you can and good luck at it.”

Profound advice, succinctly put; although not phrased so beautifully, it’s advice I often find myself trying to give my own kids. Unfortunately, they don’t always receive it as gratefully as I think they should…

One of my favorite things about reading is coming upon gems of wisdom the author has woven into the story, often only as a single sentence, but a sentence I find myself reading several times, marveling at its profundity (I’ve never written that word before, but it’s perfect!). I don’t think I’ve acquired that skill yet, but it’s something to work toward.