Saturday, September 29, 2001

Hmmmm... My Dad was one of the first people on the planet to get a copy of the Cave of Departure (the big shipment still hasn't arrived, just the handful of samples...). Dad is the kind of person who loves to read books with maps - in fact, he was the one who drew the map that you'll find inside the front cover of Cave. The way he reads books like this is he'll stop each time he gets to a geographical reference and then locate the spot on the map. Well, it turns out, in the first 11 pages of the book he found a place where the text and map do not match exactly. A river is mentioned in the text that is not on the map (you can draw one in... it should run through the Sumbalon Valley west to the sea near Barenta.)... Ooops!

Friday, September 28, 2001

I arrived home last night after a quick trip to Pemberton and back. On Wednesday morning I popped into Sono Nis to see if the handful of new books had arrived yet from the printers. It hadn't. I decided to wait for a few minutes and, lo and behold, the courier arrived with a box of books! "Cave of Departure" looks lovely! I was able to take a few with me on my trip to Whistler and Pemberton. I left that afternoon and drove up Vancouver Island to Nanaimo, took a ferry over to Horseshoe Bay (just north of Vancouver), and the drove up the Sea to Sky Highway to Whistler. I stayed at the Blackcomb Lodge, located right in the heart of Whistler Village. The custest part of the room was the fake electric fireplace. Armchair Books was still open and I dropped in to sign the books they had in stock and to deliver a few copies of "Cave of Departure." That means Armchair Books was the first bookstore in the world to have copies of "Cave of Departure" in stock!

First thing the next morning (Thursday) I scouted out a good breakfast place (Forks Restaurant) and then headed up to Pemberton (about a half-hour drive past Whistler).

At Pemberton Secondary I chatted with a grade 11 English class about writing and then told the story of Sir Lancelot and his troublesome underpants to the grade 8 students. After the storytelling presentation I jumped in my car and raced for the coast. Alas, highway construction and tourists who drove very, very slowly as they admired the lovely view meant I just missed the 5pm ferry back to Vancouver Island. That made for a late arrival back home last night.

Now, back to work on the articles for the Island Parent Magazine books section. Also on the agenda for today, catching up with all my email!

Tuesday, September 25, 2001

Diane (at SNP) has asked for another Tarragon Island book. Well, she's been asking for a while now, but yesterday said she would like a new book featuring Heather even before I start work on books two and three in the Estorian Chronicles series. Hmmm. That means I have to seriously start thinking about what Heather could get up to next.

One of the kids in Dani's grade has been making amateur films for years now and I'm thinking maybe I'll introduce a character in the book who is also a director/producer type. Subject? Maybe kids on the street - though I'd have to figure out a way to get the Tarragon Island kids to either Vancouver or Victoria as I don't think TI would be a very good place for street kids to hang out...

If you've never been to Vancouver, you might have heard it rains a lot out here on the west coast. That's true, but even so, there's lots to do in Vancouver on a rainy day. I live in Victoria which is, in my humble opinion, the best place in the whole world to live.
Mystery solved!
Received an e-mail yesterday with tentative details of travels and appearances during the Canada Book Week Tour in Ontario. Yes, indeed, I will be taking a train from Toronto to London and back again. Other stops scheduled so far include:
Pickering College (Newmarket)
Elgin County Library (Dutton Dunwich Branch)
Kawartha Lakes Public Library (Lindsay)
Ajax Public Library (Ajax)
Kortright Hills Public School
Leo Baeck Day School
Still waiting to get confirmation about a possible reading at the Royal Winter Fair on November 4th. That would be fun. I haven't been to the fair for about... let's see... twenty years or so. It's high time I went back!

Monday, September 24, 2001

Passed the first test with SM #7. Diane of Sono Nis Press (publisher) read and liked the first draft. Yay! It's now with the editor (Freda).

Meanwhile, getting ready to go to Pemberton on Wednesday where I will speak with Grade 11 students on Thursday about the writing process. Will also perform an Arthurian legend for Grade 8's. I'm looking forward to the trip - get to stay in Whistler on Wednesday night.

