monique polak

Monique Polak's Books

Jan
26

"Whoopy once/ whoopy twice/ whoopy chicken soup/ with rice" or The Benefits of Reading Out Loud

The lines "Whoopy once/ whoopy twice/ whoopy chicken soup/ with rice" come from Maurice Sendak's delightful picture book "Chicken Soup With Rice." Perfect reading for a chilly day in Montreal (last I heard it was minus 21 without the windchill), which is why I read the book to my "Writing for Children" class this morning.

...which gave me the idea to dedicate

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Guest — Sascha
A story told out loud to a child or even to a group of teenagers, if told well, is even better than reading the story by yourself ... Read More
Tuesday, 27 January 2009 18:42
Monique Polak
First comment from one of my new students this term! Way to go, Sascha! Glad you liked the story. Wait till you see what I have fo... Read More
Tuesday, 27 January 2009 19:05
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Jan
21

I Have a Code

No, not a secret code. "A bad code." At least, that's how I say it. What I mean is, I have a sore throat and a sniffle. And my nose is red from blowing it so much. You know... a "code."

Anyway because I've been busy busy with school stuff, I must admit I haven't done much in the way of writing today. But I'm going to try to do a little work now before I

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Jan
20

This Line Will Make You Swoon

So my head is still full of Judy Blundell's wonderful book, What I Saw and How I Lied. I thought that for today's blog entry, I'd copy out one of my favourite lines from the book (believe me, there were lots to choose from). This one describes the feelings Evie Spooner (the story's 15-year-old protagonist) experiences when the boy (if you can call him a boy, he's 23 years old

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Jan
19

Oh What a Delicious Book

Some books are DELICIOUS. That's how I felt reading Judy Blundell's YA novel What I Saw and How I Lied. Lucky me -- I get to review this book, which won the 2008 National Book Award for Young People's Literature. This is the first novel Judy Blundell has written under her own name. She has written many many books under the pen name Jude Watson. What I Saw and How I Lied is

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Jan
17

Here's the Link to the Article About Ouje-Bougoumou

It's on page three of today's Gazette, but for those of you who are out of town, here's the link: http://www.montrealgazette.com/Minus+school/1188315/story.html

If you've got the paper copy, check out Monique Dykstra's photo of Joseph Dixon and the Malamute pup that turned up outside his house on Wednesday in minus 50 degree weather (with the wind chill). I talked to Joseph

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Guest — G
Are you able to repost the article about Ouje? I tried following the link, but it did not work for me. Thanks!
Tuesday, 05 January 2016 17:14
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Jan
15

Visit to Ouje-Bougoumou

NEF0016copy.jpgSo the Moniques are home, back from a fun and interesting trip to Ouje-Bougoumou! It was a bit of a whirlwind, considering we went there and back in about 36 hours  (we flew there on a 16-seater beachcraft), but we managed to get everything done. We worked with Kyla Nadeau's Grade Six students at Waapihtiiwewan School. Kyla, thanks for doing such a great job of getting things organized

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Guest — Tamar
Great pic, Miss P.!
Sunday, 18 January 2009 13:03
Guest — Morgan Spence
hey moniqe it was so great to see you and meet you im not sure if you remember me but im the girl who didnt like writing so much ... Read More
Tuesday, 28 July 2009 02:41
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Jan
12

Checking In Between Trips

Hello, hello! I'm just back from visiting my husband's family on Long Island, New York, and tomorrow I head out again -- this time to Ouje-Bougoumou in northern Quebec. I'm getting pretty excited about the upcoming adventure. I'm going there with my friend photographer Monique Dykstra (just call us "the two Moniques"!!) and we'll be working with students as part of the
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Guest — Sophie B.X.
Congrads on getting the cover of the Marianopolis magazine =)
Tuesday, 13 January 2009 13:38
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Jan
07

Moving Backwards to Go Forwards

I think I used a similar title for a blog entry a few months ago -- must be because I'm at the same stage in the writing process. I'm working on the very first draft of a manuscript called Junkyard Dog (it's about guard dogs) and I'm about to start writing the final chapter. Only before I can go ahead and try to bring the whole story to a conclusion, I feel like I have to go back

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Jan
05

Hippity Hoppity Happy New Year!

I know it's silly, but I just wanted to say so! It's Monday and my daughter, who was here for the weekend, has left to go back to New York. I'm finding comfort in the world of words. Have been working since noon on a very short book review, and soon, I want to get back to my manuscript. After taking a few days off, it feels like I need to get reacquainted with the project. Give it a sniff
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Dec
29

Quiet Writing Day

It's already 10 to 2 in the afternoon and I've been writing since I came home from my run this morning. I had a book review to write for The Gazette -- about a book that I found super interesting, Andrew Steinmetz's Eva's Three Penny Opera. I related a lot to the book because it is based on the story of the author's great aunt's life -- and she lived during World War
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Dec
24

Fold Your Pants!

Hello, hello... shifting gears today... have decided to take a little break from fiction and am working on a profile of children's book author Frieda Wishinsky. I'm writing it for the CANSCAIP newsletter, which goes out to Canadian children's writers and people interested in the business. Anyway, I've got pages of notes from when I interviewed Frieda in Toronto in November and now
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Guest — tamar
Happy holidays, Miss P! and happy and healthy oh and safe new year! xo
Wednesday, 24 December 2008 13:45
Guest — Sophie
HAppy holidays! ;D
Sunday, 28 December 2008 10:38
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Dec
22

500 Words a Day

That's the daily quota I've set for myself. And this week I have what every writer craves most -- TIME!! When I looked at my agenda this morning, I had the delightful feeling that comes when I see BLANK BOXES. No plans!! And then, I sat down to work on Junkyard Dog -- my latest manuscript for Orca -- and when I checked my word count a little later, guess what?! I'd already written 500

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Dec
18

New Friends at The Study

Hello hello... I'm just back from a lively session with grades five, six, seven and eight students at The Study, a private girls' school in Montreal. I don't think I've ever had so many questions after one of my talks. Way to go, girls! Only problem is there wasn't time to answer all the questions, so I'm hoping students will send questions to the blog (use the comment section

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Guest — Sophie B. X.
I have been trying to keep a dream diary lately, but there simply doesn't seem to be enough time to write my dreams down before I ... Read More
Thursday, 18 December 2008 13:18
Guest — Taylor Geyer
Ms.Polak, I would like to thank you for taking the time to visit my school. I found your discussion very helpful and interesting. ... Read More
Tuesday, 23 December 2008 15:39
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Dec
17

What Do Three Children's Writers Talk About Over Dinner?

