I was born, many years ago, in St.Catharines Ontario. In 1963, I was the first graduate of the brand new York University in Toronto. I followed a job out west to Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, and fell in love with the wide open spaces of the prairies. For years I taught school in Regina, kindergarten to grade three. After retiring in 2000, I got a quick promotion to university and taught adults who were studying to be teachers. I took advantage of the long summer breaks to have adventures around the world. Recently I have embarked on a great new adventure: being a grandmother.
Have you ever wondered “Where’s Waldo”? I wonder about that all the time. I’m married to him and half the time I can’t find him. Waldo and I have two children, Ruska and Sika, who are grown up and have their own families. Sika lives in Victoria and Ruska lives in Calgary. Lucky me! I get to spend time in three provinces now.
I have always loved camping, climbing mountains and exploring new places. I hiked down the Grand Canyon and sailed past icebergs on a Viking ship off Newfoundland. In my world travels, I floated down a Malaysian river in an inner tube and crashed through the jungle of northern Thailand on an elephant. I climbed the holiest mountain in China by candlelight. In Iceland, I rode for hours in a rattley old bus across desolate landscape that looked like it belonged on the moon.
When I was a teacher I read books to my students every day. I even read picture books to my university classes. It was hard to find stories escribing life in Saskatchewan. Many of my students were Metis, yet there were very few books from a Metis viewpoint. By looking at children’s books you’d think all new immigrants came to Toronto or Vancouver, yet my Chinese goddaughter had come directly to Regina. I realized that lots of stories just haven’t been written yet. Instead of complaining about the lack of Saskatchewan books, I had better start writing some! So I wrote Fiddle Dancer, about a Metis boy who learns to jig and Song Lei in a New Land, about a Chinese girl who arrives in the Queen City [Regina] expecting to find a queen.
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