monique polak

Monique Polak's Books

Mar
08

Uh Oh, Beautiful Weather in Indiana!

IMG_333.jpgNow you may be wondering why beautiful weather in Indiana would cause me to go, "Uh oh!"

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Mar
07

March Break Coming to an End... and a Lovely Book

Hello out there, So if you're like me, your March break is nearly over. I have to be back in my classroom tomorrow morning at 8:15. All I can say is YIKES. Not because I don't want to see my

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Mar
02

Special Day with Another Gang of Talented Young Authors

Hello, hello, it's me again (well, who else would it be? It's my blog after all!),

So I'm just back from the final day of this year's Young Authors' Conference in Montreal

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Recent Comments
Guest — leah
it was me who told you about the bath crayons
Tuesday, 02 March 2010 20:59
Guest — Ann B
Hi Monique, I was one of your volunteers at this morning's workshop. I'm pleased to tell you that more than half of the "enthusia... Read More
Tuesday, 02 March 2010 22:20
Guest — Be
Thank you for your inspiration today. My daughter (in your afternoon group) is all fired up now and writing quite a tale!
Tuesday, 02 March 2010 23:08
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Mar
01

Report from the Young Authors' Conference

IMG_22222.jpgI'm just home from a happy day at the Young Authors' Conference here in Montreal. It'

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Recent Comments
Guest — jaimey finkel
hey monique i was one of the students that you had today i just wanted to thank you again for coming and i really appreciate it... Read More
Monday, 01 March 2010 20:40
Guest — Monique
Hi Jaimey, Hope you had another great day today at the workshops. Thanks for posting your comment!
Tuesday, 02 March 2010 18:39
Guest — S-R Mestel
Hi! I was also one of your students, but from tuesday. I really had such a great, good, fantastic time!!! You have given me happin... Read More
Tuesday, 02 March 2010 19:35
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Feb
28

Super-Conference!

IMG_1111111111.jpgSo I'm just back from Toronto, where I attended the Ontario Library Association's

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Recent Comments
Guest — Mahtab Narsimhan
Hi Monique, Loved our walking chat (shows how well we multi-task, eh?). Hope to meet up over coffee sometime; in TO or Montreal... Read More
Monday, 01 March 2010 07:57
Monique Polak
It's a date, Mahtab!
Saturday, 20 March 2010 02:30
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Feb
24

Writers Share their Writing Secrets

Even when I was growing up and getting published was just a dream, I always loved reading what writers had to say about writing. I remember hoping that if I paid careful enough attention, I'd figure

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Feb
22

Can You Spell

IMG_111111.jpg"Theriatrics" was the word that won Christopher Scarvelis the Canwest Canspell Regional Spelling Bee here in Montreal yesterday.

Scarvelis, 13, goes to Loyola High School -- and let

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Feb
18

A Story That Made My Arms Get Cold

The way I know if a story feels amazing to me is that my arms get cold  when I hear it (or tell  it). Just ask my students -- they've been there in class when this has happened to me.

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Guest — CHARLOTTE21
Commonly, some teachers want to analyse the analysis essay writing technique of their students, however not all students are able ... Read More
Monday, 22 February 2010 13:49
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Feb
15

Trouble -- in a Story -- is a Fine Thing

If you've read my books or been in one of my classes, you'll know by now that I have an unnatural interest in trouble. Not in my own life, of course, but in my stories! (And for those of us

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Recent Comments
Guest — Brittany
Ms. Polak, as soon as I read this blog entry, I posted that saying on this website called Plurk. And my friend responded, "What if... Read More
Monday, 15 February 2010 21:42
Guest — tamar
you always were obsessed with clothes lines... when do we find out what the new book is about?... Read More
Tuesday, 16 February 2010 19:33
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Feb
13

Thinking About Reviews

You write a book and if you're lucky enough, like me, to find a publisher, you send it off into the world... and then, people read it and respond.

I know of one author -- short-listed for

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Recent Comments
Guest — P
Congratulations! I read the review, I'm proud to show it to my friends and family and say "That's my teacher!" ... Read More
Monday, 15 February 2010 01:20
Monique Polak
Hi P! Well, it's usually me who feels proud of my students -- so it's fun, too, when it's the other way around. Tnx for checking i... Read More
Monday, 15 February 2010 17:23
Guest — tamar
what a great review it was! short but sweet
Tuesday, 16 February 2010 19:31
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Feb
12

Meet Neale McDevitt

Yesterday, Montreal journalist and short story writer Neale McDevitt came to do a talk at Marianopolis College and also

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Recent comment in this post
Guest — Bryan Stone
I know Neale McDevitt and hung out with his dad Bob too.
Friday, 26 February 2010 01:55
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Feb
08

Work and Play... and an Upcoming Conference

This morning, in my "Writing for Children" class at Marianopolis College, I was trying to explain a tricky concept. The students are beginning work on the texts for their own picture books

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Feb
05

A Visit with our Friends at Tukisiniarvik School

Photographer Thomas Kneubuhler and I spent this morning with our friends at Tukisiniarvik School in Akulivik, Nunavik. Now how did we manage to

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Feb
03

Courage

I've been thinking a lot lately about courage. Maybe because the man in the room next to my mom's at the rehab centre has had an arm and a leg amputated on account of his cancer, yet he still

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Feb
02

Proud Teacher Checks In

One of the courses I'm teaching this semester at Marianopolis College is Print Journalism. This week, students had to write a letter to the editor.

