Archive for May 2011

Gardening and Reading

Spring Garden

I’ve spent a lot of time in the garden, enjoying my daffodils, and other early blooming flowers, wearing a bug net against blackflies, and getting lots of dirt under my fingernails. I’ve scraped and washed the balcony, and if it ever stops raining more than two days in a row, I’ll paint it.

I’m back to reading, and thinking about – guess who – Nix, of Nix Minus One.

I’m a writer.


Back to the Routine

I’ve sent in all my reports and receipts for the tour.

I’ve had two trips to the mechanics to get my car fixed.

It’s rained a lot.

Nothing more to report.

Back Home

I’m exhausted. It was a great trip.

Lots to do in Toronto!

Silver Birch Ceremony

Back to Toronto, where I visit both publishers, go to a Plan Canada dinner, go to Harbourfront for a gathering of writers, agents and publishers, dinners with friends, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Royal Museum of Ontario, and then on Thursday the 12th, the Silver Birch Award ceremony.

Prinny didn’t win, and yes, in the moment I was disappointed (I wouldn’t want you thinking I don’t have an ego!).  Congratulations to the winner, Kevin Sylvester, for “Neil Flambe and the Marco Polo Murders.”

Signing poster

But, you know, it’s hard not to feel like a winner when kids line up for an hour to get your signature, when you’re on stage with 1500 kids screaming their heads off because they love books, when as you’re waiting for your taxi you’re mobbed by more kids who want you to sign their books….wow.

I fly home. What’s left of me.

Kitchener-Waterloo Bilingual School Visit

I’m at Kitchener-Waterloo Bilingual School for my last three sessions, all the arrangements made by Chris Klatecki. Thank you very much, Chris. I’m the first writer to visit the school. The evening before, Chris had set up an interview with the Kitchener Record.

Students were selling my books at the door, courtesy of Wordsworth Books (a local independent bookstore).

The day had been declared Pink Shirt Day, an anti-bullying day, many of the students and teachers dressed in pink. I was happy to tell them that Pink Shirt Day originated in Nova Scotia.

Thirty grade seven students, girls and boys, had prepared big pink posters with their personal anti-bullying message; they lined up in the corridor, holding the posters, dressed in pink sweaters, pink chiffon, pink feather boas – I was so touched, I was in tears. I wish I could put a photo of this on the blog. But in the photos I took, you can see the students’ faces and that’s a no-no.

Some of the messages on the posters:

Step up so people don’t get stepped on.

You have the power.

Take a chance. Make a change.

I will not be a Bystander.

Be the difference.

It isn’t big to make someone feel small.

I will be a hero.

We’re all special.

I couldn’t agree more. We all are special.

Two morning sessions, a wonderful potluck lunch in the staff room with the teachers, and a final session with grades seven and eight – who’d read all of Home Truths. A couple of keen writers. Some very acute questions. And the posters…what a way to end my tour!

Thank you to all the students, teachers, librarians and volunteer drivers who helped make this such a memorable and wonderful week.

I take the Greyhound to Toronto, have a celebratory dinner at the Royal York, and then the next day I’m off to Mississauga to spend the weekend with friends. Lunch in Yorkville, dinner in the Distillery District, an art show, visits to nurseries (garden, that is), cheering on one friend at a 10k run in Oakville, visit to Springridge Farm, drop in to a very classy horseshow, dinner with my friends’ son at Waterloo – an all-you-can-eat suishi bar, I think he did away with their profits for the night. Great way to unwind!

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The Hidden Agenda of Sigrid Sugden
Jill MacLean's latest book The Hidden Agenda of Sigrid Sugden , published by Fitzhenry & Whiteside and is available in bookstores and on-line!

This book is the completion of the Newfoundland trilogy which started with The Nine Lives of Travis Keating, followed by The Present Tense of Prinny Murphy.

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Nix Minus One

Jill MacLean's book Nix Minus One , published by Pajama Press and now available in bookstores!

Nix Minus One is geared for readers in Grade 7-8 and up.
Published February 15, 2013


Jill MacLean's books on Goodreads

Home Truths
Home Truths

reviews: 34

ratings: 143 (avg rating 4.20)

The Present Tense of Prinny Murphy
The Present Tense of Prinny Murphy

reviews: 14

ratings: 69 (avg rating 4.19)

The Nine Lives of Travis Keating
The Nine Lives of Travis Keating

reviews: 26

ratings: 91 (avg rating 4.16)

Nix Minus One
Nix Minus One

reviews: 6

ratings: 13 (avg rating 4.15)

Brevity of Red, The
Brevity of Red, The

ratings: 1 (avg rating 3.00)