Last night, my husband, Peter Carver, marked the end of his 25-year career in teaching ‘Writing for Children’ by launching – at his retirement party – his first book, So You Want to Write a Children’s Book. Joining the students from across the years who gathered to honour him were: Peggy Needham, Peter’s much loved faculty advisor from George Brown College whose friendship he continued to value after her retirement and more recent George Brown staff; Eleanor LeFave and others from Mabel’s Fables, the bookstore that has housed the class since 1989; Richard Dionne and others from Red Deer Press, who saw the potential in the guidebook that Peter had made available to students over the years and encouraged him to update and expand it; a select few other friends and supporters; and last but not least, Ted Staunton, into whose capable hands Peter has now passed the ‘Writing for Children II’ baton (having passed him the ‘Writing for Children I’ baton several years ago). I’m grateful to everyone who attended the retirement/book launch event for making the evening memorable and who contributed to the ‘What’s the Story?’ scrapbook presented to Peter with such gratitude and affection.
I titled this post ‘Endings & Beginnings’ in part because I hope that So You Want to Write a Children’s Book stands for the start of what Peter might do with some of the time and energy freed up with his retirement from teaching. (He will continue as children’s book editor for Red Deer to conduct workshops on Nova Scotia’s south shore each summer.) Not all the ideas for the writing project are for children’s books, including the one of which he already some 40,000 words written.
But there’s another ‘beginning’ in our family we’re excited about too. Several months ago my son Matt shifted to working only part time for Ernst & Young so he could invest his time and energy in creating Black Panda Games, a video game development studio. He expects to release his first game for the iPhone/iPod/iPad next month – details and a link to ‘Flozzle Drop’ in a future post, or follow @blackpandagames on Twitter!
Btw, the painting in this post was created by one of Peter’s now former students. When Richard Ungar heard of Peter’s plans in February, he knew immediately what he wanted to give him, to remind him of all the hours under the roof of Mabel’s Fables. Eleanor LeFave is going to sell prints of Richard’s painting, with proceeds going to a charity of Peter’s choosing. More on that in a future post too.
Tomorrow I am heading to Liberia for another week of workshops, so I’d best go now and prepare…