Josephine's Dream Reading

Josephine's Dream Reading
Trying to look like Josephine Baker - and failing miserably!

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls
Conquering the Beast

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Bagels Come Home - May 1st 2014.

When eight-year-old Josh and his family adopt an energetic puppy with a big personality and a talent for escaping, everyone is sure that obedience school will teach him good manners. But Bagels turns out to be a bigger handful than anyone predicted. He gets into the laundry, the groceries and the neighbor’s koi pond. He even gets expelled from obedience school. Josh and his little sister, Becky, are worried that if Bagels doesn’t shape up, their parents will send him back to the shelter. Can Bagels redeem himself before it’s too late?

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Scary Scenes - a big success!

The students at my Scary Scene Workshop were amazing. Their scenes were far scarier than mine, and had me on the edge of my seat wanting to know what happens next - which is what a scary scene should do. I hope all the students turn their scenes into longer stories and follow those with other stories. The room at Oakridge Public Library was bristling with energy, enthusiasm and talent. I hope we can get together next year for more workshops. 
Thanks to librarian Bronwen Walls for helping to make the event a success.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Joan and Hawk, Malta 2012. Not a falcon, but close enough.

Questions Grown Ups Ask. Kids already know most of the answers.

Q: How much does it cost to publish I book.
A: I don't know. I'm not a publisher. A lot, I would imagine.
Q: But don't you pay to have your books published?
A: No. Publishers pay me.
Q: But my great uncle Ralph wrote his autobiography and he had to pay to have it published. Isn't that usual?
A: No. Well, sometimes. It depends. For example, if you're royalty or a serial killer, or both, you might not have to pay.
Q: Where do writers (composers, painters, scientists etc.) get their ideas?
A: Same place you get yours. We simply pay attention. You often dismiss them.
Q: What do you mean, 'Where I get mine?'
A: People you meet, snippents of conversation that you hear, things that you see or that happen to you. Most of all it's those ideas that pop into your head when you least expect them. You might think, 'Where did that crazy idea come from? It just popped into my head out of nowhere! I hope no one can read my mind. I don't want anyone to think I'm insane or worse - immature.' Writers open the doors and windows and let those ideas in. Then we write them down. We think, 'I'm not insane. I'm a writer.' I like to think that everyone has an imagination, but not everyone knows what to do with it after they reach puberty.
Q: So is writing a hobby, then?
A: Not for me it isn't.
Q: But can you live on the money you make as a writer?
A: I can't, but some writers can.
Q: What advice would you give to anyone who wants to write?
A: Write. But get a day job or someone to support you financially.
Q: I have a day job, but I think I'd be a great writer. How should I start?
A: Write. If you have the urge to write, why aren't you doing it already?
Q: How do I begin?
A: Don't shoo away the ideas that pop into your head. Write them down. You only need three things - an imagination, a pen and a notebook.  Okay, it's late. Go home and get writing. I have to do the same. But, before I forget - the most important thing about writing is re-writing. Remember that.
Q: Re-writing?
A: Exactly. And proof reading. Lots of that. Bye.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Sadie the Ballerina at the Walking Read Gala, 2013.

Cwill BC Society held a fundraiser for Children's Hospital in honour of the Society's 20th anniversary.

My Chocolate Lily Nominee Certificate for Can Hens Give Milk?

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Cynthia Nugent Wins Chocolate Lily Award for Picture Book Illustration 2012-2013

This is me, standing behind Cynthia. I was a nominee and she was the winner. She illustrated Tom Saunders' book "I Want To Go To The Moon."

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Walking Read Event

Attention Vancouverites - lovers of children's literature (not to mention fun and frolic) and also supporters of Children's Hospital.  The event Walking Read will take place on June 14th, in Richmond, at the Open Road Lexus showroom, from 7-11pm. Meet some of your favourite authors, and children's book characters. Eat, drink and be merry, bid on amazing (and I mean amazing) silent auction items and dance, dance, dance.
          This event honours the 20th anniversary of CWILL BC Society, and all proceeds go to Children's Hospital. Check the above link (you might have to type it out) for more details.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Smuggling, Piracy and Highway Robbery

I've been continuing to research smuggling, piracy and highway robbery, only to discover that any ideas I come up with are not half as imaginative, crazy, daring and colourful as some of the things that actually took place in the 18th and 19th centuries. So when I finally (finally!) finish writing my stories, and a publisher says, 'Joan, this is too far fetched,' I shall say, 'On the contrary, dear publisher. Not even a tiny bit far-fetched. The truth is way wackier than the fiction.'

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Writing My Travel Journal in Ravenna, 2011

Looking Ahead to 2014 and (I hope) 2015.

The trend is changing. Without intending to I've written more than my share of books with food in the titles. Now it seems I'm moving to the animal kingdom. Well, strictly speaking hens are birds - although I understand they used to be dinosaurs. Now I'm moving on to the canine world. My next book, all being well, will be about a dog with obedience issues. In fact, if all goes REALLY well, the one after that will be the sequel. So hang in there. These things take time. You can't rush a publisher. Meanwhile, back to my pile of unfinished manuscripts.

Can Hens Give Milk? - Now in Paperback.

For those of you who can't get enough of those amazing Chelm hens, my last book is now in a softcover version. Can be bought, or ordered, through you local bookstore - assuming you live in Canada or the United States. Otherwise it's Amazon.