June 13, 2013

I had the pleasure of visiting the Annapolis Royal Nursing Home this morning. I had a wonderful conversation with some of the seniors about my book Oatcakes and Courage. We talked about the historical period of the book and I read them a couple of passages.


May 2013

I have been enjoying the book launches and readings for Oatcakes and Courage.

The official launch in Toronto took place on April 18th. It was held at Q Space on College Street. Q Space is a very inviting place, with a coffee shop and bookstore. The place was packed and the authors who were launching their books were well received by the crowd. It was a great way to set Oatcakes and Courage on its way.

April 18th_launch (2)


The launch in Annapolis Royal was held on the evening of May 6th at ArtsPlace. Bagpipes were played as folks entered the building. A marvelous display of Native American art decorated the walls, and tartans were on display. Snacks, including oatcakes, were enjoyed as I read from the book. Then everyone mingled and snacked some more as copies of Oatcakes and Courage were sold and signed.

pipers at ARCAC


On May 22nd, the James House in Bridgetown hosted a reading. There was a great turn-out for the event. Again, a piper played to begin the evening. After a brief AGM for the Historical Society, I read and talked about the voyage of the Hector. Then snacks were enjoyed while people mingles, purchased books and had them signed.


On the evening of May 23rd, I could be found at the Company House on Gottingen Street, Halifax. Three authors who have been published with Quattro Books were there to read – Binnie Brennan, Claudio Gaudio and myself. The Company House is a great venue for readings and music. After each of us read from our books, we mingled. People had a drink and purchased books, which we happily signed.



January 14, 2013

My novella, Oatcakes and Courage, will be out later on this year. It tells the story of a young Scottish woman who flees Scotland, along with nearly 200 other immigrants, on the ship The Hector in 1776. The voyage is long and fraught with danger, and she despairs of ever reaching the New World. With the help of friends and her undaunted spirit, she struggles to survive this perilous journey.

oatcakes and courage cover


September 28/12

I’ve just returned from a two week holiday in Scotland, with a 24 hour stopover in Iceland. It was a “happy retirement” trip – kind of a gift to myself for 33 years of hard work.

What an amazing place the Hughlands of Scotland is! Rugged and beautiful and fickle. It is a place that does not suffer fools lightly. Oh, but I loved it.

Some highlights of the trip were:

hanging out with a herd of reindeer

seeing Duncansby Head and the Orkneys

sitting on the bank of Loch Ness

seeing 12 rainbows in one day

pony trekking

I have contracted with Horse Canada to write an article about my riding experiences in the Scottish Highlands and in Iceland. The article is scheduled to come out in the March/April issue.

August 10/12

I am thrilled to have won the Ken Klonsky writing contest. Please check it out at www.quattrobooks.ca


One very nice perk of being retired is that I have more time for my writing. The first project I tackled was to format my manuscript The Latch: An Acadian Adventure for ebook publication. The process is not technically taxing but it is very nitpicky work. A space in the wrong spot can throw off an entire page To get the manuscript just right, I had to format, check the document, note the errors and then go back and format again. It took – not a word of lie -at least ten attempts to get it right. Time consuming.

I had been at a writers’ forum last May and a fellow offered ebook formatting as a service. He said for most manuscripts, he charges between $200 and $300. At the time, I thought that was a bit expensive. After all, my manuscript was clean; the book had been published already in traditional book form. After wrestling with the formatting myself, though, I realized his fee was not at all excessive.

Would I do the formatting again by myself?

Yes, probably. I know the glitches to watch for now, and (perhaps I am deluding myself here) the job would go faster.

The Latch: An Acadian Adventure is available in ebook form through Lulu.com.


I got some good news this week. Check out The Ken Klonsky contest at www.quattrobooks.ca !


2 thoughts on “Writing

  1. Very cool pictures, Joyce! Always wondered about the Orkneys! Congrats on your award and your new writing assignment! Miss you at school…

  2. Joyce, You are a very busy lady and a very talented one as well!! I enjoyed the pictures of your trip to Scotland; A place I would love to see. Congratulations on your award!

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