I bet you think the answer to that question is writing and books. And usually, when I get together with my friends Jane Barclay and Lori Weber, we do discuss writing and books. But to be honest, this week, we mostly discussed our kids. It's been a while since the three of us got together and so we had quite a lot of catching up to do. We also drank a bottle of red wine -- so maybe that explains

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Guest — Sophie B. X.
The wine certainly let some ideas fly. =) I remember a mildly intoxicated scene from a Tamora Pierce book about a "spy" working. S... Read More
Thursday, 18 December 2008 09:55
Monique Polak
Hi Sophie! The funny thing is you must have written your comment about Tamora Pierce just as I was looking through my notes on the... Read More
Thursday, 18 December 2008 10:02
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Dec
16

A Day at the Shmall

First, let me explain: "shmall" is what some people call the Cavendish Mall, a shopping centre in Cote St. Luc, the Montreal neighbourhood where I grew up. As you may remember from an earlier blog entry, I've been doing writing workshops with a group of students at Hebrew Academy, which just happens to be located almost across the street from the "shmall." Together with

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Guest — Esther
Hey Monique, its Esther!!! I look so clever in that picture!!! try to send me your e-mail. I;m the girl with the pink book!!!!... Read More
Tuesday, 16 December 2008 16:12
Monique Polak
You DO look clever with that pink book of yours! If you want to e-mail me directly, send your message to: monique@moniquepolak.com... Read More
Wednesday, 17 December 2008 17:10
Guest — tamar
i know some of those kids. and i live near the shamall and love that term!
Wednesday, 17 December 2008 22:27
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Dec
15

Finding My Way Back to My Story... and writer friends coming for supper

So it's Monday morning -- already 9:30. I want to get to the Y to lift weights (don't worry, nothing too heavy!), then I'm going to spend some time at my computer. I need to find my way back to the manuscript I was writing (Junkyard Dog) before I got busy with the re-write (On the George River). I started looking at Junkyard Dog on Friday -- what I need to do is re-read what I've

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Guest — Sophie B. X.
I think many things are much simpler once we begin to actually do them. The tasks look difficult but are actually not. =) Enjoy bl... Read More
Tuesday, 16 December 2008 11:00
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Dec
12

Hot Potato... or the Baby Goes to Kindergarten

I don't know if you ever heard of a game called "Hot Potato." We played it when we were kids, and the idea was to keep passing an imaginary hot potato around so it never landed in your lap. About two minutes ago, I e-mailed off a copy of my George River manuscript to Sarah Harvey, one of my editors at Orca Book Publishers in Victoria. So I got rid of the hot potato... and in a few

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Guest — Sophie B. X.
"Extreme and Wild" behavior in busy times, my feelings exactly.
Friday, 12 December 2008 12:52
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Dec
10

Expert Advice

I'm thinking of expert advice because last night I had a great talk with my friend Mark B, who lives in George River. I may have told you this already, but Mark and a friend of his (they both work at the local school) read the first first draft of my book that is set in Nunavik, Quebec and found a lot of things for me to fix. The hardest scene for me was the one with the polar bear. So, because

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Guest — Sophie B. X.
Hi Miss, I recently moved so we're unpacking boxes. We uncovered a poster yesterday, featuring two polar bears, a mother holding... Read More
Friday, 12 December 2008 08:57
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Dec
09

Less to Do, More Time to Write!!

AHHH! That's the sound of a CEGEP teacher who has nearly finished her grading! Which means I have more time to concentrate on writing. Did  I already tell you I am revising my Nunavik manuscript (the tentative title is On the George River)? It's due next Monday!! YIKES!! (That's the sound of a nervous writer.) But, so far, I'm moving along okay in the re-write. I am a little

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Dec
05

Another Day, Another School Visit!

Today, we Moniques went to Laval Liberty High School. It's a huge school -- quite a contrast to Franklin Elementary which we visited yesterday. Today we worked with Abigail Lawrence's Grade Eight English class. They are also part of the Blue Metropolis Literary Foundation's Quebec Roots project. I talked about writing; Monique D discussed photography, focusing on how to shoot a good portrait
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Guest — Sophie B. X.
I think it's necessary, at least for the journal, to pour all your thoughts into it, without thinking about the organization of th... Read More
Tuesday, 09 December 2008 07:38
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Dec
04

Today's Trip to Franklin Centre

I spent today in Franklin Centre, which is about 70 kilometers southwest of Montreal. I went there with my dear friend and photographer extraordinaire Monique Dykstra . (Monique D, by the way, photographed the necklace that appears on the front and back cover of What World Is Left).

We worked with students at Franklin Elementary School. We were there as part of a project called Quebec

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Dec
03

My Mum and Dad Come Along to Today's Talk at Westmount Library

Hello, hello... I'm just back from a talk at Westmount Library here in Montreal. The audience was mostly Grade 6 and 7 students from Westmount High. The students were great, very keen and focused; I didn't even need to make comments about their body language!! The best part of today was my mum and dad came along, too. As you probably know, my mum inspired my latest book, What World Is Left. She
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Guest — david southmayd
Thank you for a most enjoyable morning. I hadn't expected a young audience but they were wonderful . I wish my son had beeen ther... Read More
Wednesday, 03 December 2008 12:41
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Dec
02

Return Visit to Hebrew Academy

Last year, I did three creative writing sessions with a group of very keen students at Hebrew Academy. Today, I'm going back to do the first of three more sessions. Most of the students I'll be working with are ones I worked with last year -- which means I've had to come up with new material. One thing I know for sure about these students is they love to write, and they write easily

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Guest — joelle cohen
.( this is joelle from grade 6 at hebrew academy) ya sound like real fun and id know that,.All of us, together, are really coming ... Read More
Tuesday, 02 December 2008 12:59
Guest — tamar
the train goes all year round! and i remember being a kid and playing in the pirate ship that still exists, one of the few things ... Read More
Tuesday, 02 December 2008 14:50
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Nov
30

Meet My Mum -- Who Inspired What World Is Left -- and Hear Me Read A Little from the Book

Check out this link to view a short video made by the Gazette's Phil Carpenter. In it, you'll get to meet my mum, Celien Spier, whose story inspired my new book, What World Is Left. You'll also get to hear me read a little from the book. Let me know what you think of the video! Continue reading

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Guest — tamar
i like it
Monday, 01 December 2008 14:34
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Nov
28

Good Morning, Morning Pages!

So classes at Marianopolis are nearly over. Most of my correcting comes in today, and then the rest on Monday. Which means this writer isn't going to be doing much writing over the next few days. But I did start my day with writing -- like I do EVERY SINGLE DAY. Every morning, I write my "morning pages." I got the idea from a terrific book I read several years ago called The Artist
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Nov
26

Today's Visit to Beaconsfield High School

Am just back from a visit to Beaconsfield High School where I spoke to two groups of students about the writing life. I should really be at the grocery store buying ingredients for tonight's supper, but I wanted to sit right down at the computer and jot down some of the fun stuff that happened today during my school visit.

