Friday, March 28, 2008

more sugarbush photos

Jonathan's nursery school teacher Janet emailed us these 3 beautiful photos from yesterday's field trip, so I just had to add them!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

maple madness

Today Jonathan's nursery school had a trip to the sugarbush, so he and Daddy had a fun morning in the woods. Here is Jonathan on the wagon into the bush ...

... checking out the sap bucket ...

... and visiting the sugar shack with his classmates.
S-w-e-e-t !

Sunday, March 23, 2008

UNorthodox Easter??

OK, the above two images are going to take some explaining!
Allison and Jonathan and I attended a children's Good Friday service at St. James Anglican Church. They had children as greeters and Scripture readers, and two girls played a violin duet. The priest invited all of the children forward for a special message. Then after the service, everyone was invited into the parish hall to make a Lenten garden. They had trays full of soil and all kinds of things to put in them: rocks, twigs, shells, pinecones, etc. Here in picture #2 is the garden that we (well, mostly Allison) made. You can see the green clay tomb on the far left, with its clear green stone now rolled away from the entrance to symbolize Jesus' resurrection; note also the yellow butterfly just above the tomb, a symbol of new life.

I thought I should also show a picture of the Easter bunny cake I made today. (Yeah, just call me Martha Stewart.) Jesus risen from the dead AND a chocolate cake--what could be better?

Friday, March 14, 2008

Allison's awesome art

Yesterday Allison went to a children's watercolour painting class and produced these two beautiful works of art!

Monday, March 03, 2008

Working with Words

Yesterday I had the opportunity to attend a writers' workshop--something I have never done before. The Kingston Arts Council planned this first-time event, called "Working With Words". It featured talks on writing by Diane Schoemperlen (whose best-known novel is probably Our Lady of the Lost and Found) and Helen Humphreys (who has written many books including The Lost Garden--a beautiful book--and most recently the best-selling The Frozen Thames). Each of the two authors presented lots of her own experiences and advice on writing: everything from abstract ideas like the importance of "loving words" to practical tips about what effect is created by first-person or third-person point of view. It was very interesting and completely down to earth--no pretense or la-di-da "famous author" stuff at all.

The event also provided the opportunity (for a measly $5 above the already-cheap $10 cost of the lecture) to have a one-on-one session with one of the authors to discuss your work. I signed up for this ahead of time and sent in 5 pages of a story I've been working on, and then yesterday I had 15 minutes with Helen Humphreys, getting her feedback and suggestions. At 33 cents a minute it was time and money well spent! She gave me advice on reducing the amount of dialogue, making my story move along faster, and dividing the story into thirds (1/3 introduction, 1/3 action, 1/3 resolution). Then she said, "But your characters and dialogue are good--I'd read this." Which was great to hear, considering my story is kind of weird. It was very practical, useful advice from someone who knows what she's talking about.

Lori also attended the workshop and to my surprise, so did Jonathan's Educational Assistant, Pam, who turns out to be a budding writer as well. We are planning to start a writers' group; 3 people make a group, don't they?