Fiction Friday, TGIF, Writing

Words With Friends

I have no idea what I’m walking into, but I stride forward, into my favourite place: the library.

Of course it would be my favourite place. It is a building full of books. I would live there if I could, but I don’t think those in charge would really appreciate that.

I don’t know what took me this long. Why did I take this long to check this out? There had to be others around me who loved to write and I wanted to gather with them. And so I have.

I am always apprehensive going into a new situation, but this is stacked with a whole new set of expectations. This time, I’m supposed to share my writing, to open up that part of me.

Oh, of course I do it all the time here, now, and I don’t know what took me so long to do that either, but here I am.

This, however, is something entirely different. This time, I am not hiding behind a computer, waiting for the comments or likes to trickle in. This time, I am face-to-face with those who also love to write, or else they wouldn’t be here. This time I can’t hide.

I approach the checkout desk where people are taking out library books and I ask for directions to the room where the writer’s group meets.

I have been in this building many times before, for years and ever since the library from the old church of my childhood became the new location. This, though, is new to me. I was not aware of this room, just off the main area.

I find it with little problem, even with signs and people in my path. The room is to the left and they are inside, waiting for me, or new members like me.

I made sure to come on time, but I like the room almost immediately.

Someone shows me to a chair. I can’t remember who it was now. It’s all a blur of frazzled nerves. I’m doing this and I hope it is everything I’ve ever imagined a writing group would be. How unfair to put oh so many expectations on these poor fellow lovers of the written word.

There is someone across the table and people sitting over to my right. They appear to be engaged in some casual conversations when I appear on the scene, but they welcome me warmly. I can be one of them if I put my best foot forward.

My best foot is my coming-out-of-my-shyness-shell foot. I will put it out alright. If not here, where?

This is the time to drop that silly shyness and give it my all. They seem to agree.

There is someone on the other side of the room, bustling around and making tea. The guy to my right speaks with an English accent, which I can make out through a cracked voice, the ends of a sore throat. He still talks enthusiastically and seems to be one of the first members of the group. He is friendly and has a sense of humour, which I notice right then and there.

I hear my name. Someone recognizes me. She works at the library and runs the group, but she does not stay for the whole thing, instead overseeing it and taking hot drink orders. She speaks with a soft voice, the perfect library voice I suppose. She has met me through my sister, my brother-in-law, and I strain to remember when, although I knew she worked here.

The guy sitting across the way appears to be a new comer like I am. This makes me relate to him then and there. He has come from out of town.

I am still taking time to get an idea of who is here. I wasn’t sure what the cross section of people at a writer’s group could be. Age. Male or female ratio. From different backgrounds.

As people take their seats and we push tables together, I try not to shuffle and fidget more than is necessary, but in new situations I tend to do both to excess. I try to focus on the cues I can get from the people now sitting around me.

National Novel Writing month is discussed. I think I should speak up and say that I did it once, but not this year. I was sure showing up here for the first time in the month of November would mean NaNoWriMo would be a common topic of discussion, but I had no idea if everyone else would be doing it, as a writer’s group would be the place to bring it up.

I have come equipped with my laptop and earphones. Oh, how I wish I could go the old fashion route and write with a pencil or pen and a notebook. I would have picked out a special notebook for the occasion. It would have been red and the pages would have smelled like books, like paper smells.

I wonder how this is all going to work. I can’t write by hand and so how will I join in and share my writing at the end?

Do we even share?

Do we just bring in writing we do at home, for it to be shared and commented on?

So…many…questions.

Something is happening. I am talking and speaking up and out. Finally, it’s a whole room and its full of those who only want to talk about the writing they love, like I do. There is nothing else I’d rather talk about.

There is tea for the one with the lost voice and ginger cookies from a local bakery being passed around the table.

I decline, hopefully in a polite manner, a cup of anything hot. I even offer up the story of my disgrace from last spring and the ensuing events leading up to me, using a generously provided laptop in a pinch. I am new here and the nerves still could cause a problem. I wouldn’t want to knock my cup over, in a move to open my laptop, as I hear the guy sitting beside me has a laptop too and I seem to have the worst luck. I would hate for that to “spill” over to anybody else.

He asks me if I spend a lot of time in Waterloo. I hesitate and ask for confirmation that he is, indeed, speaking to me and not someone else. I am bad for that because I have gotten it wrong before and I hate that sensation of embarrassment, even though the feeling of discomfort is one I still end up feeling either way.

I tell him he must be thinking of someone else, but it is a strange, deja vu sort of moment. I liked that it happened here. I seem to get mistaken for someone else, in the most interesting moments and in the strangest situations. I wonder who that other girl is that I keep getting mistaken for. Could make a cool story sometime.

Next there’s talk of a mystery object. This, I hadn’t expected, but I like where this is going.

A model of a dragon is being passed around, painted by the one with barely a voice, when he was a teenager.

People compliment him on the painting he did of the creature and it is passed to me.

I take it in hand, ever so cautiously, and I feel the wings and the head. I ask for a physical description of it, mostly its colour. It is small and intricately detailed. I try hard to detect every bump and groove with my fingertips.

The maker or someone else mentions Lord of the Rings. He painted models, or meant to, from LOTR, the sort of thing you might expect a teen boy to do after school.

I like to be developing a picture of everyone here, even if it’s bits at a time. We could give rambling explanations of ourselves, going around the table, but instead we simply state our names.

It is hard it first, taking me a while to learn which name belongs to each and every one of these lovers of words, but I will get there.

NAme tags are made, the spelling of my name is wrongly guessed at, but this isn’t uncommon. I like to have this discussion. How long will people require a glance at another’s tag, before the name to the face will come right to mind?

This is a group of barely ten. I like this number. It’s not such a large group that I feel lost in a crowd, but not so small as I imagined, making a writing group less a group and more a few people.

So I guess we are writing now, or after much of the conversation dwindles. Our group leader brings up dialogue and character development in a story. I announce, perhaps over confidently that I have specifically been complimented on my dialogue, by a trusted friend whom I gave my NaNo project to when I’d finished the month. This speaking up thing I seem to be doing feels good, although still rather foreign to me.

Now the pressure is mounting. The talk grows quieter and less frequent and it’s time to write, right?

So I need to write about a dragon?

Okay. Here goes nothing.

I like the noise of the guy’s fingers: click click click. He is writing, then pausing to think, I suppose. I do the same.

