I thought this piece from the New York Times was interesting. Yes, it takes persistence and faith - optimism, blind faith maybe ... for a more prairie and personal take you can also have a look at Anne Lazurko's post on getting Dollybird published (just arrived and out in stores Aug 15, 2013). I'd say the same as Anne L about my process of getting there.
Congratulations Anne, and all of the rest of us working on getting there and more there!
Francis Hincks: "I'm the Father of Confederation."
William McDougall: "Gracious! Me own child don't know me!!"
John A. Macdonald: "Don't it recognize it's real Daddy?"
Answers of a sort --- from The Moment of Our Conceptions: Canada and Me by Anne McDonald
(November 29. 1818 Scotland – May 9, 1880 Toronto, Canada)
A man of principles – bigot, racist, political idealist.
Founder of the Globe, Canada’s national paper now, married at 44 breathing new
life into him, making him less crotchety – died of a wound in his leg he didn’t
get looked after gotten in a duel. How crotchety is that?
John A Macdonald
(January 10, 1815 Scotland – June 6, 1891, Ottawa, Canada)
A man who referred to himself as John A, “the public prefers
John A drunk to George Brown sober.”
William McDougall (January 25, 1822 York Toronto -- May 29, 1905 Ottawa, Canada)
Failed lieutenant governor of the North-West Territories, starting off the Red River Rebellion and Resistance with his bounded Boundary Commission, Donald Cameron his right hand man in the deal - married to Emma Tupper the only daughter of Charles Tupper, another Father, but that's a different story.
C All Rights Reserved. Unless otherwise indicated, all blog
content copyright Anne McDonald.
Just like Eatons at Christmas but more than you could ever dream of arriving at La Ronde and coming down the stairs from the mono rail the flags and the smell of cotton candy and candy apples at seven.
That's Bryce Mackasey in the middle there gobbling the great looking cake at Canada Day at Expo '67 in Montreal. My mother snuck through the red ropes and caught the picture. Bobby Gimby sang. You know the words - ...
Everybody sing together, CA-NA-DA...
little two little three Canadians)
We love thee
(Now we are twenty million)
(Four little five little six little Provinces)
Proud and free
(Now we are ten and the Territories sea to sea)
North south east west
There'll be happy times, ...
The Chinese pavilion is a glorious red with gold and we have
a Polaroid camera! Borrowed or one of those loans to get you to buy one but we
just use it this day and get pictures of red. Of posterity of joy of the thrill
of being 7.
1967 International Year in Russia
“Tourism, passport to peace”
Intourist invites you to tour the Soviet Union.
“Skipping a trip to the Soviet Union means not seeing one
sixth of the Earth, the country of the Great October Socialist Revolution now
in its 50th year, and the homeland of the world’s first spaceman,
all from Canada and I Come of Age, by Anne McDonald
c All Rights Reserved. Unless otherwise indicated, all blog content copyright Anne McDonald.
The Battle of Batoche ended the North-West Resistance of 1885 - and ended up with Louis Riel's surrender, and subsequent trial and hanging. It wasn't a pretty - or fair - time to say the least. You can read more information about it here.
I love the original sources like Gabriel Dumont's own account of the battle of Batoche, as well as the battles at Duck Lake and Fish Creek which are rare - in this piece in the Canadian Historical Review the great western Canada scholar George Stanley annotates Dumont's account.
It's art though that maybe really finds the truest way of telling a story. Here is poet Bruce Rice's take based on artist Joe Fafard's clay sculpture of a Metis killed at Batoche from the Mayor's Poetry Challenge in April 2013. Watch the video poem, "Dead Metis at Batoche" which includes the sculpture here
I'll be reading at the Cathedral Village Festival in Regina on Saturday May 25, 2013 at 12:00 in the Literary Tent.
The Writers Union of Canada conference is usually the same time as the fabulous and fun Cathedral Festival so I'm really happy that this year I get to participate in both!
I've just done two workshops for the Pelican Bay Literary Festival and writers groups - titled
"A 'Novel' Creation"
- tying the principles, and neuropsychology, of creativity to creative writing and using the principles and techniques of improvisation to the process. Lots of interesting discussion and exploration resulted.
"This was the best workshop on character and plot that I've ever attended."
"I really enjoyed and learned from the improv exercises. It was a whole new way of thinking about 'writing', character development, plot."
"The workshop opened new ways to approach fiction writing."
"[One of the] best parts was the approach to creativity as a dynamic activity."
A recent review of To the Edge of the Sea, in CM: Canadian Review of Materials
"Anne McDonald has an impressionistic, lyrical style, with several
sustained metaphors running through the novel. The circus trapeze is
one. First and foremost, it shows the tension between home and freedom.
It captures Alex's yearning for thrilling experiences and, at the same
time, for his brother - "someone to catch him". The breathtaking
back-and-forth of the trapeze also relates to the feelings between Mercy
and John A"
I'll be reading this Sunday in Hamilton - just down the road from where I grew up in Grimsby, Ontario. It's a long way from the Prairies! Sarah Sheard was my first writing instructor so it's pretty neat to be reading with her.
We'll have books to sell, there's a bar, light food - all excellent post the big holiday buzz.
More info here
If you're around Hamilton this Sunday there'll be a diverse group of readers to enjoy.
In the fall of 1864, Canada’s Fathers of Confederation took along their unmarried daughters and sisters to the Quebec conference and tour to promote Confederation to, well, to promote union of a different sort. Mercy Ann Coles, the charming, beautiful, and intelligent twenty-six year old unmarried daughter of the Prince Edward Island Father of Confederation George Coles, kept a diary of her travels and the events, balls, banquets, people, and whirlwind of social happenings and political manoeuvrings as they impacted her and her desires.
The Coles family travelled back to PEI through the United States at an important time in American history too – the Presidential re-election of Abraham Lincoln, the Civil War, people fleeing the South, and the oil boom and oil speculation in the Northern States.
The diary is everything one is supposed to be: part gossip, part travelogue, part social commentary. No diary by any of the other women is known to exist and Mercy’s one gives us new insight into this seminal time period in Canadian – and American history.
I used Mercy Coles’ diary to help me create Mercy’s character and structure my novel To the Edge of the Sea. You can read more of that here and more on the United States here
On Election Day Mercy and her family were in the United States visiting with her mother’s relatives. Mercy writes:
“Tuesday, Nov 8th, 1864
We drove to Uncle William’s yesterday [Bloomfield, Ohio] and arrived just in time for dinner. [Many people came over, there was singing and a fun time it sounds like.] Uncle took us to his mill where he grinds corn and wheat. Ma and I were weighed. Ma [unclear]. Mine 138. Aunt Elizabeth 194. Aunt Sarah is as stout as Ma but she does not weigh as much. The Presidential Election came off to day. Uncle William and Pa went to the Poll. I think they were pretty much all the same way, very few seats for Mr. [George B.] McClellan. We left Uncle Williams ... ” [Emphasis mine. Abraham Lincoln was re-elected, getting 212 of the 233 seats.]
Mercy and her family travelled from Niagara Falls to Buffalo, on to Cleaveland, to Warren, Ohio and from there the 16 ½ miles north to Bloomfield. From Bloomfield they travelled to New York City to start their return to Prince Edward Island. On their way they passed through the cities and towns that were booming with oil.
She writes: “We are now at Corry Pennsylvania the great city for oil. They are building everywhere. ... Such a splendid lot of oil they [run?] 1500 barrels of oil a day. Making money as fast as they do in California.”