September Weekends

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). 

Kathy Stinson’s grandson

This past weekend the focus was on other aspects of my wonderful life.


Friday night — Lovely turnout in Fergus for the launch of my writer-in-residence term with Wellington County Public Libraries. Great to see writer, Marilyn Helmer, there, and to hear how I’d inspired her at an event years ago to “take [her] dreams out of the drawer”.


Saturday morning — Long walk with my dog in the Rockwood Conservation Area, hanging out with the heron and reconnecting with dog-walking friends. Then finished reading the final quarter of a ya novel manuscript by Hadley Dyer, in preparation for a Writing Group meeting the next day. Despite a number of questions yet to be resolved, I’d say she’s close to having it ready for publication.


Saturday afternoon — Participated in a “Welcome Neighbours” event for Syrian refugees in Guelph, organized by the indefatigable Eric Walters. The event featured a reading of Stepping Stones: A Refugee Family’s Journey by Margriet Ruurs and Nizar Badr. Each guest (authors, illustrators, local politicians and other dignitaries) was assigned a page. After reading the English, a 14-year-old recent arrival in Canada read the Arabic so expressively that, had she read the story right through, from her voice alone you would know where in the journey the family was. I wish Naia, her uncle, and all the other families who came, many happy years here in Canada.

Kathy Stinson with a 14-year-old Syrian refugee at a Welcome Neighbours event in Guelph

Saturday evening — Finished reading The Night Stages by Jane Urquhart in preparation for tonight’s Book Club meeting over dinner, to be followed by an evening with the author at the Georgetown Public Library. Some passages begged to be read aloud. It will be interesting to see if Jane will choose any of my favourites for her reading. 


Sunday morning — Met with Writing Group for a good discussion of Hadley’s work. And I read a possible new beginning for the novel I’ve been wrestling with this year. Grateful for their encouraging words and their suggestions. 


Sunday afternoon — With Writing Group member, Lena Coakley, off to read from her book The World of Ink and Shadows at the Eden Mills Writers Festival, and the others heading back to Toronto, I spent an hour or so working in the garden, then hunkered down to begin reading, and preparing to read for the CNIB, The Fortunate Brother by Donna Morrissey. What an honour to be offered such a fine book and I know I’m going to enjoy in the months ahead reading it aloud at the CNIB Recording Studio.


Sunday evening — Followers of my blog know I’m becoming quite an avid photographer. One of my favourite communities for sharing photos and photography talk is oopoomoo Creatives. Their challenge for this month is to create a collection of five photos on the theme of colour. So Sunday evening I combed through my recent photos looking for possibilities. Can you guess which colour I think I’m going to submit?


What’s up for the last weekend of September? My calendar suggests: Nothing! The packed weekends I’ve just had have been great but I’m looking forward to the unpacked weekend coming up too. What’s your idea of an ideal weekend?

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Kathy Stinson is the author of the classic Red Is Best and the award-winning The Man with the Violin. Her wide range of titles includes picture books, non-fiction, young adult fiction, historical fiction, horror, biography, series books, and short stories. She has met with her readers in every province and territory of Canada, in the United States, Britain, Liberia, and Korea. She lives in a small town in Ontario.

Kathy Stinson


  1. Janet Barclay on September 21, 2016 at 8:47 am

    You are having a busy month, but it all sounds very enjoyable. I love the idea of your book club being able to meet the author of one of the books you've read – I think my group would enjoy that too. The closest we've come to that is to watch movies based on our books.

    • Kathy Stinson on September 21, 2016 at 11:18 am

      Janet, some authors are actually willing to visit Book Groups, if they live in the area where the group is meeting. It might be worth visiting the websites of authors you're reading to see. Failing that, some post links to interviews that can also be a way of expanding your reading of a book and stimulate further discussion. Happy reading!

      • Janet Barclay on September 23, 2016 at 3:10 pm

        Thanks for the information – definitely something to look into!

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