So, I’m safely back in Lanark after a great four days in Edmonton.   I met lots of really interesting people…as well as a lot of people really interested in my book.   I was especially excited to be presenting with Jane Christmas and Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail at Sunday’s Brunch of Writers.  Such fascinating women, with equally fascinating stories to tell.   My husband and I toured around Edmonton a little, scouting out the Art Gallery and the Old Strathcona Antiques Market during our free time.   Edmonton seems to be a pretty friendly place, even the bus drivers seemed happy to chat!   I survived all my flights, with only a few moments of panic here and there…I discovered the wonders of seat back TV with earbuds as a very effective way to distract myself from the reality of being trapped in a very small space with a very large group of people while hurtling through the air at unnatural speeds.   Hmmm. litfest Maybe we’ll take the train next time around.


Countdown to Litfest



I’m reallitfestly looking forward to Litfest…only a few more days until I grit my teeth for take off. Really not the world’s best flyer but it will be worth it to be in the company of such wonderful authors and hosts. I’ll be doing three events, starting with the Strathcona Library on Thursday night where I’ll be hosted by David Chereos.

On Saturday, we’re heading to the Rose and Crown pub for “A free-flowing forum for teachers, parents, and friends of special needs children. Starting off with an introduction and reading of Time Out by author Liane Shaw, we will open the floor to a sharing of experiences and venting of frustrations about a system strapped for cash, that constantly swings between integration and segregation. The host for the evening is Heather MacKenzie.”   It seems that those frustrations are not unique to us here in Ontario!

And finally, on Sunday, I am honoured to be in the company of authors Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail and Jane Christmas for “A Brunch of Writers” at the Sutton Place Hotel.

033Then it’s another seat-gripping plane ride as I head home to see if my daughter survived babysitting duty for our two giant dogs who are both much larger than she is!

Understanding Teachers’ Perspectives on Student Mental Health


studentsStudent mental health constitutes another aspect of the complex issue of class composition and student
diversity in schools in terms of the challenges teachers face in working to meet a broad and growing range
of student needs, including those related to mental health and well-being. 

This quote is taken from a study published in 2012 which takes a close look at the challenges facing both teachers and students in dealing with mental health issues within the classroom setting.  I wrote Time Out about a time in education over twenty years ago, but this report seems to be telling us that the issues haven’t changed nearly as much as they should have…if at all.   StudentMentalHealthReport

From Disneyland to Alberta….

litfest“From Bob McDonald to M.G. Vassanji, from Naomi Klein to Liane Shaw, from Ted Bishop to Ted Barris there is something for everyone at LitFest 2014.”   I got my schedule for Litfest today and it looks really interesting.  I’ll be doing a reading and then hosting a group of teachers and parents who want to talk about the issues facing children with special needs.   Got my plane tickets purchased which is a true testament to how excited I am to be going because I’m actually somewhat afraid of flying.  Not the flying part so much as the being locked into a vessel from which there is absolutely no chance of exiting on my own terms……I thought I was going to pass out when my girls made me go on Space Mountain at Disneyland….anyway, there are all kinds of interesting books and authors being featured so check it out at

Road Trip


Looks like I’m heading off on my first literary road trip….or I guess more accurately, air trip.  I’ve been invited to Lit Fest in Edmonton…a literary festival focusing on nonfiction.   I’ll be doing a couple of readings from Time Out and also taking some time to share “horror” stories from my teaching days in a forum with other teachers.   I’m not much of a traveler and have never been to Alberta so I’m really looking forward to it.