I try not to fear him being able to glance over and read the few words I’ve managed to write. I guess I have some self absorption that writers are prone to. We are all hoping to produce something we can share when time’s up. We all likely think about sharing of ideas vs stealing them.

I take in the smell of ginger and the sound of keyboard keys clicking and I just write.

It slowly dawns on me again. Oh yeah, dragon, dragon, dragon. Don’t forget to write about the dragon.

I don’t write fantasy. I can’t write like Tolkien. That’s not my thing. Or is it?

I pick a locale and two characters and I write a scene for them. The dragon is coming up.

Time is up. The silence is broken by people’s uncertainty at what they’ve just put down, on paper or on screen. Will it be good enough?

Well, that’s what I am thinking, but maybe they aren’t. But wait…how will I participate?

I volunteer to just let my VoiceOver speak my story to the room, as a joke. I don’t want to be different, and I’m glad I didn’t not bring my laptop, or I would have been sitting there and twiddling my thumbs while everyone else wrote, but now how do I read what I’ve written for comments and reactions?

Others read their stories. They are all fantasy themed. They all involve real live dragons, but I did not go that direction. Maybe I should have, but instead I enjoy their little tales of discovery, intrigue, and adventure.

I listen to their reading styles and the inflections they place in the words. I try again not to move around, if possible, as this is a sign of boredom. I want to respect all these people who share, as I want to learn from them and to earn their attention when it’s my turn to share.

When it comes to me I don’t want to miss out entirely, so I go ahead and describe what I wrote. I receive a few comments and nods of approval at my subject matter, as I’d chosen to write more modern and contemporary, about an antique shop, one of my favourite settings for a story.

I talk about my one character not knowing what he’s exactly looking for, when his girlfriend asks, but his declaring that he’ll know it when he sees it.

This part seems to get people’s attention. I am happy they believe that I wrote what I’m saying I wrote and that my relaying of that writing is coherent.

Now that I know what actually goes on during one of these things, I must revise my plan and go with my braille display, as long as there is a plug nearby and I can bring a cord long enough to reach. I can write my stories in there and be able to read them back in the moment, along with the rest. My first idea to bring what I’d written from last time falls flat in my own estimation because I don’t want to be always behind a week. I want to be in the moment with this room and these people.

The guy beside me informs me there is an available spot to plug in my device and that he too may require it at some point. My laptop has held up this time, but I know its battery life is limited.

My laptop’s voice was an interesting bit of discussion this time. It has resulted in talk of a Gilbert Gottfried reading of Fifty Shades of Grey somewhere out there online. I had never before compared VoiceOver to Gilbert, but it makes sense.

I wonder what they will think when I walk in next time, with my Braille Sense over my shoulder, like a purse. I’m already looking forward to next time. I love this. I’ve found my tribe. I did not want to get my hopes up about this whole thing, but the real thing did actually surpass my expectations, in unexpected and interesting ways, some of which I’ve mentioned here.

I feared they wouldn’t like me, that I would feel out of place, as I do in a lot of places, but here I have this one thing in common with these people.

I don’t play Words With Friends, but I like the name of the game.

I don’t know what might come of being a member of a writer’s group, whether we become friends or not, but I like to hold back on any expectations I may harbour and just be in the moment, in that room, with those who love words as much as I do.

Paperback Writer

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Bucket List, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, SoCS, Special Occasions, Spotlight Saturday, This Day In Literature, Writing

September Streams and Dreams Come True, #SoCS

SoCS

September almost qualifies for this week’s prompt, but not quite. So, instead, I will write about how my September is going, so far.

Not bad. Not bad at all.

***

I am watching only the fourth episode of the new Late Show with Stephen Colbert. His guest is writer and author Stephen King. I am listening to these two brilliant guys, Stephen speaking with Stephen, as they discuss writing. I am left to contemplate writing: Stephen’s and my own.

Now, what makes me think I should even bother with the contemplation of my name and his in the same sentence?

This week I can finally refer to myself as an author.

I have read many things about writer VS. author. What makes someone a writer? What makes them, me an author? When is it okay to call myself the first or the second?

King has written dozens of books. His newest book of short stories is being released in November. What an astounding catalog of writing the man has produced. He writes. He is an author.

My first short story to be published is out now, in print. It was finally placed in my hands just the other day.

I will never forget the feeling. I wonder how that feeling has changed, for Mr. King, from the first time to all these stories and years later.

I contemplate what being a writer means to me. It means that I write. I don’t just talk about it, but I put my money (words) where my mouth is/are.

I can string sentences together, words, correctly spelled…you get my drift.

It doesn’t yet feel natural to me, fiction that is. Writing comes very naturally. All so uncomfortable, unnatural, even though it feels, at the same time, like I’ve been doing it all my life.

I contemplate with confusion.

I hold the book in my hands, flip through the pages, turning to where I perceive my words to be, as I’ve been told how many pages in, my story can be found. I can’t see my own writing. I am told it is there, but any book could be handed to me, anyone telling me the words are mine. I would never know if it were true or not.

So it’s only there when I believe them, when I believe it and let the reality wash over my heart and my mind.

I don’t know, can’t possibly stop contemplating what it must be like to have the kind of creative and artistic success that Stephen King has had.

I don’t know how many more times I will experience my own publication, as I did in the month of September, in the year 2015, but I will never forget this week. Never, as long as I live.

***

September and this week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday, inspired by:

http://lindaghill.com/2015/09/11/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-sept-1215/

Linda’s blog and the writing prompt, “temp”.

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Blogging, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Travel, TToT

TToT: Thunderbolts and Rainbows

“After every storm, there is a rainbow. If you have eyes, you will find it. If you have wisdom, you will create it. If you have love for yourself and others, you won’t need it.”
–Shannon L. Alder

TEN THINGS OF THANKFUL

I heard about an interesting thing this week, and although I can not see it, I found the image to be an appropriate overall theme for the week that just was.

Photographer captures rainbow and lightning bolt in one electrifying image – TODAY.com

Thunder crashing, lightning streaking across the sky, sometimes followed by the beauty of a rainbow.

And then sometimes, rather more rarely, there’s all three at the same time. Life produces all of this and more and sometimes it does this all at once.

At times I didn’t know if I would even want to collect ten things this week, as the rain seemed to cloud any rainbows that might have been there, but I again think these weeks are the ones when being thankful is most important.

Ten Things of Thankful:

For YouTube.

