Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Human Library Project

Posted by PicasaA view of my nook in the Colborne Public Library where I was a Human Book this past weekend.

  Call it a Human Book or a Human Library, these programs are popping up in libraries across the country. The event I was participating in was hosted by the Colborne Public Library and the Spirit of the Hills Art Association to celebrate "October is Arts Month" in Northumberland County and Canadian Public Library Month. 

In most cases a Human Library presents the public with the opportunity to consult, for one half hour, people who are of different ethnic backgrounds, who work at unusual occupations, who live on the edge of society, or who are simply interesting people with a life story to tell. 

At the event last weekend, we were all engaged in creative work. There was a children's book illustrator, a sculptor, an artist, a man who specialized in Chinese calligraphy, a photographer, and a writer. We each had a corner of the library where we could set up the tools of our trade and where visitors could come and ask us questions.   

So what did the patrons who consulted me ask? Which of the books in my display was my first? How do I submit a manuscript? What drew me to write Ivy's story (Growing Up Ivy)? Do I have any input when it comes to the cover art? What can you tell me about the importance of editing? And it was inevitable: what do you think about e-books?

This event was a first for Colborne library. I've since heard that all the participants enjoyed the experience. There are a few kinks to be ironed out, but everyone is willing to take part next year.

Write on!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

One Day in the Life of a Writer

Early in the morning my writing day seems full of promise. I will accomplish a lot this day because there are no scheduled interruptions -- no meetings, no appointments, no luncheons (as pleasant as that might be).

I will write 1000 words, email some updates to a couple of associations where I have a web page, send out more invitations for my upcoming launch of the new book, prepare some advertising posters, and do final revisions on the first two chapters of the next book.

A good plan. But, mid-morning, when I turn on the computer to re-read the biography of William Lyon MacKenzie that I need for the present writing project, I get distracted. I read my email, reply to those that need some response, forward a couple of emails that make me laugh, and take a look at what's going on with Facebook while I'm there.

So, how did I do, overall? I managed to write more words than I planned, I looked after most of the updates, emailed more invitations. But in order to do that I had to phone a couple of friends for email addresses and we got talking . . .

Another brand new day. This morning I finished those revisions on the first two chapters. And here's that blog post I promised. Now I need to plan for what I want to accomplish today. It's good to have a plan.

Such is life. For this writer, anyway.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The War of 1812 on Video


The War of 1812 provided much of the background for writing the life of Laura Secord. As my research for the book continues, I know I'm going to enjoy watching this PBS video that will be on television on Monday night.  From what I've seen of the previews, it should be very interesting. Click the link above to see a short clip. We can never know too much Canadian history.

Be sure to watch for Laura Secord in the movie!