May has been a busy month for me. I was a judge in the Truro Library’s 8th annual teen writing competition, named after my late mum, Ada Mingo – pictured here in her bookstore, The Book Nook. It’s hard to believe she’s been gone for 8 years already, but it’s a lovely occasion to remember and honour her. I was so impressed by some of the writing submitted by teens this year!
During Canadian Children’s Book Week, Anne Murray tweeted and “facebooked” about THE POWER OF HARMONY, so I sent her some Mayflowers by way of thanks:)
Then, my copies of ROCKET MAN arrived – early! I don’t think it’s widely available yet, but I did find it on the shelves of Bookmark in Charlottetown while I was there for the Atlantic Book Awards last week.I got to spend the Victoria Day weekend at one of my favourite places, Port Joli, with some of my favourite people as we celebrated Shannon’s graduation from Dalhousie on May 20th. There’s nothing like family time!
While I was in Charlottetown, I got to spend time in the sunshine with two of my best writer friends, Jackie Halsey and Jill MacLean.
All in all, it’s been a great month, although Don and I are true empty nesters, now. Birthdays are funny in that you’re always left shaking your head, wondering how you got to be so old when you still feel like an eleven-year-old (at least inside your head:) I’m feeling grateful for having people who like me and love me in my life, and for the great privilege of getting up most mornings anticipating working at something I adore! Thanks for being part of my journey …
I had a chance to talk about The Power of Harmony at the Atlantic Booksellers Conference on the weekend. Rather than read from the book, I talked a bit about how I’ve spent most of my life writing the book (to steal a thought from Kathy Stinson), since it had its origins in the 1960s on my elementary school playground in Truro, NS. Besides three other authors, the group attending the breakfast meeting were all dedicated and friendly booksellers, either retail or wholesale, and it was great to meet Sonya Gillis, Fitzhenry & Whiteside’s Atlantic sales rep. I SO appreciate all the things these booksellers do which enable me (and everybody else) to continue being a writer!
This weekend, I’ll be one of three WordPlay authors reading and giving workshops at Read by the Sea in beautiful, charming River John, NS.
I’ll be doing a workshop on “Character Craft” for middle-grade readers; Jackie Halsey and Vicki Grant will lead workshops for younger and older readers. There’s also an adult component, and the adult authors this year include Vincent Lam, Martina Endicott, Phil Hall and Rebecca Silver Slayter. This annual festival is completely run by volunteers (with financial help from sponsors including Canada Council), and it’s a nice opportunity to get out and be part of the literary community – events include readings and picnics, and I’m looking forward to meeting some new people, staying at the lovely Tatamagouche Centre and maybe doing some beach strolling. The volunteers I’ve communicated with via email have been incredibly attentive and accommodating, and it’s so great when committed, dedicated people work together to make these festivals happen year after year. Cheers to them! Stop by if you’re in the area this weekend!