Back to the beginning

I’m currently on an author tour of libraries in the Okanagan Valley (about five hours away from Vancouver). Today, I presented in Osoyoos, the town where I spent my entire childhood.

A lot has changed—not least of which is the location of the municipal library! Turns out it has moved from when I was a kid. I hunted it down; low and behold, it’s now in the building where the elementary school used to be.

osoyoos_library

In fact, it’s actually in the very corner of the building where my classroom was located for three important years of my life. For Grades 4, 5, and 6 I was in a special creative program that meant I was in the same classroom with the same teacher, Mrs. Clough. I often like to think that this is where much of my creativity flourished. So it was pretty special to return. The windows in the photo above are the same ones I used to look out as a kid as part of my daydreaming routine.

osoyoos_library_interior

Mrs. Clough doesn’t live in Osoyoos anymore either, so I sent a note to her to ask if she knew our old classroom was now the library. She replied to say yes—and pointed out that the very room where I wrote so many stories and books actually now was holding my published books. (Something that hadn’t occurred to me until she mentioned it—but pretty cool.)

Feeling so reminiscent, I took a quick detour after leaving the town to drive past the farm where I spent my teenage years. It’s been a long time since I smelled the scent of apples during harvest time, so that was a moment I enjoyed.

orchard

By the way, this is the character we created during the brainstorming portion of my presentation: a slimy, booger-infested creature named Armando. Apparently, he bathes in mud and brushes his teeth with snails. (Blech.) And I’m not sure about the cat. That’s either his buddy—or his lunch.

armando

I guess I have to take some responsibility for his characteristics. After all, during the afternoon, the kids had gazed upon my Een museum, which includes a few disgusting items. Like a dragon’s tooth. And a bottle of fermented goblin eyes. Oh. And an egg. (Well, it’s a skarm egg, but the disgusting part is not that it comes from a skarm, but that it’s an egg—which, as anyone knows, is one of the most vile substances on planet Earth.)

eenmuseum-osoyoos

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