Great thanks to Kevin Cooper for this fabulous review. I was so glad to read it!
There’s this: a crop of summer-blooming Amaryllis, a huge flower that normally blooms in winter — unless you’re like me and forgot the bulbs in the cold room until recently….
Then there’s this darling photo of Mr. D. and Mr. JC.
Then – for a change of pace – these two vintage cars….
In front of my favorite 17-room mansion, Ebor House…
You may remember that time I got lost and ended up sipping tea in a stranger’s kitchen in his beautiful old mansion….
Ebor House was built in 1868 by the Farncombs, a remarkable English-Canadian family which counted two Lord Mayors of London, England, as close relatives.
Well, there I was at Ebor House again last Saturday, and this time, for a very different reason.
Ebor House was a highlight of Doors Open Clarington. The architectural conservancy event features many beautiful heritage buildings in Clarington. And I was the author guest, invited to speak about my books, share my knowledge of Ebor House and also the Farncombs’ history.
While I was in one room, “Farnie”, great-grandson of the Farncombs, was in another room, charming visitors with tales of growing up at Ebor House. He inspired me to keep going: his energy was so radiant!
Well over a thousand visitors — including a few cyclists- visited Ebor House.
It was a lovely day.
The volunteers (including Leo Blindenbach, who was in charge of the Ebor House site) were organized and gracious — as were the owners, Andrea and Nav.
Thanks to MaryAnn Isbister, whose excellent work turned my 6-part blog series on Ebor House into a full colour booklet for the event. Organizers Bernice Norton, Marilyn Morawetz, Leo and the rest of the team should be very proud!
Bravo, all of you!
Every writer needs an extra pair of eyes, but the reality is we only have two!
Here’s a shout-out to two women who have kept faith with me at different stages of the writing of An Honest House:
Lesley, my writing coach, mentor and first editor.
Lesley Marcovich believes everyone has a story to tell. She runs a writers’ group, biography workshops, and is the creator of www.biographytimeliner.com.
I’ve been blessed to find this woman. Strong on storytelling structure, she divines the things I’m scared to write about, and tells me – gently but firmly – that I have to do it. On my rougher days, she even traveled for meetings on my verandah.
THANK YOU, LESLEY.
Katherine lives in Gibraltar and provides valuable services to authors around the world. She’ll:
- Edit your book.
- Provide a pre-publication review of your manuscript, AND provide critical feedback.
I was blessed with great editors and generous, smart, first-draft readers. As the book neared completion, I wondered: how could I get the kind of review that usually comes only after the book is released?
(Photo of Katherine’s desk)
And that’s where Katherine came in. Her review and report — she writes a thorough report — were excellent. Katherine – a former journalist – asked great questions, made key observations.
Back I went to the manuscript — polishing, polishing.
Congrats to Katherine for her keen eyes, skillful suggestions and empathy for anxious authors. Other authors tell me she’s also a wonderfully professional editor, which makes total sense to me. But even if you already have your own editor, I’d still recommend Katherine, as an extra pair of eyes.
Photos by Hamlin Grange
Courage is contagious, you know.
One person’s courage infects another.
I see this every day in our blogging community. We en-courage each other — with our dreams, creations, projects, relationships, life.
Even telling someone: “I know you can do this”, can make the difference between that person’s stepping forward or drawing back.
And there are other groups that we each belong to. Like my writers group, Spirit of the Hills. My email group, The Loopers. My church group at St. Thomas’ Anglican.
We en-courage each other.
We do so when we ourselves act with courage, though scared inside. We do it when we convince someone that — yes — you can do the thing that frightens you.
Friend Eva Lloyd persuaded me to come to her home — to read and talk about A Good Home shortly after its publication in 2013. I was stuttering, reclusive and generally afraid of my own shadow, but Eva promised me: “You’ll be fine, Cynthia. And what’s more, we’ll all be here for you.”
Eva and friends en-couraged me, and I took the risk.
My husband and I supported artist Don Corbett as he prepared for his art show in 2014, not knowing that Don planned some encouraging of his own. He invited me to do a reading at his show, then gave me a painting (see top photo).
Don en-couraged me.
At various times in our lives, everyone needs to be encouraged by others.
Thanks for your encouragement.
“Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.” Billy Graham
This post is dedicated to everyone who helps others to be courageous.