Posts Tagged ‘Jill’s Travels’

Icelandic Adventure – Part 3



I had an extra day at the end of the tour because of the timing of the Icelandair flight back to Halifax, so I booked a trip to Landmannalauger, in the southern interior.


To get there, we drove through the Icelandic desert – one photo shows the road – then hiked up to a geothermal area, and back through a lava field.

Quite a day, all 12 hours of it!


Icelandic Adventure – Part 2


The Icelandic horses are everywhere but in the interior “deserts”. Beautiful animals, the very same breed brought from Norway in the ninth century.

The Icelanders are very careful to protect their horses from diseases from outside the country – no “foreign” horses are allowed to enter, and if you bring in riding gear, you have to have it disinfected.

On my last day, I rode one of the horses for an hour and a half. They have five gaits: walk, tölt, trot, pace, and gallop. I didn’t do the last two, as they’re very fast and I didn’t want to invite disaster!

Five  horse pictures for you, below.

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Icelandic Adventure

Geysir Called Strokkur

Geysir Called Strokkur


I came home from three and a half weeks in Iceland just over a week ago.

What a trip! What a country!

I’ve never been anywhere where the violence that shaped the landscape is so overt.

It’s a landscape of volcanoes (active and otherwise, at least two overdue for an eruption), of glaciers and snow, of highland deserts, of waterfalls, of geothermal areas where black mudpots boil and boiling water bursts out of the ground…utterly amazing.

Also Icelandic horses, many many sheep, gorgeous wildflowers, and birds everywhere.

lava from a 1973 eruption on the Westmann Islands

Lava from a 1973 eruption on the Westmann Islands

The people are friendly, and most speak English.

I learned how to say “Góðin taggin” (good day) and “Takk fyrir” (thank you) and “Bless” (goodbye).

I even learned how to pronounce “Eyafjallajökull” the volcano that erupted in 2010 and disrupted international air traffic because of the huge clouds of ash.

Oh yes, and I took over 1100 photos.

First tour was the south coast.

House Buried In The Ash

House Buried In The Ash

A few photos, with captions.

The glacier at the foot of the volcano Eyafjallajokull

The glacier at the foot of the volcano Eyafjallajokull

 The glacier at the foot of the volcano Eyafjallajokull



Horses Running From Ash When Eyafjallajokull Erupted In 2010

Horses Running From Ash When Eyafjallajokull Erupted In 2010


Fording a river

Fording a river

My Week in Calgary – Part 2





More on my recent visit to Calgary, courtesy of Pajama Press.

A week ago Tuesday, we spent the day with Heather Parsons, a sales rep from Michael Reynolds and Associates. Bright, energetic, great sense of humour, and very very good at her job – thanks, Heather! I signed a lot of books that day.


Pixie Hollow Books in High River, Alberta

Our first stop was Pixie Hollow Books in High River, about an hour south of Calgary. A delightful store, with the best chai latte I’ve ever had.

And guess what? While I was there I found out that Martine Leavitt, whose writing I’ve long revered, lives in High River. She was kind enough to come to the bookstore, where she signed my copy of her brilliant, grim, and very courageous free-verse novel, My Book of Life by Angel. Such a pleasure to meet her! Thank you, Martine.

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Owl’s Nest in Calgary


Owl’s Nest, Shelf Life Books, and Chapters in Chinook Mall took the rest of the afternoon, then in the evening I did a reading at Monkeyshines Children’s Bookstore – and was delighted when my daughter-in-law’s brother, who lives and teaches in Calgary, walked in the door. The only thing better than having a Newfoundlander present when you read from Nix Minus One is having family there.

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Window display for Nix Minus One in Monkeyshines Children’s Bookstore, Calgary


My thanks to Sue Hill of Monkeyshines for a terrific window display and lovely treats.


Reading from Nix Minus One



Signing Sue Hill’s Authors’ Wall – I was in very good company!

My Week in Calgary – Part 1



Pajama Press, my publishers for Nix Minus One, flew me to Calgary last week. And what a week! So much went on, that there’ll be at least two instalments to this blog.

The major event was the Calgary Children’s Literature Round Table on the evening of the 22nd.

Supported by United Library Services, the event was billed as “Two Celebrated Canadian Authors.” I spoke first, followed by Ken Oppel – now he is a celebrated author.

I’d reread Silverwing before I left Halifax, and read Sunwing on the flight to Calgary – and enjoyed both so much. Imaginative, original, and exciting. So it was a real pleasure to meet Ken, listen to his talk, and exchange ideas on how we write.

Illustrating my talk with excerpts from Nix, I spoke about the power of experience and of imagination to shape our narratives.

Keep reading – we writers need you!










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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

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Nix Minus One
Nix Minus One

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Brevity of Red, The
Brevity of Red, The

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