So yes, I'm obsessed with books and Project Bookmark Canada projectbookmarkcanada.ca as anyone who is my facebook friend might know by now. I will keep posting until month's end. But my obsession will not stop there.
There's a reason. There's a history.
Here I am in Moncton, New Brunswick, (once home of literary critic Northrop Frye) , at the beginning my of my magnificent obsession.
Here is Northrop Frye.
oops. I sometimes mix them up. No, no--- here is the picture of the statue of Northrup Frye that the Northrop Frye Festival has erected in Moncton. Check them out too. http://www.frye.ca/index.php/en/toutes-les-nouvelles/50-launch-of-our-2012-2013-season
It's beautiful. You can sit down by him and rub noses--- shoulders I mean. When I do, finally, I will be reciting Blake softly in his ear. Might look something like this
But that's me with me another man. Sir John A. MacDonald in Charlottetown. Bear with me a moment, I've had a long week of words --this is all connected.
When I around seven, one of my teachers noticed I was a hypersensitive child writing poetry and snorting books like other kids snorted lik-m-aid ( for you who do not know of what I speak think sucking powdered sugared Koolaid )
She suggested my parents take me to PEI to -- where else --- to the only monument we really had that celebrated a writer from our region.
Her house! Anne's house. Exciting.
And then :
Lucy Maud Montgomery, the writer, was dead. Very dead. Hence the line you hear so many writers of a certain generation say quite honestly : "we grew up thinking writers were all dead people." OR lived in United States where a distant second cousin of my father's wrote for Reader's Digest. Or maybe, Ontario where I had rich cousins. Somehow I'd equated writers with being rich. (:
It's my turn today to be a "pageturner" for Project Bookmark Canada.
What no one so far has said (I think) is that writers don't have to be dead (or rich) to get a bookmark now! Wow.
"Look Mama, they're alive! They live and move and breathe amongst us!"
If you go to :
projectbookmarkcanada.ca you can see a wonky video "we" made: my husband, and a gathering of writers, librarians and booklovers here at our house last Friday night. We were getting ready for a writing conference for teens on the north shore of Nova Scotia-- called Writing on Fire which is part of a Read by the Sea Festival initiative. If you do not know about Read by the Sea-- you need to go here. http://www.readbythesea.ca/
River John is little village with a a great literary festival every summer. So here are some of the suspects you will see in the video waiting for the conference to begin---- right about this time last Saturday:
They look Verrry different in the video! The teens were amazing in the workshops, so happy to connect with living breathing writers.
While you're at the bookmark website, projectbookmarkcanada.ca I hope you click and donate. Find out how to get involved. Maybe champion the books from your region you'd like to see have a bookmark. One day the literary landscape of Canada will also be a literary mapscape where we can go to the place, read the words from a bookmark by an author (dead or alive) who wrote of that place. We can leap into a world of their making. Then what happens? Well, I believe we consider that place and who we are in some new way. It is map making. It is mythmaking. For me, forever, literature keeps asking us ( not telling us ) what it means to be human. Even books about Dragons.
I have a favourite personal metaphor: My life is a dot to dot puzzle and I still don't know what picture I'm making.
Once we have bookmarks all across Canada, it will be kind of like a dot to dot puzzle --but the picture we make? A nation of readers who care about literature and place. And a living breathing ever evolving literary culture. And who knows ---it might mean one young writer will grow up to make worlds out of words .