I was going to blog about keeping with my latest thoughts, it was going to be about old dogs, but I got sidetracked (a common occurrence in my life) by an article in the Books section of my local paper. I’m usually way behind on my newspaper reading. I let other family members go through it first, then later I get to snip out pieces I like. (Yes, I’m a hoarder of newspaper snippets!). So I was looking for a piece by Helen Norrie, the children’s book reviewer about my friend Jodi Carmichael. Jodi just had her second book published.  We share a writing group, The Anita Factor, that meets every two weeks at the our local McNally Robinson Bookstore (such a friendly and supportive retailer of books). Anyway, I found a wonderful piece on Jodi in Saturday’s paper. It called her “promising” among other  things—all of which are true. Jodi’s worked very hard to be the success she is today and deserves all the praise coming her way. Go, Jodi, go!  

Speaking of my Anita writing group...Jodi’s not the only talent receiving acclaim. Melinda Friesen’s dystopian YA novel, Enslavement, is being well received and another in the series is due for release next year. Mel Matheson has a picture book, Hokey Dowa Gerda and the Snowflake Girl, shortlisted for awards and she’s competing with friend and fellow Anita member, Deb Froese and her book,  Mr. Jacobson's Window! Both of these authors also illustrated their books—yes, their talents run deep. (Can’t there be a tie?!) And then there’s Suzanne Costigan who’s also short-listed, in the Older Children’s category. Her YA novel, Empty Cup, is gritty and tough. And I can't forget dear Pat, who put years of teaching into words of support. Her book The Other 'R' in Education is a must-have handbook for young teachers. 

These women make success look easy, but they have each worked so hard for this. They're dreamers, writers, artists, mothers, busy women with a multitude of responsibilities...working word by word towards actualizing their goals. Each of them is an inspiration to the rest of us in our Anita group. And to Anita Daher, our mentor, whose book, Wonder Horse, coming up this spring—thanks for getting us started!

I wish them all success. Manitoba Book Awards are coming this weekend! For those short-listed..fingers crossed!

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