“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Confucius

If only it was that easy…When I was 22, like most people, I had no idea what sort of job(s) I’d end up doing during my lifetime.  I started out as a legal secretary (I was so not cut out for following orders all day), taught high school, then shorthand (does that even exist anymore?) at Acadia, became a mom, designed and made toddlers’ clothing for 15 years, did some substitute teaching, and finally, I’m a writer. Which, next to being a mother, is the job I love best. But it took me 30 years to get from new university graduate to here.

Son Liam’s among the many new grads currently roaming the streets of Toronto in pursuit of a career. I’ll be sitting proudly in the audience next week, wiping away a tear or two, as he receives his Bachelor of Commerce (Hons) in Accounting from Queen’s University (GPA 3.8, if I’m allowed to brag – since this is my blog, I guess I can:) The job market’s tough – accounting ads calling for fewer than 3-5 years of experience are non-existent, but I know somebody will eventually give him a chance, and his working life will begin. What I hope, is that he finds something early on about which he’s passionate (and that pays well!) My father spent 25 years doing a job he hated, but he had a family to support, and in his day, people stuck with the same job for most of their working lives. Husband Don retires from Horton High at the end of June, after a 32-year teaching career, most of which he’s enjoyed (okay – not 100% of the time). So it’s a time of new beginnings for our family.

In today’s world, young people are probably looking at having at least a handful of different jobs before retirement. One advantage of getting older, is that you gradually come to realize that things most often work out as they should…and that patience is a great virtue. Once again, I give the last word to Dr. Seuss:

Oh, the Places You’ll Go!


Dr. Seuss

Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go…

Of “Look Books” and “Longtubitis” – School Visits…

I always tell students they need to be nosey in order to be a fiction writer because you never know when a brilliant idea might turn up. I had a fascinating conversation with a six-year-old boy yesterday at Maitland District Elementary – he told me he was writing a “look book”, and his main character had a condition called “longtubitis”.  Of course, I thought I was mishearing him at first, but he then gave me a detailed demonstration of what such an infliction might look like (think Inspector Gadget and his Go Go Gadget arms, only all four limbs). My adult brain could never come up with an idea like that – maybe it should be kids who write books for kids!

I’ll be doing my final WITS visit of the season tomorrow at Annapolis Royal Regional Academy, yet another small rural school on the education chopping block. I think I put over 2,500 kilometres on my car doing WITS visits this year, but it’s been a blast, and I can’t wait to do it all over again next year.  Thank you, students and staff at these schools, for welcoming me this year!

Bedford South, Central Colchester Jr. HIgh, Cornwallis Jr. High, Glooscap Elementary, Kingston & District, L.E. Shaw Elementary, Maitland District, North Queen’s, Rawdon District, Truro Elementary, Annapolis Royal Regional, and Auburn Drive.

My fifteen seconds of fame at Maitland District Elementary

A springy wall at Kingston and District School

Evidence of the Bay of Fundy Mud-Eating Monster, near the lighthouse in Walton, Hants County.

Students at North Queen’s providing some artwork for my (as yet unpublished) picture book story about their neighborhood park, Keji.