I had lunch in the school cafeteria and some of the grade seven

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Guest — christina.s.aston
Thanks for coming to BHS (beaconsfield high school) I enjoyed your visit. Everything you said was ssoooo interesting. Thanks for t... Read More
Wednesday, 26 November 2008 21:23
Guest — tamar
i wish i was still in high school. my mom and i were just talking about you and i said she should bring you to the school she work... Read More
Thursday, 27 November 2008 10:14
Guest — some one from BHS
You spelt mrs.Mattie wrong! ;D Keep writing I love your books!!
Friday, 05 December 2008 16:40
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Nov
23

Special Book Report

Lately, I've been getting a lot of e-mail from students -- mostly in the U.S. -- who are doing assignments about some of my books. These e-mails are especially satisfying to me, I think, because I am a teacher as well as a writer.

Yesterday, at a family celebration, a couple who are friends of my sister's, told me their daughter Brittany is working on a book report about What World

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Guest — humble_pie
what a good-looking group of women ! monique is to be congratulated for at least 3 accomplishments: 1 - the new book. 2 - her d... Read More
Wednesday, 26 November 2008 13:32
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Nov
20

Ashlee With Two E's

Every once in a while, I get e-mail from readers I've never met... yesterday I got a message from a girl named Ashlee (she spells it with two e's). Ashlee lives in St. Louis, Missouri, and she wrote to me about my book Scarred. She's reading it for a school project and I told her to get back to me if she had any questions about the book. So, today, Ashlee wrote again, asking how I choose
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Nov
19

American Library Association Weighs in on What World Is Left

Well, I have exciting news to report -- Booklist, an American Library Association publication, has given What World Is Left a starred review. And if you'll permit me to quote what the reviewer, Hazel Rochman, had to say... she called the book "heartbreaking" and described it as "an important contribution to the Holocaust curriculum." YIPPEE!! Then last night, I learned from

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Guest — tamar
congrats on the good reviews. haha! your hubby let them run a bad review of your book in his paper? hahaha.. i didn't see the book... Read More
Wednesday, 19 November 2008 14:09
Guest — Sophie B. X.
Congrads!! I do think taking care of yourself is the most important thing, one needs to appreciate and learn from the ups and down... Read More
Wednesday, 19 November 2008 19:24
Guest — Rachel
Congrats on the reviews- the good and the not so good (there's no such thing as bad publicity!!) I just read the last comment (Sop... Read More
Wednesday, 19 November 2008 21:57
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Nov
14

Today's Visit to Lake of Two Mountains High School

Today I met students at Lake of Two Mountains High School. Language arts teacher Lee Rother arranged the visit, which began with a yummy lunch from the school cafeteria! It turns out Lee is a specialist in mass media, a subject in which I'm also interested.

But the best part of the day was working with the students. They didn't even need my usual pep talk about body language -- they

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Guest — Estelle G.
Hello Monique. I just wanted to say that having your presence at school(LTM) inspired my writing a lot. I had a story on the way, ... Read More
Saturday, 15 November 2008 21:17
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Nov
12

Cleavage

Just testing ... I bet that subject heading piqued your interest, no? Cleavage is the name of a wonderful book of short stories I've been reading. The book's full name is Cleavage: Breakaway Fiction for Real Girls. The collection is edited by two YA writers: Deb Loughead and Jocelyn Shipley. Every story in the book has something to do with girls, their bodies, and their

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Guest — Kim
Sounds like some very interesting short stories. I'l try to read them over the Winter break -- I don't foresee much free time in t... Read More
Thursday, 13 November 2008 20:36
Guest — Sophie B. X.
The title sure got me. Good job! =)
Friday, 14 November 2008 16:29
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Nov
10

Elie Wiesel Interview in Today's National Post

Good morning,  good morning... I'm off to the Y, but here's the link to my interview with Elie Wiesel that appears in today's National Post: http://www.nationalpost.com/todays_paper/story.html?id=944755

 

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Guest — Sophie B. X.
A bit harsh there in the beginning... =) I never knew he was a humanitarian worker either. (Bio went well)... Read More
Monday, 10 November 2008 17:27
Guest — Katie Shamash
Cool, you met Elie Weisel! Your article was great. I keep stopping by your office at Marianopolis, but it's always swamped with st... Read More
Tuesday, 11 November 2008 23:23
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Nov
06

Time for a Cup of Tea -- and To Tell You A Little About Elie Wiesel

This is the first time I've had time for a mid-day cup of tea all week. Soon, I have to shift gears and get ready for school, but I just wanted to tell you a little bit about my interview with Elie Wiesel on Tuesday night. In the end, I didn't get much one-on-one time with him, and because we were at a fundraising dinner, he had to shake hands with a lot of people who were as eager as me to
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Guest — Kim
I like the quote about witnesses, and his optimistic view on the situation. However, I still hope that there are several written (... Read More
Friday, 07 November 2008 16:02
Guest — tamar
I agree with Elie wiesel. I find that soon I will be responsible for telling my grandparents and their siblings' stories to future... Read More
Sunday, 09 November 2008 16:02
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Nov
05

Check Out What Book Elie Wiesel Is Carrying!

Okay, I confess -- I gave Elie Wiesel, the world's best known Holocaust survivor and author of over 40 books including Night -- a copy of What World Is Left. Wish I could tell you more about the things I learned from him last night, but alas, I am working on a story for The National Post about Wiesel and I'm on a tight deadline. But do check out the pic!			</div>
		
		
		
		
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Guest — Sophie B. X.
Nice pic.! =)
Friday, 07 November 2008 20:31
Guest — Kim
Nice to see a "new and improved" picture! It looks really natural, too -- and you look really happy ... Read More
Saturday, 08 November 2008 07:20
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Nov
04

Big Interview Tonight!

Today is a very exciting day for me because I am going to be interviewing ELIE WIESEL, Holocaust survivor and the world famous author of the memoir, Night. Wiesel is in Montreal for a fundraising dinner and the interview basically landed in my lap. I have taught the book Night many times, but I never dreamed that I'd be able to speak with its author. I may be too busy tomorrow to write a blog
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Nov
03

CTV Interview about What World Is Left

In case you missed it, here's the interview that aired on CTV news on Thursday, October 23. Many many thanks to Debra Arbec, host of My Montreal, for her interest in What World Is Left, and for being such a kind, sensitive interviewer. Also thanks to my friendly computer wiz for helping me figure out how to post the interview. Let me know what you think of it. Here comes the link:

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Guest — Julia at Orca
I don't see it?? Is it just me or is the link broken?
Tuesday, 04 November 2008 14:10
Guest — Cnn
Monique, Congratulations again for your book! I found your interview on CTV on the Internet: http://news.sympatico.msn.ctv.ca/To... Read More
Tuesday, 04 November 2008 20:47
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Nov
03

Too Many Things to Tell You!!

So I got back last night from a conference called Packaging Your Imagination. It's run by an amazing organization called CANSCAIP and is held every year in  Toronto. I went to lectures by several well known Canadian children's writers, and I also got to meet up with children's writers who've become my friends over the years I've been involved with CANSCAIP. And I have a

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Oct
30

Still Flying High!!