I don’t know what I did before I discovered all that it had to offer. I can find and watch any documentary, on any subject I want. I can listen to all the songs I love. Unlimited and easy access to media and entertainment like this, for me, is extremely freeing.

For rain and thunderstorms.

I spent some time this week, just listening to the rain falling and the thunder rumbling.

I can not see lightning, for the most part, but occasionally I still can spot it, if the conditions are just right.

I have a vivid memory of driving home from my parent’s friends’ place, one night, with the sky lighting up as we drove. The sky was flash after flash and all was a bright light out the van’s window.

Now I remained inside, listening to the sound of the raindrops hitting the awning outside my window. I loved the cool, rainy air and the science of a thunder storm came back to me. I thought about this powerful charge of particles out there, in the air, and I considered, for one moment, that science is actually the coolest and nature is truly spectacular.

I read a Facebook post from my local radio station. The DJ posed a question: how do you explain what thunder is to your children?

Silly really. I heard the famous explanation as a child of God bowling, but I never believed it. If that were true, I’d also have to calculate that the actual raindrops were God spitting on us and that never sat well with me.

Still…the theme of rain, thunder, and rainbows persisted as the week continued, even just symbolically and through literature.

For my nephew and his turning another year older, as he grows before our very eyes, even if, on some level, we want to keep him just the age he now is.

He actually prefers waterfalls to rainbows.

We had a nice little family dinner to celebrate the day. I re-edited and posted the essay I wrote about his birth and the journey his parents took to bring us all our sweet little boy:

Ordinary Miracles: Part One

and

Ordinary Miracles: Part Two

For the pure joy and happiness of a baby, something so untouched by any real pain or fear.

I spent an afternoon this week with my friend and her baby girl. We had a lovely lady’s lunch, the three of us, and she was extremely well behaved the entire time.

I got to hold her back at my house and, even though she is only fourteen weeks or so, she can stand.

Okay, well I may have been holding her up, but she is already just dying to use her legs. The problem is, they don’t stay straight enough, flopping and collapsing, unable to fully support her body for any possible, miraculous baby genius behaviour, any hope of forward, upright movement.

🙂

She had a ball trying, anyway, on my lap and with my assistance.

With all the rough weather in life, the best rainbow of all is actually the noise of pure and utter happiness made by a young child. She made just that noise. It was the most pleasurable sound, one of the best sounds you could/I will ever hear. It warms your heart and I let the memory of that stay with me as the week went on.

For fresh peaches.

I ate more of that amazing, creamy, soft ice cream I spoke of a few TToT’s back and this time it was with fresh peaches. Even better. Two delicious things put together.

For discovering a tasty chocolate dessert with a friend.

The rest of the meal may not have impressed us much, but you can’t beat the company and on discovering they had three desserts to offer: strawberry cheesecake, chocolate mousse, and deep fried banana split…well, we both agreed that chocolate is the best. We weren’t disappointed.

For the walks we’ve started going on together: my friend, her daughter, and me and I like the exercise I get, even if parts of my body rebel against me a bit.

For Middle Sibling Day.

I’m grateful I get to share that honour with my older sister.

She is strong and determined. She never gives up. She is the best middle sibling around.

I so wish I could take her pain away and get her all she desires for herself. I want to be the little sister she deserves. I want to make it all alright for her.

Glad to be middle siblings together.

For the ocean, seashore, whatever you call it. It’s a wonder of wonders.

More text messages from my brother out east in the Maritimes and I am wonderfully jealous as he tells me of how much he is enjoying the fresh east coast, ocean air of Nova Scotia and Cape Breton Island.

I am thankful there is such a thing and hope to experience it again one of these days, but for now, I am glad he gets to experience it.

Next stop: P.E.I.

Speaking of…

And finally, to carry on with the east coast theme, for:

Rilla of Ingleside

Being from Canada and an avid writer and reader, Lucy Maud Montgomery is my Canadian author idol.

I had read

Anne of Green Gables

in the eighth grade and became obsessed with the films.

I only read the following books years later, or at least, the next several.

I love books and would have read more of them by now. Sometimes, however, being visually impaired does slow me down and delay me from reading like I’d like to.

I get books, in different ways, from varied sources. I read Anne in braille, when someone transcribed it for me. I read the next few when another visually impaired friend, much more tech smart, downloaded them for me onto my Braille Display, an electronic braille device. I found this one online and, as I’ve stated above with my love of YouTube, listened to the audio book.

Rilla of Ingleside is a beautiful book. Montgomery was the only one to write a moving account of what it was like to be female, in Canada, during the turbulent World War I days.

Most people, even if they did not read the books, know who Anne is. Well, Rilla is Anne’s youngest daughter, who is a teen during WW I and she starts out as a directionless young girl, but by the end of those four years, becomes a lot more than that.

I can’t wait to write a review of this book for my blog. It’s remarkable to me, that we can read books written one hundred years ago, and the beauty to be found there can still be so great.

The family has moved away from Green Gables, from Avonlea, and while still remaining on Prince Edward Island, now live in their Ingleside house, right next to

Rainbow Valley,

where the children used to play.

Now, as teenagers and young adults, facing a world war, they go there to talk about world events and tough choices, with one another, or to just think by themselves.

So there’s my rainbow to end this TToT with. I missed this week’s meteor shower, but I can hear the thunder, so I count my blessings.

Here Comes the Rain Again

The thunder strikes and even though, at first thought, that brings on notions of being hit by lightening, with the reaction of having to run for cover, on closer examination I see how the forces are mighty ones.

I think there can be both, thunder and rainbows, if we look for them and find the value in them both, either separately or together as one.

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Blogging, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, SoCS, Writing

I Say I Say, #SoCS

I was away last week, but am back at it because the blogger who holds this weekly prompt and I just had a lovely comment conversation a few weeks back. It was about our common Canadian similarities.

STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS SATURDAY

I say, I say…essay.

***

I love writing. I hate writing.

I love writing. I hate writing.

Love it. Hate it.

I love writing what I want to write. I dread writing what I am told to write.

I received a 97 in 9th grade English and a 73 or so in 11th.

Did I really suck so much more in two years time alone? Or, was the work just harder? I was not feeling well, but I had to write essays and I hated all the rules.

An essay MUST be written with a very specific format. I get it. It’s necessary.

It must be written in the proper font, line spacing, indentation and so on. It must be written along a set of guidelines. Introduction…topic sentence…thesis…up to three body paragraphs…points must be made…a conclusion to restate and sum up.

