Wednesday, June 26, 2002

The Young Authors Conference in Kamloops was the next stop. This is the 25th year the conference has been held in Kamloops and the turnout was terrific. After that it was on to Vancouver to sign a few books at Vancouver KidsBooks - a wonderful bookstore nominated for this year's Specialty Bookstore of the Year by the Canadian Booksellers Association. Lots of local events took me through the end of May and then Julie Lawson and I tried to drive to Maple Ridge to the first ever Maple Ridge Young Authors Conference hosted by Meadow Ridge School. I say 'tried' because Julie and I drove over more bridges than I thought existed in Vancouver after we found ourselves hopelessly lost... We did eventually arrive and were most impressed with Don Philpot's organizational efforts. The day was quite marvelous (long, and busy!!) and all the attending authors, both young and not-so-young, left greatly inspired.

Sorry, btw, about the somewhat backwards order of things... my blog keeps exploding when I try to type in too long a chunk of text at one time so the events are slightly out of order... Ack. technology.
Unbelievable - it's the end of June! What the heck happened there? As it turns out, lots. The biggest accomplishment was getting through the first draft of The Battle for Carnillo,accidentally referred to as The Dark Tower of Carnillo in an earlier post. This probably happened because I would have been writing one of the scenes that takes place in the nasty prison tower. If you'd like to see the real city on which Carnillo is based, visit Aigues Mortes in the south of France. The Tour de Constance is now a museum, but the interior of this great, hulking building is still sufficiently depressing to inspire a scene or two of misery in the new book. And, speaking of scenes of misery - tomorrow morning I meet with Freda, my editor, to go over changes to the manuscript. I speak in jest - really, rewrites are lots of fun. Really.

Since I last posted I've put a few more miles on this old body - to Parksville to watch Dani play in a soccer tournament, to Nanaimo to talk to kids who attend the North Island Distance Education School, Courtenay to visit with kids and pick up Pony Express letters (photos of the inside of the whale at Miracle Beach Elementary School over on the website), all around Victoria's lovely James Bay for the Times Colonist 10K (a group of children's writers from the area formed a group called Write on Track - again, check the stablemates website for a few pix), Vancouver a couple of times (including to attend the CWILL-BC group launch at the Greater Vancouver Public Library - what an event - it's a great chance to meet all your favourite BC authors! Don't miss it next year if you are anywhere near Vancouver...) And, let's see - oh, yes - an amazing visit to Strathcona School in Chilliwack. Every inch of the school walls was decorated with posters and drawings. One of the teachers had brought in all sorts of horse gear and the kids had made a huge map of Kenwood - very handy as I was able to show how my real life neighbourhood compares to the fictional Kenwood in the StableMates books.