I was having some issues with my website (HUGE thank you to Devin Hind of 5Design for helping me out!) so this post is late in coming. I have extremely proud to announce the publication of my ninth book – Dear Me: The Mother Letters.
I received so much positive feedback after releasing Dear Me: The Widow Letters in 2018, both from widows and others, that I decided to expand the conversation. I put out a call for mothers who had experienced the death of a child, and asked them “If you could send a letter back in time to your newly-bereaved self, what would you say?”
I received letters from across the country and chose eighteen for this anthology. There are actually twenty letters in the book. One woman asked if she could write her letter in French, as that was the only language she spoke to her son in (which I immediately assured her was absolutely okay), so her letter appears in French and is followed by an English translation. The final letter in the book is addressed to “Dear Everyone Else” and is an amalgamation of suggestions from the mothers in the book of how to help someone who has experienced the death of a child.
I am honoured to have published this book, and extremely proud of the courageous mothers who submitted letters to this project. This is, thankfully, not a tragedy I have ever experienced, but I learned a lot from reading these letters, and I hope you will too.
There will be a virtual launch in the near future, but plans are still underway.
Dear Me: The Widow Letters is now available as an ebook for Kindle and KOBO in Canada, and for Kindle and KOBO in the US.
I’m currently working on Dear Me: The Mother Letters and hope to have it available in print and ebook formats sometime in February.
Between Christmas and New Year’s, I like to take stock of the past year and predict what the new year might be like. I didn’t do it last year – probably because I was too busy 60-thinging it – but I wanted to make sure I did it this year.
And what a year it was! I think it’s going to be one of those time-defining years – things will be remembered as being “before COVID” or “during COVID” or (hopefully sometime this year) “after COVID”.
Things I miss:
- My weekly visits to see my mom. We would go out for lunch and then go back to the care home and bake muffins to share with the other residents in her “house”.
- Band – the Warman Community Band and the Diamond Jazz Band, especially the Christmas music
- Choir – the Contemporary Singers from St. Martin’s United Church, again, especially the Christmas music
- Handbells – the St. Martin’s Ringers and the Zodiac Tapestry Ringers, and again, especially the Christmas music
- Agility Classes with Posey – Although it was because of my other groups shutting down that we were able to start this, it eventually had to shut down as well.
- The monthly CUPE Dolls Breakfast – a group of retired Saskatoon School Board Support Staff that met the first Tuesday of the month at Grainfields.
- Getting together for drinks or supper out with friends.
But as I look back, I realize that despite COVID, 2020 wasn’t all bad:
- I finished my 60 Things and wrote and published a book about my adventures.
- I learned some new things through online classes
- self-publishing, including ebooks
- Indigenous Canada, a free Coursera course through University of Alberta
- Fundamentals of Music Theory, another free Coursera course through University of Edinburgh
- I bought a small motorhome (Lottie) and enjoyed a week at Kimball lake with her
- I adopted a cat – Lysette. Posey and her continue to adapt to each other, but it’s going well.
- I finished my Lay Worship Leader course and am now licensed.
- I finished the quilt I started 3 years ago, to celebrate the six trips I took the year I retired.
- I taught a Zoom class on writing Picture Books through Wheatland Library.
So, not a total waste of a year, after all.
What’s in store for 2021?
- I’ve started another quilt, and hope to finish it before spring – this year, not three years from now. 🙂
- I’m putting out an ebook version of Dear Me: The Widow Letters in January.
- I’m publishing a new book, as an ebook and in print, called Dear Me: The Mother Letters, hopefully by February. Similar to The Widow Letters, it will be a book of letters written by women to their past selves, but this time rather than women who have been widowed they are women who have experienced the death of a child.
- I’m doing a Decluttering Challenge in January – whatever the number of the day is, that’s how many things I have to recycle or throw away. I’m pretty sure I can last at least a week, but I’m hoping to last the whole month. It would be wonderful to be free of 496 things by the end. Wish me luck!
- I want to continue to take free online classes, but not sure what will be next. Yay Coursera!
- I hope to explore more regional and provincial parks with Lottie this summer.
- And I really hope to be able to start visiting my mom again sometime this year!
Happy(er) New Year everyone!