I love thinking up catchy opening lines for a piece of writing, the hook they called it. I want to grab the reader’s attention. It is a greatly underestimated feeling of power.

🙂

I like personal essay writing. I like to write an essay the way I see fit, but unfortunately teachers don’t grade you overly well, in many cases, with that attitude. Yeah, when it comes to what I think an essay should be, I have a bad attitude.

I write blog posts and essays a lot. I do. Whatever you want to call it.

For years, since I discovered my obsession with the Harry Potter books, I have had an urge to write an essay again.

There’s the geek in me.

I think I want it to be done properly, maybe even with a teacher’s marking scheme. I want it to be something of beauty. Yes, an essay is a beautiful thing, can be.

I want to write about the theme of death which runs throughout all seven books and the many ways in which J. K. Rowling showcases what death represents.

I am scared. I am trying really hard to overcome my fears, but the biggest one of all is involving the good old literary/persuasive essay.

It isn’t as if I don’t have anything to say. I have a lot to say actually. I wish school weren’t a good place for that, but it is. I keep coming back to that “conclusion” and I then turn right around and run the other way again.

I don’t know if I have what it takes to write those essays, the way they want them written. No more writing, finding the pleasure I do in my control over the words and the form they come in. I would be under that pressure I am so terrified of.

I love an essay, contrary to most of what I’ve said here. I think it is something which must be built, layer upon layer, moulded and sculpted into a thing of beauty, a perfect piece of art.

Essay is art.

***

Linda’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt:

http://lindaghill.com/2015/08/14/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-august-1515/

So I hear the badge is new. Wish I could have entered or even voted, but I am not even able to see what it looks like. Sounded like fun though.

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Kerry's Causes, Memoir and Reflections, Throw-back Thursday

Ordinary Miracles: Part Two, #TBT

When I returned from Ireland, I saw them ready to start again, from the beginning. Once again came the shots, the cost, and the trips for the In Vitro, with the retrieval and the implantation. They tried again with the love and the hope we all held for them. This time they would be successful. This time they would have the baby they deserved.

This time was different and this time it was going to work. Again she saw her numbers rise with each phone call and it was a positive pregnancy test. Miracles were indeed possible. Again she began to fill with fluid, having to get it drained multiple times. Once more, as she appeared several months pregnant at only one or two, we saw the process begin again, but this time we watched the whole thing progress toward a brand new outcome.

Just prior to this, she’d written a piece about the struggles they’d gone through, for the fertility clinic’s website. I was honoured when she asked me to read it over for her. All who would read it would cry as she described the suffering she’d gone through and what amazing perseverance they had both shown to get through it all. She wanted this as much for her husband, who wanted so much to be a father, as she’d ever wanted it for herself. It was difficult reading about how badly she wanted to give her love a child of his own to love. She spoke about it all with such raw truth and honesty. I knew I would do whatever I could, be there for her, and one day it would pay off.

She showed up at my door, after one of her early appointments at the clinic: nauseous, holding a bowl, and rushing to the toilet. This was a violent reminder that things were on track. I was around and able to sit with her during the days, when others could not. I watched her continue on in this state, for weeks and weeks. This would be the last Christmas she would be without that precious child she longed for. I needed to look after her and that sweet baby so sorely wished and waited for, which now grew inside her. As she suffered with this extreme bout of weakness and nausea, she knew, and we constantly would remind her of the worthwhileness of it all. It’s easy, in a way, to fight through just about anything, when such wonderful things are to come out of it.

As the news of twins was announced and then the news that one alone showed up on the ultrasound, it was devastating, but how could we be sad when there was a baby to look forward to? Yet still the loss of that second baby, a precious human life and sibling, was a loss just the same.

The pregnancy soon resumed an overall normal state. My sister was able to experience everything other mothers-to-be take for granted, even if she’d experienced things a little backwards. Moderate morning sickness for some is a nine month ordeal for others. I learned a lot about pregnancy by observing its affects firsthand through my sister and sister-in-law during that time. My limited experience with these things had come, previously, from television and books, but this was my family and the people I loved. Infertility was such a lesson that I had never known. The loss of miscarriage and negative pregnancy tests was so heartbreaking that I wondered how anybody ever recovered, but I soon saw that it was indeed possible. that light would and did shine again.

My niece and nephews are that light. Our Reed is that light. As he grows, I am introduced to a whole new world of first’s and joys. As an aunt, it is my greatest honour to get to watch the children in my family grow. He is a miracle for certain, with his beautiful blue eyes that will undoubtedly someday win girls’ hearts everywhere. It reminds me of an Amy Sky song:

Ordinary Miracles

As he passes his first birthday and the milestones begin to pile up, I am surprised how fast the time really does fly by. He has developed a personality and highly evident characteristics. My niece is a year and a half ahead of him in the transformation of childhood; her baby brother makes three. I look ahead to their futures and I treasure every moment I get to be witness to all these things, as I see them with the other four senses I still possess.

I had a lack of prior babysitting experience that one often accumulates during the teenage years. Most parents might not have been all that eager to leave me alone with their children and I had no confidence in myself to want that anyway, but I did miss something of value in just such a hobby as a teenager. I am finally given the opportunity to prove myself just as capable as anyone else. I’ll admit that the diaper changes aren’t my area of expertise, not that such things are impossible. I am given a chance to learn from these little people, just as they learn themselves, that to give up on things one wants isn’t really an option.

My siblings give me the opportunities I need to learn how to take care of the children that, undoubtedly are more important than themselves. They have always known me as their blind sister second, and simply their sister first. I am Auntie Kerry to their children. I hope to give my niece and nephews things in life, to demonstrate to them important lessons of value that other children might not receive, about perseverance. The outlook that it is possible to triumph against anything that might be standing in their way. That there is more to people than at first glance, to be discovered if only one gives it a chance.

As my nephew grew, he became a little boy with his own voice and his own personality. I wanted him to know me, to see me often enough that I am one of those people he can always count on seeing, to be there for him. For young children, familiarity is key. I intended, from the beginning, to be there always and forever. From the very start I would be someone who was present in his life – all he’s ever known.

All that work it took to get him here with us and we never forget. As he grows and learns, the experience I’ve gained this past year has been invaluable. I have a comfort with children that I’ve never before had. Just as I’ve stumbled and received bumps and bruises along the way, falling and learning how to get right back up again, he’s also received these lessons. I watch and protect him as if he’s my own, my sister’s most prized gift. I would give my life for that kid and I like to think we’re buddies. He looks at me as a playmate and a pal, someone he can count on, and I hope he always will.

