Happy 150th Birthday, Bess!

  I have known Laura Ingalls Wilder since I was seven years old when my parents purchased the entire set for me for my birthday. It was in a big brown box and I remember opening it around the old fireplace in the dining room with the large swordfish my dad and caught and hung on the wall and the needlepoint of a woman sewing that my mom maid handing over the fireplace. (I wonder what happened to both of these things.) At first I didn’t know what it was and my mother had to explain Read More

Writing in Motion

Monday I sent the proofs of MAUD to my editor. Today I cut many inches off my hair. For over two years I’ve kept it long because it helped me get into the body of Maud’s character. As I explained it to my hairdresser (who nodded like she understood, but I  suspect she was a little concerned for me), I needed to be able to put it up in a bun or some other concoction. The same thing happened when I was writing Oy! and  I cut my hair short, (by my last hairdresser. I’m loyal to my new Read More

Guest Post: Deborah Kerbel, Author of Feathered

Book Birthdays are the perfect way to celebrate spring. And today is Deborah Kerbel’s special book birthday, as we celebrate her sixth (SIXTH!) novel, Feathered. When Deborah told me about her new novel, I was intrigued. First , it is historical fiction, set in 1980. (And, yes, it is weird to think that something during my lifetime is historical fiction, but there it is.)  Second, her main character Finch, is obsessed with Little House on the Prairie.  I’m thrilled that she agreed to come on the blog to chat about writing this novel, all things Read More

Mel’s Long Overdue Post: An Overplanner in Recovery

I had the summer all planned. MAY: Submit the next draft of the Maud novel after an incredible ten days doing social media for the National Reading Campaign’s Reading Town in Charlottetown, P.E.I.             MAY to JUNE: Prep for backfilling a course for six weeks and prepare for an inspiring ten day writing retreat and alumni-mini-res at VCFA where I was workshopping a new piece with a writer I had always wanted to work with, Cynthia Leitich-Smith — who really is made of awesome and kinda wanna be her when I grow Read More

Happy Birthday, Manly*

“‘What do you take me for?’ he asked. ‘Do you think I’m the kind of fellow that’d would leave you out there at Brewster’s when you’re so homesick, just because there’s nothing in it for me?’ ‘Why I…’Laura stopped. The truth was that she had never thought of much about what kind of person he was. He was so much older; he was a homesteader.”(77, THGY) But we knew, didn’t we. We had remembered the young boy in Farmer Boy. We remembered in The Long Winter the young man who risked his life for the town, Read More

Happy Birthday, Bess!

  I have known Laura Ingalls Wilder since I was seven years old when my parents purchased the entire set for me for my birthday. At first I didn’t know what it was and my mother had to explain to me the connection to the TV show. Then I got very excited, for I often imagined to be like Melissa Gilbert as Laura.                 What began was a life long interest in historical fiction, women’s history, social history, and a fascination with adaptations. Because of the Little House series I Read More

Discovering Almanzo Wilder: Rachel McMillan Guest Blogs

Rachel McMillan and I met through social media. We’ve travelled in the same circles for a number of years, but didn’t physically meet until this past summer when I finally was like, “Dude, you write, I write. We like the same things. We should have food and drink together”–although I probably didn’t use “dude” but I’m sure she would approve. Since then we’ve explored Niagara on the Lake, Leaskdale, and Norval, and talked about Maud, Dean Priest, and–yes–Almanzo Wilder. Watching Rachel discuss re-reading the Little House series on Facebook and then falling in love with Read More

An Interview with Bich Minh Nguyen, author of Pioneer Girl: A Novel

It is no surprise that I was quite interested in reading Pioneer Girl by Bich Minh Nguyen who connects a Vietnamese American family to that of Laura Ingalls Wilder.  Obviously, there is no secret that the author of the Little House series is among my many obsessions interests. I’ve written about that many times on this blog, but what I don’t think that I’ve ever gone into is my questions around the series and why–a Canadian girl of Jewish descent–finds the series so compelling.  I was interested to see how Nguyen deals with this question Read More

Guest Post: Shayda Bakhshi: Reading As Therapy

I think there comes a time in every readers life when we are burned out on books. It is rare and traumatic but it does happen. Perhaps, like me,  you’ve just finished an MFA degree and have spent the past few years reading at least ten books a month (plus stuff for research) and you’re finding that you cannot just retain anything anymore. During the last semester, I turned to L.M. Montgomery and, somehow, by reading Jane of Lantern Hill, I was able to get myself back into this. When I finished in January, I Read More

A Review: My Re-reading of The Long Winter

The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder My rating: 5 of 5 stars The Long Winter just keeps getting better every time I read it. I have no idea how many times I’ve read it. We aren’t just lulled by the howling winds of the blizzard, but feel the dreary dullness of the monotony tied up in the weather’s grip. The blizzard is a character in itself, blasting and teasing, howling and laughing, sometimes even playing. Laura is like the town and community on the verge of growing up. She’s both Ma’s and Pa’s right-hand, Read More