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.


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.


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.


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.


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.)


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