Looking over photos from 2018 made me realize how many special moments I enjoyed as a writer throughout the year. In no particular order here are eight Golden Writing Moments of 2018:
Golden Writing Moment #1 – In May, I spent two days as a volunteer driver during Canadian Children’s Book Week. On one of those days, I drove visiting author Rina Singh to Morris where she presented to a group of children at the Morris Library. Rina and I had lots to talk about on the drive. We covered many topics, but writing was at the top of the list. I was in a bit of a writing slump, but at the end of the day I couldn’t wait to write. Thanks Rina Singh!
Golden Moment #2. While in Arizona, Jo & I heard about the Wiener Dog races. Held annually as a fundraiser, dachshunds race against each other in different categories. Having just finished Coop the Great, we had to go, of course. Dachshund owners are an enthusiastic bunch and I never realized until then how many different varieties of dachshunds there are. We had a blast!
Golden Moment of 2018 #3. Great Plains Publications was at the top of my submission list for Coop the Great so I was thrilled when they agreed to publish the book.
Golden Writing Moment of 2018 #4 – Early in November, Jo & I drove to the town of Altona, Manitoba to watch Coop the Great roll off the presses at the Friesens plant. Friesens employs many in town, and it is a huge operation spread over several buildings. It was a thrill to see the book come alive, and the folks at Friesens were accommodating in every way.
The story of Coop the Great centers around a dog who has been adopted and rejected multiple times. For the launch, I wanted to focus in part on the service shelters provide. I visited D’Arcy’s Animal Rescue Centre and met D’Arcy Johnston, the founder, and D’Arcy’s canine ambassador, Darnold (Darn Arnold). D’Arcy agreed right away to speak at the launch and as bonus he said he would bring Darnold. This is my Golden Writing Moment of 2018 #5.
Golden Writing Moment of 2018 #6 – At a time when everything I wrote seemed to be mush, this meme popped up on Facebook. The message carried me over hurdles that seemed monumental at the time. Writing is not like brain surgery. More like sculpting a lump of clay.
Golden Writing Moment of 2018 #7 – On a visit with my granddaughter to McNally Robinson Booksellers, Winnipeg’s premier independent bookstore, we found a copy of G is for Golden Boy: A Manitoba Alphabet on display. My granddaughter lives far away and this was our first visit to the store together, and the first time I could show her where those books grandpa writes actually go.
To wrap it up, here is Golden Writing Moment of 2018 #8 – the launch of Coop the Great. You never know with launches who, if anyone, will show up. For Coop, the atrium at McNally Robinson Booksellers was full. When I looked over the crowd, I saw familiar faces from many different circles – family, friends, fellow teachers, fellow writers, even a few from the restaurant where I write each morning. Thank you to all who came and made this a golden moment.Thank you to those who purchased the book. Thank you to those who read it and shared their reactions.