Life seems to be going a little too quickly, even for me the speed-demon! Lots to do between writing, teaching and book promotion. And I'm off this evening to Toronto for a wonderful children's writing conference offered through CANSCAIP (Canadian Society of Children's Authors, Illustrators and Performers). If you're interested, google the organization; it's terrific and has

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Guest — Kris with a "k"
Hey Miss P! Wanted to see the video! Hope you had a great time in Toronto and an excellent weekend! See you in class!... Read More
Sunday, 02 November 2008 19:34
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Oct
29

Burst Water Main

A burst water main is a serious thing, but when it happens at your school and it means YOU GET AN UNEXPECTED DAY OFF, well, let's be honest, it's kind of nice! My office partner at school, the very dear Mary Frauley, phoned me early this morning just as I was pulling on my leotards -- and told me the news. So here I am with a very rare commodity -- A LITTLE FREE TIME. My, it feels nice!!

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Guest — Kim
The burst water main also turned out to be beneficial to me today -- this morning, I had 2 arteries (or maybe veins, I'm not sure)... Read More
Wednesday, 29 October 2008 10:51
Guest — tamar
Have fun in Toronto. I too enjoyed my day off and a bit of time to catch up on some much needed sleep!
Wednesday, 29 October 2008 20:57
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Oct
27

CBC Interview with Me & My Mum

So my mum -- whose story inspired my new book, What World Is Left, and I were interviewed for the CBC radio show, All In a Weekend. The interview aired yesterday morning and I cried when I heard it. I'm trying my best to figure out how to post the mp3 of the interview on this blog entry, but I'm having a wee bit of trouble... may need to get the help of someone more technically savvy than

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Guest — Kim
Sorry to burst your bubble... but I can't access the file I think it worked for you because it's a shortcut to your desktop, but ... Read More
Monday, 27 October 2008 18:25
Guest — Julia at Orca
I think anyone who wants to hear it will need to have quick time installed to hear it.. I heard it no problem. What a great int... Read More
Tuesday, 28 October 2008 13:29
Guest — Sophie B. X.
The fancy clothes for Anne Frank... beauty could be harmful. The lab I volunteered at is full of Chinese people, and so I try to ... Read More
Tuesday, 28 October 2008 19:20
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Oct
25

What a Launch -- if I may say so myself!!

It was a wonderful wonderful launch. No matter how many more books I write, I don't think there will ever be such a special launch. Everyone who was there -- and there were nearly 300 people -- was special. My mum, whose story inspired What World Is Left, spoke and I spoke, too, and read from the book. One of the special things about my mum is that despite how she suffered as a teenager in Theresienstadt

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Guest — tamar
It was a lovely launch. It was a pleasure to be there! And I started the book last night, sooo good!! It will be done very shortly... Read More
Saturday, 25 October 2008 14:44
Guest — Kim
I agree with Tamar in that the launch was really wonderful. All those months of anticipation were certainly worth it! On the other... Read More
Sunday, 26 October 2008 11:44
Guest — Rachel
Congratulations on the book, the launch and all the other exciting things that are happening! I'm sorry I missed the launch but ho... Read More
Sunday, 26 October 2008 21:33
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Oct
23

MORE EXCITED THAN ON MY WEDDING DAY(S)!!

I say dayS because I had TWO wedding days!!

Tonight is launch night!! Here's the article that appeared in today's Gazette. Later, this morning, my mum and I are doing an interview at CBC, and CTV's Debra Arbec will be interviewing us before the launch. I have to admit I'm feeling like a bit of a celebrity. Here's the link to The Gazette story: http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette

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Guest — tamar
great article! love the picture in the gazette. Let me know if you want another copy and I will keep mine and bring it in to you. ... Read More
Thursday, 23 October 2008 10:16
Guest — Kim
The launch was so much fun!! I really enjoyed the talks at the beginning as well. the article was equally interesting... I also k... Read More
Friday, 24 October 2008 21:15
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Oct
21

Marking, Marking... and Launching a Book!

Only time for a super quick blog entry today. I've got a mountain of correcting! My cousin from Santa Few, New Mexico arrives tomorrow -- she'll be here for the launch of What World Is Left -- so I want to get as much work done as possible before she gets here.

Because I'm in the midst of all this busy-ness, I have a few reflections to share about being crazy-busy (I bet a lot

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Oct
18

Outlines and George River

It's Saturday morning and I've been catching up on comments and questions posted here this week. Tamar asked what is happening with the George River manuscript (that's a book I was busy with all summer, set in George River in Nunavik, Quebec). Here's the latest update: the first draft, due December 1, 2008 is written -- but I have it out now with an Inuit friend, whom I hope will

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Guest — Kim
Sounds like writing will really keep you busy for the next little while! And when you're not writing, I suppose it's grading... Oh... Read More
Monday, 20 October 2008 18:48
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Oct
14

The Busy Life of an Author Promoting Her New Book!!

It's busy, all right. With everyone feeling budget squeezes, including publishing companies, it stands to reason that most authors need to do their bit to help promote their books. So I'm trying my best to get some buzz going about my new book, What World Is Left. Promoting the book feels kind of like fishing -- I'm putting a lot of lines into the ocean and hoping to catch something

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Recent Comments
Guest — tamar
what ever happend to that george rivers book?
Tuesday, 14 October 2008 22:34
Guest — Kim
It's awesome that your most recent book is getting lots of coverage in the media. I really can't wait to read it, now! I find it ... Read More
Friday, 17 October 2008 19:55
Guest — Julia
Do you know if this will be aired via internet? If so do you know what time? I would like to put a thing up on our blog about this... Read More
Tuesday, 21 October 2008 11:24
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Oct
09

Check Out the Book Launch Invitation!

Of course, this is all depends on whether I'm technologically-savvy enough to figure out how to post it. Here I go! BY GOLLY I THINK I JUST DID IT!!whatworldisleft.jpg
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Guest — Kim
Congrats on your increased "technology savvyness"! And I'll be sure to be at the book launch, it sounds really special ... Read More
Thursday, 09 October 2008 21:12
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Oct
08

My Turn to Answer Questions

If you know me, you probably know that I ask A LOT OF QUESTIONS. Some of my friends think this comes from being a journalist. Sometimes they even get a little annoyed with me and say, "What is this, Monique, an interview?" It is funny how the work we do tends to influence our personalities -- or perhaps it's the other way around and we pick the kind of work that suits who we are.

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Oct
07

Busy With Book Promotion!

