Hello Friends and Colleagues:
A summer bookmarked by the St. Lawrence River as it becomes wider near Riviere de Loup and English Bay in Vancouver was indeed a good one. It began with the Jazz Festival in Montreal before visiting a friend on the St. Lawrence, a quick trip into Quebec City en route home to Toronto and ended with a West coast family visit. (In the spring, this was preceded by readings in Montreal, Winnipeg and Saskatoon).
On a lovely summer evening in the middle days of July, my friend, Ruby, held a party in Toronto to celebrate my latest book. It was such a treat in itself as well as coinciding with the visit of American friends. So Clare and Jack were also able to be there. People mingled, I read from Would I Lie To You? and a recent children's story (Big And Little) and answered questions. It was relaxed and I thoroughly enjoyed it, as according to all reports, did the guests.
It was after that I came down with pneumonia and spent most of the next four weeks sleeping. I did not expect to make it to Vancouver at all and in fairness to a library where I was going to read, I cancelled the occasion. At the last minute, I found I could fly, but it would have been too soon for a public appearance. Indeed the fatigue lessened very slowly and I paced myself carefully for quite a while. Still, it was a good summer!
Upcoming in Fall 2015:
Oct. 4th. 7:30 pm. Lit Live. Reading. Hamilton, ON (Please come out if you are in the Hamilton area!)
Oct/Nov. possible. Chatham, ON. Talk and read!
Nov. 16. Toronto, ON. Book Club Speech and Discussion.
And on it goes! Although at this stage I am able to begin to give more attention to the writing itself again! Happy Days!
I hope your summer was both healthy and enjoyable!
Thursday, August 20, 2015
It was a beautiful day on Saturday when the family of my children's father bid him farewell. RIP Gordon. The three adult children, the first two mine, the third Joanne's, were all amazing. Their father would have been so proud. Perhaps surprising for a writer, I have very few words. Just a succession of images -miso soup, seeing a childhood friend in the church, a photo of Gord as a child, blue skies when rain and thunder were forecast, vignettes of people. As a series of disparate paintings I sometimes have pass inadvertently before my eyes that I have never tried to put into words, these images are beautiful. It was a very moving day when all the children and many relatives gathered around their father, uncle (Leslie, Michael, Susan)...(it was a shock to have a woman greet me warmly as Aunt Mary Lou and to have no idea who she was. Soon became clear!) with much insight, sharing and love. Phil arrived in Montreal from Germany the evening before, put his family in a taxi (his 15 month old son very upset and baffled) to their home in Montreal and flew onto downtown Toronto.(He will be happy to be home again). He appeared in his most casual attire (another image), was a pall bearer and spoke very movingly. My older grandson was also a pall bearer. My son in law spoke and then my son did, both with much insight into a complex man and father they brought once more to life in their words, and with contrasting style and content, the two men were the central and focal and unusual part of a very traditional Anglican service that, at Gord's request, his younger (half Jewish) daughter, Thea, had arranged. Andrea, my daughter, was there, often long distance, helping her out at every step and she wrote the lovely obit that appeared in the Globe and the Star. A procession right to graveside after the service. A gathering afterwards at a home in North Toronto. Joanne and I were so very proud of all three children.
The fatigue in the aftermath of the pneumonia lessens so very gradually, but each day is slightly better than the one before. I have not yet made the decision about going to Vancouver, but I did ask the publicist to cancel the one reading the publisher had arranged, a nice one, too , at a library I have been to in North Vancouver. It did not seem fair to keep them on hold or to have to cancel at the last minute. It would have been just a bit too much pressure for me right now, too. I will see the doctor tomorrow to ask some questions, as I am still really tired and sometimes a bit shaky. Even so it feels as if the trajectory is in a positive direction. And I do have a suitcase out!
Posted by Mary Lou Dickinson at 10:16 PM No comments: Links to this post ShareThis
Friday, June 19, 2015
Hello Friends and Colleagues,
I thought you would be interested in hearing about recent venues where I read from and talked about my novel, Would I Lie To You? As well as meeting new people, it was a real bonus to see so many family and friends there.