Strange item arrived in the mail today from VIA Rail Canada. It's a return trip ticket from Toronto to London, Ontario. I am guessing this means I will be in London for a day during my Canada Book Week Tour but haven't actually received a schedule yet!

Not so good news - received a rejection letter from Kids Can Press today. I guess they didn't think my idea for a non-fiction series was as great as I thought it was. Oh, well - I'll have to send the package off to someone else as soon as I get a chance.

Also working away at the five articles for the Books feature of Island Parent magazine. So, though my computer has been very ill with that nasty virus that's been going around, I have been keeping rather busy.

Wednesday, September 19, 2001

Worked steadily and managed to key in all changes to the StableMates #7 draft. Will drop it off on my way to pick up Dani from school. YAY! Now, I sit back and wait for Freda (my editor for this book) to tell me of all the many problems I'm sure she will spot.
Some of the research details added to draft of StableMates #7:
Destinations in Nepal:
-outside the zoo in Patan palm readers tell visitors which kind of animal form you will take in your next incarnation

Wouldn't it be nice to go to Ireland on a horseback riding holiday? This place looks great:
Horse Holiday Farm
So does this one:
Clonshire Farm
Right - enough drooling over cool websites. Back to work!
Spent Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday completing revisions to the first draft of StableMates 7. Caught a silly mistake- called the owner of the tack store Roslyn Anderson instead of Suzanne! Oops. As usual, made all these revisions by hand on the hard copy so over the next few days I have to type the changes into the computer and then print off the manuscript again. Hope to have all changes keyed in and manuscript (called Draft 1) to SNP by Friday, Sept. 21.

Sunday, September 16, 2001

Completed revisions to StableMates #2.
CWILL BC meeting 11:00am.
Developed complete topic list for Island Parent Magazine Book Insert. Now all I have to do is write the articles!

Friday, September 14, 2001

Made a final decision on the contest entries and sent them off yesterday. Then, started work going through the first edition of StableMates #2 (Team Trouble at Dark Creek). It has now basically sold out so SNP msut reprint. This is our chance to fix errors, add the map, and for me to make any changes to the text... I'm a little more than half way through now and keep coming across things I obviously wrote but have completely forgotten about. For example, I had completely forgotten that Jessa and Cheryl repainted the tackroom in book two. Even stranger, I'd forgotten the whole bit about the bubble gum disaster that caused them to have such a terrible argument. Maybe it's time I re-read all the StableMates books!

Wednesday, September 12, 2001

Well, strangely, business calls and mail arrive and I have to get back to work, though I am constantly distracted by news reports, pacing, and worrying about what I hear on the radio/TV.

First order of the day is to read and rank the finalists in the Federation of BC Writers creative writing contest (I'm a judge for the writing for kids 8-12 section).

This took several hours as I had to read all the entries, sort, re-sort, weigh, juggle, consider, and re-read. I have a tentative top three now and will re-read all three tomorrow to make sure I still agree with my own decision. Phoned Vancouver to verify how the manuscripts should be couriered. Organizers there asked if I can make it to Vancouver for Word on the Street on September 30th. I have to figure out if I can fit another trip to Vancouver into the schedule.

Spoke with a teacher in Campbell River. Will travel up-island in order to do two presentations to students in Grades 4, 5, 6 at Penfield Elementary on October 11th.

Contacted the CCBC in Toronto to see if we can arrange a signing at the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto (met someone in Spruce Meadows who would like to host such an event).

Spoke to Heather at SNP about the upcoming book launch in October and agreed to do a book signing up at Volume One Books in Duncan on Saturday, October 5th.

Day ended with an exhibition soccer game at Beacon Hill Park (Dani's team against the U-14 Boys Gold team). Tie game (1-1).
Monday night

Home again:

Arriving at Victoria International Airport on Monday night we had no idea that the next morning airports across North America would be closed. Most of Tuesday spent watching the news, making sure my family in the US was okay (they are fine), and staying close to home.

What a week. Spent last weekend signing books at Spruce Meadows in Calgary. The Masters was, as usual, a wonderful horse show, and I had a chance to meet and talk to many StableMates readers. On the plane on the way home, worked on the StableMates 7 manuscript. Made revisions to pages 14-32. Research note: find out more about treating multiple wasp stings.