news & interviews
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 Chanie and 'The Secret Path' into classrooms—and how kids are naturally empathetic, imaginative creatures.
I'm thrilled to be presenting, reading, growling, and signing books at this weekend's Word on the Street Festival in Halifax! Bring your little beasts to the festival's wonderful 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 and often gory 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
I don't think Evan and Ben will ever fully recover from their backstage pass to the CBC Charlottetown studios 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
Music juju: he is out there too, creatively, writing grant applications and pitching media and heading cross-country fuelled with Timmy's double-doubles and gas station banana bread. The shed sends cheerful smoke into the tree canopy as I shoot, humming.
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.
I always relish the chance to shoot musicians. They slip into play so easily. Grassy or grand, they share half-thoughts and works in-progress from every stage. They let us into their experiments, as many songs as love affairs and runaways, and they hold us in trance.
Play with words. Play and have fun and someday, when you're running through a sprinkler or eating a hot dog or drifting off to sleep, you'll feel a tap on your shoulder, and a voice in your ear like it's being whispered through a tin can telephone. Be ready.
Tea parties and dance halls and lemon yellow picnic gingham, made by hand, with scissor snips at the seams. They find me in antique barns and Frenchy's bins. I am their Josephine Baker, and they are my rainbow tribe of orphans.
Workshop participants gave so many gifts that day. To themselves, each other, and the people who landed in these woods. We had so much fun, all of us so invigorated to create images together and in parallel. BONG! Go grab a soul.
Until we let go of being right, we remain in an endless loop of a You Did A Bad Thing—No, I Did A Good Thing gridlock. It’s an expensive one. It costs energy and turns everyone sour with its touch. It’s a parasite that entrenches deeper, widening the gap.
I am thrilled to share the shiny, wonder-eyed news that the excellent Eric Orchard is illustrating the book! Right now! And I'm crying again as he sends sketches through—although this time, it's more cry-giggling. Breakdancing zombies will do that.
Time slows for loved ones watching anxiously from sidelines. These days, time doesn't do that often. It only slides downhill and in blinks, decades passing in great big gulps while we fuss over supper. It's a pregnant moment. Everyone slows, waiting.
There's a three-legged cat, a 1960s cocktail bar. She is never without Pimm's. She wears mustard-coloured tights and bright teal pumps and a black and white checkered miniskirt. Inland, she's rare to the point of scandalous. I certainly hope so, she says.
You don't pass into made-it-on-your-own territory with a marching band and a fondant cake. You make it on your own mousetrap by mousetrap, taking it on because there's nothing else to do other than take it on, and because live rodents are more icky than dead ones.