So we're launching What World Is Left at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 23 at Marianopolis College here in Montreal. YIPPEE! Now I have to say I'm in another phase of the writing life: book promotion! I'm getting a lot of help from my friends at Orca Books and also from the communications officer at Marianopolis, Kathryn Haralambous. Kathryn just phoned to let me know that CBC Radio

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Recent Comments
Guest — evadne
Hi Monique, Out of curiosity, I decided to track you down via your blog. You never cease to amaze me--your energy, kind heart, lot... Read More
Tuesday, 07 October 2008 13:38
Guest — Sophie B. X.
Wow! Congrads! CBCradio one is all over Canada, so they'll be amazing! =)
Tuesday, 07 October 2008 17:43
Guest — CNN
Congratulations Monique on your latest success! I will order online and look forward to reading your mom's experiences. I wish I... Read More
Tuesday, 07 October 2008 18:56
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Oct
02

Notes from the Energizer Bunny

Okay, I admit it, some people tease me and call me the Energizer Bunny. And I don't even have long pointy ears! I'm thinking of the bunny business because I am extra-energetic today. I don't know about you, but I find that doing interesting things and meeting interesting people GIVES me energy.

Last night, my friend and fellow YA author Lori Weber and I began team-teaching a

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Guest — tamar
agreed that you were quite peppy today at school
Thursday, 02 October 2008 20:01
Guest — Sophie B. X.
Just saying hi =) The latest topic of interest for me is dreams. It's a shame that I only started to keep a journal on Thursday, ... Read More
Saturday, 04 October 2008 18:30
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Sep
25

Meet Anne Renaud

Well, I guess it's your week for meeting children's writers, isn't it? Last night, I did a short presentation at Westmount Library, along with several other local writers who are launching new children's books this season. Today, I want you to meet Anne Renaud, who has published several non-fiction books for young readers. Her latest is called Pier 21, and it's part of Stories

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Sep
24

Meet Frieda Wishinsky

I promised to tell you a little about Frieda Wishinsky -- a Toronto children's author who had dinner with us on Sunday night. Frieda is the author of over 40 books for children. Her picture book, Please, Louise! illustrated by Montrealer Marie-Louise Gay, was recently nominated for the TD Children's Literature Award, one of the country's most prestigious literary prizes.

So,

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1246 Hits
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Sep
22

Circles of Bloggers

A few months ago, I got a comment on this blog from a young woman named MaryAnn. Well, MaryAnn was in touch again last week and it turns out she is a writer and blogger, too. A graduate of Concordia, Maryann Hayatian has published a book of poetry, a children's book, and a novella with the very cool name, Love Is Blind, But the Neighours Ain't. MaryAnn told me she started her own website

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Sep
18

Learning About Guard Dogs

This is going to be a sad entry, so if you're not in the mood for something sad, better to take a pass on today's entry.

Don't have much time, but I wanted to tell you a little about my interview with Alanna Devine, acting director of the Montreal SPCA. Alanna knows a lot about guard dogs and she told me some heartbreaking stories. I'd heard that some guard dogs have been &

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Guest — tamar
cool article. the twins go to our school...
Saturday, 20 September 2008 15:45
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Sep
16

Heading to the SPCA This Morning...

You know that research I'm doing about junkyard dogs? Well, this morning I'm headed to the Montreal SPCA. I'm going to interview the acting director, Alanna Devine, who tells me she knows "too much" about guard dogs. Hope to take lots of notes for my new book project. The rest of the week is going to be super busy -- my students are writing exams for me and one class is handing
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Sep
15

Courageous Young Women I Know

I've been thinking a lot about courage lately. And instead of looking to older people as role models, I've been learning some big lessons from several young women in my life. So today's entry is dedicated to them. One's my daughter, who moved to New York in August to start a job in the fashion industry. As I keep telling her, I don't think I would have had the courage to do what
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1220 Hits
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Sep
11

Doing Things Differently

Recently I read that it is good to do something different every day. When I googled that line just now, I couldn't find exactly who had said it. But I did come up with a similar thought from Eleanor Roosevelt, who advised: "Do one thing every day that scares you."

Lately, I've been thinking about doing things differently. Not so easy for me since I am definitely a creature

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Guest — SOphie
Good luck miss! I'm personally slowing down too- which is scary for me. Taking time off to think. Just think.
Thursday, 11 September 2008 18:21
Guest — tamar
sounds cool sorry that i have been absent from reading your blog.. i hope to resume again as of now ... Read More
Thursday, 11 September 2008 21:21
Guest — Emily
That's good advice. I'm all alone in what other people here have aptly called the middle of nowhere, and I have to do the scary wo... Read More
Friday, 12 September 2008 13:35
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Sep
03

Why Do Dogs Bare Their Teeth?

Quick entry because I have to leave for school in six minutes. So I had my first interview about guard dogs yesterday. I met with a gentleman named Robert Des Ruisseaux, who is a longtime dog trainer. He has worked with guard dogs for almost 50 years. Here's an interesting thing I learned: dogs bare their teeth when they are frightened. Des Ruisseaux told me that dogs who are a little nervous

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Aug
28

Whoa, Girl!

Whoa, Girl is the sort of thing you'd say to a lady horse, right? Well that mare is me -- and it turns out I need to "hold my horses." I sent the first three chapters of the new novel I've been tinkering with to the publisher at Orca Books, and though he likes my narrator, he doesn't think schools -- one of the main markets for their books -- will be comfortable with a story
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Guest — Kim
Ouch, it musn't be fun to be asked to restart on a whole new project after working hard on another for quite a while. I think it's... Read More
Tuesday, 02 September 2008 10:47
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Aug
27

What Does Hillary Clinton Have to Do With Writing?

Guess it's my week for writing about celebrities. Did you hear the speech Hillary Clinton made in support of Barack Obama at the Democratic Convention last night? Well, my favourite part was about the importance of perseverence. Clinton was talking about politics and the future of the United States, but she could just as well have been talking about being a writer. She quoted Harriett Tubmann,
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Aug
25

What Does Michael Phelps Have to Do With Writing?

I heard today on CBC radio that Olympic champion Michael Phelps had some trouble with his middle school English teacher, who told him he'd never amount to anything!!

What, you may ask, does this tasty tidbit have to do with the writing life -- the subject of this blog? Well, I've been reading a book where the main male character is too perfect. The best characters -- the ones who

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Aug
21

Back to My Old Writing Routine

Well there is something to be said for getting back to an old routine. It's only the third day of school, but I'm already feeling used to it. And there is a certain comfort, at least for me, in routine. Today, I only have classes in the afternoon and so, besides going for a run this morning, I've been writing. I'm still tinkering with my latest idea for a YA project. It involves Internet
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Guest — Kim
Ah... so, not only do you write in the morning, but you talk about writing in the late afternoon. Not bad! Unfortunately, I can't... Read More
Friday, 22 August 2008 00:44
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Aug
19

Back to School!!

Classes start today at Marianopolis College -- which means that at precisely 2:15 this afternoon I undergo a major transformation: I turn back into a teacher!! Though it's more than a little difficult to give up my summer writing schedule, part of me actually looks forward to having students again. I think it may be partly because my daughter flew the coop in July and I've been storing up
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Aug
15

Special Afternoon

Today was a special afternoon because I met up with Sapina, one of the students I worked with in Nunavik in the winter of 2007. As you may know if you've been keeping up with my blog, I've spent most of this summer working on a YA novel set in Nunavik. And Sapina has agreed to be my first reader. YESSS!

