Yesterday was the first day of the summer of 2016. This morning I wrote in my summer journal and looked back at entries from June of last year. I set my summer goals and they are similar to last summer’s goals. Maintain the garden, swim, kayak, mow, enjoy the girls; all the gifts and joys of summer. My daily work changes as I set about to care for a huge vegetable garden. I have come away from my desk and my writing and as I go about my weeding and working the soil I have my work in the back of my mind. By September I will know what story will need to be told. I hold the work of the past in my heart both published and waiting for publication. The stories and characters weave together. On my walk yesterday I thought about three of the strong female characters that have found their way to the page in my writing. I love Hazel and can’t wait until she is given her place on the pages of Maple Sugar Pie. Strong females that create family and place for the people in their lives. Again I have been given a summer to do just that. Five more sleeps Paige said this morning . Her excited voice echoes the love she has of place and family and this farm on the Walton Lake Road. Yesterday I drove to Fredericton and met with a McMaster student who interviewed me for a study she is undertaking on the relationship between Canadian literature and Canadian identity. I spoke about my identity and my sense of place. It was an interesting discussion. I stood in front of what used to be the Fredericton Library when I was a kid. This impressive building was a huge part of my childhood. I remember walking down the hill to this building that held volumes of possibility for a young imagination. I would select several hard covered treasures and walk back up the hill taking the characters and the places home with me. My favorite books in those years were Enid Blyton’s Adventure series set in England and Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables books set in Prince Edward Island. I write stories set on the Walton Lake Road and on the Saint John River. Stories of families and life set in different places but telling of experiences that are universal. Geography, landscape and climate, culture and history all thrown in and impossible to separate from the character and plot. We are who and what we have come from. We are where we are rooted or where we have ended up and are shaped by the world around us. Change is constant , is seasonal, is fluid and solid. The summer before me will be spent mainly outside letting the sun , the earth, the water and the wonder of growth fill me up allowing me to open my mind to the stories within that wait to be written .