Wandering and Wondering through 2015

As I’ve been sitting around eating chocolates, drinking coffee and enjoying having both kids home for the holidays, I’ve also been reflecting on 2015, a busy year for me, especially in terms of writing. I did lots of wandering (14 trips by air, thousands of kilometers – a few too many, I think – Cuba,…

Read 148 Novels in 4.5 months? Yup.

FINALLY, the winners of the 2015 Governor General’s Literary Awards were announced today. Huge congratulations to Caroline Pignat, who won her second GG for her beautiful book, The Gospel Truth. Along with Rachna Gilmore and David Poulsen, I had the privilege of being on the peer assessment committee for the Children’s Literature (Text) Award this…

Libraries, Old and New; WOTS

One of the (increasingly) few memories I have from my pre-school life is of waiting for my fifth birthday so I could get my own library card. You had to be five, but you also had to be able to print your own name! The library in my hometown of Truro, Nova Scotia in 1965…

Moments that take our breath away…

I’ve only been on retreat here on the Scarborough Bluffs for five days, but already I don’t know how I’ll ever be able to tear myself away when September rolls around. I find myself occasionally chatting with Doris (McCarthy) because of this extremely life-like portrait of her that hangs beside the living room window overlooking the…

“Gardening” at Fool’s Paradise

You can’t plant a beautiful garden or write a novel that sings without putting in long hours. (Holly Robinson, The Huffington Post) So next week I’m heading to Fool’s Paradise on the Scarborough Bluffs (near Toronto) for a month-long gardening (aka weeding/revising) expedition. The property is the former home of Canadian artist Doris McCarthy who,…

The King of Keji – Launched!

I have to say launches are super anxiety-producing for me. Asking people to come out and celebrate me isn’t my favorite thing to do, but it’s part of this writing gig, I guess. Here are a few pics – huge thanks to EVERYBODY (especially people who don’t have a particular interest in kids’ books:) who…

Phew! and Jacqueline Woodson!!

My last visits were in Port Moody at Heritage Mountain Elementary yesterday. Beautiful school, with amazing bulletin board displays and attentive kids who were keen to participate. Angie (librarian, resource teacher, track coach) who coordinated my visit, was incredibly organized, including offering the coffee break snack in the pic. When I was finished, I had…

Hero at the 7-11!

Despite my meticulous planning via Google Maps, I got lost driving from Surrey into Vancouver yesterday. All of a sudden the 91N became the 91W, so I exited and pulled into a 7-11 to see if they might have a map. Response: “We used to carry maps, but they didn’t sell.” So, I really should…