A Good Home, Arts, Libraries, Myrtle The Purple Turtle, Spirit of the Hills - Arts Group

A Busy Week and Purple Fingernails

Accepting a blogger friend’s challenge, I painted my nails purple to attend the Festival of the Arts in Cobourg, Ontario last weekend.

Blog Photo - Myrtle Purple Nails

Of course, my friend won the challenge hands-down (hands-up?) because in this picture below, she’s also wearing a purple shirt! 

Blog Photo - Myrtle and Mandy and Purple Nails


I’m a volunteer with the Festival and it was a great success! Painters, photographers, authors, actors, musicians and others shared their talents with enthusiastic audiences.

Blog Photo - Festival Marie-Lynn playing guitar

Blog Photo - Pat Calder Stall at Festival

Blog Photo - Festival Mandy Bing paintings

Blog Photo - Festival Book Fair

Blog Photo - Festival Sharon Ramsay Curtis

Blog Photo - Festival Kim aubrey reading

Blog Photo - SOTH Festival Performers

Blog Photo - SOTH Festival gifts for Chairs
Above 6 photos by Hamlin Grange


In the photo just above, publisher Jennifer Bogart(right) and I are presenting gifts to Felicity Sidnell Reid (left) and Susan Statham (2nd from right), the hard-working co-chairs of the Festival’s organizing committee.  


It’s also been a great ‘Myrtle week’.  I dropped into A Different Booklist  – one of Toronto’s best-known book stores. Owners Itah and Miguel introduced me to customers Shay Lin (holding a copy of Myrtle), an international student from China, and Qing, her mother.

Blog Photo - Myrtle and Friends at A Different Booklist


Earlier, CBC Radio interviewed daughter Lauren and me about Myrtle. Metro Morning host Matt Galloway and his team were terrific. They pre-interviewed us, and, when we arrived, made us welcome. Then they talked us through the journey the interview would take.

Blog Photo - Myrtle Interview by Matt Galloway

They were so kind, I suspected that someone in the team must have read An Honest House, which describes my struggles with PTSD, cognitive difficulties and pain following a car accident. So I asked producer Morgan Passi.

Imagine my delight to discover that this is just the way they operate!

Blog Photo - Myrtle interview by Wei Chen

Next, Lauren and I were skilfully interviewed by the wonderful host of Ontario Morning, Wei Chen. She greeted us warmly, made us feel entirely at home and the interview began. 

Bravo, CBC Radio!


A few days ago, Seattle’s Allen J. Mears posted on Facebook a photo of his daughters, Megan, 8, and Hailey, 6, with Myrtle. I loved it! Thanks to the Mears family for allowing me to share it here.

Blog Photo - Myrtle with Megan and Hailey

I love  photos of children reading Myrtle, courtesy of kind parents and grandparents.

Blog Photo - Myrtle being read to 2 daughters

In these photos, Ashly Dixon in Wisconsin is reading Myrtle to her daughters Denali, 9, Anika, 6, and son Vincent, 2, while their father Damien takes the photos. 

Blog Photo - Myrtle being read to children by Ashly

Ashly says they all love the book, including the brilliant illustrations and Myrtle’s “message of acceptance and knowing one’s self-worth” .

Thanks, Dixon family. 

And don’t you just love the pyjamas?


Carl Randall, a veteran marathon runner, did something unusual to spread the word about Myrtle.

Blog Photo - Myrtle and Carl at Brunswick County PL

He and his wife Jackie have brought Myrtle to libraries in various cities — including New York, where he recently ran the marathon.

Blog Photo - Myrtle held by Carl at NYPL 2

Thanks, Carl and Jackie! 


Finally, Kev Cooper – blogger, book reviewer, author and musician — has made Myrtle “Book of the Month” on his website, Books & Music.  Wow, Kev! Thank you!

89 thoughts on “A Busy Week and Purple Fingernails”

  1. This is wonderful news, Cynthia! Congratulations to you and Lauren on the interview with the CBC! It is heart-warming to see Myrtle the Purple Turtle doing so well so many places. 🙂

    1. Thank you, dear Lavinia. It’s very nice to see, and I hope Myrtle helps many families to have great conversations. With the book being translated into French, I suspect it will go to other places as well.

  2. Lovely to see all the readers, and the activities focused around Myrtle. The Festival activities are amazing, too; so much talent! Hope you are having a little time to rest now. Ladies with purple nails need their down-time; just saying, from one to another. 😀

  3. I read you comment on Lavinia ” s , Cynthia . I cannot wait to see Myrtle , the purple turtle tpublished in French ; Please warn me.
    I am glad to see this book is well launched now .
    Love ❤

      1. About a French name “Vertu” looks a bit like an abstract name . The turtle is named Myrtle in English , the nearest sound in French is Myrtille ( bilberry ). My oldest daughter Carole owned a donkey female in the past . called Myrtille . This name sounded very good . I found again for you an old xanga post from 2002about this : Here is the link ( I hope it works). This is my humble advice.
        Love ❤

  4. Love the nails, Cynthia!! Of course they had to be purple!! 😀😀 Wow, the buzz about Myrtle is intense and congratulations on its national and international success…also well done on managing the radio interview, they sound like wonderful and kind people.

    1. Thanks, Derrick. I’m very thankful about Myrtle’s early impact. You’ll be surprised to hear that my greatest relief, though, was for the Festival. Volunteers worked so hard to make it fabulous, and it was!

  5. That looks like a good time for everyone. I love book fairs and could see myself going home with a box full. Art, books and music all in one place would make one swoon. Glad to hear it all went so well.

  6. Big congratulations, Cynthia! Couldn’t happen to a nicer person. Myrtle’s message is so important. We need to keep trying for change. And thanks for the great picture of my photographs. Love it.

      1. May that little purple turtle continue to travel. Her message is more important than ever. Unfortunately, so much racial animosity in this country. Sad and frightening.

      2. I’m really so sorry about that, Laurie. America is a remarkable country and I hope the nation will rise above its worst instincts, as I believe it can. Thanks for your good wishes for Myrtle.

      3. I sure hope so. Unfortunately, as you well know, we also have an ugly history of slavery and racism, which, in my opinion, this country has never addressed head-on. But a number of us are trying to turn the tide, and we won’t stop trying.

  7. Wow, Cynthia, you and Myrtle are receiving some terrific promotion. Congratulations! Well-deserved. I love art festivals and would have had a difficult time walking away from many of those pieces. Wonderful post ❤

      1. I’ll send a picture. Blinding white hair is easy to make purple! I did it in honor of a friend fighting cancer – she dyed hers purple before it fell out from chemo.

    1. Thanks, Kerry. I’m trying to take Gallivanta’s advice and rest up a bit the last couple days. But I’m not complaining — giving thanks always for the lovely ways in which Myrtle has been received.

    1. Thank you. Your book fairs sounds great. We had a fairly large team representing the diversity in the arts found in Spirit of the Hills, so the content went beyond the book fair. But the book fair went well too.

  8. What a week that was! I am so pleased the Festival of the Arts was a success and that you also managed to spread the word ever further about Myrtle. Congratulations on the radio interview!

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