Thursday, July 29, 2010



If you live in the area of one of the businesses providing hands-on book-buying opportunities, or are travelling nearby, even if you’ve already bought copies of the book, please consider thanking them on our behalf by dropping in.

The books are selling well. This week, a store called the very next day after placement for a double refill supply. So often, if a person actually starts to read the prose and poetry, then more books are ordered for friends and relatives. GN is that kind of book. Isn't it great that people can actually enjoy the fruits of giving to the Stephen Lewis Foundation by adding to their treasure chest of reading material? One sharp customer had the idea of typing up her own related piece and pasting it into the back of the book, then giving the book as a gift to her granddaughter.

Some tiptoe into the book thinking "poetry?" (twitch, twitch)or,"I don't want to read a pile of soppy, sing-song birthday card verses about grandmothers! Honestly, I only bought this because it will help fight AIDS/HIV." And then, if they actually dare to look, they receive a very pleasant surprise.

One interviewer called it a "bathroom book".
I thought, "What are you saying about our book?"
I discovered that what he meant is what I'd label a "bedside book"; the kind you settle down to savour in small segments before going to sleep.In fact, although the gems are widely varied, it is too rich a collection to be read too many pieces at a time. No stomach ache, no calories, no damage to the teeth, but rich fare, nevertheless.

Sorry for my delay in entries. I've been editing lately (for money, this time, my wallet is happy to say), with no time to blog. I'm also hoping to get some new writing of my own submitted before my second carpal tunnel operation.

I have my own favourites, but I'd be very interested in hearing which stories and poems people liked best in Grandmothers' Necklace, whether serious or amusing, hilarious or poignant.

Thank you for waiting and for reading, you patient souls.


Monday, June 14, 2010

Greetings, Incredibly Loyal Person,

It is 5:47 a.m. on Monday, June 14th. I’m feeling guilty. Unless the phenomenon of intermittent reward* is in operation, it’s highly unlikely that anyone is reading this after so long a delay on my part, but I’ll feel better for having apologized.

The “blog” was established to communicate, but that which is being communicated could seem to be indifference. Apart from the daily effects of my husband’s illness, and a couple of preaching and worship leadership opportunities, what seems to have temporarily taken over my life is the Grandmothers’ Necklace anthology and all its related bookkeeping, launch arrangements, e-mail and telephone communication, radio and newspaper interviews, etc.

If you have been travelling to, then you know there has been a flurry of launches: Petawawa, Deep River, Belleville, Ajax, Guildwood (Scarborough), Kitchener, Smiths Falls, Ottawa, Ontario. There have been sales tables at special events like Girls’ Night Out in Pembroke, post-World Day of Prayer service luncheons, Chapel luncheons, CFB Petawawa, Artists and Authors in the Park, Stittsville, ON.

I’ve been shipping books on request to contributors for selling when they make presentations as part of their own career, as well as for renewal of store site supplies. There’s a launch in Truro, NS on June 19th.

I can’t be there, but the preparations and program sound very appealing. Joyce Gero, a very talented Nova Scotia writer/poet, is responsible for that one. It will include, among others, contributors Dianne Collier of “Hurry Up and Wait” fame, Theodore Christou, on faculty at UNB, and area radio personality, Rod Deviller.

Approximately 25 bookselling locations have been established, to be listed at valleyartisan site as soon as I am able. I know, I know. I promised some time ago. I’ve been too busy creating displays and actually arranging agreements and book supplies to list the wonderful businesses who have agreed or offered to carry copies of the book for sale as a charitable deed for little or no percentage. May they be mightily blessed!

On Wednesday, I’m to leave for Burlington and Guelph to participate in the annual Write!Canada conference. The Grandmothers’ Necklace books are an important part of that experience this year. I’ll be caught up in the whirl of classes and readings and plenaries, with some personal writing/editing and spiritual renewal opportunities, knowing that the books created to raise funds to fight the wave of AIDS/HIV in Africa are being sold on the behalf of the Petawawa Grannies in The WordGuild’s on-site bookstore.

The following Wednesday, I’m to be in Toronto for the SLF Grandmothers to Grandmothers Afrigran event, with another sales table opportunity at their market. THEN, I hope to take a deep breath and arrange for my second impending carpal tunnel operation before going back into the breach.

The GREAT about all this is that the contents of the book itself are being very well received.

The best ad is word of mouth from repeat customers. There is something, and usually, plenty, for everyone. I defy anyone to not find at least one poem or story or article or letter or that moves him/her to tears, laughter, admiration, or determination, if not all of the foregoing.

Now, I’ve important things to find, items to pack, cat care requirements to spell out, and then, perhaps I’ll get that list to the Valley Artisans site!

Thank you for reading.


*Behavioural Psych Experiment: If little white mice only receive a pellet periodically when they push the correct little bar in their cage, they tend to repeat the bar-pushing more frequently, perhaps even frenetically, than if the reward is consistently delivered. Go figure. No human similarities, surely. Wait, that sounds like the lottery, gambling. Nah.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Grandmothers' Necklace - Second Printing

Greetings to you on this soft spring morning!