Paragraph Books in Montreal on April 15, 2015
Yellow Door Reading Series, also in Montreal, on April 16, 2015.
McNally Robinson Books in:
Winnipeg on June 2, 2015 and in Saskatoon on June 4th, 2015. The photo was taken in Winnipeg.
These are all wonderful bookstores and series that support and promote Canadian authors. I was very pleased to have an opportunity to read at all of them. And to meet and share the podium with interesting authors. Loren Edizel in Montreal, Pam Galloway in Winnipeg and Joan Spencer Olson in Saskatoon. Each author came from somewhere else, including Toronto, Regina and Vancouver. Great fun to learn what writers across the country are doing. Something I also did at the Writers' Union of Canada AGM that took place in Winnipeg just prior to the western readings.
What's coming next? I like surprises so if you have ideas for an event, e.g. your book club or discussion group, please get in touch. In the meantime, I will read at Lit Live in Hamilton on October 4th and in Chatham on a date yet to be determined. Oh yes, there is a private celebration of friends in July in Toronto. I have also just been asked to speak at a book club in Toronto in November. And then there are the dreams ... the Provence garden and a cruise are still possibilities on the horizon.
At the moment, it will soon be summer holiday time! I am going to the Jazz Festival in Montreal with friends for a few days and then on to visit another friend on the St. Lawrence in rural Quebec.
Have a wonderful summer!
p.s. If you have a moment, check out the video. Created by John Lofaso and posted on the Inanna Publications website.
Posted by Mary Lou Dickinson at 3:05 PM No comments: Links to this post ShareThis
Monday, June 8, 2015
Heading home from Saskatoon. Sitting in the airport pondering the last few days when I attended the Writers Union AGM in Winnipeg and read at McNally Robinson Books in bothWinnipeg (with Pam Galloway) and Saskatoon (with Joan Spencer Olsen). A very full and satisfying time when I also saw family and friends. There were many highlights including hearing my friend, Dianne, deliver an inspiring homily on non violence and peace. She used the example of Jesus being labelled as having 'lost his mind' when he preached unusual views difficult for many to accept. And in this context revealed that any violent, militaristic approach left her deeply troubled as well as angry and that she would not conduct any future services that honoured these symbols. Another highlight...a cruise on the river that divides Saskatoon (the bridges join it) on what turned out to be the first event for Gay Pride in Saskatoon. Such a joyful event when we were welcomed when we turned up to find the cruise we were hoping to take had been reserved by Gay Pride for the opening event of Pride week there. Not part of the group, we enjoyed the welcome invite that eventually was extended to us to join the trip and once aboard, were also invited to share food. As well as some conversation with the party-goers, we enjoyed the views and highlights of Saskatoon.
In Winnipeg I was able to visit my brother's grave. This was a journey I wanted to take. As well as to visit all his family who live in the area. Lovely that most were also able to come out to my reading there, as did my friend in Saskatoon.
Posted by Mary Lou Dickinson at 5:54 PM No comments: Links to this post ShareThis
Thursday, May 28, 2015
I arrived in Winnipeg at noon for the AGM of The Writers Union of Canada. It promises to be interesting with a joint meeting with the League of Canadian Poets. The Keynote intro to the conference was very movingly presented by Gregory Scofielf, a Metis poet, in the form of a long poem. Many upcoming meetings in the next two days or so. Looking forward to...
Also walked to the Forts today. Feel as if I am in Winnipeg now.
June 2. Indeed it was an interesting time! Perhaps I will write about it in more detail when I get back to Toronto. At the moment, I am preparing for readings in Winnipeg and Saskatoon, both at McNally Robinson Bookstores.
Posted by Mary Lou Dickinson at 11:10 PM No comments: Links to this post ShareThis
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
"Would I Lie To You?", my third book, a novel, was launched in October, 2014 by Inanna Publications. "Ile d'Or" my second book, a novel, was published by Inanna in 2010 and a collection of short stories, "One Day It Happened" by the same publisher in 2007. You may order my books through the publisher, in bookstores or at www.alllitup.ca