Rainy Saturday

I was hoping this past Wednesday to have the write-up from my Grenville Historical Society presentation on Home Children gracing the pages of the local weekly newspaper in the community where I spoke. It wasn’t to be. The municipal elections took priority and I was bumped. How rude is that? So now I have to wait until next Wednesday to see if I made that edition.

It’s cold and rainy and miserable today and by all accounts is going to be the same tomorrow. If that’s the case, there shouldn’t be too many little dears out trick-or-treating. Suits me just fine. The dog has a cow everytime someone comes to the door and it’s worse if he’s shut in the kitchen. However, my skeleton family – Boner, Bride and Betsy will come out of the “closet” (shed actually) and take their places in the front lawn along with some headstones, my flying bat aka “Drac”. It’s going to seem a bit strange this year. In previous years, my next door neighbour and I each tried to outdoor the other when it came to decorating… she’s not here this year.

Oh well, I’ve got a good idea in mind that is sure to scare the kids… or at least make them remember my house.

Will try to remember to put pictures up here tomorrow after everyone is set up…

Grenville Historical Society Presentation

Last night was the big night – the annual dinner of the Grenville Historical Society and I was on the “menu”. Tuesday night, I made a number of hand-outs that would accompany my presentation for the folks who would be there.

It started with a social hour at 6:00 then a delicious roast beef dinner at 6:30. The time capsule put away a number of years ago was opened (after much struggling since the lid had been riveted shut) and the contents revealed – including the executive of the society when the it was filled and sealed.

After a brief break and presentation of an award of merit to one of the members, it was time for me. I was given a glowing introduction by the President and then it was show time.

By the reaction I received when my talk was finished, I did a fantastic job. Folks applauded, commented and the like. There was even a reporter there from the weekly newspaper who took notes and photos during my presentation after which she and I sat and she interviewed me. If all goes well, I’ll be gracing the pages of the newspaper next week.

I have my presentation on DVD so will screen it (and the one from my genealogical society presentation in Brockville) and get it or both on my website or here on my blog… soon.

Words and Wine 2 – Murder in the Court House

Saturday, October 16 was the grand finale to this year’s Thousand Islands Writers Festival. Before we got down to the readings and stories by the three authors on hand – Janet Kellough, John Moss and RJ Harlick – retired Judge Cosgrove gave us a brief history of the court house.

Janet Kellough’s book On The Head of a Pin is a historical crime novel set in eastern Ontario during the time of the 1837 rebellion. It was fascinating to hear about local places that way.

John Moss read passages from two of his Miranda Quin and David Morgan novels including Reluctant Dead.

The last writer of the afternoon was RJ Harlick. She read from her Meg Harris mystery book Arctic Blue Death set in the Quebec wilderness and the Canadian arctic.

All three authors gave a wonderful performance. The wonderful afternoon culminated with a wine and cheese party in the atrium section of the courthouse – once totally outside and now glassed in. Very nice, indeed.

I can’t wait for the 2011 Writers Festival!

Thousand Islands Writers Festival

I attended both the afternoon and evening readings of this year’s Thousand Islands Writers Festival. What a day! The authors were fantastic. The afternoon session was historic novelist Roy MacSkimming who read from his novel Laurier in Love. The other afternoon presenter was biographer Charlotte Gray who told how she went about researching her book Gold Diggers about the Klondike gold rush. This book was a change from her usual style in that rather than the vertical slice of a person’s life from birth to death, she took a horizontal piece of time and from that chose six people who were all involved in the gold rush in the Canadian north. Both were excellent speakers and kept the audience enchanted.

The evening presenters were three novelists – all women who write in different styles. Two women wrote in a man’s point of view – Tish Cohen and Elizabeth Kelly, and Alissa York. Elizabeth went one step further and wrote in the first person from her main character’s viewpoint.

The three had never met before this evening and got along with each other famously. Sometimes putting three strangers together with such different personalities can be disastrous but in this case it worked a charm.

All in all, it was a very delightful and entertaining day. Can’t wait until tomorrow when it’s back to the historic court house for Words and Wine 2 – Murder at the Court House where we will be entertained by three mystery writers.

Grenville Historical Society

In my last post I mentioned being asked by the Grenville Historical Society to speak about Home Children at their October meeting. Well I’ve accepted their invitation.

When I spoke in Kingston last year and again in Brockville last month, I arranged to have my presentation recorded on video. I will do the same again.

Hopefully, each time I get better. Guess that’s what the recordings will tell me.