When he grabs a hold of my fingers and we walk…when he laughs out loud at something I do – I store those moments away in my mind and heart. I am blown away by the miracles of modern medicine and what it can get us. It’s amazing where we started out and how far science has come. Those long gone from our lives, ones we’ve loved, would be amazed at what has taken place and the sweet child we now love. He’s here with us and I hold him close and feel him breathe when he is sleeping in my arms. I thank the nurses, doctors, and technicians for their dedication to achieving this most precious outcome. His tiny fingers in mine – that is perfect happiness to me. The sound of his voice and his giggle is the sweetest sound and purity personified.

As we come full circle and he is taking his first steps, we eagerly await with anticipation the new words he begins to speak. I feel sad when I realize he’s growing up before our very eyes and I will miss rocking him to sleep when he is too big to be rocked. Time doesn’t stand still, but it gives me hope for anything – that all is possible, That you just never know what’s around the corner. Something so sweet that was once not here is now a part of our lives and the world is inconceivable any other way. The children in my life are gifts, more precious than gold. I see them not with my eyes, but with everything else in me and with all I have to give them of myself, and always will.

***

“Where there was weakness I found my strength, all in the eyes of a boy.”
–Celine Dion

A New Day Has Come

Originally posted within a few weeks of me starting this blog, I had written this essay for a writing competition. I did not win and then I decided to publish it here.

I decided to practice my editing skills and have split it into two parts. The first part I posted just the other day, on my nephew’s birthday.

My nephew, the subject of this essay, turned three years old this week. It’s incredible and unbelievable, all at once. He is growing up so fast.

I have posted the second part on this Throw-Back Thursday, because I want to look back and see how far we’ve come, while I remind myself that the hard times can seem like they will never end. I know better times and things are possible.

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Blogging, Feminism, History, Special Occasions, TToT

TToT: The Great White North

Since I started taking part in TToT, I have wondered, am surprised constantly, at how I have been able to come up with ten whole things to be thankful for each week.

TEN THINGS OF THANKFUL

Well, this week started with Canada Day and has ended with Independence Day for the US. This is a time when people are thankful and grateful for the blessings in life. So, here I go again.

First, I’ll start off with literature and feminism.

For a remarkable woman who is a star at both of these things.

In Conversation With Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

This week I have been learning more about other cultures and ways people live.

When I was young, I thought Africa was nothing but poverty, but that is the simplistic view of a child who doesn’t know any better.

Chimamanda goes on to talk about her mother, using words such as: “cool” and “warm”. It’s clear, the powerful influence and strong role models her parents have been to her.

So you go on to learn, I learned through listening to interviews, that this Nigerian girl’s mother was the cool mom and a warm person. This is basically the same as my own mother. We’re not so different, us who come from different parts of the world.

Canada to Africa…it may seem a world away, in distance, but not in human spirit.

Chimamanda is a brilliant writer, a commanding speaker, and a strong advocate for feminism and she is fast becoming someone I admire for all she has accomplished.

Monday: for my wonderfully helpful sister.

She is there, always just there for me when I really am in need.

Like, say, when I start to panic and then am thinking about backing out of a first date and she talks me down with help on my hair, wardrobe choices, nails and the rest.

She knows me best and I trust her opinions more than anyone. I can be confident she wouldn’t let me leave the house looking anything like a slob. Nice to know.

🙂

Thanks, KH, for even dropping me off.

For first dates, in themselves.

Because, even if first dates never lead to second dates, I am thankful that I get to go on a date of any kind.

They teach me, every single time, about the different people there are in the world and, more importantly, about myself.

It helps when there is over two hours of flowing conversation. This, of course, is much preferred, to long pauses and awkwardness.

Tuesday: for a visit to the library on a rainy day.

The first time we took my nephew to our local one of these, I think he was so overwhelmed by the setting he found himself in, that he did well. Of course, we only stayed a few minutes, until he chose a book with no real words. It was mostly a picture book about a cat and a spaceship.

:Don’t…eat…space!”

This time he was more determined to climb the stairs, but unfortunately that was where the adult sections were and the people up there did not enjoy what happened next.

So all my two-year-old nephew wanted to do was run up and down the isles of books, hiding behind the shelves and have me chase him.

I wasn’t about to do this. Part of the reason is that being quiet in a library is the common rule, I was much too enthralled by all the books around me, and there was a place he could be louder in. This was called the children’s section.

I love libraries and I know he will too, one of these days.

🙂

For the chance to be introduced to other cultures and people who share this country with me.

Some beautiful Aboriginal music. Check it out.

🙂

It was unfamiliar to me, but I soon found it to be quite catchy.

For Canada.

As the above video shows, Canada is made up of so many different cultures and ethnicities. This is what makes this a great place to live and to learn and to love.

The Great White North, we are known as.

What makes us great is our acceptance of other people. I know this has not always been the case, as I’ve said in recent posts, but it is what I want for myself and everyone. I know Canada has had our struggles, like any country, but I am still proud of what we are known for around the world and here at home.

For a view you just can’t beat.

I celebrated, July 1st, with my family and an amazing view of the fireworks display my city put on.

Sure, it may have cost thousands of dollars.

Fireworks – Canada Day, 2015

But it certainly was a show, and right from my lawn too.

For the small bit of sight I still have.

I know I can complain sometimes, about all that I can no longer see or never could, but when I can still make out the bright lights, exploding in the night sky, I am lucky.

Friday: for summertime because that means fresh peas.

You can’t turn green from eating too many peas? Does anyone know?

Ever since I was young I’ve looked forward to, not just the eating of the peas, but even more it’s the podding that I love.

Does this make me strange?

*Crickets*

Nah.

It’s a zen thing. Very relaxing.

Saturday: for family gatherings.

Every few months we get my whole family together. Sure, it’s hectic and chaotic, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I’m used to having nearly twenty cousins and those gatherings used to get unruly. Compared to all that (three siblings, siblings-in-law, and only three niece and nephews) is nothing in comparison to that, when it comes to size.

There’s a lot of food, drink, catching up, laughter, and play.

My family is the best!

And so, whatever may happen in the next little while (whatever is to come), I will still remember to be thankful for the family I have and the country where we all live.

