Book Promotions

This season I’ve been busy promoting my picture book, Harry’s Trees. When I take those books to places, I’m also taking along several others.

Recognizing the connection between trees and plant nurseries, I decided to contact plant nurseries. Several were glad to be asked and accommodated me and a few other places had already booked sufficient activities to fill their spaces at an extremely busy time of year. Fair enough. I’ll check back in with those later when their pace is a little less harried.

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This little doll will have my book read to her as she grows. And one day she’ll read it herself. At Belgian Nursery, Breslau.

For the nurseries where I did  go, I had a variety of guests come to see me, some I had invited and others who came to the nursery for plants, albeit on a cold May day, and wandered in to see what was happening in the classroom area of the building.

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Invited guests who travelled a distance, and of course my illustrator, Maja, on the left. At Sheridan Nursery, Kitchener.

 

Sheridan Nursery, the first to accept my idea of shared promotion, gave me the space and opportunity to read part of my book to children, including four of my own grandchildren.

It seemed most of the children, if given a preference, liked the spring and summer seasons best, but a few liked the colours of fall as well. Maybe it’s that they could be outdoors then.

All children coming to my table with their parents get a colouring sheet to decorate in their favourite season, but only the first location provided opportunity for hearing part of the story.

 

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I was glad I had brought along markers so these two girls could colour their tree picture while their mom shopped.

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See the birds flying to and from the tree? And the new leaves sprouting on the tree?

 

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Another young reader in the making. For now, it’s the colours in the book and this little one already loves trees and the out of doors.

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And long-time friends (since 4-H days) coming to celebrate with me and taking pictures for me.

Sheridan offered opportunity on Earth Day weekend for advance promotion of my book, Harry’s Trees. As my calendar was already filled, Judy, a friend of mine, was willing to read my book at the event. She reported some interesting conversations, especially one with a girl who was interested in the art in my book.

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And Amanda, my helper at two of my events thus far. Thank you.

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Thank you, Amanda, for taking such a great photo for me. You’ll see this one on my new website very soon.

Belgian Nursery generously provided maze pens that I could give out to people, especially children, coming to my table. There were engaging conversations and people admiring Maja’s art in my book and getting to choose a bookmark, hand stamped or decorative ones created by my illustrator. And a colouring page too. One of the employees told me that the children were delighted with the page to take home.

 

Then there was the turtle pond and the fish pond at St. Jacob’s Country Gardens and Plant Nursery.

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And the fish pond with a small waterfall too, because they also have a pond specialist.

 

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And here I was stationed between the two. It’s a lovely place to sit and chat with people.

Thus goes my book promotion for this spring. I’ve been offered the opportunity to return to this third place as often as I wish, and I will take them up on the offer.

Thank you all who came or helped, and for purchasing a book. I hope you will enjoy reading it to your children or just to share with others who you know.

May the children who hear the story come to understand the value of trees to humans and nature. When they do, I know my father would be smiling because he loved them too.

 

 

 

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May 14, 2018 at 1:12 am Leave a comment

Garden in Bloom and More

After what seemed like a long cold winter, then a late ice storm here in Ontario, our gardens are erupting with colour.  First the narcissus, then the hyacinths. It seemed like they were patiently waiting for the snow and ice to disappear. The stems were up and the blossoms ready to open when the sun warmed the air. Spring has finally arrived.

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My garden stone, made at a women’s retreat, is back in place for the season

My granddaughters wait to set up the fairy garden again. We need to wait for some of the plants to emerge to give the fairies shade when they make their appearance. This year when we plant, we’ll have a new addition to the gardeners when another small one gets to help with planting. She’ll have her own fairy too, of course. Guess she’ll need a shovel as well, for digging holes.

 

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fairy home last year

 

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Our snow shovels still out last week when my husband put up the window box

 

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I love the yellow daffodils in spring. They bring such a burst of colour. Then the little grape hyacinths around them give a purple backdrop.

 

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And now the tulips are opening too. Such a riot of colour

 

These past few weeks, I’ve been busy writing content for my new website. Things are shifting and so is my blog, Storygal, back here at WordPress. The posts at my current site are backed up and may appear at this site from time to time. The new website will be launched soon. I’ll announce when it’s ready.

