Spring Time Blues (and Yellows)

Apr 03, 2019

As I write this, spring has officially arrived. It’s been a long cold winter here in central Alberta, and we still have patches of snow and icy bits along the walking trails. But the sun is gloriously warm, the days are getting longer, and some of our favourite birds have already returned from their journey south.

April 2nd marked the six-month anniversary since the publication of No Good Asking. My time has been filled with launches and book-club visits and meet the author events throughout Alberta. I’ve met such wonderful people in libraries and bookstores and people’s homes. People have been so open and eager to share their thoughts about the characters and storyline in No Good Asking, and I come away each time feeling like I learn far more from their insights than they learn from mine.

This winter has brought sadness too. My dear mom passed away in February at the age of 92. She died much like she lived, in her quiet and unassuming way, without any fuss. She was finishing her breakfast and surrounded by friends when she decided to close her eyes and leave this world. I miss her terribly, and as her caregiver these past many years, there is a hole in my life that I’m discovering how to fill. But oh the memories! Mom was the rock-solid best, the antithesis of the dysfunctional mothers I’ve written about so often in my novels and stories. That said, my current novel in progress is taking a different trajectory. Set in a dementia care facility, one of the main characters, Evie, is filled with nothing but mom-goodness. Evie is not Mom, but she has the same great big beautiful heart.

Life seems to be this constant and dizzying juxtaposition of ups and downs. On the upside of the scale, the Alberta Literary Award finalists have just been announced. I’m thrilled to find that No Good Asking has been short-listed for the Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction, alongside Clem Martini's The Comedian and Joshua Whitehead's Jonny Appleseed. It’s an honour for me to be on any list with Clem and Joshua, whose writing I admire so much. We’ll know who takes home the prize in June.

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