Thursday, December 30, 2010

Congratulations, Caroline!

Quiet times here with the holidays and all (meaning too much work), but I wanted to take a moment to shout out a few loud huzzahs to Caroline Woodward, local writer and lightkeeper at Lennard Light (but currently at Pachena Point Light). Caroline had a whirlwind fall with the release of (and subsequent tour for) her book, Penny Loves Wade, Wade Loves Penny, and now she has a children's book out: Singing Away the Dark.

I had the pleasure of hearing Caroline read Singing Away the Dark earlier this year, when I went to the Tofino launch for Penny Loves Wade, Wade Loves Penny. I loved the story, the illustrations by Julie Morstad (one of my favourites and illustrator of one of my favourite children's books) and, of course, Caroline's own stories that inspired the book. I could relate more, but really, I want to send you here. For those of you not in the book world, getting a review in the School Library Journal and on The Fuse #8 Production blog is a BIG DEAL. The review is fabulous and is all you need to know and more. I sure hope the book is finally available in Tofino. I will report back once I've been to the bookstore.

I know that Caroline has been through a lot of angst with this book and its slowness in coming, but I hope this review makes up for it slightly. What would be even better though, is if we all go and find the book.

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Congratulations, Hjalmer!

We've been doing a lot of fundraising these last few months — bottle drives, chocolate sales, raffle tickets, bake sales, Rolleramas and such, and the students have been clearing dishes, checking coats and helping out at all sorts of events. And then, there was our friend Hjalmer, who decided to carve a canoe. He's worked on it for the last five months and tonight his family is hosting a community supper where they will celebrate his hard work and draw the name of the person who won the canoe. Here is a story on Hjalmer and his canoe. Congratulations, Hjalmer!

The fundraising is for a high school trip to Quebec in the spring. Please consider attending the dinner and celebration if you have the time tonight. It is at the Seaplane Base in Ucluelet.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Books, Art, Crafts (and other holiday stuff)

There are a few fun community events this weekend you might want to take in.

First off, the Craft (er, Artisans') Fair this weekend. It's at a new venue — one that will be a bit cozier with better acoustics and fewer concrete blocks than our community hall — the Weigh West's Harbour Lounge. It runs over two days, Saturday 1 to 7 and Sunday 11 to 4. Marion and I will be there with our Postelsia Press table (and hopefully with a new book to show you. Yeah! Marion did a beautiful job of the design and as for my writing, well, that's up to you to decide). And make sure you check out the canned goodies from the Tofino Community Food Initiative. (And please leave some of Jen's chocolate and butterscotch sauces for me.)

Also on Saturday, I will be at Mermaid Tales with several other local writers — Ashley Little, Janice Lore, Joanna Streetly and Caroline Woodward. We'll be there with our books to sign for you, or just come by for a chat.

Have a great weekend and please remember the Hospice fundraiser today.

Above poster designed by the fabulous and talented Tofino artist, Marion Syme.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Show Your Heart, Tofino

There are, of course, many ways to help others at this time of year. There are many ways to help in Tofino as well and I will try to spread the word about some of them here.

First up, is the Pacific Rim Hospice Society fundraiser on December 10. That's this Friday. All day, Long Beach Radio will be holding a radiothon for the Society. You can find the details here.

To learn more about the work of the Hospice Society and how they helped one family in particular — The Burt Family — check out this "videocast" from Long Beach Radio.

This is part one. You can find the two other parts by searching on YouTube.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The First Christmas Card of the Season . . .

. . . came courtesy our garbage collector.

I am a bit of a grump when it comes to Christmas. I get very steamed when the decorations, Christmas music and stupid Santa hats on "sales associates" come out before December 1st. (Especially so when they appear November 1.) I even refuse to buy Mandarin oranges until December 1. Yes, I may be depriving my children of Vitamin C but SOMETHING has to still be special. (Shall I digress now with "When I was a kid we got one wooden crate (okay, maybe two) of oranges a year! And those oranges were so precious my mom marched back to the store with any ones that were rotten, demanding good ones in exchange.)

But, now that it is December 3rd, I am a kinder, gentler me. I do love Christmas music and although I haven't played any yet, the CDs are out of the attic. And we have one poinsettia and I am thinking I'd better get on those gifts I didn't quite finish making for last Christmas. (Sorry, Mom. One sock is almost done.) The girls are keen to make cookies and it is the Catholic church bazaar this weekend. There's even frost on the ground.

So, thanks Brady. I really do appreciate the card. It's beginning to feel a little bit like Christmas.