Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Monday, December 29, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
I'd like to keep blogging over the next few weeks, but I'm beginning to see that with Christmas around the corner, helping out with the newborn grandbabies, and keeping my sidewalks free of snow, I'm simply going to be too busy. So, today for your viewing pleasure, I have posted a piece of Christmas art created by my talented niece, Alexandra.
I will say adieu until after the holidays. Warm thanks to everyone who has been kindly reading my blog over the past few months. I appreciate it so much!
See you in early January. Til then...
Happy Holidays to all!
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Here's a sneak preview of the cover for my newest book in the Who Lives Here? series, published by Kids Can Press. It's a spring release and will be in the stores in early February. Don't you love the little black-capped chickadees? They live all winter in our boreal forests, singing their cheerful songs. Amazingly, their feet and legs are strong enough to let them hang upside down on tree branches as they hunt for insects in the bark.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
I recently read several YA novels that were simply amazing. They were sent to me in a lovely care package by Irish YA author, Jane Mitchell, whom I met in L.A. last summer. She and I have a great fondness for YA (young adult) novels, so we agreed to send each other a box of our country's favourite YA books. Receiving her box, was like an early, very exciting, Christmas present.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Wednesday, November 12 at 6:00 pm is the annual book "show & tell" for CWILL BC — Children's Writers and Illustrators of British Columbia. This event is held at Hycroft, the lovely Shaughnessy heritage house that belongs to the Women's University Club. This year, 42 local authors will be speaking about their new books, and I'm grateful to be one of them.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Thank you so much to Ken for inviting me and to everyone in the group for their thoughtful and appreciative participation in the afternoon. I know I'm going to see a lot of books coming from this group. Best of luck to you all!
Thanks also to my colleague kc dyer, accomplished YA author and organizer of the Surrey's Writers Festival, whose blog I follow regularly. It was kc who helped me figure out the world of blogging (I heard her speak about it a few years ago) by giving me lots of helpful tips. Check out her blog here.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
I'm posting a few more photos of our trip, if you don't mind.
The second photo shows the tea I drank — the traditional green variety, with very large leaves. It was a mouthful! It took practice, but I eventually learned how to drink loose tea without swallowing all of the leaves. By the end of the trip, I was quite accomplished.
The snacks that accompanied our tea are in the third photo, and included thousand-year eggs, salted almonds and gummy fruit candies possibly made from lichees.
We were lucky to eat many delicious meals in Shanghai, and began every day by eating breakfast at our hotel, where we could choose from Chinese or Western style dishes. I often ate duck, congee, thousand-year eggs, coconut in coconut milk and — best of all— Shanghai steamed buns, filled with all sorts of good things: barbecued pork, shrimp or red beans. Very tasty!
There were a few items on restaurant menus that I wish I had been brave enough to try, but will have to save for my next trip to China. They included: bullfrog, duck's lips, pig intestines and many other such delicacies. I know that my brother, who could best Anthony Bourdain in an eating contest, would gladly have sampled everything. He will be deeply disappointed in me, I'm sure. Next time!
And there will be a next time. I hope to return to China in the not-too-distant future and see Bejing and Xian, and other cities that have a long, distinguished history. Shanghai is like modern cities in Canada that are only a few hundred years old, while Bejing is more like historic cities in Europe, with their far-reaching past.
I am very grateful to have had my first glimpse of China.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Shanghai is a city of contrasts: a heady blend of East and West, old and new, rich and poor, all bumping up against each other. I loved seeing the traditional Chinese temples and silk clothing mixed in amongst the modern highrises and trendy fashionistas.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Wow! What a night! I am so impressed by Merri Schwartz and the team of chefs, servers and local growers who put the Growing Appetites evening together. The food was even better than I'd imagined! Mmm... Some of the tastiest dishes were pumpkin canelloni, squash and chorizo soup, and roasted apple tortillas with honey cream cheese icecream.
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Tomorrow night is the first, annual fundraising dinner for a wonderful new program called Growing Chefs!
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Here's a photo taken by local author, Jacqueline Pearce. As you can see, the sun was shining brightly on Sunday for our city's Word on the Street book bash. Library Square, in downtown Vancouver, was a sea of festival tents, with authors, illustrators, publishers and performers showing off their newest works.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Tomorrow is the big book celebration: Word on the Street, at Library Square in Vancouver. I'm speaking in the Kids Tent at 3:00 pm and would love to see you there! To find out more about the day's wonderful events, go here.
Friday, September 26, 2008
I loved reading The 100 Mile Diet! What a sensational book!
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Apologies for not posting this past week, but I have an excellent excuse. It's fall book season and I am reading, reading, reading. Like the gardeners and farmers who are reaping their harvest at this time of year, I am gathering in the books and staying home to enjoy the literary bounty of the season. What am I reading? Three books at once...
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Sunday was the annual celebration — Feast of Fields — of local chefs and wineries serving up food and drink, grown and harvested by local farmers and vintners. What a celebration! The sun was bright, the musicians were playing, and we wandered around the UBC farmland, wine glasses and linen napkins in hand, sipping and chewing the bounty of our region.
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Fall book season is upon us. For writers with new releases, it's a season we approach with trepidation. Many of us fluctuate wildly between states of eager anticipation and intense fretting, as we open up the newspaper or fire up the computer to see how our lovely new book is faring out there in the world. Some of us might even term this time of year, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.
Monday, September 1, 2008
What a lovely surprise to open up the Books section of Saturday's Globe and Mail to see a review of my two newest books — Desert Animals and Wetland Animals — by Susan Perren, editor of Children's Books.
In her review she says, "Habits as well as habitats, prey as well as predators, of hippopotamus and anaconda, mallard duck and moose, are presented in word and picture in an engaging and appropriate way for the books' intended audience."
These books — the third and fourth in the Who Lives Here? series — are designed for children, ages 4-7. The books take a playful look at how animals' bodies and habits are suited to the place where they live. For more information on the series, please click here.
A big thank you to the talented illustrator, Pat Stephens, whose beautiful art graces these books.
Happy Labour Day, everyone!