I met Sapina at the Lionel Groulx metro station. Oh, I forgot to tell you something
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Aug
13

Are You the Sort of Person Who Always Needs a Book?

I am the sort of person who always needs a book. In fact, I realize that I need at least TWO books: one to read (ahh, the pleasure of lying down on my sofa at the end of the afternoon with a delicious book to read); and one to WRITE. Some writers I know take breaks in between book projects, but that doesn't seem to be my way. You know there are women who always need a boyfriend? Well, I always
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Guest — Sophie B. X.
It's funny that you compared a book to a boyfriend, since a good book is, in many ways, your ultimate companion. I've just finishe... Read More
Sunday, 17 August 2008 22:08
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Aug
12

A Funny Thing Happened Out on My Porch Today

I was taking in the laundry when I spotted a young person scraping the neighbour's balcony. "Hello," I said, "who are you?" (If you don't know me, I should explain that I am unusually friendly.) Imagine my surprise when the person looked up -- and he was one of my students from last semester. He was even more surprised than me. "Miss Polak," he sputtered. Gee

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Aug
11

Stoner & Spaz

Catchy title, no? Unfortunately I can't take credit for making it up. It's the title of a YA novel by Ron Koertge that I just finished this morning and MAN, WAS IT EVER GOOD!! Un-put-downable. It's the story of unlikely friends: Ben Bancroft, who has cerebral palsy, and drugged-out Colleen Minou. Great dialogue, great setting, great plot, great themes.

My friend Lori Weber

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1595 Hits
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Aug
08

Galley Copy Arrives

The galley copy of What World Is Left just landed on my doorstep. The galley is a typeset version of the book. This is my last chance to make any small changes before the book goes to print. Am still doing some work on my new manuscipt, but once that's done, I'll start reviewing the galley.

Yesterday a student whom I met when I was in Nunavik two winters ago phoned to say she'

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Aug
05

What the Joker Has to Say About Making Plans

Have you seen the new Batman movie, The Dark Knight? In it, Batman's nemesis, the Joker, despises people who believe in making plans. Well, he wouldn't like me! I've got exactly two weeks until I turn back into a teacher. This calls for a plan, and here's mine: this week, I'm going to reread and revise the manuscript I've been working on all summer, and next week, by hook or

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1230 Hits
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Jul
31

Pressed Pennies & Beijing Noodles

What, you may ask, do pressed pennies and Beijing noodles have to do with each other? If you've been reading my blog this week, you'll know that I am doing a story for Maclean's about people who collect pressed pennies. Well now, I've got another story to juggle. Because the Beijing Olympics begin next week, the Gazette wants to run a story about Beijing-style cooking in next Wednesday

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Guest — Sophie B. X.
I'm back miss Polak!!
Saturday, 02 August 2008 22:21
Guest — m. henry
All this tasty talk about China has whetted my appetite. I've gone past the Beijing restaurant many times, think I once even had ... Read More
Friday, 08 August 2008 01:52
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Jul
30

Energized

Some of my friends already call me the Energizer Bunny (I don't like when they say so), but I have to admit that today, I am feeling unusually energetic -- even for me. Maybe it's a result of the vacation, or that my Mom energy has to be channeled elsewhere since as of yesterday, my daughter has become a resident of Brooklyn, New York. Anyway, I've been a-writing. Finished a personal essay
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Jul
29

Endings

Today must be a day for endings. I just just wrote the last sentence of the book I've been working on all summer. (Though mind you, the re-writing, which some people say is the most important part of all, comes next!) The other ending is the end of my official duties as mum. My daughter left home today to start a job in New York City. I didn't think I'd cry, but I did (of course, she

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1403 Hits
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Jul
28

Back at My Desk

It's Monday afternoon and I'm reinstalled at my desk in Montreal. The holiday did me loads of good and I'm feeling very energetic and happy to be writing again. Of course I did keep my trusty journal and though I didn't exactly work, I did do some interviewing for a possible story. Best of all, I keep waking up with IDEAS IN MY HEAD!! This is very fun.  My main goal writing-wise
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556 Hits
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Jul
23

Literary Street Car Ride

It's our last night in San Francisco... wanted to tell you about the street car we rode today to Fisherman's Wharf. Many of the street cars in San Francisco were used in other cities. It just so happened that the one we rode today came from New Orleans where it was used on the Desire line. Playwright Tennessee Williams named his play after a street car like the one we took today. And because

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Guest — Sarah Mac
Hi Monique... lucky you, in SF! this is so funny....I can just picture you answering the questions and helping out you are prob... Read More
Friday, 25 July 2008 19:47
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Jul
19

Hello from Sonoma!

So we're spending a couple of days in wine country. Before that we were in Berkeley. Yesterday, we went to two wineries; our plan is to visit three or four today before we had back to San Francisco for the last leg of our trip. Don't worry -- we're just sipping!!

Mike's gone to the lobby to print up tickets he bought on line for a baseball game tomorrow: San Francisco Giants

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1272 Hits
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Jul
15

Greetings from San Francisco

Well here we are in San Francisco, having a super fun time. This is my first visit to California and I feel very at home here. We've already met lots of interesting people with interesting STORIES, like a young man who's made his fortune designing a new kind of penny-stretching machine. Yesterday we went to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art to see the Frida Kahlo exhibit. Kahlo and

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1267 Hits
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Jul
11

San Francisco Here We Come!

So we're headed to San Francisco tomorrow morning. Means I won't be around to catch my "Summer Reading" segment on CTV this weekend. Melanie Porco, researcher for the show -- and Marianopolis College graduate!! -- e-mailed to let me know that the segment will air Saturday, July 12 between 9:30 and 10 a.m., and then again on Sunday, July 13 between 8:30 and 9 a.m. If you happen to
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1221 Hits
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Jul
10

Hello from Winnipeg!

So here I am in Winnipeg -- have taken care of the official business I came here for (I was on a top-secret mission!!) and now I have the afternoon off. It's a short trip because I arrived at 11 p.m. last night and I leave first thing tomorrow morning. The joke here in Manitoba is that their provincial bird is the mosquito -- but so far, my combination bug and suntan lotion seems to be doing the
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1526 Hits
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Jul
07

Writing Advice from American Author/Historian David McCullough

This weekend, we caught a bit of an old Charlie Rose show in which he interviewed American author/historian David McCullough. McCullough whose books include 1776, shared some practical writing advice. He explained that he does 60 per cent of his research before he starts writing a book. Then he researches as needed. I thought this was interesting because I've heard other writers say they sometimes
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1479 Hits
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Jul
04

Mothra!!