Happy Canada Day and Happy Independence Day too.

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History, IN THE NEWS AND ON MY MIND, Kerry's Causes, Special Occasions

Reconciling The Truth About Canada

On the Eve of my country’s birthday I listened to the words of a young man who spoke the truth of the experience he has had, growing up in Canada – an experience totally different from my own.

He had a turbulent childhood and youth, to put it mildly; whereas, I had stability, support, and safety.

He faced violence and gangs; whereas, I faced a disability and illness.

We are both around the same age and are Canadian, but is that all we have in common?

I don’t know very much at all about this particular guy’s culture or customs, but this video moved me and made me want to bridge that gap.

He spoke of breaking cycles and chains of abuse and neglect in his family and community, but he spoke of all these things with humour and humility.

Twenty-four hours later I stood with my own family, on my own front lawn, for a spectacular fireworks show. The lights and the bangs were all around us. I thought about the celebration we put on, to celebrate Canada, and what that really means.

I believe it’s fair to say that when the rest of the world thinks of Canada, they think polite, friendly, warm.

We live in a cold climate. We are passive. We are where the Underground Railroad ended up and where deserters fled to in protest of the Vietnam War.

We are the safe place and the non-judgmental refuge from danger and persecution, right?

Well, not always.

Are these truth or myth or a bit of both?

History books might tell a different story. If they don’t, they should and they haven’t, not nearly enough, but we shall see what history says about the time we’re now living in over the generations to come.

Canada turns 148 this year and our flag is celebrating its 50th birthday.

Last year I spoke of the ten things I love about my country, in a post I titled:

Oh Canada

This year I thought I would change directions because I can’t only highlight the things that make Canada great, without speaking up on others that are just as important, even if they aren’t quite so pleasant to think or to talk about.

None of what I have to say today means I love this country any less. It is beautiful and splendid. I love my home, but that is precisely why I believe it is necessary to bring attention to what’s been in the news and on the minds of many Canadians, including myself.

My heart has been heavy recently, as I’ve listened to the media speak about something known as The Truth and Reconciliation Commission or TRC.

Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada

At times such as Canada Day and the recent anniversary of our first prime minister’s birth, we celebrate the man and his accomplishments. It’s known as a sign of respect for the history and the leader that he was.

Steven Harper Celebrates 200th Anniversary of Sir John A. McDonald’s Birth

Then I hear something he said:

“Take the Indian out of the child.”

These were McDonald’s words. I don’t feel quite as up to celebrating him when I let it sink in that this was his plan for a population of the country he considered a problem, an issue to be dealt with, a plan being decided on.

Possibly more than 150,000 Aboriginal children (First Nations, Inuit, and Metis) were torn away from their families and placed in residential schools. This was a way to remove most traces of their culture and make them conform to what the churches believed a child in Canada should be.

It’s being termed “Cultural Genocide”.

Of course, on automatically hearing the word genocide, the first thing that springs to mind is the Holocaust or Rwanda, 1994.

You put the word “Cultural” in front of it, of course, to slightly shift the meaning and lighten it just a bit..

An entire minority in society, considered undesirable, was not murdered, but here in Canada, for more than 100 years, a culture was destroyed, or at least a pretty damn good effort was made.

These schools were harsh and cold places. In any place like this, there are those who take advantage of their positions of authority and much sexual, physical, and psychological and emotional abuse was perpetrated on a highly vulnerable population of innocent children.

I find the common thread, which I believe every person should do, when relating to the troubles of others.

In this case, I admit I feel very strongly about the effect segregation can have. I don’t know how closely it can be compared, but for hundreds of years, children with disabilities such as blindness and deafness have been sent away, removed from their families and most of the rest of society and placed in residential schools.

Of course, there are boarding schools all over the world, and sometimes this can be a part of a successful education, but I don’t believe it is a healthy thing to send a child away from their home. In the case of a child with a disability, it seemed like the answer. If you get a bunch of children with disabilities of the same sort in one educational facility, you can then teach them all and help the students get the special support they all require.

This, however, hides them away from the rest of the world. For so long, the rest of society did not want to see these children and it made sense to keep them separate. This touches a particular nerve. I was never sent to one of these schools and I have always been grateful for that. I don’t believe segregation is the answer to anything.

I am continuously baffled by the history of the white man coming in and taking over land, territory, and whole continents from Native people.

Aboriginal, original people who inhabited the North American continent, and all the nasty things that would take place back and forth.

History class was interesting enough to me in school, but I don’t know much about treaties and rulings. I tried to educate myself on the past. Now we have arrived in 2015 and the commission is being discussed everywhere.

I hesitated because, as I say, I wasn’t sure today was the day to talk about this. Then, I worried I knew very little and do not wish to offend, but this is such a divisive subject anyway.

I’ve heard from those who suffered and from educators and scholars.

Should there be more separation and division?

Reserves. Cycles of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. A chain of poverty, drugs and alcohol.

This has existed. Something unhealthy has been allowed to continue and of which was allowed to persist because of the silences surrounding such horrifying things.

I would like to see less segregation. With the closing of the schools, I would like to think we could all share the beautiful place that is this country.

Is this reasonable, practical, or even possible?

Is it enough to say you’re sorry? Should there be forgiveness? Is that enough?

I recently came across a blog post, written by Canadian writer and blogger Carrie Snyder:

Truth and Reconciliation in Canada

What she wrote moved me into wanting to write my thoughts down, to try to speak up. That is because the silence needs to end.

Whatever any of us think, wherever we come down on our country’s role, at least we’re talking now. I don’t have to be so afraid to speak about this because I care and want to understand.

I want others, who may not be aware of what happened in my country, to hear about these things from one whom a more inclusive future in her country is hoped for.

I know what it must feel like to be a part of a population society has historically preferred be hidden away from everyone else. It’s a feeling of being unwanted and ashamed of.

The last residential school for Aboriginals was closed, more recently than most people might think. The year 1996 is not all that long ago still.

We can shy away from hearing about such troublesome things, or remain unaware as I was until recently, or we can all become aware and work toward something better.

Canada is not this safe, timid, perfect little country we’ve been portrayed as in the media. We are not the goodie-two-shoes little neighbour to the north of the United States.

We made our share of mistakes or more than that word can ever say.

I want us all to be fully Canadian, while still holding onto those parts of our unique cultures and histories that make us who we are and always have been.

