Thank you to all the schools, students, my fellow author, Adele Barclay, and tour organizer, Bryan Pike. The tour was a great experience and I am so looking forward to the Awards Night tonight. Check back over the next few days for additional photos of the tour and tonight’s event. We live in a beautiful province with such awesome young people and dedicated, enthusiastic teachers!
I discovered another truly beautiful spot in our province today – Fort St. James. It is located on Stuart Lake and has a long history as one of B.C.’s oldest permanent European settlements. It was originally a fur trading post for the North West Company but was taken over by the Hudson Bay’s Company when the two companies merged.
The Dakelh people live in this area and I would have loved to check out a drum making activity at their band office today but had to continue with our tour. I did however learn a Dakelh greeting ‘hadi’. Thank you, David Hoy Elementary, for a fantastic visit.
We then continued to Fraser Lake, another beautiful, beautiful place. It also has fur trading routes and developed as a result of the 1914 construction of the Grand Trunk Railway.
Also, to our great delight, my co-presenter, Adele, and I saw our name in lights! Thank you for the fantastic welcome, Fraser Lake Elementary and Secondary School! Of course, we had to take numerous photos to capture the event.
Today we saw almost sandal weather and some great Mexican food in Smithers! Tomorrow, we continue to explore B.C.’s northwest!
It started early with a bleary-eyed, pre-dawn shuttle trip to the Vancouver Airport and then off to Prince George. For someone used to the mountainous, treed terrain of Northwestern B.C., the topography of Prince George is quite different. As I peered down, still bleary-eyed, I noted a checkerboard of fields stretched across hills too flat for the west coast and criss-crosssed with roads too straight for our more mountainous coastal terrain.
Prince George has a population of approximately 74,000 and is sometimes called the capital of Northern B.C. However, the area was occupied long before the current settlement by the Lheidli T’Enneh (People of the Confluence of the Two Rivers)
Our first stop was at Duchess Park Secondary School where poet Adele Barclay was scheduled to present. Here we had a television interview with the Prince George television crew from CKPG-TV. On the plus side, I did not hit the microphone – I am a dreadful hand talker and had a nasty experience recently with a tall beverage. On the minus side, I’m not certain I would schedule my first televised interview after a flight and with only four hours of sleep.
After this I went off to Heather Park where I presented to an awesome group of students. For those who know me, it’s all about the shoes and food so, thank you to Heather Park, for lovely mug and treats. As for the shoes, I followed the mantra ‘if you wear them spring will come’ and went with sandals! Okay the toes were a tad chilly in the morning but by afternoon it was all good.
Then off to Vanderhoof and another great group of students at the Evelyn Dickson Elementary. The town of Vanderhoof was founded by Herbert Vanderhoof in the early 1900s with the hope of creating a creative retreat. However, the area has been largely populated by loggers and ranchers. On a literary note, Vanderhoof is home to Mary John, who inspired the book Stoney Creek Woman and is known for her advocacy work with the Carrier people.
After the presentation I went on a run, largely to try out my new runners – back to the shoes – and discovered the W.L. McLeod Wetlands, just one of the great spots in Vanderhoof. I also got some ideas from some Vanderhoof experts, thank you kids! They suggested that I check out the Nechako White Sturgeon Hatchery, as well as their new swimming pool and skating rink.
It sounds like I have to come back. Meanwhile, I am loving getting a glimpse into these communities!
This Friday I am so excited to be doing an online presentation to students across Canada as part of the Ontario Library Association’s Forest of Reading Program. Join me at 11:45am-12:30pm (EST) on Friday, Feb. 17th.
Everyday Hero is a finalist for the Silver Birch Award in the Forest of Reading Program.
This is part of Forest Fridays, a series of presentations given by authors nominated for the Forest of Reading Awards. Schools and libraries can register for the program to get access to some amazing resources! If you register for the Forest of Reading program, you get access to all of the resources for all of the books, plus you get all of the virtual visits until the end of June for free. Sign up your school or library today and join me on Friday!
I’m so excited to be sharing what I’ve learned in my writing journey with others at the Kitmat Public Library on January 28. Be sure to register for the event today!
I am so proud to announce my middle grade novel, Everyday Hero, is a 2017 Forest of Reading Nominee. The Forest of Reading program consists of eight award programs distinguished by age group and reading level. Everyday Hero is a Silver Birch Fiction nominee. I am so honored and proud to have Everyday Hero selected among such fine examples of children’s literature.