I know. I know. I’ve been delinquent. Now, however, I understand that there will be a link to this blog as a result of my having finally registered for the Write!Canada 2010 conference in Guelph. NOT the thing to have people check out a moribund blog.

I’ve been so book-bound (pun intended) for the past year, there has been no time to “blog”.

Apologies, but not for the book; I’m very happy about its contents. My focus is on getting it out there — once one has sifted through its jewels, it sells itself.

“What book?” did you say? Thought you’d never ask. Grandmothers’ Necklace, the anthology for which I sent out the Call for Submissions over a year ago, has had a 2000-book printing and the printing of the second 2000, with some alterations, is about to be completed! The poetry and prose contributions are many and varied and captivating…a veritable treasure chest.

It’s about grandmothers, being grandmothers, aging and intergenerational relationships. Laugh-out-loud or chuckle humour, empathy, lyricism, nostalgia, close calls, even a recipe — It’s all there!

There have been newspaper and periodical articles and radio interviews, launches in Ottawa valley communities and Belleville, with many more launches and reading events to come, in Ontario (see below), and at least one Nova Scotia site.

The talents and energy of the contributors are amazing. This is a Petawawa Grannies project but other Grannies groups are adding their support when the sales and special events occur. The Granny groups all exist for the same purpose. Our Irish contributor, also a song writer, is right now promoting the books while she is in the Southern U.S. right now. (You read that correctly.) I’m waiting for event reports back from our United States contributors.

As you’ll know, if you’ve Googled “Grandmothers’ Necklace “or “Grandmothers’ Necklace + launches”, these gems have been gathered so that ALL of the profits go to the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign, a part of the Stephen Lewis Foundation, to fight AIDS and HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa .

The particular focus of this campaign is on the Grandmothers (no surprise there!) and the AIDS-orphaned grandchildren they are working so valiantly to raise under conditions that most of us would not even want to think about, let alone endure day in and day out in our final years (and I think I’m tired after an Easter weekend of very energetic grandchildren!).

“Where can I hear these gems being read and buy a signed book?”
Local contributors read their own in their area. Some travel to other areas. Some favourites by distant contributors are also read by local readers so guests can enjoy them. So far, the launches have been very successful events, lasting two to two and one half hours if people feel like staying to chat after the munchies, buying and signings.

From my What’s Up.doc, firmly on the calendar for the near future:

Saturday, April 24th 7:30 pm – 9:00/9:30 ToGoGo Grannies SLF fundraiser concert. Our book table for sales at intermission and after concert.
Toronto, ON.
Linda Dawn Pettigrew, writer and now a ToGoGo Granny, in charge of the table.

Sunday, April 25th - Post a.m. service, READINGS, SALES, SIGNINGS at St Timothy's Presbyterian Church, 97 Burcher Road Ajax,ON L1S 2R3 - (905) 683-6122
June Stevenson

Saturday, May 1, 2-5 KITCHENER LAUNCH Authors’ readings & book sales, St. Philip’s Lutheran Church, 236 Woodhaven Road, Kitchener, ON on Sat.,May 1st, 2-5 pm.
Carolyn Wilker

Friday, May 7th 7:00 – 9:00 p.m., TORONTO LAUNCH - Authors’ Readings & Book Sales, Guildwood Community Presbyterian Church,140 Guildwood Parkway in Scarborough, ON
Cori Mordaunt,

Sunday, May 9 MOTHER’S DAY Hint! Hint! Hint!
If you are going to buy the book later at a launch, and wish to have a little gift card attachment with the book's picture that you can print off to give to your mother, grandmother, aunt, etc. to tell them that the gift is coming, contact me at

Saturday, May 29 1:30 to 3:30 OTTAWA LAUNCHreadings, refreshments, signings and sales, OTTAWA, ON, Main Library 120 Metcalfe, Ottawa ON K1P 5M2
LIBRARY NUMBER 613-580-2945
Patricia at

Sunday, May 30th "Artists & Authors in the Park", 12:00 Noon - 5:00 p.m., STITTSVILLE, ON Displays, barbecue, concert
Petawawa Grannies and the Kilimanjaro Grannies are sharing a book table
Patricia at

Thursday,June 17th,BOOK TABLE!at WRITE!CANADA GUELPH Writers' Conference Participants only
Friday, June 18th BOOK TABLE!at WRITE!CANADA 2010 Writers' Conference Participants only
Saturday, June 19th BOOK TABLE! WRITE!CANADA 2010 Writers' Conference Participants only

Thursday, June 24th AFRIGAN,TORONTO - BOOK TABLE, African and Canadian Grannies only.
Friday, June 25th, AFRIGAN, TORONTO - BOOK TABLE, African and Canadian Grannies only.

“Where else can I buy copies of the book?” Dear reader, you ask all the right questions. The number of outlets increases daily, but I’ll pass those we have so far on to you tomorrow:

“Can I get them on line?” Yes. Check out (The book is one of those featured in their April e-letter - Hooray!) OR

Another place to keep up on what is happening concerning the book itself is at , a page being managed for us as a kindness by Leslie White, Valley Artisans, on their Gallery site:

So, tomorrow, you'll be let in on the outlets. Thank you for caring.