Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Second School Visit

I had a great school visit with Grade 6,7 & 8 students today at Rothesay Park Middle School . What a wonderful group of kids! Everyone was very attentive and responsive showing lots of insight and compassion.They asked excellent questions and I enjoyed the sessions very much. I felt very priviledged to go in to their classrooms as a visiting author and get such a warm welcome. Thanks to the staff and students of RPS.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

First Official School Visit

On Thursday I made my first school visit through the WISP in New Brunswick. I visited my old school Macdonald Consolidated where I went in Grade seven, eight and nine. It is the school where I met the boy that would become my husband and wrote Sue Loves Burton on a beam in the grade nine room. Years later I taught in that same room the beam having since been covered with many layers of paint. I taught there for twenty three years after teaching at Rothesay Elementary for six years. On Thursday I returned as a published author and was able to tell the kids that not only can you be anything you dream of being but you can dream more than one thing . As a young girl I had dreamed of being three things; a mother, a teacher and a writer. I stood there proudly claiming to have acheived all three things.I enjoyed the visit very much. One class had read my book as a class novel and they had so much to offer and such good questions to ask. The other classes each had a few kids that had read the book and they all offered so much insight and interest in the book and the overall process. I conducted a writing workshop for 16 kids in the afternoon and was so impressed with their creativity and excitement. I found the experience so rewarding, very emotional and exhausting. It made me miss a bit about being in the classroom but made me even more thankful for the chance I have been given to pursue my next career.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

My new Grandbaby

I just realized that I wrote on September 27th while I was waiting for my new grandchild to be born but have not written again to tell the news. Paige Louisa was born on October 4th. She is a beautiful little girl and Emma is thrilledto be a big sister. I had to leave two days after she was born and I look forward to seeing her again in December. I wish my granddaughters (and Meg and Cody)did not live so far away.

Book Signing at Fredericton Chapters

It is a beautiful crisp cold November day and I just returned home after a nice drive to Fredericton with my friend Kathy. Again my daughter has reminded me that I do not post enough. Oh well! I had a signing at the Chapters in Fredericton this afternoon and enjoyed it very much. The first person I saw was Amy, Zac's good friend, her husband and her two adorable children. She and her husband are expecting again and this time , twins! She is a special girl and was very special to our family when Zac died. My little eight year boy ( who will turn 21 tomorrow) adored her and clung to her in those days ,laying his head on her lap to get through the strangeness of a funeral for his big brother.She will always hold a special place in my heart and I am so pleased to see her so happy.I also saw a former principal of mine and was pleased to share my book with her. I had the pleasure of talking to some other very nice, supportive people. The mananger and other staff at Chapters were very welcoming and I appreicaited the opportunity to visit their store.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Cross Canada Trip

My friend Kathy and I headed out on Sept 6th for a cross Canada driving trip. We drove as far as Jasper, Alberta then took the train to Vancouver and then flew to Whitehorse. 21 days of touring. We had lots of laughs, saw lots of beautiful scenery, met lots of interesting people and ate lots of good food. I left a copy of The Year Mrs. Montague Cried in three libraries, gave away a few copies and even sold a couple. I am now at my daughter's waiting for my new grandbaby to arrive. I will be home by Thanksgiving and am anxious to begin the work on the editing and revising of my next book due to come out in the spring. Can't wait for those crisp fall days to be in my writing room between harvesting chores, putting in the winter's wood and cooking fall meals for friends and family. Being away has just made my love of home that much stronger. I can't wait to enjoy my Walton Lake home.My only regret is that by the time I get home the temperature will probably not be warm enough to tempt me in to taking another lake swim in 2011. I will have to wait for the warm weather to arrive next year. I did have a beautiful swim in the Georgian Bay and one in a cove on Manitoulin Island.Now I wait patiently to hold my new grandbaby and to see the look of wonder as Emma meets her new brother or sister. I will keep you posted.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Rainy Monday Morning

It is a rainy Monday morning and I will take it as a gift that allows me to stay inside instead of spending my day , weeding, picking hundreds of green and yellow beans , picking peas, squashing potato bugs, weeding some more and mowing my rapidly growing lawn.I will spend the day reading ,revising,and thinking about writing. My mind is never far from the story of Rachel and the home she comes to in my second book. The characters are with me as I take the summer off from writing to devote my days to the endless tasks our gardens , turkeys , pigs ,and chickens provide me along with the delightful moments of swimming and kayaking in my beloved lake. The lake is a main character and every minute I spend in it's waters makes that character stronger. Today I will let it's waters swell with the steady rain and I will visit the story looking forward to the days ahead whether rainy or filled with brilliant sunshine.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

ext + -
A story of loss and moving on
Retired teacher crafts fine debut novel
Sun, Jul 3 - 4:54 AM

The Year Mrs. Montague Cried by Susan White (Acorn Press, 164 pages, $12.95, 11 and up)

The year Mrs. Montague cried is the year her son Zac died in a car accident. It’s also the year that the book’s main character and narrator, Taylor Anne Broderson, learns her little brother Corey has terminal cancer.

