Only in Canada…

We had some proud Canadian moments while on our annual writing retreat in Port Joli last week. While on a working holiday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Sophie Grégoire Trudeau paid a visit to Keji Seaside, part of Kejimkujik National Park, and we got to meet them (and take lots of pictures.)   Since the…

Shoes on the Mat

I don’t know about you, but I have a thing about shoes. I suppose I collect them, really. My go-to footwear usually consists of slippers, sneakers, flip flops, or rubber boots, depending on the season. Since most of my clothes shopping happens at used clothing stores (a teenage habit I’ve kept for life), it doesn’t…

A Bench for Remembering

Before my dad died, it was important to him to have his (and Mum’s) headstone in place, designed to their specifications. Fortunately, he had the time to make those arrangements, and I think it made his leaving a little easier for him. Lately, as I’ve travelled about, I’ve been noticing memorial benches. I first saw…

Feeding Your Soul

While I’m feeding my soul and enjoying the sunshine and endless Vitamin D here on beautiful Saint Simons Island, Georgia, I’ve been thinking a bit about the pile of manuscripts I’ve accumulated over the past 15 or so years. Of course, it’s not really a pile, but rather folders full of dozens and dozens of…

Bye-bye February

Don’t know what happened to February, but it seems it’s March already. We got snow-dumped a few times last month, but it’s almost all disappeared due to double digit temperatures this past week or so. In late January, I visited two schools in Toronto as part of the All-Star Reading Challenge for grade 5 students.…

Celebrating Girls and Women

My little town of Wolfville, Nova Scotia, is having its own version of the Women’s March on Washington tomorrow, with participants, as one voice, reading Maya Angelou’s poem, “Phenomenal Woman.” (Performed so beautifully by Ruthie Foster in this video.) The basic principle behind the March is that: “Women’s rights are human rights, regardless of a…

A town isn’t a town without a bookstore

“What I say is, a town isn’t a town without a bookstore. It may call itself a town, but unless it’s got a bookstore, it knows it’s not foolin’ a soul.” Neil Gaiman People-watching for a couple of hours in a small-town bookshop, like Wolfville’s The Box of Delights, is always an interesting way to…

On the Ground, in Nova Scotia Schools

Nova Scotia public school teachers are in a difficult position, possibly poised to strike; something nobody in the schools wants. I really fear they’re up against the wall, and if they want change, they need to stand firm. If you’ve never spent time in a school lately, I’m pretty sure you’d be shocked at the…

Kids Are Still Kids

I’ve been doing some school author visits lately, and it’s always interesting walking into a classroom full of strangers, most often from grades primary to eight for me. I like kids, their honesty, energy and enthusiasm, and doing school visits really inspires my writing; it’s a great research opportunity. For the most part, students are…