We Made Crowns



In these grey November days, I want to start this newsletter by remembering the summer just past.

Those early, generous flowers, dandelions: we made crowns, loved the burst of colour and the tender green, after our fierce winter.

DSC_2519 DSC_2367


Foxes raised kits under one of our barns.One morning, when they thought no one was looking, the kits explored the chicken tractor. The chickens were safely in the barn…..

DSC_3073 DSC_3076

It was a benign summer, with a perfect balance of rain and heat; flowers, vegetables, and fruit flourished.

DSC_3251 DSC_3260

DSC_3293 DSC_3299

I pondered what to write next by ruminating in my journal, reading great novels,  learning about my St. Stephen, N.B. ancestors, and letting my mind wander.

DSC_2726 IMG_4836 IMG_1241

In August, Peter and I found a free piano on kijiji. Here’s Molly Chen, who gave it to us. We moved it (inch by inch) into the studio so we could have Lullaby Baxter perform for guests at my birthday party.

IMG_1521 DSC_3084

In late summer, we took our granddaughters to St. Andrews. The very best thing happened – kids met each other for the first time and then spent days building a raft from driftwood. It was a “Swallows and Amazons” moment in time.


Harvest, the earth’s good food, put away in freezer and root cellar:

DSC_3281 DSC_3367 DSC_3279

Then, in September, I had the great good fortune to go to the Blenheim Palace International Literary Festival in England. We were a group of four authors: me, Sue Goyette, Michael Crummy, and Serge Patrice Thibodeau. We were sponsored by The Frye Festival, whose executive director, Danielle Leblanc, was our organizer and leader


Thomas Hodd, critic and professor, moderated our panel.


IMG_2592 IMG_2610 IMG_3694 IMG_2608

Peter and I went on to spend a week in the Cotswolds.

IMG_1731 IMG_1799 IMG_1862 IMG_1870

I took a breath after England and flew to the west coast to attend the Vancouver Writers Fest, where I presented with, and met, many wonderful authors:


IMG_1917 IMG_1985 IMG_1916

And then to Toronto for the Toronto Public Library “Eh, Series.” This fan drove for two hours to attend my event at the Runnymede Library.


So now, in November, I’m 90 pages into the first draft of a new novel (not historical, this time) and am busy with community projects, chorus, and family. There’s a sense of snow in the air! Soon, I’ll start preparing for our valley Solstice feast.

IMG_4803 IMG_4819


I am thrilled with our new Canadian government; bravo, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. And saddened by the world’s recent mayhem. May we have the courage to find hope in dark times, and the energy to effect change.

With best wishes to you all,