January 2008

Have a Fantastic Family Literacy Day

January 27, 2008

Mark that date ’cause it’s Family Literacy Day! Hooray! (Here in Canada anyway) And it’s its tenth anniversary this year. [And yes that’s a rather awkward sentence but I just had to let it stand. Doesn’t it seem sorta like the ‘it’ words are facing off against one another, holding their ground firmly, sure of their own purpose, daring the other to back down…? But I digress.]

I’m going to celebrate this worthwhile event. I may have a date with a cold hard seat in a hockey arena but as soon as I’m out of there we’ll be reading.

Find out more about the event and ten ways to celebrate it from the people who bring it to us at www.abc-canada.org/fld.

And Just One More Book has a terrific interview with the President of the ABC Canada Literacy foundation. You’ll find it here.

Read on!

© Lizann Flatt, www.lizannflatt.com
No part of this blog may be used without written permission from the author.

AFH-GI Award Consideration

I just learned that Let’s Go! has made the official long list to be considered for the Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator’s Award award given by the Canadian Library Association.

Way to go Scot Ritchie!

It’s terrific to know Scot’s illustrations have caught the CLA’s notice. The winner and honour books are announced in May 2008 at the CLA Vancouver conference.

Find more about the award at www.cla.ca and more about Scot at www.scotritchie.com and for more about our publisher Maple Tree Press at www.mapletreepress.com.

© Lizann Flatt, www.lizannflatt.com
No part of this blog may be used without written permission from the author.

At the End, Real vs Right…Fact vs Fiction

The best book endings feel satisfying. They feel Right. They feel like the perfect completion of something wonderful. Too bad real life doesn’t work that way.

I find myself mulling over how suddenly and swiftly life can be over…ended. That might seem rather morbid of me but I am saddened that last Friday was the funeral for my second cousin John O’Keefe, an innocent victim killed by a gunshot in Toronto the previous weekend as he was walking to the subway to return home. There’s an article about it in the Toronto Star. He was only a year older than me. He had a son a year younger than mine. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

What were the chances that he’d be in that exact position on that exact stretch of sidewalk to find himself in the exact fatal trajectory of that bullet? A foot or maybe a few inches either way might have made all the difference. What if that night he’d walked faster… or strolled slower? So many elements accumulated to create such a sudden and senseless ending to his life story. It almost doesn’t seem real.

And then there’s my brother-in-law who last week was slammed up against the wall by a charging bull. One thousand five hundred pounds of beef decides to go on a rampage and he’s in the way. He was “lucky.” His was a close call that ended in four cracked ribs and a bruised lung and many months of painful healing to look forward to before he can resume his normal life.

Even I’ve had experience with normal life abruptly snatched away for a time. A few years ago I had a snowmobile accident that ended with a broken vertebrae and left me at first incapable of even cutting up my own dinner. I cannot forget that, just before I passed out, I lay there on the cold icy snow with the fleeting thought that this might be It. I might be Done. Thanks for coming out but sorry, time’s up. My overwhelming feeling was disgust mixed with outrage and incredulity that it could all be so stupid to end that way with so many things just left, dropped, abandoned in the middle, never to be seen through to their conclusion. . .and some things never even started.

So of course I’d love to say that now I’ve learned my lesson and I live each day to its fullest. I’d love to say that I take every opportunity to fully enjoy my family and that I now follow all my dreams because I really do have a good idea that you never know when you’ll take your own final walk home, when you’ll meet your own wall and when your fall will be final. But that would be not be entirely factual.

It would however be great stuff for fiction. Fiction writers work hard to make their fictitious characters grow and learn. They work hard to make their stories seem real. But seeming real doesn’t equal really could happen. What if a book you were enjoying just ended with the main character being shot for no reason at all, just a random chance that had him in the wrong place at the wrong time? It could happen. It does happen. But that book’s ending would suck. You’d be mad at the writer. You’d say it was unfair and that you felt cheated and that it wasn’t right. You’d be right, of course. It’s not right. But that doesn’t mean it’s not real.

© Lizann Flatt, www.lizannflatt.com
No part of this blog may be used without written permission from the author.

Something Fowl in the Air

As I was taking down and putting away all the decorations from the tree, musing over how 2007 had been in general, some movement outside the window caught my eye. There was something up in the tree. Some type of fowl! I ran to get my camera. I opened the sliding glass door, stuck my head out and had a great time watching these birds in the tree while simultaneously freezing and freaking out the furnace. I took some photos but they were a little far away and ended up pretty lame looking even by my amateur photography standards. The film I took is a little better if only because you can see them move.

Not sure what these birds are exactly. Grouse? Partridge? By the time I was done fooling with the photos and went to get the binocs and bird book I returned to find that–poof–the fowl had flown away.

© Lizann Flatt, www.lizannflatt.com
No part of this blog may be used without written permission from the author.