Archive for November, 2007

Celebrating Canadian books for kids

November 23, 2007

my costumeI feel like I’ve just walked a few miles in Emily Carr’s shoes (or at least in the uncomfortable, stiff leather button-up shoes of someone from the 19th c.), and now I need to put my feet up. I did a talk about my Emily Carr books for two grade three classes at York House School this morning and dressed in 19th century costume (the shoes were the only thing I wore on the bus and Skytrain — the rest I changed into at the school).

Like most Canadian authors of books for children, I’m reading, writing and promoting Canadian kids’ books all year, but this week is special. November 17-24 is Canadian Children’s Book Week. When I was growing up there were only a few books for kids written in Canada (my favourites were the Emily of New Moon series by Lucy Maud Montgomery and Secret in the Stlalakum Wild by Christie Harris). Now, there is no shortage of wonderful books to choose from — with stories that take place in every part of the country, as well as in other countries and imaginary lands. I just finished reading (and thoroughly enjoying!), Search of the Moon King’s Daughter by Linda Holeman, which is set in England in the 1830s and is about a girl who travels to London to search for her little brother who has been sold into work as a chimney sweep, a dirty and dangerous job.

Next post: Has George found a new home?

Dances with Fabric

November 18, 2007

Today I headed down to the Grandview Legion Hall on Commerical Drive for Swap-O-Rama-Rama, a clothes swap and re-fashion extravaganza.

Commercial Drive

A great day to get out on “The Drive” and do something creative (and environmentally positive)!


Participants pay a small fee and contribute a bag of clothes, then help themselves to clothes up for grabs on several tables. Take the clothing as is, alter items at stenciling, collage, sewing and other creative work stations, or just dance to the music….


The stenciling and stamping stations were my favourite:


Here’s a glimpse of something I worked on (which will remain secret until after Christmas):


I’ve had a bunch of old t-shirts at home that I’ve been wanting to renovate for quite awhile, but I never seem ready to take scissors or paint to them. What was fun about Swap-o-rama-rama today is I didn’t stop to think and plan, I just picked up some pieces of clothing that caught my eye and went with what they suggested to me. Working quickly and without worrying about achieving perfection was freeing, playful, empowering. Now, if I can just keep that inspiration going now that I’m back home…..

Note: To find out more about Swap-o-rama-rama or to find one coming to your area, click here.

Internet wows and woes (or tales of a bogged blogger)

November 17, 2007

(Sorry, couldn’t resist the title)

I recently discovered that anyone can join Chapters/Indigo’s “online community” (and Amazon’s too, I think) and post blogs, book reviews, top ten books lists, etc. This is both a good and a bad thing.  You can have a lot of fun in the online world — Googling, blogging, Youtubing, etc. etc., but you can also waste a lot of time (and in my case, use up valuable and limited eye stamina). I’ve blogged on my publishers site, blogged on the Chapters.indigo site, watched Youtube vidoes, listened to some new music, looked up books, etc., but what I haven’t done is start writing my next novel!

On the plus side, I now have an actual website, and I have been doing quite a bit of book promotion stuff (here’s a post about an event earlier this week at Hycroft House in Vancouver), and if you want to find out more about manga you can read my version of the “manga basics” in my Chapters/indigo blog post (inspired by Wired magazine‘s latest cover story, “Manga Conquers America”).

Mushroom magic

November 10, 2007


No, they’re not the hallucinagenic “magic mushrooms” (those are tiny and brown, and may be growing in our front yard), but I couldn’t resist posting this photo of mushrooms sprouting in our back yard. It never ceases to amaze me that what looks like the secluded rural haunt of skunks, badgers and other wild creatures, is actually smack in the middle of one of Canada’s largest cities (plus, the mushrooms look like some kind of glowing fairy path leading who knows where).

Boy George

November 10, 2007

Guess who’s back? Just until he’s recovered from his surgery. . . .


(When he goes to the shelter next week, I’m hoping no one will be able to resist that face.)

Kitten update

November 7, 2007

Remember the kittens I blogged about August 3 and August 25 — the ones we were looking after for only a few weeks or so until they were ready to be adopted? Well, we still have them. Curious, the little female (no longer so little), recovered very quickly from her broken leg. She is very sweet, and my daughter wont part with her (Curious, however, still seems to prefer the dog to the rest of us).


George (bottom cat in the photo) is very likable as well, but we have been trying (with limited success) not to become too attached to him. Tomorrow, he is off to be “tutored,” as the Gary Larson comic goes, and after that he will be staying at the shelter until he’s adopted (actually, the spaying and neutering are happening none too soon, as this week we’ve had to keep the two cats separated). I’m going to feel bad saying goodbye to George, but our place has been feeling too small for three in-door cats, and it will be hard enough finding a new place to rent with one big dog and two cats (we also have our older cat, Meeko).

George is a beautiful, good-natured cat with soft, luxurious fur — good with dogs and other cats. If anyone out there would like to adopt him, he will be at the Vancouver SPCA shelter or the Richmond SPCA education and adoption centre. He’s such a lovely cat, I’m sure he will be adopted quickly. . . . At least that’s what my husband keeps assuring me.

Click here for a link to the BC SPCA website (and shelter addresses).