Archive for January 2013

My Week At The Abbey!!


I’m just back from the abbey, from our annual writers’ retreat in Rogersville, NB. Seven wacky and wise women along with Sister Kate, JJ the abbey dog (very large and bouncy) and Muffin, the somewhat grumpy abbey cat.

Muffin and I, relaxing

Muffin and I, relaxing

VIA Rail got us there and back in fine style. I love travelling by train – you see the backside of all the houses, and the little back roads, and the skiers weaving down the hills at Wentworth – and there’s absolutely no responsibility.

Every day we walked from the abbey across the fields to the woods (where they make maple syrup in the spring), accompanied by JJ. If you’re lucky, you see a fox. For two days, along with wind chill, the temperature was minus forty – you wear every bit of clothing you brought with you, and your boots creak in the snow. Time to read, to write, to think, to laugh, to talk about matters great and small.And then there’s this door, between the unseen kitchen and our dining room, through which, twice a day, the most amazing meals are wheeled on a cart. I want one of those doors in my apartment.

While I was there, I was editing “The Hidden Agenda of Sigrid Sugden,” to be published in the fall. The editing process will continue for the next few weeks. Long phone calls with my wonderful editor Ann Featherstone, who lives on balmy Vancouver Island where it’s never forty below. Smart woman!

One of the books I read on the train was “My Book of Life by Angel,” by Martine Leavitt. Written in free verse, the blurb says it’s about “a teenaged sex worker trying to survive in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside during the time of the Pickton murders.” Not for the faint of heart. At times very grim. Beautifully and sparely written.


Muffin the cat

Crunching in the snow

Crunching in the snow

2013 Resolution




Like lots of people, I’ve made a New Year’s resolution. And you’ll be the witnesses of whether I keep it!

Starting January 28th, I plan to write a weekly blog, posted every Monday morning.


Hmm. Instead of “I plan to…” I should say, “I am going to…”

Starting January 28th, I am going to write a weekly blog, posted every Monday morning.

There. I did it.

And why not start right away, you ask? Why wait until January 28th ?

Because we all head out next week for our annual writers’ retreat at the abbey in Rogersville NB, and we’re not back until the 24th. And that’s one time of the year when I refuse to go online, send emails, or even make phone calls. You should see the pile of books I’m taking. Also snowshoes. Wish us good talk, good food, and good writing.

Oh, I’m posting a few of the photos I took of the foliage this October by Paper Mill Lake. I was too busy trying to get Nix Minus One ready for typesetting and then off to the printers to post them then. But Nix got there in time, and I’ll be talking more about him at the end of this month.


Fall Colours - Paper Mill Lake 2012 P1030590

Check out Jill's Blog!
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.

Pick up your copy today!
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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)