A Grade Five student from British Columbia sent me a book trailer she made for an assignment from her (clearly) hip and excellent Language Arts teacher. I am sharing this with permission and am so delighted with the creativity of this project. Love how Ayla has worked to create interest in the story by posing leading questions – that may or may NOT be true – about Perfect Revenge. Fine work here. Thank you, Ayla!
Great fun to receive this Swedish foreign language edition of Agent Angus! Beautifully done hardcover binding.
365 books read and reviewed in one year – quite an accomplishment! You can read about Amy’s marathon and her goals here: http://amysmarathonofbooks.ca/
And I’d like to thank her for the lovely review of Me, Myself and Ike. http://amysmarathonofbooks.ca/me-myself-and-ike/
Mr. Carrier was asked to tell how the story came to be and he explained that he’d been offered the opportunity to write a CBC radio piece regarding how he identified as a Francophone Canadian. He accepted, but was attuned to creating fiction and ended up struggling with this assignment. He called CBC and told them he couldn’t do it—the words he’d written felt dull and uninspired. The programmer protested that a half hour had been scheduled for his work and at this late hour (two days from deadline) they simply needed anything he wanted to write.
Fine, okay, but what? He had a weekend to come up with a new piece of work and he’d been focussed only on considering what being French Canadian meant to him. And then, in the midst of the interview, he said something spectacular. He said that as he’d worked on unearthing facts for the assignment, “I had been walking in the field of my identity …of that time.”
In all the years I’ve been writing Young Adult fiction, I have not heard anyone express so simply and eloquently exactly what it is that we YA and children’s book authors do when we conjure the emotional places we tap into to create our work. And there it was. “Walking in the field of my identity.”
The interview went on and the only bit I recall from the rest was that The Hockey Sweater came to him swiftly, like a gift, plucked from his recollections of childhood.
A lovely gift indeed, as are these new words I marvel over. They continue to resonate, to make me ponder how frequently we walk in that field of identity, drifting back and forth, sometimes stepping on thistles or cow pies, sometimes lying down in the tall grass to watch clouds afloat, to listen for cricket songs, to blow dandelion seed to the wind. Some of those seeds travel far.
Mr. Carrier. My gratitude for your words.
~ K. L. Denman
A lovely film adaptation of The Hockey Sweater can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgydkfnUEi8
A recent reader of Destination Human commented that his favorite part of the book was Chloe painting a sunrise. The story’s narrator, Welkin, is a non-physical being temporarily inhabiting Chloe’s body and it’s Welkin’s observations we hear. I’d like to share that scene here:
Chloe picks up a brush, dips it into vibrant orange and strokes paint onto the white rectangle. A long wavy line of orange appears. She dips the brush again, picks up a yellow, and swiftly adds this to the orange. The colors merge together and where they meet, a third color appears.
Again and again, Chloe applies color to the rectangle. Sometimes she uses a fatter brush, and swirls it through the colors. They blend into ever more shades, some light, and some dark. The white background disappears swiftly, and then I realize something astonishing.
Chloe is creating! She is making something altogether unique!
She pauses and lays down the brush. We move into a tiny room lined with shelves. “It’s the supply closet, Welks,” she whispers.
“Why are we here?” I ask. “I want to watch the creation.”
“You know…” her voice trails away and she’s quiet for a moment. Then she sighs and says, “I never thought of it quite like that. I just thought I was painting a memory of a sunrise I once saw.”
“Painting a memory?” This is a stunning concept. “You’re attempting to make thought physical?”
“Incredible,” I say. I have a strange urge to shake our head but Rule One says I can’t operate our body.
Chloe laughs softly and shakes our head for us. “Do you still think we’re primitives?”
“Uh. Hmm. Maybe not so much. Universals can only share memory through thought transfer.” I wonder if I’ll be able to transfer my memory of Chloe. “Is this painting exactly like your memory?”
“Not exactly, no,” she replies. “It’s an abstract. More like the feeling of my memory.”
“I understand,” I say.
“Don’t lie, Welkin. But tell me this. Do you still think art serves no purpose?”
I am of course delighted that our species creates art—through music, dance, painting, writing and more. I think we’re all creative whether in the way we put together clothing or meals, thoughts or movement, musical notes or people in a photo… the myriad ways in which we create are astonishing. May all of us find joy in the process. ~ K.L. Denman
There is a tree in our back yard, a Pacific Dogwood, and after an annual flash of stunning spring beauty it invariably becomes exceedingly drab. Or so I thought. My desk sits at a window overlooking this tree and when the words for my current work in progress are being dodgy, I look out—and see.
The numerous twigs that litter the spring lawn beneath it? While our compulsively fetch crazy terrier is thrilled with the ready stick supply, I believed them to be careless cast-offs, rather like dirty clothing accumulating on the floor of a neglected bedroom. That was before I noticed the crows diligently snapping off branches and choosing only the best (I have no solid understanding of crow/ stick criteria) to carry off to their boudoir.
Summer drought brings a shedding of leaves barely surpassed by fall’s main event, but fewer leaves to support when water is scarce is undeniably wise. And it was in summer as the sun dappled through that dwindling canopy that I caught this picture of the trunk ~ small wonder the crows are fond of this tree.
Fall brings another view. While the foliage doesn’t glow with blazing colour, the Dogwood’s fruit ripens and the feathered and the furred gather to feast and squirrel away the bounty. As it gives to all comers, this tree seems more alive in its dying away than in any other season.
Winter and the bare tree offers one last pleasure; I find again the view beyond.
Destination Human has just been released and already there’s trouble. http://cwillbc.wordpress.com/2013/09/11/imagined-controversies-destination-human-by-kim-denman/
My 10th book with Orca Book Publishers will be released this fall!
ISBN: 9781459803718 Publisher: Orca Book Publishers Pub Date: September/01/2013