Saturday, August 28, 2010

I Have a Dream...

This speech was given 47 years ago, when I was 9; Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have A Dream..." speech.  It still resonates today.  It still gives me shivers when I hear it.  There are few leaders today who could come close to Dr. King's oratory abilities.  He was a man of vision.  A man of compassion.  A man who, if he were alive today, would, I'm sur,e be speaking out against poverty and injustice.  I've pasted a few lines of the speech below, but I urge you to follow the link and acquaint or reacquaint yourselves with a man whose message is as relevant today as it was all those years ago.

From "I Have a Dream Speech" by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

...I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character..."

Thursday, August 26, 2010

This and that

It was too cool and windy to have tea outside in the sunshine as usual this morning.  Sure hope that summer isn't over. Will be visiting my friend Margaret today, and she'll want a report on the Mockingjay which I haven't yet had time to read or even pick up for that matter, although I'll try and call into the bookstore before I head out to the airport to pick up a friend returning from Edmonton.  I'll probably bring the book to read on the ferry tomorrow morning since I'm going over for the day.  If I'm lucky I'll get a chance to see my friend Linda Bailey for dinner.  I have her newest Stanley's Little Sister and I want her to sign it before I send it off to my newest little niece, Chloe in Seattle.  Of course I have something for her "big" sister too.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

It doesn't pay to disinvite authors, and Mockingjay is out!

Two big news days.  Yesterday Teen Lit Festival in Humble, Texas was cancelled; I gather, due to so many authors pulling out after Ellen Hopkins was disinvited.  I'm sorry to see this happening.  I'd really rather that the decision makers rethought the withdrawal of their invitation to Ms. Hopkins.  In a perfect world I guess...sigh.  So you Humble teens.  You'll just have to get to the library and read.

In other news, today is the release day for Suzanne Collins MockingJay.  I can't believe that my agent Suzie Townsend was lucky enough to get into a bookstore where Ms. Collins was speaking along side of her editor, the equally great David Levithan.  Not only does Suzie have the book, she's already READ it!  I'm not far behind you Suzie.
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Sunday, August 22, 2010

My idea of a perfect summer day

Yesterday was my idea of a perfect summer day.  Sunny but not too hot.  A lovely breeze.  After a gorgeous bike ride on Lockside trail, a stop a Maddock's farm for ice cream, and a burger downtown, we wandered into Munro's Books along Government St.  I love this bookstore, although I find it dangerous to step through it's impressive (formerly a swanky bank) glass and wood doors.  I think last night's visit set me back a couple of hundred...Yikes.  So many books to read though.  Linda Bailey's new title, Stanley's Little SisterThe Gryphon Project by Carrie Mac (which I've been meaning to read since it won the Sheila Eggoff Prize for YA Literature at the BC Book Prizes), and InkDeath, the last in Cornelia Funke's trilogy which I've yet to read.  So exciting, I'll have to get through these really fast because the fall list will be in soon, and the "too be read piles" will just get higher and higher!

Friday, August 20, 2010

What a view!

Had the most wonderful 3 day visit with my middle daughter, Cloe.  Of course very little writing got done while she was here, but sometimes living life is more important than writing about it.  Today, before she left for a weekend with her girlfriends from high school, we went for a lovely 3 hour walk along Beach Dr. and up to the old observatory.  Here we are at the top.  It's quite the lucky to live in this gorgeous part of the world.  So lucky to have even one of my girls home for a few days.  Hoping to see the other 2 soon.
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Thursday, August 19, 2010

It's expensive to donate!

In the last week I have sent off book donations to LA airlift due to the empty library shelves in some schools, Raise a Reader for a book auction, and The Elizabeth Fry Society of Saint John New Brunswick, or is it Saint Johns?  I never can remember.

Please don't anyone ask for more book donations...I can't afford the books (you might not be aware that authors have to pay for their own books aside from a few comp copies upon publication which you are supposed to use to help promote the book) or the postage...$47 to give books to people in need!  Yikes.  The total on this latest donation was $200 plus.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Between the Covers B&B and the Saltspring Island Young Adult Book Club

After a wonderful visit on Pender Island, I hopped over to Saltspring Island where my writer friend Margriet Ruurs picked me up.  She and her husband Kees moved to Saltspring and opened up a Book Lover's B&B called Between the Covers last year.  And what a perfect place it is.    If you tire of the quaint outdoor cafes in Ganges overlooking harbor, the dozens of art galleries, or sipping wine at one of three local wineries, the b&b is a perfect place to hang out.  They've outfitted  their poetry and fiction themed suites with shelves of books available for your reading pleasure.  Or you can enjoy the sight of bald eagles catching an updraft, or the smell of lavendar wafting from one of Margriet's fields. It's a perfect place to get back to nature.  When you leave, don't forget to bring a little of the country back home; either with a dozen free range eggs from Margriet's chickens or a bunch of fresh cut lavender.

While I was on Saltspring for work (having been invited to attend a young adult book club that was discussing my novel The Smell of Paint), I was not above enjoying a few of the above mentioned perks at Margriet's B&B.  And, I was lucky enough to be invited to a fabulous pot luck dinner provided by the members of the book club.  Before the night was over, one last treat was in store; slipping into the  hot tub after dark and enjoying the stars and the dramatic sky show of the Perseids meteor shower which was at it's peak.  Life couldn't get much better.

Thanks Saltspring Island Young Adult Book Club, and thanks Margriet for a delightful stay at Between the Covers.  I'd go back again in a heartbeat, and if you haven't been, a shelf full of delightful books awaits you.

Pender Island visit

Had a wonderful time on Pender Island visiting my writer friends Andrea and David Spalding.  Of course it helps that Andrea is a fantastic cook and David has written books and articles about everything from whales to geology.  Andrea has created the most gorgeous labyrinth and I also enjoyed a visit to a couple of their local art galleries, and the island bookstore.  The weather was perfect for a walk out to the nature preserve on South Pender.  Notice the street sign in the picture,   Kloshe Rd.  Kloshe means "a beautiful place" in the Chinook First Nations Language.  I couldn't agree more.
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Saturday, August 07, 2010

Sedaris & Sushi

SushiImage by apc33 via Flickr

A rainy Saturday morning...meaning I didn't have to jump out of bed to water the garden (the city is in water conservation mode from May through September).  Still reading David Sedaris When You Are Engulfed in Flames, which I may finish if I laze about long enough.  He's very funny but I do prefer longer fiction to short stories.  Later I will be learning how to make sushi with my friend Cathy Takagaki, who is coming over from Saltspring Island and who learned how on her mother's knee.  Can't wait.  I love sushi.

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Thursday, August 05, 2010

I love my new i-phone

Yeah, my new i-phone has arrived.  Of course it meant transferring everything, but now I can sync my phone with my computer meaning I don't have to update contacts, calendars, and email on both.  I love it!  And the camera is so much better than the one in my old phone.  Check out the path I'm building around the garden (I'm only about 1/4 done but it's looking good). And, I'm still managing to get in 500 words or so a day on the new novel.  That's  nothing compared to the 3000 words Marsha Skrypuch pulls off (aka facebook status), but hey, I do my best.  And now I'm off to have tea (definitely ice tea today!) with my housebound but 'reads more books in a week than I can in a month' friend, Margaret.