Meanwhile, I’ve been promoting my picture book, Harry’s Trees, at local plant nurseries. Tomorrow at the St Jacobs Country Gardens and Plant Nursery. I launched the general market version last fall after initially starting the story as a family project after my father died in May 2011, two years ago today, as I write.

 

Carolyn's Book Front Cover layout

Harry’s Trees, a children’s picture book dedicated to my father

My garden beds are dug up and raked, ready for the plants. After my book event this weekend, I’ll purchase plants. I have a date with three granddaughters to help me plant. First will come a conversation with the two oldest about what we’ll grow this year. Perhaps there’ll be a request for something new.

Enjoy the spring weather and don’t plant those annuals too soon. They don’t like frost.

 

May 11, 2018 at 3:33 pm Leave a comment

Harry’s Trees, the picture book

 

Carolyn's Book Front Cover layout

 

Nearly two years ago at my  father’s funeral service, I looked around at all the preschoolers in our family and realized, though they’d been here this day, most of them wouldn’t remember their great grandfather and what was important to him. Family was topmost, but there was another significant interest in his life, as an individual, as a father and grandfather and farmer, and that was his care and concern for environment and his respect for what trees mean to us. They provide fruit, shade, they hold the soil together and they put oxygen into the air we breathe.  And they’re beautiful to look at when they’re full of blossoms in spring and as the leaves open. I love to watch that process too.

As a young boy, he’d climbed many of the trees on his parents’ farm—the farm that he would manage one day with our mother. There are more stories than I can share here in one post, but one I will share. When one of our black walnut trees was struck by lightning, it had to be cut down. Using his skills and tools, he used wood from that tree and lined a space in the kitchen wall as a china cabinet for some of Mom’s special plates and dishes and anything else worthy of showing off. That space is still there though the farm has been sold.

Back to the funeral day and my thoughts. That following week, I began to write a story for those small children. I didn’t know how it would evolve, but it did. It went through many versions and I submitted it to my critique groups, both the Revision group online with The Word Guild and my face-to-face group. I received so much helpful guidance for my revision. I named the book after my Dad and called it Harry’s Trees.

When my story neared completion, I got in touch with a young woman I’d met at a writer’s event. She was a trained artist and she was definitely interested in illustrating my book. The process took several months. In early January 2017, I had a book to distribute to my family. Then, of course, several friends who saw it wanted one too, and cousins and people outside that circle too.

With great thought, I decided to put out a general market version. The story and the art are the same, but the dedication is slightly different. and I had some help with the packaging by Angel Hope Publishing in Drayton, Ontario. In this version, my artist and I would be featured on the back cover, as on any picture book.

I had help promoting it by a journalist, Helen Lammers-Helps who wrote about it in Ontario Farmer and Oxford Review. But also the Tavistock Gazette, our hometown weekly editor who got first chance at spreading the news.

In June, when I received that shipment of books, I thought my heart would burst with happiness. (The first order was emotional.) There also rested some recognition of my father and respect for what he had taught us, and many memories. And a bit more grief too. But it was good grief and honouring.

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As of this month, three plant nurseries in Waterloo Region have welcomed my promotional efforts of Harry’s Trees in their location and willing to host a book signing there. I’ll be at Sheridan Nursery, Kitchener location, this Saturday, April 28th, from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. Two more events will follow on Saturday, May 5th and Saturday, May 12th and I hope several more. For spring is a time of growth and renewal.

My book was also a feature of Earth Day events at Sheridan Kitchener this past weekend. My friend Judy read the book as part of those events since I was already committed elsewhere.

So, Dad, if you’re checking on us, know that what you taught us has had great effect and  is going out to many other readers beyond your family. In your humble way, you would not have asked for recognition, but it’s there all the same.

 

 

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April 25, 2018 at 12:26 am Leave a comment

Maplefest, Buckhorn, Ontario

 

Maplefest, Buckhorn, Ontario

On the 24th of March, my husband and I accompanied our daughter and son-in-law and their two daughters to Maplefest that’s held near Buckhorn each year. The location was the McLean Berry Farm. It’s a bit of a drive but the girls entertained themselves pretty well on the way.