Mothra is the name of an old Japanese movie about a moth monster. I'm thinking about Mothra today because I just finished writing my story about moths for Maclean's Magazine. I got the idea because there are moths in my kitchen. Every time I think I've wiped them out, they're back -- like Mothra, who was the enemy of Godzilla.

It's July 4 and we're having a barbecue

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Recent Comments
Guest — tamar
you made a typo... it's july not june
Friday, 04 July 2008 21:55
Guest — Kim
Hm... from one blog post to the next; from Canada Day to July 4th At least it was nice out yesterday for a barbecue! I'll have t... Read More
Saturday, 05 July 2008 13:29
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Jul
01

Happy Canada Day!

It's a gorgeous Canada Day here in Montreal -- and I have no special plans, except to work on my manuscript. Ahhh! I'm still  rereading and making adjustments. Today, I'm thinking what I've done so far is pretty darned good. I've been in this business long enough to know that I should savour this feeling -- there are lots of times when I'm dissatsified with what I&#

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Guest — tamar
enjoy all your travels.
Wednesday, 02 July 2008 21:15
Guest — Kim
Enjoy all of your travelling! It sounds like you're going to be pretty busy for a while. And though you might not actually work w... Read More
Wednesday, 02 July 2008 22:29
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Jun
25

Devoir reculer...

Hope the French title won't put you off from reading today's blog entry. I'm reviewing a fun book for The Gazette -- it's called Petite Anglaise, and it's the true story of Catherine Sanderson, a young British woman living in Paris, and how she starts a really successful blog called "Petite Anglaise." Apparently, she gets 100,000 visitors a month. Let's just say

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Guest — Sophie B. X.
Moths. I do remember them from when I was a child in China, since I lived in the countryside where bugs were abundant. I dreamed ... Read More
Thursday, 26 June 2008 00:49
Guest — Sophie B. X.
Oh! If you have time, please check out this film: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rd3LCbnzFNw instantly press pause and watch fr... Read More
Thursday, 26 June 2008 00:59
Guest — tamar
moths and bugs in general suck but i am excited to read the book you are reviewing, your review of it (satursday's gazette) and th... Read More
Friday, 27 June 2008 03:31
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Jun
23

Going Back in Order to Move Forward

I'm a person who likes moving FORWARD, but today is a day for GOING BACKWARDS. Have you ever noticed that sometimes you have to go back in order to go forward? In my case, I'm returning to the beginning of the manuscript I'm working on -- I'm making adjustments and reading out loud and generally getting ready to MOVE FORWARD!  Though I know this is an important part of the

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1282 Hits
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Jun
20

Testing!

Just testing to see whether I can post a picture from home without the help of Gord, my web guru. Trying to post a photo of my neighbours' poppies. There's no fence between our two houses and I must say the poppies lean quite a bit towards OUR side of the garden!! I took the photo last week... and alas, the poppies have shed their beautiful orange-red flowers. Imagine what it would be like

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Guest — tamar
hey! i saw your article in macleans but haven't read it yet, mom "kidnapped" the magazine.. the again, the subscription is in my p... Read More
Friday, 27 June 2008 03:26
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Jun
19

Learning to Post a Pic

WhatWorld.jpgHey, blog readers out there. Today I'm writing to you from web-school -- that means Gord Fisch, my web guru (he told me to write that) is teaching me how to post a pic on this blog. Okay, here goes. Gord and I are going to try and post a pic of the book cover of What World Is Left -- my fall book
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Guest — Meir Weiss
thx have a great week
Sunday, 22 June 2008 16:57
Guest — Kim
Wow... nice cover page, I really like it! Although the drawing is difficult to see on the picture... I can't wait to see it clos... Read More
Tuesday, 24 June 2008 19:47
Guest — tamar
love the book i cant wait for it to come out!
Friday, 27 June 2008 03:24
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Jun
18

Cleavage

So today, I promised I'd tell you a little about an upcoming book called Cleavage: Breakaway Fiction for Real Girls. It's a collection of short stories about girls, their bodies, and their relationships with their mums -- and it's edited by two of my friends, Deb Loughead and Jocelyn Shipley. I caught up with Deb and Jocelyn when I was in Toronto on the weekend, and they told me a little

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1556 Hits
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Jun
17

Back From Book Expo -- With Lots of Stories!

Well hello again. I'm back from Book Expo in Toronto and fortunately for you, I've got loads of stories about other writers and I've asked them for writing tips I could share on this blog. I figure I have enough cool stuff to tell you to last all week and maybe into next week, too!

The first author I want to tell you about is Bilaal Rajan -- the amazing thing about him is that

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Jun
10

Meeting-ed Out

I spent most of the day in end-of-term meetings at school. Not that the meetings were uninteresting -- they weren't -- but they did leave me feeling kind of drained and not especially creative. So when I got home, I could have taken a nap or vegged on the couch, but no, not me... instead I started working on a book review I have to do for the Montreal Gazette. It's about this book called Novel
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Guest — Kim
Wow... I'd almost forgotten about school (!), but I have 2 meetings tomorrow morning at work. I agree that they're not the most in... Read More
Wednesday, 11 June 2008 23:50
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Jun
09

Thinking of My Opa

Opa is the Dutch word for grandfather. Though my opa died in 1977, I think about him almost every day. More than anyone else I knew when I was growing up, my opa was my role model. He was a painter who worked out of his house in Plandome, New York. In my mind, Opa was the ultimate artist. He even wore a cap that was a little like an artist's beret. (He also drove a yellow Stingray Corvette,

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Guest — Kim
Aww.... that's a really cute story Although I do agree that your way of describing your writing hours lacks romance!... Read More
Tuesday, 10 June 2008 21:16
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Jun
05

Ups and Downs of the Writing Life

I have a confession to make: one day this week, I was working on my new manuscript and thinking, "Gee, this isn't very good. It's not at all the way I wanted it to come out." I ended my writing day at around four that afternoon, feeling kind of crabby with myself. The next morning, I returned to my desk and plunged back into the story. And guess what? By the end of the day, I

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Recent Comments
Guest — Kim
When are we going to know what the new manuscript is about??? ;D Tood bad ups are followed by downs.... but I suppose that, if th... Read More
Friday, 06 June 2008 22:59
Guest — Sophie B. X.
Hi miss .... just a quick question =) Do you capitalize the word "between" in a title? Thanks!
Sunday, 08 June 2008 14:05
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Jun
04

Author Marsha Skrypuch Pays Another Visit

So my friend, author Marsha Skrypuch was back in Montreal last weekend. She was here to launch her latest book, Daughter of War (Fitzhenry & Whiteside), which I am looking forward to reading. I find that sometimes, it takes another author to understand what goes on inside my head.

Over lunch in Old Montreal on Saturday, I told Marsha my writing plans for this summer -- to finish the

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Guest — Kim
Wow... those are hefty plans for the summer! However, I think Miss. Skrypush has a point; if you're passionate about something, th... Read More
Wednesday, 04 June 2008 21:45
Guest — Tamar
I googled the book and it sounds quite interesting if I have the correct book, about the Armenian Genocide? Also, is the draft you... Read More
Saturday, 07 June 2008 21:05
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May
30

Writing Snarky!!

