Maggie has arrived!

MEET MAGGIE

My very own pet badger! I named her Maggie, to honour my grandfather’s actual pet badger. She plays a key role in my upcoming picture book, Flip, Flop, Flapjack! Mine is definitely more cuddly and safer than Grandpa Jack’s badger, but she’s missing the allure of wondering if she’ll suddenly snap at you or flex her long claws…Maggie invites you to join her for hilarious antics, once the book is available (spring 2023).

ARTIST SNEAK-A-PEEK

Oh how I wish I could share the illustrator mock-ups for my Flip, Flop, Flapjack! picture book that Red Barn Books is publishing next spring. The illustrator, Melissa Bruglemans-Labelle, is brilliant and I really love what she’s creating for my characters. However, I’m sworn to secrecy (truly!) but what I can tell you is how to find Melissa’s other art work – at http://www.touchofpaint.ca, or check her out on Instagram, at mbruglemans.

POETRY ANTHOLOGY

REVEALED, a poetry anthology, contains poems written by patients in Alberta hospitals. One of my poems was chosen for this collection. But far more importantly, the anthology is a fundraiser for Artists on the Wards. That’s a fine arts program that runs in Edmonton hospitals and includes art programming by musicians, visual artists and literary artists. There is a great deal of scientific research that supports the healing qualities of the arts, something that those of us in the arts know intuitively. More information about Revealed, and the Artists on the Wards, and to purchase a copy of the book, can be found at http://www.friendsofuah.org/aow. And wouldn’t you love the cover to grace your bookshelves and bedside table?

WRITING UP AND DOWN THE CHILDREN’S LITERATURE LADDER

When Words Collide is a Writer’s Conference, held annually in Calgary. This year, its 10th year, it’s all online, thanks to ongoing Covid-19 restrictions. I’ll be part of a panel discussing the joys and challenges of writing for different age groups in children’s literature. Other panelists are Leanne Shirtliffe and Dee Lindsay Hahn, with moderator Liz Grotkowski. Join us – it’s bound to be fun, and I’m looking forward to learning from my fellow panelists. Register at http://www.whenwordscollide.org.

You Know You’re a Writer When…

When a news item or someone’s anecdote gets you excited, you start thinking of how you could create a plot around the idea, who would be the main characters and oh, how you can get them into trouble!

When you’re not writing, you are thinking about writing.

When you get a hollow, empty feeling when you imagine never writing another book or story or poem.

When you have the courage to believe that, despite all the books already out in the world, there might be room for one more – the one you need to write.

FLIP, FLOP FLAPJACK!

The true story behind the inaugural 1923 Calgary Stampede pancake breakfast.

Thank you, Ayesha and team at Red Barn Books, for loving my story and taking a leap of faith with me. I’m excited to work with you and Lea and Hugh Rookwood.

For another great picture book, written by Ayesha and illustrated by Hugh, check out (and buy!!) “Howdy, I’m John Ware”, at http://www.redbarnbooks.ca.

BOOK ANNOUNCEMENT – YAHOO!

I’m happy to announce that RED BARN BOOKS is publishing my picture book, FLIP, FLOP, FLAPJACK! It’s the true story of the original Calgary Stampede Pancake Breakfast, started back in 1923 by WILDHORSE JACK (my grandfather).

FLIP, FLOP, FLAPJACK! will be published in 2023, and will be illustrated by Hugh Rookwood**. See all of the beautiful books by Red Barn Books, at their website – http://www.redbarnbooks.ca. **Illustration will be by Melissa Brugelmans-LaBelle.

MORE details to come, but I couldn’t hold back my excitement to be working with the talented team at Red Barn Books. Yahoo!

POETRY IN TRANSIT

My short story, Robin Hood of the Prairies, has been chosen for Poetry in Transit, a new project by Poet Laureate, Sheri-D Wilson, launched October 1, 2020. The City of Calgary is displaying excerpts of poetry and short stories on city transit buses and C-train cars. So if you are riding city transit this fall, keep an eye out – there are 10 poets/authors in total whose work will be featured. So thrilled to be a part of this initiative of public art in our city!!