I would like to think that young man I first spoke of and I can and are both doing our parts to make a future country of Canada as great a country as we claim to be and have always been.

I know, from listening to him speak, that is what we both can and will do. That is what we have in common. I love my country and he loves his. I want it to go forward, having every reason in the world for every one of its citizens to be proud of the Canada we are, the best Canada we can possibly be.

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Blogging, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, SoCS

SoCS: On With My Onomatopoeia Post

STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS SATURDAY

This week’s prompt is: Onomatopoeia, but you could have guessed that one, right?

😉

***

I didn’t automatically love English class, or what was called Language Arts in the beginning.

I wasn’t particularly talented in the subject. I didn’t get top marks. I probably did okay.

It was a slow build-up. I began to love books and writing, but I still do not find any part of grammar enjoyable.

I do a little better with Literary Devices, but still I’m no expert.

I recall a list of these devices that I scanned, willing myself to memorize their meanings. After all, if I were ever to become an accomplished writer, I should know them, right?

I had to choose ten literary devices from the list, giving their definition and using them to demonstrate that I did indeed know what they did.

An English test is still a test. I couldn’t stand the pressure.

My brother and I have had several discussions, me helping him study for this same sort of test.

“What is a simile again?” I’d ask him?

“What’s the difference between symbolism and metaphor?” he’d ask back.

“I can’t remember the difference between connotation and denotation,” I’d lament.

“Do you know what onomatopoeia means?” my brother would then ask me.

“Nope,” I’d say, dropping my head into my hands in defeat. “Define it…I can’t even hardly spell it.”

It’s a great word for a simple concept, yet when I read the definitions I get from the Dictionary App on my phone or the numerous dictionary definitions offered on Google, it seems anything but simple.

Onomatopoeia:

Definition by Merriam-Webster.

Wait. This isn’t actually that hard to remember. Good thing I was given this prompt for SoCS this week.

How have I gotten this far in my writing without knowing just what it means?

Let’s just say: it’s a good thing I’m not teaching English to a classroom full of unsuspecting students, eager to learn their literary devices.

***

This is all thanks to:

http://lindaghill.com/2015/06/12/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-june-1315/

I am beginning to look forward to Fridays and to learn what the newest SoCS prompt is going to be for the week.

Thank you Linda

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Blogging, Book Reviews, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Interviews, Spotlight Saturday, Travel

Spotlight On Life’s Adventures

Amy Bovaird lives life to the fullest.

She has traveled and taught.

She blogs and she writes.

You can read more about her adventures,

Here.

I have learned a lot from her since I discovered her, online, and happily read her new book and reviewed it,

Here.

I was pleased when she asked to feature me for not one, but two Friday Friends segments on her own blog.

She kindly allowed me to talk about all I wanted to talk about, breaking the guest post into two parts.

The first can be found in Part One,

Here,

where I talk about my love of books and the written word and the second,

Here.

In Part Two I talk about my love of travel and my dreams of growing a travel blog.

I have been inspired by her fearlessness, not because she’s traveled all over (which I admire greatly), but because she has gone through so much with vision loss and yet she’s made it work for her.

I interviewed her when her book came out,

Mobility MAtters,

and I wanted to update our relationship since then, and the collaborations between us that have increased.

I appreciate what she has done for me and I hope I have been of some help to her with promotion of her book.

Buy It Here

She has had her adventures and continues to have them. I have had my own and hope we both have exciting adventures still to come.

I hope she will allow me to interview her solely on her own experiences with travel, possibly on my travel website, at some point in the future.

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Blogging, Bucket List, Fiction Friday, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Kerry's Causes, Shows and Events, TGIF, Writing

How I Celebrated World Book Day 2015

What was I doing here?

It felt like a strange fish-out-of-water state to be in, but there I was.

I’ve already jammed so much into less than a week over this first week of March: a visit to Ottawa, seeing my aunt in her new home, and last night I visited Lucinda House.

I have wanted to write about all these things and more, but it all feels like too much for me to focus in on any of it.

My original statement today applies to all of these, but I must find a way to narrow it down somehow here tonight.

And so, as I asked myself once more, for the umpteenth time in less than a week:

What am I doing here?

I realized, so many times since March began that I have been weighed down by discomfort, but often the most important and valuable experiences in life will do this.

***

On World Book Day, 2015, I sat in an old house, now a part of a university, but in the moment it almost felt like I was transported back one hundred years.

Just being in an old house like that, surrounded by a room full of mostly women and reading to each other…

Wrong or right, I pictured the one scene from Gone with the Wind, where the ladies are tensely awaiting the return of their men.

The husbands were off, somewhere, taking justice into their own hands to defend their women.

As they were doing this, to make things safer, the ladies sat with their knitting as one proceeded to read aloud to the group.

Yes, the strangest thoughts come into my mind at the oddest of moments.

Yes, I can admit that, but being that yesterday was World Book Day and Sunday is International Women’s Day I had both books and women’s issues on my mind.

Of course, there were a few guys in the room this time, which made them the minority in my particular case.

Recently, I heard there was going to be a reading going on from a blogger I follow. I have been trying to read more Canadian and local literature lately. This particular blogger and writer does readings around the area and I wanted to show my support to her, to thank a female writer of books, something and someone I greatly admire.

I have been reading her blog for a while now, but I wanted to have the chance to put a voice to the words, an actual voice to the writer’s voice I have come to know so well on her website.

The evening started off on, what I can admit wasn’t the best note when I showed up in the middle of her reading. Not a great first impression to put forth toward someone I admire for the work she does.

I know what it must be like to be in the middle of speaking about that kind of hard work, a person’s life’s work and one’s passion and to have people walk in right in the midst of that.

I apologized upon meeting her, at the end of the evening, for doing this. She was quite gracious about it, but I made sure to let her know I did not intend to be at all disrespectful. I wanted her to know how much I really did want to hear her read from her newest novel, to meet her after reading so much about her life all these months.

She was great and she even made sure to signed one of her books for me: just one Carrie to another Kerry.

🙂

I am not a people person. I am not naturally outgoing and felt awkward all evening. This started, after walking in and hoping to be quiet while removing all winter items of clothing and taking a seat in the room, trying hard to disrupt the reading in progress as little as humanly possible.

I had been dealing with my issues with being arround old buildings all week long, facing them head-on.

First, through spending time in secondhand stores and old jails in Ottawa…to this particular evening, in an old house.

