Saturday, November 30, 2013

She Came, She Wrote, She Won!

My sweet girl was itching to write for NaNoWriMo again this year with their Young Writers Program, after trying it for the first time last year.  Even when her Mama didn't write along with her (yes, I bailed...but, I worked diligently on my cheer leading skills!), she kept whipping her words into shape.

Last year, she worked with a special purple mechanical pencil and her Hello Kitty notebook, marking her words down by hand.  This year, she put the computer keyboarding skills she's learning in school to use and typed her NaNo.  As touch typing is a new skill still being honed, it was a little slower going.  But, she is one determined kidlet and didn't let a challenge stop her.

Today, she passed her word count goal and verified on the site, making her a WINNER!!!

We are so proud she kicks her goals' backside and is already talking about jumping back into NaNo next year!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

From Left to Write: The Cartographer of No Man's Land

I'm not sure when it happened.

It could have possibly happened when I lived on the west coast, just one state south of the border, in Washington, as a young child.

It could have happened when I lived on the east coast, just one state south of the border, in New York, as a kid.

It could have happened when I dove into Lucy Maud Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables, landing on a farm on Prince Edward Island.

I'm not quite sure exactly when it happened.

But, at some point it did.

I fell in love with our neighbors to the north.  I fell in love with Canada.

Was there any love lost for my home country?  As a child, absolutely not.  However, I vividly remember my Canada curiosity.

Could I have both?  Live here, love there?  And what exactly was it that I loved so much?

Truthfully, when this affinity struck, I don't believe I had ever even been north of that map line.

As a kid in New York, we once went to Niagara Falls, but I couldn't tell you what side of the Falls we were on.

While living in a number of locales across this country, I have not travelled much - I leave that to my baby brother and his wanderlust.  But, when I did finally travel the wee bit I have, I headed north to British Columbia in '95 and 2000.  And instead of a remembered childhood love of the then abstract place on a map, Canada, I looked around and breathed deep.  As much of a tourist as I was - and yes, I did indeed do the typical tourist activities - it felt more like stepping out into a favorite corner of my backyard.  It was comforting, fresh, natural, and of course, a visually stunning feast for the eyes.

It's been thirteen years since last visiting and I dream of going again.  In the meantime, I think I'll keep exploring that remembered childhood love through words woven across a printed page.
This post was inspired by The Cartographer of No Man's Land: A Novel by P.S. Duffy.  Angus enlists in the Nova Scotia WWI regiment and travels to Europe to search for his missing in action best friend and brother-in-law.  Along the way Angus discovers more than he ever wanted to know.  Join From Left to Write on November 14th as we discuss The Cartographer of No Man's Land.  As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

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