A New Season

It's that time of year again - fall - such a sweet, but melancholy time of year. I'm surrounded by fluttering gold and September prairie-blue sky. The Canada geese honk overhead as they do their annual practice runs, and a variety of birds like flickers and these little yellow canary-like ones, pass through the yard on their southern migration route.

It's time for sweaters and socks, soup and hot chocolate. Nature is awesome. So predictable, so messy, and so powerful. Soon I won't be sitting out here on the deck. I'll be huddled inside and turning up the thermostat.

But in the meantime, there's autumn. Time to play Autumn's Here by Hawksley Workman!

Lumsden, CANSCAIP & Shane Peacock

Back from the CANSCAIP conference in Lumsden and I'm ready to continue tackling the challenging (yes!) career of being a children's author. There was so much inspiration at the retreat that I feel quite empowered. The Saskatchewan hospitality was as warm and genuine as ever.

I met many wonderful people and came home with a bundle of books that I can't wait to read.
I'll review them here over the next six weeks or so (and continue to share, as I process the workshops' info.)

I'm focusing on Shane Peacock's Boy Sherlock series at the moment. Shane was the keynote speaker at the conference and he shared with us his slow start, but then determined road to success. He credits Robertson Davies (one of his U of T instructors) as the connection who helped open doors to the publishing world. It's always good to get that one link, isn't it?
For me, I think it was Miriam Toews. And while she didn't get me a contract, she helped me along, and for her confidence in me, I'll always be grateful.

I got to sit next to Shane at lunch on Sunday. Our whole table was delighted with his presence. One nugget I learned from him that I'll share here is: decide what your book is about in one word. ONE word! It's a simple enough challenge.

Anyway. Back to the books.

2011 Prairie Horizons

Tomorrow I head out west for the bi-annual prairie CANSCAIP conference. It's the only writing conference I get to attend this year, so I plan to enjoy every minute of every workshop.

Shane Peacock is the featured speaker. I'm reading his book, Eye of the Crow right now. It was the winner of the Arthur Ellis Award in the Juvenile category. Very much enjoying it.

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