For years I have produced what other writers kindly call “creative non-fiction.” And for years my prize-winning sister Heather Spears has been urging me to gather it all together in a book. I resisted for years — I could not imagine anyone wanting to read the articles, columns and broadcasts I had produced. Then my daughter Lesley, also a writer, started prodding me as well. And I had a goal — even in some small way, I wanted to help fundraise for the local group of the Steven Lewis Foundation Grandmothers for Africa.
So I started the painful process of digging through papers — many of which I had carelessly discarded — to find material for the topics my daughter had so determinedly created. And we all — Lesley and Heather and I — employed typists to put things in proper form.
Since the publisher we wanted was not willing to start work for us for a year, we decided to self publish — a misnomer if I ever heard one. Actually we were at the mercy of two individuals — a sympathetic editor and a dictatorial cover-artist printer. Still, eventually the volume appeared, was launched at Hooked on Books to a surprising standing-room-only crowd, and is now for sale there.
I’m told people enjoy the book. It’s good for reading out loud — short sections.
It’s not a book you “can’t put down” — on the contrary, it’s supposed to be “put down.” Like most of my writing, it’s designed to make you think. Oh, some of it is just fun — a favourite is the West Kootenays story “It’s not really a very good road.” Only in the mountains there can you find those luscious huckleberries. So where did the young lady get them — the young blond lady who rushed up to me at market to present me with three little containers of huckleberries? She dashed away before I could even thank her. But there were enough to make a one-person pie. Delicious.
I sent the book off for the last time with a sigh of relief. But of course that is not the end. The books must be marketed — probably down the Valley, where I am best known — and after the summer rush of visitors and events. A friend told me mine was a good book to take to the beach. Maybe so. I welcome all feedback.
Dodi Morrison is a retired educator and freelance Penticton writer. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org