The Grand Battle of the Books- Burlington Public Library

Back on the job as official timer, I practised starting, stopping and clearing in preparation for the uber exciting final battles between Elizabeth Seaton, St Patrick, Charles R. Beaudoin and Burlington Central.

Look at the spirit!  Wish my photo of the all-in green shamrock clad St. Patrick team had turned out.

 Still listening to the teams reciting the names of the authors and pondering over the answers had me forget myself. The questions were hard! The battlers tough and prepared.
“In what book do Lee and Cassie go skinny dipping late at night?”  Ahh!  I don’t know, I should know.
Canadian Award winner.
  I think Burlington Central had this question and snapped off the answer easily:  Homefree by Sharon Jennings.

Tori is the spokesperson for BCHS.  Don’t forget to read The Happy Journal of Tori Edwards by Estelle Salata.

 But I read this book and loved it. Still I didn’t remember.  How many times did I suddenly look down in dismay at my black time travel device and shout out “Time!” Seemed like my job should have been the simplest.

“I owe it all to the wonderful teachers and librarians of Burlington”–the speech each student really wanted to give.

Here are the winners: Charles R Beaudoin.  But really, they’re all winners.  They’re smart and enjoy reading and they all seemed to have fun.  Congratulations all around!

Afterwards battlers acted as my first school audience ever to enjoy my crush.candy.corpse presentation.
We had some great actors and future editors.  I sneak previewed my spring 2013 book, Death Goes Viral . In Q & A afterwards a Charles R. Beaudoin student asked me how long it took for a book to go from idea to print.  I stammered about the economy and how it used to be fairly quick but now it could take two years and more.  Trick question!  The CRB students then  reminded me that I test read the first three chapters of Death Goes Viral to them a couple of years ago in an Artist in Education week.  I had consulted with them on possible titles.  They have been waiting and watching ever since. Okay, sometimes three years.

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Lucky Dog-Canada Council Funds Project Afterall

My dog Mortie leaping at birds was my metaphor for how writers feel when they apply for grants. You have to keep jumping with your eye on the ultimate prize: earning a living writing. The Canada Council had sent me a letter letting me know my project “Death on Track” was highly recommended by the jury but that they had run out of funds. Since that correspondence I’ve been sardonically muttering”well, we could have afforded that if the Canada Council hadn’t run out of money” to every major imminently necessary expenditure: tuneup for the car, tooth implant, upgrade for the MacBook, new roof, even trip to the hairdresser.
Then on Monday another package from them arrived. Oh, great yet another survey to fill in to make us feel stupid for choosing the arts as a career. Somewhere there would be a bunch of boxes to check about income earned from royalties and the figure might be embarrassingly low, depending on what time of year it was and whether the publishers had finally mailed the cheque. Maybe I should just wait for that cheque to open the stupid survey.
I circled the coffee table and tried to ignore the big envelope. Junk mail, a happy bulletin perhaps about how all the other writers and artists were lolling on the beach with their CC funds. Joyful photos of artists receiving their prizes and medals, sipping champagne in front of a their paintings.
Oh what the heck, let’s declutter and get rid of all the mail. The CC envelope was last to be

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opened.

Here’s the first two lines:
You recently received a letter from the Canada Council for the Arts advising you that your grant application for the Grants to Professional Writers – Creative Writing program was highly recommended.
We are now pleased to advise you that your request will be funded.

“Oh my gawd!” I jumped up and down and called “Bob, Bob, Bob” (husband’s name) “guess what!”
Because that doesn’t make a great photo I thought I’d use my “granddog” this time. Warf is also the star of my latest book project. In it he plays the part of a talking dog Brownie, who grins and has dimples.
One of the grant conditions is that I must supply financial details on how I used the monies. Mortgage payments, subsistence, staying alive. But of course it may free up other income to accomplish the previously mentioned objectives. To all my fellow writers who did not have a good year or response to their application, I feel deeply sorry. The guilt of the granted.
But honestly, mostly, right now, I feel like a lucky dog.

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