August 10th is a memorable day for me. It was on this day thirteen years ago that I got the phone call telling me The Year Mrs. Montague Cried had won first place in the Y/A category of the Atlantic Writing Competition. I had been out feeding chickens and realized it was the double digits of August and thought I should be hearing back from the competition soon. I entered the ms in December and was told the results would be announced sometime near the middle of August. Stepping inside the phone was ringing. I had spent July swimming, praying and believing in the merit and value of the little manuscript I had lovingly and laboriously crafted three years before. Oh how wonderful that validation felt on that August morning. That labour of love and loss went on to be published , win the Ann Connor Brimer and be re-issued in a tenth anniversary edition. Still the double digits of August resonate with me. I feel the change in the air and sky. I feel the slight drop of temperature as I enter my beloved lake and I feel the tug of September and autumn. I no longer have to get geared back up for the classroom but look forward to beginning the research and the expansion of a small idea for my next book. I am winding up the draft of what I hope will be next spring’s release. I finished a rewrite of my short story contribution for Acorn’s ANNEthology project. My thirteenth book The Way I Feel arrived in the Nimbus warehouse and I hope to have copies in my hands very soon. I will add book # 13 to the others on my table at the market and look forward to sending it out into the world. Next weekend I will mentor fellow writers as Writer in Residence at NBTA’s Villa Madonna Writing retreat. I will prepare a National Public Reading for August 30th through the generosity of The Writers Union of Canada. Oh how the effort I made to enter that competition in 2009 has paid off. The positive and affirming thoughts I chose to believe in the swimming season of 2010 have brought rewards far exceeding any I imagined as I floated in that healing water and looked up at the vast sky above me. What is not to love about that!