Our grandsons were SO excited when we talked on Face Time on Thursday because they had just seen the Snow Birds fly in formation over their yard in Saskatoon. They told us all about the planes and what they looked like and how close they had seemed. The Snow Birds are out on a nationwide Operation Inspiration tour to cheer and encourage Canadians during the pandemic.
I have been talking with the community outreach pastor at our church about whether we should open our Little Free Library. I am the church librarian and take responsibility for stocking the Little Free Library shelves with books I have collected from a variety of sources. I also check the library weekly to be sure the books people have donated are ones that will appeal to our users. Currently, our Little Free Library is temporarily closed due to COVID-19.
A CBC article this week says Little Free Libraries can serve an important purpose especially while public libraries remain closed. I agree, but the Little Free Library organization recommends wiping down shelves, doors and latches regularly with disinfectant, ideally after every use. How would we facilitate that? I conceived the idea of the Little Free Library as a way to serve the community and I would really like to continue doing that now. I just want to be sure we can do it safely.
I was talking to a friend on Wednesday who said she had wept while watching Michelle Obama’s Becoming on Netflix. The former first lady’s grace and kindness and hope are exactly what so many people need to see and hear in these uncertain times. I know I have already written about the film which chronicles Michelle’s book tour last year but as my friend talked, I remembered something else that had really impressed me about Michelle.
There is a scene in the film where Mrs Obama is greeting people and signing their copies of her book. I marvelled as she looked at each person with interest and warmth in her eyes, and asked them each a question about themselves so she could connect with them. She only had about a half a minute with each person, but she made each one feel special and recognized and heard. What a gift!
On Wednesday I took part in a ZOOM author sharing circle sponsored by the Manitoba Writers Guild. Winnipeg author Margaret Sweatman shared a section from her book When Alice Lay Down With Peter which has scenes that take place right around the time Manitoba was becoming a province, very appropriate since we were marking Manitoba’s 150 birthday this week.
After Margaret read from her book we could ask her questions. I had read her book FOX about the Winnipeg Strike and was glad to have the opportunity to learn more about how she had balanced fact and fiction while writing it. Later six participants read from our own writing. Such a lovely variety of pieces -a poem about raking the lawn, a memoir about a Manitoba woman sent to an asylum years ago, a story about a woman leaving an abusive relationship, a rather creepy tale about a very self-centred man and a story about the striking similarities between a photo and a painting. I read an excerpt from a series of stories I am working on about a girl growing up in the 1960s.
I just submitted my novel Lost on the Prairie to a nationwide contest for emerging Canadian writers for children. I am finding the pandemic is giving me time to do more writing and to continue trying to promote and find a publisher for work I have already completed.