Monday, May 31, 2010

The Girl Effect

Even though it's not exactly book related, this is the coolest vid. Enjoy

University Graduation

Finally getting around to downloading pictures from my camera. Here are a few of my youngest daughter's graduation. I can't believe I've (ok they did a little to help!) gotten all three girls through university!

big surprise was that one of my fav Canadian comedians, Rick Mercer, was getting an honorary doctorate at her ceremony. He's so funny. I wish I would have gotten a better pic but this was the best I could do with my lack of talent and point & shoot camera. It didn't help that I was barely out of the hospital and not at my best.

Picturing Canada by Gail Edwards & Judith Saltman

While I was in Vancouver I got a call from Ron Lightburn with some good news. Ron illustrated my first book, Waiting for the Whales, which is still in print after 19 years (note to self; plan party for the book's 20th anniversary in 2011). It seems an illustration of our book was one of two featured in a National Post article about a new book called Picturing Canada: A History of Canadian Children's Illustrated Books and Publishing by Gail Edwards and Judith Saltman.

In my mind, a book that documents the history of children's illustrated literature in Canada is long overdue and I'm thrilled that the book is finally out. The US, the UK, and Australia all have scholarly works documenting children's literature in their respective countries, and it's about time that we, here in Canada, acknowledged the contribution that the publishing industry and it's creators have made to our cultural growth. I recall being honored five or six years ago when Professor Judith Saltman arrived on my doorstep to interview me. We had tea, caught up on mutual friends and industry news, and shared titles of favorite books. She was both gracious and professional as she explained that mine would be one of dozens of interviews which would be integrated into her text and include: authors, illustrators, publishers and librarians and other professionals across the country. Her enthusiasm was contagious, but I admit that after a few years went by I forgot about her project. Now, after reading the National Post article, it has been rekindled. So, Picturing Canada will be on my list when I hit the bookstore next. I'm excited to read about Edwards' and Saltman's insights, and I'm curious about what my fellow creators and publishers had to say. Most of all, I'm thankful to be working in an industry that I continue to love after more than twenty years.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Saltspring Island

Saltspring Island was groovy as usual. The Saturday market is like going back 30 years...tie-dyed t-shirts, hippy skirts, long hair and beards, and guitar players with their cases open for donations, hand-made candles, and lavender jelly, organic smokies (vegie or turkey), plenty of pottery, fresh herbs etc. and a 5 foot nothing guy playing a digaree do & doing a little healing thing with some sort of animal bone much fun. I wish I could have stayed a second night but as it turns out, I got pretty sick the next day too but it was just as well that I headed back home since I ended up being sick for a week...a major drag.

While on Saltspring I bought the cutest little original water color painting by for my daughter's graduation and a lovely cheese slicer with wood carved handle for my other daughter's birthday. The grad was lovely although no dinner for me as I was still not doing solid food. Pictures to come soon...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Saltspring Island

Yeah. Long weekend coming up. Ruby (my puppy) and I are heading over to Saltspring Island. The weekend agenda will include: good friends, good food, good wine, and probably a pile of books to exchange. We'll go to the market, walk the beaches, and catch up (since we all live in different places). I love my girl friends.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Life Above All, a film based on Chandra's Secret

OMG...this is so exciting. My friend Dennis Foon is off to Cannes. Dennis, an award-winning playwright, and novelist, wrote the screenplay for a fantastic YA novel, Chandra's Secret by Allan Stratton, about a 16 year old girl who looks after her younger siblings in the face of her father's death in the diamond mines and her mother dying of AIDS. The story is as compelling as it is uplifting; children parenting children with courage and grace in the face of poverty, abuse and AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa.