How they deal with their tragedies unfolds through Taylor’s daily journal that she writes in class.

Her musings can be both precocious for a nine-year-old (she loves to read and write stories) and utterly typical for her age (lots of Top 10 lists). White gives Taylor’s writings a lovely voice — open, intelligent and empathetic.

Yes, there’s major sadness in this very touching first novel by New Brunswick author Susan White, who won the young adult category of the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia 2010 Atlantic Writing Competition for this book.

But it’s transcended, ultimately by the powerful capacity we have to heal (or sometimes not quite), and go on. And on.

For, as Taylor learns, we can let someone go and keep them at the same time "and no one and nothing can take them away from us."

As Taylor’s family struggles through Corey’s radiation and chemotherapy treatments, a journey that ultimately ends with the boy’s death, Mrs. Montague is struggling to put her own life back together as best she can after Zac dies.

Sometimes, Mrs. M. is absent from school. Or cries in class and has to go home. But in January, after reading aloud to her class about Aslan’s death in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, she shares the story of Zac’s death with her students.

And they share their own stories of loss with her. It’s not a panacea for her grief but is another important step forward in her journey to heal.

White, a retired teacher, dedicates this very fine first novel to her own son Zac, who died in a car accident in 1999, at age 20. While Mrs. Montague isn’t autobiographical, it’s clear White

has drawn on her own feelings and experience to craft such a genuine, moving account of love and loss.

At the end of the book, there’s a very nice touch — White has put together the Taylor Anne Reading Challenge, a list of all the books that Taylor read during the course of the story. They’re impressive novels: you should read them if you already haven’t.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Happy Canada Day

Canada day and July already. I have been to Meg's and back and have settled in to my summer days of gardening and swimming. Have not ventuered in the lake with the kayak yet but hope to get there this weekend. We are you fortunate to live in such a wonderful country and in my opinion one of the best parts of the country on the beautiful Kingston Peninsula in New Brunswick. Every day I am thankful for our little piece of paradise here on the Walton Lake Road.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

First Lake Swim of 2011

I am one happy writer or should I say swimmer. I just took my first lake swim of the season. I was planting the last of the beans and feeling the afternoon heat, (wearing long pants and a bug jacket will heat you up) and thought it was time to get in the lake. I love my numerous trips a day to the lake in the summer time  and have been looking forward to them since my last swim in September. Last year our first swim was on the May long weekend but this spring has been much colder. I headed to the lake hoping that my desire would win over and that I wouldn't chicken out when  I felt the frigid water temperature.I waded out past my knees and after a few minutes my exposed flesh got used to the water. "I can do this" I kept telling myself. If Burton had been with me he would have  jumped right  in letting out a holler that would send  the pair of loons that were swimming quite close by ,to the other side of the lake.I just took my time hoping that I would finally take the plunge. I did! It was beautiful. Let the swimming begin. Next step is to get my kayak in the lake and get myself out each morning to enjoy what that has to offer. I am one lucky duck! Chickens, loons and ducks oh, and the two Canada Geese that are considering making our pond their new home. Maybe my post should have been titled "For the Birds".

Thursday, June 2, 2011

June Has Arrived

Garden time! After lots of wet and cool weather some sunny days have arrived and we are in the garden. Hope to have our third of an acre planted before I go to Meg's on the 13th. I am planting corn this morning and looking ahead to the time I will pick the large cobs off the stalks in August. The miracle of a tiny seed . I am still trying to grasp that miracle that took a tiny seed of an idea and turned it in to a book that I hold in my hands . I also look forward to seeing my second book take shape. Have arrived at a tiitle that  I am pleased with and in the fall will begin the editing process. I will let it simmer over the summer while I put my energies in to weeding, hoeing , mowing, swimming and kyaking  and enjoying every day of the summer ahead.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Signing at Benjamin Books

Yesterday I read at Benjamin Books in Rothesay. My publisher Terrilee Bulger drove from PEI to attend while her two dogs waited patiently in her car. The crowd was small but warm and very receptive. I had the pleasure of meeting a lovely couple (The Laskey Collective) and they shared their own stories of loss and healing. Rickie, Waylon. Eva and Sunny were part of the attentive listeners. ( actually Sunny fell asleep). Eva asked a very thought provoking question and brought tears to her Nanny Sue's eyes. My wonderful former principal arrived and recieved words of praise for the support he offered " Mrs Montague " in the year she cried. I signed a few books and had the pleasure of seeing my books stacked amongst the vast selection of children's  books in Mary Ann Gallagher's delightful book store. Thank you Mary Ann and Benjamin Books!

