Saturday, July 30, 2011

Writer's Retreat

All I have to say is: I am jealous. Very, very jealous.

Check out where BC author, Chris Humphreys, spends his writing hours, here.

Need I say more?

Happy Long Weekend, all!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Children's Writers Conference in L.A.

In a week or so, the annual SCBWI conference in L.A. begins and I would love to be attending. Sadly, it wasn't in the cards this time.

The Society of Children's Writers and Illustrators is a great organization that has chapters worldwide and does their best to support and encourage writers and illustrators, both published and aspiring. The last time I went to the L.A. summer conference, I was amazed by the number and star-power of speakers they had. I was also impressed by the huge size of the audience (possibly a couple of thousand people).

This year's conference is now sold out, but maybe you can try for next year. As a consolation for those of us not attending, conference organizers will provide live blog coverage from the conference floor and, new this year, a twitter feed. I know I'll be following along.

Fingers crossed I can attend next year or maybe go to the New York conference in January.

Wishing happy times and much inspiration to those heading to L.A. next weekend.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Long Beach Inspiration

I'm just back from five days at Long Beach, where I go each year to get my annual dose of writing inspiration. We packed up the family and dogs and stayed in cabins on the ocean. Here's a photo of our last night at the beach. It was an amazing sunset after several days of rain. What a treasure!

More to come soon. Cheers!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

"World in a Garden" Summer Programs

When I was researching my recent books on small, local farms and urban gardens, I visited a wonderful community garden called, World in a Garden Project. Like many of the gardens in the Vancouver area, they use earth-friendly practices to grow their food, and believe in showing children the growing process "from seed to table."

If you are in the area and have children who might enjoy some gardening activities, you can check out a couple of their summer programs here.

This photo is from my book, Watch Me Grow! A Down-to-Earth Look at Growing Food in the City. It was shot by photographer, Brian Harris, and shows a boy harvesting rye at the World in a Garden community project in Kerrisdale.

Happy Growing!

Monday, July 11, 2011

All Quiet Here...

It's quiet on the blog front and there aren't many happenings to report. School's out and there are no imminent speaking commitments. My latest manuscript has been turned in and I'm awaiting the editor's comments. I should be anxious (as most writers are when their manuscripts are under scrutiny), but I am feeling remarkably relaxed. I have no idea why!

What am I doing? I'm attending to severely neglected household chores, including cleaning out my office for the first time in ten years — wow! that was a lot of stuff to clear away — and catching up on my book reading and movie watching. I'm taking some time to "fill the well" and it's a good feeling.

I just saw Midnight in Paris and am ready to move there NOW. The movie was a love letter to that wonderful city, and exquisitely photographed. Just dreamy!

I've also read a few great books including the the Woefield Poultry Collective by Susan Juby, Irma Voth by Miriam Toews and State of Wonder by Ann Patchett. All of these women are such excellent writers and I thoroughly enjoyed their books. I wish I could write like they do. Sigh. Maybe if I keep reading, I'll learn something.

How's your reading going? Feel free to send me your recommendations.

I wish you a happy summer of good books and fun times (and maybe a clean office to boot).


Monday, July 4, 2011

Sunshine — and a Nomination!

I think summer may have arrived in Vancouver. Hooray! The past few days have been sunny and warm, leading me to believe I can finally pack away my winter sweaters.

Besides the sun, I have another reason to celebrate: Up We Grow! A Year in the Life of a Small, Local Farm has been selected as one of the five finalists for the Information Book Award of Canada. Hooray again! I'm thrilled with the nomination, and delighted to be named in the company of such wonderful books: 50 Burning Questions: A Sizzling History of Fire by my friend and talented author, Tanya Lloyd Kyi; Fatty Legs by Christy Jordan-Fenton and Margaret Pokiak-Fenton; Canadian Railroad Trilogy by Gordon Lightfoot and Ian Wallace; and Canada's Wars: An Illustrated History by Jonathon Webb. Congratulations, all! And a sincere thank you to the Children's Literature Roundtables of Canada for my nomination.

If you'd like to read more about the award, go here or here.

Sunshine and books! Could life get any better than this?