Tag Archives: non-fiction

Embracing Books About Trees

“We need trees. They give us oxygen, wood, medicine, food, shelter, shade, paper –the list goes on and on.” –Dearborn Public Library; Dearborn Michigan*

When was the last time you hugged a tree? Admit it, during these pandemic on-again-off-again lockdowns, reading a good book or taking a quiet stroll through a tree-lined park often eased the emptiness from those missed social gatherings with family and friends. 

Forests have healing powers and that is one reason trees need to remain in good health for future generations.  On Sunday, March 21, 2021, concerned organizations and individuals with the help of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations celebrated International Day of Forests ( #IntlForestDay ). This year’s theme was “Forest restoration: a path to recovery and well-being.” For additional details, here is the link.

International Day of Forests March 21, 2021

International Day of Forests was celebrated March 21, 2021.

I’m not much of an activist, but as a writer and a reader, I’ve been impressed by some of the tree-themed literary projects that have been organized and promoted over the years. The following books were not affiliated with International Day of Forests, but I wanted to draw attention to them.

TREE BOOKS – HOT OFF THE PRESS:

Tree Anthology edited by Henry Fischer, Nicole Lane, Kathryn Takach, and Dan Lodge (Dearborn Public Library 2021) 294 pages.

What a beautiful book. I am hugging this anthology now and I look forward to reading the variety of stories and poems written by 67 contributors ranging from the school aged youth to the retired young at heart. There is also a Picture-a-Tree section featuring striking black and white images taken during Michigan’s stay-at-home orders.

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Introducing Elizabeth F Hill and All ‘Bout Canada

Visitors have 50,000 years to visit Niagara Falls before it disappears – Elizabeth F. Hill*

She’s a walking encyclopedia! Canadian author Elizabeth F. Hill’s love for reading, researching, and writing is evident in her latest project  All ‘Bout Canada: A Compendium of Canadiana. Recently released by Nimbus Publishing, her 200-page non-fiction book is being described as “a resourceful, quirky, and illuminating read, featuring vibrant illustrations….an abecedary of Canadiana for all of us.”**

An avid traveller! Canadian writer Elizabeth F. Hill recently launched her non-fiction book  All ‘Bout Canada.

The back cover states: “Using a blend of prose, poetry, posters, jokes, and quizzes, and featuring dictionary-style entries and witty poems for each letter in the alphabet, this collection of Canadian facts and anecdotes takes readers on a cross-country cultural tour from “Aurora Borealis” to “Zellers”, with delightful detours along the way.”**

Talk about conversation starters!  Her ABC book tempts the reader with trivia: “Did you know? …On average, the inside of the igloo is 65 degrees warmer than the outside air with wind chill.” (p. 69)

I could chat with this author for hours and I have. She is most entertaining and because she’s my sister-in-law (big disclosure here which is why I will refrain from posting a review), I know how hard she works behind the scenes to expand her knowledge about Canada and other parts of the world. Ever since I have known her, Beth has had an amazing capacity to remember details: she’s an academic researcher who holds a master of library science and a PhD in intercultural education. Yet, her interests and mannerisms are down to earth, and her writing is infused with a touch of dry humour. She makes me laugh.

A few days ago, I chatted with Elizabeth (via e-mail) about her new book, her journey as a writer, her writing space, and her plans for the future. Continue reading

A Flair for Entertaining – Hazards of the Trade by Phyllis L Humby

 “In the early 80s my persona was larger than life with a too loud laugh and too-wide smile. I dressed in outlandish styles, bright colours, and oversized jewellery.” -Phyllis L Humby*

Humour is often difficult to write but Phyllis L Humby weaves her wit seamlessly in her memoir and debut trade book Hazards of the Trade, virtually launched by Crossfield Publishing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bravo, I say, and not because I know and have followed the journey of this seasoned writer for a long time (which I fully disclose here), but because she has a special gift.

Gregarious with a natural flair for creating entertaining stories, this Canadian writer and columnist often lights up a room with her infectious laughter. This unique ability to razzle-dazzle and woo her customers (and readers) is evident throughout her book.

Aptly subtitled: An Intimate Reveal of the 80s and 90s Lingerie Boom, her memoir shares the inner workings of a boutique she owned and operated in a small but prosperous southwestern Ontario community.

Hazards-Front-Only-1

Hazards of the Trade: An Intimate Reveal of the 80s and 90s Lingerie Boom (Crossfield Publishing 2020) by Phyllis L Humby ISBN 13:9781999177928.

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Behold the “Unblocked” Spirit of Writing

“Your morning pages are your boat. They will both lead you forward and give you a place to recuperate from your forward motion.”– Julia Cameron*

Artist's Way Photo 6

The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by national bestselling author Julia Cameron could change your life! It certainly changed mine!

It taps you on the shoulder when you least expect it! That effervescence of literary ‘magic’ that tingles down your back, spreads throughout your body, and squirts out your pen or onto the keyboard. Some call it the muse. Some call it “God” with a capital “G”. Some call it the “spirit” of nature with a more subtle lower case “s”.

If you’re a writer, or a creator from any of the artistic or creative disciplines, you’ve probably felt it. I know I have, and I’ve seen it in the eyes of other writers creating at their peak performance. It’s the force that keeps the creativity flowing and it’s as real and nourishing as an Empire apple picked straight from a tree.

But what happens when the rivers of creativity dry up? Has it happened to you like it happened to me? You wake up in a sweat and overnight the words are blurred or even worse, they’ve disappeared, and your rowboat is gone? You try crawling (without your oars) down a different path but flounder some more.

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Supporting Sarnia-Lambton’s Literary Scene

“Create community wherever you find yourself.” – Audrey Stringer*

Sarnia-Lambton’s literary community continues to evolve.

Between 2010 and 2018, this southwestern Ontario region has lost seven key and prolific members of its literary community, a few others have moved to other areas, several more have vanished behind closed doors to write, read, or just mourn their loss of friends, family, pets, health, or job.

So many fond memories of Sarnia and area writers sharing their work at The Lawrence House Centre for the Arts.

However, despite the changes, several local writers continue to write and share their words with the public. Some are already well known; others are just making a name for themselves. Some are traditionally published while others have self-published their manuscripts. Over the years, I’ve featured several Sarnia-Lambton writers on my blog.

Today, I’m sharing a compilation of new and familiar writers who are in the literary spotlight this autumn. I hope you will help to celebrate their accomplishments with a loud standing ovation. (My apologies if I’ve missed anyone. Please send me a note in the comment’s section and I will make a note to feature them in an upcoming blog.)

Audrey Stringer’s Fourth Book has Arrived at The Book Keeper

111 Butterfly Moments: Tips to Embrace and Live Life with Joy.

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