I could hear the age of the house I was in with every creek the floors made under my own feet and under the feet of the authors who shared their readings throughout the night.

I heard the floorboards make that signature creaky old house noise with every side-step each speaker took while standing at the front of the room.

I felt out of place. This was mostly a university setting, on a campus, attended overall by professors and literature students.

The professors were older and the students were younger. I did not feel like I belonged there; hovering, by myself, somewhere in between these two demographics.

As I stood in the kitchen, I felt a little less awkward getting a drink and some fruit because I had a brief break from having to feel like I fit in with those of academia out in the other room.

Suddenly, one of the only few guys in attendance spoke up to a few early-twenty-something female students. Apparently I wasn’t quite as alone as I’d first thought.

There was a hint of flirting I detected in his voice and also a hint of his own awkwardness, as he spoke to these young women. He was a poet, yet not a university student like they were. He clearly loved literature, or he wouldn’t have been there at all, but in his voice and in the words he spoke was obvious his own feelings that I too had been feeling.

Apparently, we all had our own version of the fish-out-of-water feeling going on.

I didn’t want to feel any pretension or any inadequacy. I didn’t want to feel like the act of writing and sharing that writing with others, female or not, was at all frivolous or pretentious.

I didn’t want to feel like it could have been one hundred years ago: either because of what women chose to do back then was treated less than at that time or even still today, in my own mind. I wanted to feel like what I was doing was worthwhile.

So why then did I feel like I was having to justify my own reasons for being there to myself or to some unnamed observer?

As I listened to others read aloud to the group I thought about my own writing and that need to write I feel pressing on my soul, stronger and stronger all the time.

I felt the discomfort of the words Carrie read from the pages of her own novel ring true in my own life. It all felt way too universal, these feelings, as she read a segment where her female protagonist is more than one hundred years old and living in a nursing home. I felt her words touching a nerve still much too raw in my own heart, after visiting a female family member of my own just the other day, currently living in just such a place.

This was perhaps only some fictional character in a book, but it was real to me and those I love, and more than likely to the writer/reader/speaker herself.

I did not get a chance, due to my high level of awkwardness in social settings, to let her know just how much her words had affected me. I don’t think I could have put it into words there and then, even if I’d wanted to. I am barely doing a coherent job of that here and now.

Next, I listened to the way the professor in residence went on to read her poems, which she had turned from academic, scientific journals and articles she’d come across from others, into the most beautiful lyrical, literary writing of her own making.

She had written about the type of symbiotic biological relationships that go on in nature, and something about pollination, the sorts of relationships I’d written about on visiting the creatures at the aquarium that opened in Toronto a few years ago.

Then she read us a poem she’d composed about the way different bee colonies fight for supremacy (not all creatures choosing to live such a symbiotic existence alongside each other.

Finally, I listened to some of her young creative writing students stand up in front of a bunch of strangers and lay it all out there.

They spoke about going out on their own for the first time and about unwanted attention from the opposite sex.

They shared short stories/poems about things I could hardly relate to, such as homelessness and living and surviving out on the streets.

One of the girls had even coined herself:

“the unofficial poet of the bus”,

as the place she’d found time or inspiration to write had been on Greyhound trips.

From the pain of lost love, the pressure to try and live up to society’s pressures and norms, and horrible tales of experiences with crackers and bedbugs…all terribly relatable to me or stuff made up of my worst nightmares.

This was all with such truth and vulnerability that I had to stop myself from physically shifting in my seat with discomfort. It made me really focus on the glaring obviousness of revealing things so real and personal in such a public manner, to a living room full of strangers.

It made me wonder if I could do that. Could I share things just as private and personal? Would I have the same raw nerve and guts?

How much of it was about themselves personally and how much of what they were speaking was about someone else?

I wondered who the one girl was referring to when she spoke of broken promises and one-sided love. Did the person she’d written about know she had done so and was, at that very moment, divulging so many intimate details that likely only the two of them had yet shared?

Then I imagined myself up there and how I would myself handle the nervousness and all those people staring and listening so intently. I could imagine, amongst all that, at the same time a huge rush that must be produced from doing something so freeing and open-ended.

It’s interesting to observe those listening around me in a situation like that. I suppose, to show that they are being heard and have had some kind of a positive effect, some people feel like it is only polite to produce even some small noise of appreciation, a murmur of awareness.

I shifted my eyes and attention: from the one speaking to us all about their writing, around to my fellow listeners, and back again.

I think it’s happening more and more as I feel I have lost more sight, but often, as in cases such as last night, I feel more and more self-conscious about where it is I am looking. It seems like I have less and less to focus my limited vision on.

This simply added to the feeling I often have, again like last night, where I feel both invisible and like I am standing out horribly in a group of people. The only way, I’ve been told I can possibly eliminate this, is to keep repeating this again and again.

I suppose this is why I read and why I write.

This all played back to the fact that I wasn’t sure I belonged there at the author’s readings, or literary evening, or whatever it is you want to call what last night was.

How important was what we were all doing there last night and the work and the time and energy people put into revealing such stories about ourselves?

I wish I could have held off to write all this down until I was certain I could place each point I wanted to make into its proper day’s blog post, with the correct topic, on the appropriate and the best day for each.

However, I waited this long before posting on my blog this week, not because I didn’t have enough things to write about or enough to say, but because I’ve simply found I’ve had too much.

I can always find enough topics to write about, even if I wrote for one hundred World Book Days. The same goes for International Women’s Day a couple days from now.

***

I did find myself sitting in my nephew’s bedroom the other day, watching him pulling his books down and tossing them this way and that as I pondered my relationship with books and why I love them so much.

Then, I thought about the same questions last night as I held my newly signed Carrie Snyder original in my hands all the way home from the reading.

I miss sunny mornings in the library when I was a kid, surrounded by the innocence of children’s literature. I sat and held a copy of a Grover storybook for much too much time the other morning and I capped off World Book Day holding a book from a local, Canadian author for my collection, thinking that I may not be able to read print books like I used to as a child, but that on a day like March 5th, they are no less valuable and meaningful to me now than they were to me back then.

Maybe I will find the courage, because that is what it is, to read my stuff in front of a group of my peers some day.

And maybe I will have books of my own to give to someone requesting them, who may just have come out to meet me and to hear my words on a World Book Day in the future, just like I did for Carrie last night.

For more on Carrie Snyder check out her website below:

http://carriesnyder.com

Happy World Book Day and International Women’s Day to you all.

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