In Canada, we say there are two seasons: winter and wildfire season.
I first wrote the poem, Summer North Coming, during one of those long cold winters in Canada when it seems like green will never return. I also thought about the newcomers to Canada who were having a tough time adjusting to the harsh winter, dressing in layer upon layer of goose down and Thinsulate™, in over-stuffed coats and toques.
I wrote the second poem, included in the book, a few months later, in the summer. It’s called Winter North Coming because– believe it or not– half-way through summer, when we thin-blooded Canadians are sweating in 30+ C weather, we begin to long for winter.
The book, which focuses on fun activities year-round, encourages love for nature through children’s experiences exploring nature, with weekly or monthly gatherings to celebrate in close-knit community.
It’s heart-warming and proactive, thanks to Jessica’s beautiful illustrations, encouraging children to accept everyone in the community, and bring them into the circle.
In regards to my YA novel Escape from the Wildfire, there is also a focus on nature. While it mentions climate change and biodiversity, the overall theme is that people, whether in relationships, environment, or living situations, are adaptable.
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I was thrilled to be able to present at schools, a library, and at an arts centre during March. I love nothing better, even though it takes me many hours to create my presentations. I try to wrap common ideas about creative writing into fresh concepts and then build accompanying visuals. For kids, I include short video clips with music to hold their attention.
Similarly, or rather, primarily, I love the process of creating a story, from writing a first draft, editing, to weaving in other threads to enliven the narrative. I like to build a novel layer upon layer. In March, I was disappointed to receive a rejection for one of my MG manuscripts making its rounds to publishers, but that’s part of the life of a writer. I remain hopeful that all my books will find homes, since I truly believe that hard work pays off.
And I’m still learning. It’s incredible how long it can take for some of us to gain and then master the skills of novel-writing. Unfortunately, as much as I believed it was to be my path in life, I was easily discouraged from novel-writing early in my adult life, because what I got down onto paper didn’t live up to the great books I read. Now I know better. It’s a process. All the great writers write by putting down one – word – at – a – time.
My mantra: Keep writing. Keep editing. Keep reading great books.
Are you learning something new or honing a craft? Find me on social media to respond.