The film is called Life Above All, so watch for it. In the meantime, yeah Dennis. Have fun in Cannes, and send us back some celebrity pics.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Victoria Children's Literature Roundtable presents Carolyn Hart

Carolyn Hart: Cultural Diversity in Picture Books
Monday May 17th, 7:30 pm
at the Victoria Children's Literature Roundtable

Note: Roundtable meetings now take place at the Nellie McClung Branch Library, 3950 Cedar Hill Road, lower entrance.
Carolyn Hart is a mother of two boys, a teacher, and a children's book reviewer. She is also the BC Regional Officer for the Canadian Children's Book Centre. She makes presentations about early literacy and outstanding children's books to parent groups and professional organizations throughout BC.
Carolyn will speak about new picture books that celebrate our cultural diversity. She will also demonstrate activities and games that match the themes of the featured books. "When we make wise choices with the books we read to children, we can help diminish stereotyping and help youngsters develop respect for human diversity and curiosity about our world."

The VCLR is open to the public. Members free, drop-ins $5, students $4. Meetings are held at the Nellie McClung Branch Library, 3950 Cedar Hill Road, at 7:30 pm. Come early and browse the bookseller's table, and bring a friend!

Orca Book launch today!

Oops...I meant to upload this invite to the Orca Book launch but forgot. Sadly, it's too late to get there now, but it's never to late to drop by your local bookseller to pick up one of these great titles

Friday, May 14, 2010

BC Kids books to be featured in Korea

Taxes done and done! Before I head out to the garden to attack the weeds I have to get books ready for the Canadian Embassy in Korea which is showcasing BC children's authors and illustrators at their book fair this year. Very cool. I'll be sending The Smell of Paint, my young adult novel, as well as the Korean version of This is the Dog. I'll get the cover scanned in so you can check it out just as soon as I fix my scanner.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

tax time

Home again and immersed in taxes. Yah yah, tax time has come and gone, but I'm just getting to it, wading my way through paper piled practically to the rafters. Thinking back over a year it's hard to believe I actually considered changing careers...It turns out that my income this past year is about the same as the year I began my writing sad. Fortunately this year, luck is with me...I've received writing grants from both The Canada Council and The BC Arts Council and I'm lucky enough to have Suzie Townsend of Literary FinePrint Management as my agent. Life could not being looking better.

And speaking of Suzie, I just received two books from her in today's mail. She calls her self a book-fairy with good reason. Not only is she an insightful editor, she sends books! I can't wait to read them. The first is I heart you, You haunt me by Lisa Schroeder, and the other is an ARC The Duff by Kody Keplinger. (no image yet available). I'm tempted to crack the covers, but taxes first...well, maybe a little peek...damn you Suzie!

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Whew. The 10 K was a success. Managed to find my friend despite the 60,000 other people who showed up to run. We totally rocked it, and loved the music every kilometer or so and the chocolate milk, oranges and bananas at the end tasted sooo sweet. The sun warmed us all the way through downtown, along the seawall, over one bridge, past False Creek and back to downtown over a second bridge. We walked the few kilometers home afterwards, even up that huge steep hill...showered, walked back down the hill to Granville Island to meet up with the rest of the fam for a lovely mother's day lunch, then barely made it back up the hill...collapsed on the couch and am now watching Vancouver whip Chicago. Sorry Black Hawks, but you're going down! After the game I'll fall into a few pages of The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo and sleep like a baby.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Happy Reading, Running or Renovations

I can't believe I'm watching hockey, but here I am, in Vancouver live streaming the Canucks getting their butts kicked by the Chicago Black Hawks! After several days of helping my daughter work on her new (aka 1960's) but oh so in need of renos condo, we ordered take out sushi and are watching the game which is being played just down the road, but tickets are out of the ball park (or hockey arena as the case may be) for most YA authors, myself included. After days of slaving away, I fall into bed, which in this case translates into a well worn second or possibly third hand couch, and fall asleep after a few pages of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, by Steg Larsson. I'm enjoying the book, and would probably be farther along if it weren't for above mentioned renos. I'll get back to you on whether it's worth the 841 page read although I have managed 240 pages these last few nights.

Tomorrow I pick up my # and chip for the 10K Vancouver Sun Run which is Sunday. I'll let ya know how that goes too. It's my mother's day present to myself!

Happy reading, running or renovations...