That's writing snarky -- as opposed to feeling snarky. Actually, I'm in my usual mental state, which is generally friendly and mostly kind. But I'm WRITING SNARKY!! That's because when Sarah Harvey, my editor at Orca, and I had our phone "meeting" this week, she suggested that Noah, the protagonist in my latest book project could be a little snarkier. Now that's fun

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Guest — Kim
I suppose that's another advantage about being an author -- exploring all these ideas which you can't really carry out in real lif... Read More
Sunday, 01 June 2008 00:01
Guest — tamar
oh no! i missed your radio interview!
Sunday, 01 June 2008 22:01
Guest — Sophie B. X.
Hi miss, it's been a long time since I wrote a comment on your blog. =) There's a fomality about writing a comment, having perfect... Read More
Tuesday, 03 June 2008 02:04
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May
28

Stories Calling!!!

I just got off the phone with Sarah Harvey, my editor at Orca -- and besides discussing my latest book project, we compared notes about the writing life. I told Sarah how my favourite part is coming up with the next story idea. There's so much possibility at that stage and so much energy and excitement.

Sarah told me that though she has begun work on a new novel (I've already mentioned

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Guest — Kim
Ah... I wish I had time to sit down an write. These days, I've been sorting through piles of documents to make sure they're entere... Read More
Friday, 30 May 2008 00:26
Guest — Anita
Hi Monique! Just thinking...writing a novel might be good therapy for people who have trouble with commitments. I wonder...the ... Read More
Saturday, 31 May 2008 14:06
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May
23

Writing and Running

I woke up one morning this week with a really sore knee. Uh oh, I thought, this could have a seriously negative impact on my life. First, if I ever had to stop running (and after a certain age, many runners do), it would curtail my cookie-eating habit. I am, if I may say so myself, a very good cookie maker and a frequent cookie consumer. Also, running helps me manage stress and it helps me WRITE

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Guest — Kim
Ouch... I hate it when I can feel my knee has to crack and it feels blocked. Good luck on that Maclean story. I'm interested in re... Read More
Friday, 23 May 2008 22:15
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May
21

Precious Time to Write

Good morning! So, except for some odds and ends at school, I'm pretty much into full-time writing mode. Ahhhh with five h's!! The only complication is I'm feeling like I kind of have to fight to preserve chunks of writing time. If not, the days'll go by and I won't get done what I so want to do. A phone call here, a chitchat there, and next thing I know -- the morning (or afternoon
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Guest — Kim
I kow the feeling of having to fight to find time for something you enjoy... except, in my case, there are so many activities whic... Read More
Wednesday, 21 May 2008 21:30
Guest — tamar
I can't wait for your book about your mom to come out, I appologize for forgetting the name... Also the george river story there??... Read More
Thursday, 22 May 2008 04:16
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May
16

On the Cusp of a Long Weekend

I've had a little technical trouble this week -- I had trouble saving yesterday's blog entry, which is why it appears today. (It's the one that has the five h's in "Ahhhhh!") I don't have much to tell you this afternoon. Actually, I feel a little boring. But -- this is a bit difficult to explain -- it's because I'm writing away. I'm getting lost in my new

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Guest — Kim
Reading that you hear voices made me think of Joan of Arc (which is actually me grandmother's name... not quite sure why her paren... Read More
Saturday, 17 May 2008 01:49
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May
16

Ahhhhh!

That Ahhhhh! (with five h's) is because I'm done correcting. Except for a few days of meetings at school, I'm pretty much done -- which means I can make the switch to full-time writing.

Ahhhhh! In the past, I've sometimes needed a little transition time between school and writing, but I'm trying to get right back into the writing so I can make the most of my long free
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Guest — Kim
I cannot say no... or rather, I can, but I still end up saying yes to so much stuff that I am often overwhelmed by everything I ha... Read More
Saturday, 17 May 2008 01:43
Guest — tamar
I am a pushover most of the time but if I really do not want to do something I stand my ground. I did it today Although I do feel... Read More
Saturday, 17 May 2008 03:46
Guest — Rachel
My mom always complains that I'm one of those "can't say no" people, except when it comes to saying no to her... I was so proud of... Read More
Saturday, 17 May 2008 04:37
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May
12

Monday Hello!

I'm still marking away like a fiend, but I'll take a short break to write this blog entry. One of my students, Anastasia S., dropped by during office hours today and we discussed how much her writing has improved over the semester. "The thing I really learned," she told me, "is that I have to keep writing and re-writing. And sometimes I need to take a break and then go back

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Guest — tamar
hope you are enjoying marking! I, and I am sure most of the other students as well... am very very stressed for exams i did howeve... Read More
Monday, 12 May 2008 20:51
Guest — Kim
I agree with Tamar about being stressed out. At least, I can now say I have on "Final" that's over with -- my flute recital! Now I... Read More
Tuesday, 13 May 2008 02:00
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May
08

Quick Hello!

Today is the last day of classes at Marianopolis College. Boy, did this semester ever fly by! I've got a mountain of correcting, but I hope to be through it by the end of next week. Then I'm going to turn back into a full-time writer. Ahhhhh! (That's the sound of happy anticipation.) Okay then, gotta run to make it to school on time. Likely won't write another blog entry till next
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Guest — tamar
Thanks for the kind wishes of encouragement I think at this point everyone, teachers and students, are eagerly anticipating the ... Read More
Thursday, 08 May 2008 23:15
Guest — Kim
End of classes for you starts a day early, it seems -- I have one last Spanish oral tomorrow morning and it looks like there's a w... Read More
Friday, 09 May 2008 00:10
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May
06

Wisdom from Writer Nancy Huston

I mentioned in an earlier blog entry that I went to hear an interview with Canadian author Nancy Huston during Blue Met and I thought today, I'd do a blog about some of the wise things she had to say. Her latest novel Fault Lines is narrated by several children. Asked how she was able to imagine these narrators, Huston said: "I had many childhoods." She went on to explain that most

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Guest — Kim
I think we have one childhood, but many stories, and even more different ways of seeing those stories. We also have different ways... Read More
Wednesday, 07 May 2008 01:26
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May
05

Photo Shoot for Cover of "What World Is Left"

So today, my friend and super-talented photographer Monique Dykstra came over to shoot some pictures for the cover of my fall book, What World Is Left. Many of you who've met me know I often wear a very special necklace -- a simple leather cord with a pendant attached. The pendant is a scene my grandfather painted and gave to my mother for her 15th birthday. It's no bigger than a postage

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Guest — Kim
Hm.. I never noticed your necklace. I'll have to pay attention next time! And wow... 2 hours and a half for one photo. That's a l... Read More
Wednesday, 07 May 2008 01:09
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