 

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When we arrived at the farm, we saw the horse pulling a wagon. We’ll get a ride in too, though Dave says it’s not very far. Still it’s kind of neat.

 

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Big round bales for the children to climb on while waiting for a ride. And someone taking a picture.

 

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You can get your picture taken in this scene.

 

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Watching their Mom and Dad saw a piece off a log

Then we can get a brand on the cut-off piece. I needed one of these for promoting Harry’s Trees. Perfect. It’s a maple leaf. So fitting.

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And another photo opp

 

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The ladies in the maple sugar tent, showing us and telling us how it’s done. We got to taste pure maple sugar taffy, then Dave got some floss to try out too. Thanks, Dave.

 

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Fun for the children

It was too cold to tap maple syrup that day, in fact very chilly, but it didn’t dampen spirits for the rest of the activities.

 

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We heard a quick talk on the evaporator to see where they boil down the sap

 

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Picture opportunity of our family

And the horses get to have a much needed break. Food time and rest for them over the noon hour. The next visitors got the tractor and wagon for their ride. Still pretty neat for a city family or anyone.

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We were glad to get back in the van and warm up a bit on the way to the GrandView Resort. We checked out their trailer, had some lunch that we’d packed, then set off for the trip home. It was a full day, and a good one.

April 12, 2018 at 2:29 pm Leave a comment

More Lessons to Come

I’m back to this location after working on a different site for the past year and a half. I hope you’ll continue to follow me here.

Today I posted at The Word Guild blog as I do once a month.  Today is about continuing to learn. If that’s what you do, it’s a good thing.

 

More Lessons to Come

As long as we live, we really ought to keep on learning. The other option to that is being stagnant or dying. Tough words, but they’re true. Think of seniors who take up university studies. They now have the time to devote to it and they want to keep learning. Or people who do crossword puzzles to keep their minds active.

I teach seniors at a community centre. Now that they have more time on their hands, and perhaps a little extra cash, they often strive to learn new things and keep their gray matter (brains) working. In my class they’ve learned about writing. Two of my students have written their life story and had them published. Other classes I’ve taught include learning about setting up a blog and writing posts, as well as storytelling. Bucket list or continuing to learn doesn’t matter, but what does is their willingness to keep on being a student, regardless of their age.

Recently I watched a video of seniors in a dance lesson on a Facebook post. In the article and accompanying video, the writer quoted a study out of McGill University in Canada in which researchers and participants discovered that “learning the steps necessary to tango actually improved brainpower and balance.” The participants were seniors who had “experienced a fall within the last year and were scared of falling again.” Otherwise the seniors were healthy. It showed that when we learn something new, the brain develops new pathways and the mind becomes more alert.

Read more here.

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April 11, 2018 at 4:23 pm Leave a comment

Mats made from milk bags

I was in touch with a fellow writer, Grace, this evening and the subject of the Mats4Haiti came up. I didn’t know if the project was still going. Looks like it is.

She wrote on her Facebook post:

Not everyone is fortunate to have a soft, comfortable bed on which to sleep.
As a child, I have experienced the feeling of sleeping on a hard, cold, bare floor. It was horrid!
One of our local churches is collecting outer 3 or 4-litre plastic milk bags, to be used to create bed mats, for people in less developed regions of the world.
I have started to save my milk bags in support of this worthy cause.

If someone looking for a way to help, here’s a drop-off place:

All Saints Anglican Church
400 Northfield Dr West
Waterloo, ON N2L 0A6
PHONE: (519) 884-6600

October 27, 2017 at 1:39 am 2 comments

Blog continues…

My blog continues  over at www.carolynwilker.ca. Look for Storygal’s Blog. Come on over and see my posts in my new site. Here’s a few of my recent posts:

http://www.carolynwilker.ca/blog/2016/08/21/rcmp-musical-ride.shtml

http://www.carolynwilker.ca/blog/2016/09/11/going-home-to-the-fair.shtml

 

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September 13, 2016 at 12:28 pm Leave a comment

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