While walking my Jackapoo Mortie, the other day, I wore my Dog Guide shirt, something I picked up as a souvenir when I was visiting an open house day as research for one of the Beauty books, Bringing Up Beauty
, A Different Kind of Beauty
, Beauty Returns
. My dog met a rescue dog from one of the first nations reserves and his owner Judy Appleby and I got talking. She asked me whether I worked at DogGuides and I told her about writing those books.
Her jaw dropped and she said that it was as a result of reading Bringing Up Beauty her family fostered Grover, a successful guide dog. It wasn’t her two sons who had read the book, rather Judy herself read it after seeing a story on it in the newspaper.
She went on to say that Grover guided for seven years. When he began suffering health issues, he needed to retire and her family took him back. Coincidentally her son had been suffering from some kind of slump, a teen depression. The dog and her son, spent long hours together just lying in front of the television, her son patting him. After about three months both recovered. She feels they healed each other. I’m glad I wore the shirt that day.
In between books can be a dismal state for a writer. You know you have to rewrite soon and are just waiting for the critiques to roll in. When these do come, you dive down into a further slump of inadequacy until you get excited by the changes that improve the story magically, right before your eyes. Well, you agonize a lot over the changes too. Add to my present state is a constant shuttle to Montreal to visit someone close who is terminal.
|Simone at Brant Hills Library with the chocolate coin treasure box
But nothing in this world can’t be improved by a good book. I asked my Facebook writers for Montreal based stories and The Hangman in the Mirror by Kate Cayley was recommended. A 2011 publication, I had no faith in it being at bookstores, but my library had a copy. Did I mention I was watching my grandchildren for the summer? I love Story Hour, although it’s really just story half an hour. Still thirty minutes of reading bliss! Off we went, five year old William and three year old Jadzia and I.
|My grandaughter/kittycat/pirate with a library parrot puppet
Brant Hills Public Library is a short walk from our house and we met my eldest grandson’s (Hunter) teacher and a bunch of his friends. There’s pingpong, foosball indoors in the community centre that houses the library, outside there’s a skateboard park and tennis court. So 11 year old Hunter joined us.
Joy of joy, the library held a pirate party after the stories. Activities included walking a plank and landing into a blue beany chair( the ocean) working on a pirate puzzle, perusing some excellent pirate books, making a pirate hat, getting your face painted and watching a pirate cartoon, see the photo.
The Hangman in the Mirror was an excellent read! Thank you to the librarians who helped me find it. The only copy had been misshelved. But thank you to all the Burlington librarians and to the TD Summer Reading Programme that come up with such wonderful creative programming. I had a blast at Pirate Day, I think the kids did too. Cheered up I await my rewrite notices for What the Dog Showed Us. But in the meantime I’ll read another book I found on the “Of Note” display shelves of my local library.