Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I'm off

I'm excited to be spending the next few days with a group of women that I have been going away once a year with for the last 22 years. What a treat it will be to have some down time with these women from near and far to catch up on what everyone has been reading, where they've travelled, how their families are doing, and what they are up to professionally and socially. Our group began as a weekend get-a-way for a loosely connected group of professional women who were raising children and never seemed to have time for themselves. This was some "just us time." Over the years, some of us have retired, some have changed professions and some have lost loved ones. We've shared sad times and happy times, grown grayer, and I like to think a little wiser. The thing that has always been the one constant in our little group is the mutual support and respect we give each other. I suppose as long as that happens, I'll be heading out to see these wonderful women year after year.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Canadian Children's Book Centre announces a change in dates for Canadian Children's Bookweek.

The Canadian Children's Book Centre has announced that Canadian Children's Bookweek will be moved from the fall to the spring. This is great news as touring in November can sometimes being a little dicey; especially if you happen to be touring in the north and get caught in a snowstorm...something that's happened to a few of us.

Sadly, that means this year there won't be a touring program this year since it will take CCBC a little time to make switch things over. But don't fear, Canadian Children's Book Week will be up and running by next spring (2011). To find out more, visit the Canadian Children's Book Centre.

New York Times article about reading.

Here's a link to a New York Times article about a dad and daughter who read together from grade 4 until she moved into a dorm for her first year of university. It brings me back to the years when I read aloud to my girls and has me wishing I'd carried on a little longer. It really speaks to the power of sharing books.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sad news about Sid Fleischman

Sad news. Sid Fleischman, who has been ill for some time, passed away March 17 in his home. His humor has been a light in the life for so many young people. Although he was 90, he will still be missed. Here is a link to an article about one of children's literature's favorite sons.

New review of Laurie Halse Anderson's Wintergirls posted on my teen blog

Not much news aside from gutter cleaning and a few more pages done on my novel.

I've just posted a new teen review of Laurie Halse Anderson's Wintergirls so check it out.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Off to Vancouver

I'm off to Vancouver today. So excited to see my girls although I'll be doing a fair bit of schlepping scrubbing and painting since one of them is moving. Before I go though, a couple of the girls I met at Pueblo Ingles in Spain last year are showing up for a weekend in Victoria, so we are going to rendezvous downtown. And I have to keep my commitment to my running buddy for the upcoming 10K, so I have to fit in a 25 minute run this morning on top of a dog walk. But, the sun is peeking out between the clouds, so it's all good. I'll even have time to read a book on the ferry. The trouble is, that when I popped into Cadboro Bay Books the other day I picked up 6 new young adult titles and I have to figure out which to bring. I think Wintergirls by Laurie Hals Anderson might win out because I've really been wanting to read it. For all you Halse Anderson fans out there, the cover is fabulous. Here's a peek. There's also a pretty cool trailer that you can see at Amazon, but I'm not sure how to download it, but do check it out because the author talks about her approach to writing and it's quite interesting.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


BC BOOK PRIZE shortlists were announced today:

Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize
- Counting on Hope by Sylvia Olsen, Sono Nis Press
- The Gryphon Project by Carrie Mac, Penguin Group Canada
- Inferno by Robin Stevenson, Orca Book Publishers
- Return to Bone Tree Hill by Kristin Butcher, Thistledown Press
- The Ship of Lost Souls by Rachelle Delaney, HarperTrophyCanada

Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize
- Bubble Homes and Fish Farts by Fiona Bayrock
Illustrated by Carolyn Conahan, Charlesbridge
- Ella’s Umbrellas by Jennifer Lloyd
Illustrated by Ashley Spires, Simply Read Books
- Maggie Can’t Wait by Frieda Wishinsky
Illustrated by Dean Griffiths, Fitzhenry & Whiteside
- On My Walk by Kari-Lynn Winters
Illustrated by Christina Leist, Tradewind Books
- Vanishing Habitats by Robert Bateman,
Scholastic Canada Ltd.

Congratulations to everyone!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Awesome news.

Got some awesome news yesterday. My grant application for Professional Writers was successful. That means less work time, and more writing time. I'm so thrilled and thankful for living in a country that supports the arts.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Bird in flight

If you're into kids' books, chances are you've read or at least heard of Besty Bird and her amazing blog, A Fuse #8 Production. Not only is Betsy prolific and quirky, she's usually right on in her reviews. As knowledgeable about kids' books as she is passionate, she's a shining light for readers, sifting through a sea of books and directing us toward the best. By day, Betsy is a librarian in New York City, but after hours she's all about her blog which she was enticed to move to the School Library Journal website a while back. Bird has been a juror for the Newbery Book Awards, tackled the issue of "review as promotion in disguise" in Amazon.com's "Vine Voices," and been involved in Blogger Awards. I'm pretty sure is a super duper speed-reader judging by the breadth of the books she can talk about intelligently. Not surprisingly, this one-woman wonder of kids' books has been flying under the radar for years. Now though, Bird is finally causing a flap outside the cosy world of children's books with the recent Forbes article. Check it out. Besty, you deserve these cu-does and more...

Monday, March 01, 2010

This is the Dog makes it's You Tube debut

Here's a You Tube Link sponsored by the Oshawa Public Library of Chrissie Wysotski reading This is The Dog; a book that I wrote and Chrissie illustrated.

Back from Hawaii

Arrived back home from Hawaii to daffodils, magnolias, and forsythias in full bloom. It was such a treat to be away, touring volcanoes, swimming with dolphins, and watching the sunset at 13,803 feet on Mauna Kea. What a wonderful place to spend a week!

I must confess that despite bringing my running gear, I didn't run once. In my defense, I did do quite a bit of walking. And yes, I did come back with some new story ideas, so it wasn't all play. Now, I'm back to work finishing up a novel that began with a trip to Spain and a 300 kilometer walk that I did more than a year ago, proving that travel and inspiration can go hand in hand.