Twelve years ago yesterday I got a call from the president of the Writer’s Federation of Nova Scotia to inform me of the results of my efforts entering the Young Adult category of what was then called the Atlantic Writing Competition. I remember the date distinctly because minutes before answering the phone I had realized it was now the double digits of August and for the second time in thirty one years I wasn’t concerning myself with the waning of summer days as I got myself geared up to go back to the classroom. I was retired and now a full time author ready to start my third book when the teachers went back in a couple of weeks. Upon reflecting on the date I also thought of what I’d been told when entering the Atlantic Writing Competition nine months ago. Winners would be announced in mid August. As I filled waterers and feeders for the chickens I thought of how I would be hearing about the results soon. I had spent a lot of my swimming time in July filling up on positive self talk and convincing myself that the book I’d taken a year off to write three years before would place somewhere in the top. I believed in the power of the book I’d written and the truth of the story it told. What joyous news to hear The Year Mrs. Montague Cried had won first place and the added comment that it had been a unanimous decision by the judges. I hadn’t been wrong about the impact of Taylor’s account of her year in grade Four with her teacher who was dealing with the profound grief of loosing her oldest son. My eyes tear up as I recall that year and all the years that have followed. And here I am twelve years later waiting for copies of the tenth anniversary edition to be printed and for the story to be sent back out into the world. Through the open window I hear noises of an excavator beginning a driveway and the ground preparation for our new home. I spent the morning tackling another room of the house we built and raised our four children in which now belongs to Caleb and Jenna. I anticipate a writing retreat in Scotland and a much needed trip with my husband and many dear friends. Challenges, new beginnings, new adventures, change , growth and connection. This August is different than the one before and different than next August will be but it holds promise and excitement and for this I am so grateful. I welcome the gifts the double digits of August bring.
My inventory of my other eleven books as I wait for my first one to be re-released.