Friday, September 30, 2011

Inspiring Girls - Visiting Saint Mildred's Lightbourn School

For a long time I've wanted to visit Saint Mildred's Lightbourn School.  Sometimes in co-ed schools I feel like I've let the boys down because I've written female protagonist stories.  Teachers have said to me "Girls read anything, but boys won't read anything with a girl main character."  I don't believe every piece of fiction should be tailored to try to get boys to read. That kind of marginalizes girls. Allow male readers the pleasure of nonfiction if they don't enjoy following a narrative. Invite male authors in one year, and female the next to get a balance. 
  In any case, finally yesterday I had the opportunity to visit. It was a wonderful afternoon with some two hundred young readers and potential writers.  The girls asked some great questions, too.  I hope to visit them again.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

500 Show for Burlington Public Library/ Sally Armstrong Event

Thank you Burlington Public Library for hosting, not only another successful literary event:  Sally Armstrong's The Nine Lives of Charlotte Tayler evening, but for all the great programs and support you give writers as well as readers.  I heard BPL's Andrea Gordon say over 500 tickets were issued and the One Book, One Burlington celebratory night needed to move locations from a fairly large venue at Central's auditorium to Port Nelson United Church where the beautiful stained glass windows and subdued lighting created a wonderful atmosphere for Sally's inspiring talk.  Sally spoke about the connections between history and identity and the power of women's stories.  Women can create peace.  Several audience members identified themselves as Charlotte's descendants and Sally said when she approached her computer each morning to write her story, it was as if Charlotte were waiting.  After watching her sign books to her audience, I said goodbye and Congratulations, Charlotte.  Thanks again Burlington Public Library for supplying me with wonderful opportunities that have launched my career as a writer, saved my sanity as a parent, enriched my children as readers and entertained and enlightened my whole family.

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Tiffin by Mahtab Narsimhan on Hamilton Beach

Much of where I think would be a great place to read is not where I actually do.  Here's where I would have liked to have read The Tiffin a very moving story of the lives changed when a message goes astray in one of those large metal lunch buckets used to deliver hot lunch all over Bombay. Kunal is the perseverant orphan who searches for family through the story and ultimately finds it, maybe not exactly in the shape and form that he wanted it.  I fancy myself as an empath which sometimes makes me take on a story too much so I found it hard to handle what beggars go through in India.  I have a 10 year old grandson with some east Indian in his background and I can too easily imagine different circumstances for him.  Pretty sure children can handle the difficult parts better than I did.  This is a powerful story.  And why I wanted to read it here is not just because of the water.  I love to be close to a lake or ocean for ultimate Zen.  But here I am close to the spirit of the girl who is inspiring my next story.  I'm waiting for her to answer my questions.  It's easier if I'm reading a good story.

PS As soon I clean off my desk, I hope to post a close up of The Tiffin.  Or maybe that little girl stole it.