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. It’s sponsored in part by basketball star, DeMar DeRozan. The students had amazing questions for me (including one girl who suggested I might want to use more speech tags, and questioned my comma placement:) The students at H.J. Alexander Community School gave me these great gifts:

p1010848Jessica O’Malley, the enthusiastic grade 5 teacher at St. Michael’s Elementary,  worked so hard with her students, reading, doing book reports, and tweeting as the Challenge progressed. Her class didn’t win (the main prize was class tickets for a Raptors game!), but I so enjoyed reading some of what her students wrote about ROCKET MAN, and have this Twitter photo as my desktop background – love her expression!

princess-all-star-reading-challenge

p1010826

Over time, this rusted gate and the tree had become one.

I went snowshoeing a couple of times last month;

peace and beauty

peace and beauty

a few things made me pause, reflect, wonder and take a picture. Wherever you are, hope you’re seeing some signs of spring, too!

felt a little trapped upon opening the door that morning...

felt a little trapped upon opening the door that morning…

 

 

beautiful reflection that the camera just didn't get

beautiful reflection that the camera just didn’t get

had a nice chat with this horse

had a nice chat with this horse

one forgotten apple - bird food!

one forgotten apple – bird food!

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 woman’s race, ethnicity, religion, immigration status, sexual identity, gender expression, economic status, age or disability.”

I got to hang out with young people yesterday, one of my favourite parts of being a writer. The diversity of Toronto city schools is inspiring, and it was great to see and hear the many vibrant, engaged and engaging, girls in those classes – the future. Rise up and stay strong! Let your voices be heard!