In 2005, I had a baby. The usual spit-up, disjointed sleep, and joy. In 2007, it was twins, born catastrophically three months too soon. One of them died. I started writing on a morphine drip and never stopped. Imagination became my altar, saviour, and jailbreak.
In 2008, feeling terribly isolated in grief—like Medusa, I always said—I founded Glow in the Woods, the world's first bereavement community for parents. For six years running I was the keynote speaker for the Walk to Remember in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada's largest memorial event for bereaved families. In 2012, I gave a TEDx talk called Parallelism, about the often solitary journeys of creativity and grief. When we lose someone we love, we've got to re-learn how to love, communicate, and abide with them, with the mysteriously vanished. There's beauty and companionship in that learning.
My latest book—Notes for the Everlost: A Field Guide to Grief—is out now with Shambhala Publications. It's the latest in a career of adventure novels and picture books for kids, all infused with Nova Scotian salt and mischief, woodstoves and rum-running. It all lines up. Hooliganism and friendship, exquisite beauty, explosive mess. Losses and gains. I'm glad you're here.
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The second clip from Penguin Random House Audio is live! “Having given anger a voice, you’ll grow a deeper appreciation and sensitivity to things suddenly feeling peaceful. You’ll get there faster, and laugh louder when you do. Ask any punk.”
I had such a great conversation with Kristen Chase of Cool Mom Picks—I love how she turned our time together into an audio guidebook for all griefs, from all angles, in all circles. What to do no matter where you stand in relation to loss, Medusa or not.
The wonderful PRH Audio is releasing excerpts of the audiobook, as read by me in a three-day marathon inside a little black cave-room in Nova Scotia. Reading aloud, re-living, time-travelling. And feeling very much with you, with us.
Such happy news: a new picture book for Fall 2020! “…A rhythmic, playful story about three frogs who ride bicycles through the woods, singing and playing instruments for the other animals until a huge storm wins them an unexpected fan…”
The third video reading—direct to you from the closet!—is on the silver lining of a heart full of holes. All the things that work exactly as they’re supposed to thanks to their holes: sponges, souffles, the foam inside lifejackets. And me, and you.
The second video reading from the book—on strength—is all about fluidity over bruce force, with public domain treasures that fit the words. Not muscle, but flow. That’s the way to life again, and I like thinking about that. I hope you do, too.
I went into the crowsnest closet to record three pieces of audio that felt important. The first—Dandelions in Chernobyl—is about how time does her work on an exquisite scale, and the moment you realize she’s been doing that work all along.
TD Book Week was a terrific, well-oiled machine of a tour. School after school, libraries, a children's museum, hundreds of faces: magically healing stuff. It's such a big deal to hear kids laugh at your stories, and shout at you in unison to give 'em anudder.
We make magic bigger by demystifying the creator. It's a funny thing. When a regular real-life person replies to a tweet or a photo or a handwritten letter, the regular real-lifeness of that interaction turns into possibility. 'You could do this, too!'
In the age of Trumpism, it's more important than ever to teach history and empathy to Canada's kids. I spoke to CKBW Radio in London, Ontario about bringing 'The Secret Path' into classrooms—and how kids are naturally imaginative creatures.
I'm thrilled to be presenting, reading, and signing books at this weekend's Word on the Street Festival in Halifax! Bring your little beasts to the festival's homebase of the Halifax Central Library this Saturday, September 17, 2016.
Oh, the joy when teachers send me their students' monster-inspired art: silly werewolves. Big-hearted werewolves. Werewolves eating doughnuts. Regular kids love to imagine regular life in irregularly power-full, growly ways. Thrills!
We wander in fresh air where all you can see, all around you, is pure green. We stop time with rosy cheeks and sunbeams. "To invent your own life's meaning is not easy, but it's allowed, and I think you'll be happier for the trouble." —Bill Watterson
If I Were a Zombie is a boisterous trip through the twisted delights of a child’s imagination. Fun and gross at the same time: what could be better? A delightful, entertaining book sure to be a hit with kids. —National Reading Campaign
Evan and Ben will never fully recover from their backstage pass to the CBC Charlottetown for our interview with Mainstreet. Stars and rainbows! They got hooked up with big headphones to do the daily plug. And again. And again. #giggles
Four sessions of dozens of kids in one day. No matter where I am, it always starts off the same: What's the biggest library rule? ... BE QUIET they say, in that obedient sing-songy chorus. One kid in the back says NO FLYING SIDE KICKS.