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Book Launch Every Author Dreams Of

WOW ! It was amazing. On Thursday evening May 19th I launched my novel The Year Mrs. Montague Cried. It was held in my home community on the beautiful Kingston Peninsula at the Farmer's Market in a great room filled with 200 of my closest friends and family. I was introduced so sensitively by my dear friend Ruth.My daughter and her husband and my granddaughter flew in from Alberta to surprise me and joined my son ,his wife , my other son , his girlfriend and my husband surrounding me  with love and support. My Mom and Dad , a favorite aunt , two special  cousins and their  spouses  and all the in laws in the area were there as well. Friends,neighbors  former collegues and many former students made the night complete. I signed loads of books and received a lot of hugs and warm words . Afterwards I unwound at home with a group of the people I love most in the world.People are holding and reading my book , a book hard written and deeply felt. Zac was right there with me and I couldn't be more thankful for the book's  launching and the manner in which it was recieved.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

May 15,2011 Another wet day. Waiting for the sun to come out so we can start the gardening season of 2011. I expect this will be a busy week getting ready for the launch on Thursday. Perhaps it will not be as emotional as last week was when I finally received my books in the mail. I will continue to prepare to share something that is so personal and meaningful to me as I let the book out . I am so pleased with the finished product and so thankful for the entire experience. What ever the launch turns out to be I will be happy.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

It is in the warehouse !

My publisher has recieved my book . I should have ten copies in my hands Monday or Tuesday. I can hardly wait. It has come together and there is now a book called The Year Mrs. Montague Cried written by Susan White. From the first thought to it's finished form has been a journey. I am so thankful for how that journey has evolved. Now I put it out there and it will take it's own trajectory.

Monday, May 2, 2011

May is here

May is here which means I am that much closer to holding my book in my hands. It should be back from the printer by the 10th. Launch on the 19th. In many ways I still don't believe it is happening. I have been trying since I won the AWC in August to get my head around the fact that after all the hours of writing and revising and all the teatrs that were cried the book  that took form over the years since we lost Zac is going to be a reality. I am so thankful for all the people that assisted in giving it life. I look forward to the celebration of  "The Year Mrs. Montague Cried"  this month and in the months that follow. Now I need to get my head around letting it go just like a parent lets a child out in to the world not knowing what lies ahead.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Book Launch

The launch for The Year Mrs. Montague Cried is on Thursday May 19th. We are having it at the Kingston Farmers Market. I am very much looking forward to the evening and am really anxious to see my book in print.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Things are coming together and I am getting closer to seeing my book in print. I think we have settled on a cover. A week from today I will be in Alberta visiting my granddaughter and her parents. She is almost two and I can't wait to engage in conversation with her. The sun is strong and our snow is gradually melting. I have had a wonderful winter holed up in my warm house. I have gotten about half of my third book written and am so enjoying my days of writing . Spring will bring a different routine and pace but I look forward to it all.

Monday, March 7, 2011

As my daughter pointed out yesterday I am not much of a blogger. I went to clean and organize on a day in January and never returned. I was not buried by an avalanche of closet clutter like the Fibber McGee and Molly routine(really showing my age). I will attempt to write the occasional post so that I remember how to do it and keep anyone interested up to date. All my editing for "The Year Mrs. Montague Cried" has been done thanks to the patience and guidance of Caitlin Drake. The book has now gone to the designer. I am anxious to see the finished product and hold the book in my hands. My granddaughter's second birthday is quickly approaching and I look forward to visiting Meg, Cody and Emma at the end of the month.  I am puppy sitting for my son and daughter -in- law while they soak up the sun in Cuba. I am watching the snow melt here and look forward to Spring. I will now go feed chickens and collect eggs. If I don't get back to this blog for another four weeks don't think I was injured in an unfortunate poultry accident.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Very cold January morning ,spending a bit of time on my blog page and then get writing.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

I am trying to find my way through creating a blog page. I will continue exploring this at another time. Right now I have some January cleaning and organizing to do which seems to be a  fifty some writers way of getting some control .