Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Great Day in Fredericton

Yesterday I had a very enjoyable day in Fredericton. Fredericton holds a special place in my heart and I always look forward to time spent there. I lived in Fredericton from age seven to eleven. Anyone who knows me at all has heard me talk about 619 Regent St.That address has found it's way into two of my books.In fact Fredericton is the setting of "The Sewing Basket" which comes out in May and my main character lives where else but 619 Regent St.In 1976 I went to Fredericton to attend St. Thomas University and remember those days as a student in Fredericton very fondly.I started my Fredericton day by meeting with Joan Clark who is spending this year in NB as UNB's Writer in Residence. She generously gave up her morning to share her wisdom , experience and perspective. I came away from that meeting with some of my questions answered and a good feeling about the trajectory of my writing career.What a wonderful example she is for other authors.I spent the afternoon in Sara Belong's classroom at George St. Middle School. I would love to list the names of all the seventeen students I met and could probably remember most of them but I wouldn't want to leave anyone out so I won't try. Each one of them was delightful and welcomed me with such enthusiasm. When you hear a boy exclaim that he will buy every book I write it makes me very happy even though I imagine he will soon forget his claim. Then there was the thrilling comment I received when after reading just a short passage from Ten Thousand Truths ,Chantay remarked that it made her think of Anne of Green Gables. That is the best compliment I could ever get about that book.I spent two hours reading from my three books, sharing some of my favourite books and authors and having the kids do some writing. I ran out of time and was very disappointed when the bell rang . They presented me a gift of appreciation , a few pictures were taken ,I hurriedly signed bookmarks and said goodbye.I look forward to visiting there again next year. Thank you Ms. Belong.

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Reach of The Year Mrs. Montague Cried

Last night I came up to my office to spend some time on the computer. I would have liked to have watched the East Coast Music awards but my son who does not pay for his own satellite was visiting so he could watch The Walking Dead.I did the normal stuff,looking at Facebook, checking my e-mail,went on Twitter, looked at my blog stats, and then Googled Ten Thousand Truths, and The Year Mrs. Montague Cried.I stumbled upon a blog entry that had just been published that day with a beautiful review of The Year Mrs. Montague Cried from someone in Australia who had bought the book at Woozles in Halifax,last summer. I called Burton up stairs and we had a tearful embrace. It amazes and overwhelms me how vast and continuous the reach of this book has been.Over and over again I am touched when I hear from another reader.I have said this book was a gift Zac gave me and every day I am reminded of just how powerful that gift is . I am overjoyed when I hear from readers of Ten Thousand Truths but there will always be something very special when I hear of one more reader that has shared a bit of our pain in losing our oldest son."As long as there is one person on earth that remembers you ,it isn't over." Oscar Hammerstien

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Another Day of "Jeaneology"

Last year I had the privilege of spending a night and day at the home of Jean Holder in Millstream.I had that privilege again this weekend. Jean is now 91 and still a rich fountain of family history and past remembrances. She is humorous, and generous in sharing those memories. This year the theme of her get-together was "Meet Your Ancestors". I was so happy to be invited to observe the afternoon of story telling as each family member took an ancestor and after researching them read a piece as that ancestor bringing him or her to life and interconnecting the past and present recollections of that person.Aunt Jean and Barb Fullerton were interviewed on CBC Information Morning in Saint John and Fredericton about this undertaking. From the initial idea and through the extensive planning that engaged about twenty family members it all came together to create a wonderful family event that hopefully will keep this family connected by the past and present and determined to keep that connection for the future generations. Thank you Aunt Jean!