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National Volunteer Week

April 8, 2015

Next week is National Volunteer Week — originally designated in 1943 to recognize “the vital contribution women made to the war effort on the home front”. Studies indicate that volunteers generally like to be thanked but I suspect that what matters most to many volunteers (like me) is the satisfaction of knowing one is making…

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Book Groups & Summer Reading

June 17, 2015

The last Monday of the month for some years now I’ve been meeting with a group of women to discuss books. My idea for this post was to write about this group, as we’re soon to take a break and embark on the season of summer reading, perhaps mention a book or two we’ve read…

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Summer Reading, Fall Reading…

September 16, 2015

Wiggling slowly back into a regular work routine, as temperatures fall (especially over the Eden Mills Writers’ Festival weekend!) and as leaves begin showing their fall colours in my part of the country, I’m pausing here to recommend two very different books I gave 5-star reviews to this summer. A way of trying to hold…

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Celebrating Excellence in Canadian Children’s Literature

November 18, 2015

Facebook reminded me recently that one year ago The Man with the Violin won a TD Children’s Literature Award — as if I will ever forget such a fantastic season of celebrations! Tonight I’ll be attending the Awards ceremony again, eager to hear which books will be this year’s winners, and happy to celebrate all the books’ writers, illustrators,…

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Reading Aloud

December 16, 2015

I love reading aloud to any willing audience. This week is giving me lots of chances to do so. Reading Christmas-y excerpts from Brian Doyle’s Angel Square to my Book Group. Reading Draft #5 of a story-in-progress for feedback from one of my writing groups (I’m lucky to have two). I’ll be reading that draft…

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A House with No Windows, No Mirrors

October 22, 2014

Imagine living in a house that had no windows and no mirrors. That’s what a house without books would be like. Books open windows onto worlds unlike our own and thereby create empathy for those living lives different from what we know. And by reflecting back to us our own experience of the world, books validate…

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Reading & Writing at Fool’s Paradise

April 13, 2016

Writing for more hours of my days at Fool’s Paradise than I imagined possible left little time for reading and for those intense four weeks I had little interest in any fiction beyond my own. I did, however read three books: Doris McCarthy: Ninety Years Wise by Doris McCarthy Celebrating Life: The Art of Doris…

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“When I’m Sixty Four”

April 27, 2016

Did you know that Paul McCartney was 16 years old when he and John Lennon wrote “When I’m Sixty Four”? Paul and Ringo are the only two Beatles who lived to see 64. John was murdered at 40 and George died from lung cancer at 58. When the song was released in 1967, I was…

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September Weekends

September 21, 2016

Labour Day weekend on the south shore of Nova Scotia included happy hours with family and then with beloved writer-friend, Budge Wilson. My first weekend home after a long summer away, I made seeing family here a priority: son, daughter, sister, dad, and attachments where applicable (including this lovely boy I hadn’t seen since July). …

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“Let’s Read!”

January 31, 2018

My thanks to the Family Literacy Committee of Brant for choosing The Man with the Violin as the book they would plan events around to encourage family reading this year — and for purchasing 700 copies to support their efforts! Everyone’s enjoyment of the “Let’s Read” events in Paris and Brantford this weekend was greatly…

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