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Recent Comments
Guest — tamar
I think that without the assignment, the younger generation wouldn't voice their opinion. Since I am all for young people voicing ... Read More
Tuesday, 02 February 2010 20:18
Guest — Amanda Meltzer
I was so bummed when my two letters never got published!! But I will keep trying - even though there's no more bonus marks for me!... Read More
Tuesday, 23 February 2010 17:51
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Jan
29

Laying An Egg

Since my mum got sick before Christmas, I am spending more time chatting with my dad. (Quick report: my mum is doing much better, but is still not well enough to return to her own house.) Well, this

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Guest — L
Hello Ms. Polak, I write to you because I need your help for finding a quote you showed us in your Stuff of Nonesense class, a fe... Read More
Sunday, 31 January 2010 14:05
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Jan
28

12:19 P.M. on January 28, 2010

I record the time and date, because I'm about to jump into a new project. I've spent the last little while on the floor in my office, reviewing notes. And now, I'm going to do it -- write

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Jan
26

The Air Is Thick With Stories

IMG_22.jpgLately, I've been telling students how to me, the air feels thick with stories. What I mean is there

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Jan
25

Home Invasion Gets Mentioned on CBC Sunday Edition

Yesterday morning, I came home from a run to find a message on our telephone -- it was my friend Deena, calling from the side of the road near Hamilton, Ontario, where she lives. She had been listening

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Guest — tamar
so cool!!! 8)
Tuesday, 26 January 2010 00:44
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Jan
21

Names, Names, Names!

So it's almost the end of my first week back as a pumpkin (I should say teacher -- that's a reference to a previous blog entry where I said I felt a little like the pumpkin in Cinderella

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Recent Comments
Guest — tamat
glad to hear mum is out of the hospital! i am reading "dear john" by nicolas sparks... finding it a bit slow but not one but TWO ... Read More
Friday, 22 January 2010 01:00
Guest — Sophie
Hey Mrs. Polak! It's been a while since I read your blog. I like the new theme - you've always liked red. Hope everything is wel... Read More
Saturday, 23 January 2010 17:19
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Jan
19

The Baby Starts Kindergarten

What baby? My daughter's 26, a long way past kindergarten!

No, the baby is the new manuscript. About six seconds ago, I submitted it to my wonderful editor Continue reading

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Jan
18

Pumpkin Turns Into Carriage

In the fairy tale Cinderella, a pumpkin is transformed into a carriage. I feel a little like that pumpkin today... or maybe more like the carriage! This was my first day back at Marianopolis

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Jan
17

I Shouldn't Be Writing this Blog Entry!

The reason I shouldn't be writing this blog entry is because I have a ton of things to do... but I've got lots to tell you, dear blog reader, so here I am, writing a blog entry when I shouldn

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Jan
13

On Thin Ice!!

Today photographer Thomas Kneubuhler and I were out "on thin ice." Usually, that means people are getting into trouble, but not us! We went out snowshoeing this morning on Lake Mistissini

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Jan
12

Hello from the Cree Nation of Mistissini

So today's entry comes to you from the Cree Nation of Mistissini. I am writing to you from a computer at Voyageur Memorial School, where I'm working with photographer Thomas Kneubuhler on a project

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Jan
10

Heading Back to James Bay

Tomorrow morning, really early, I'm catching a plane to James Bay -- this time, I'm headed for a town called Mistissini. I'll be meeting up with photographer Thomas Kneubuhler and we'

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Jan
07

The Most Special Dress in my Closet

IMG_99.jpgMy day started with an e-mail from a reader named Elise. Elise wrote to say that her favourite part of

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Recent comment in this post
Guest — Thea
That dress is very pretty I'm beginning to read What World is Left? ... Read More
Wednesday, 13 January 2010 22:04
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Jan
06

Ordinary Things... and a good day at the computer

Today, driving home from the hospital (my mum is beginning to recover, but it looks like she may be in the hospital for a while still), I heard a wonderful interview on CBC Radio with Scottish author

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Jan
04

Ups and Downs and Finding Ways to Handle Them

Well, there've been a lot of ups and downs around here the last few days. My mum who has been in the hospital for nearly two weeks, was getting a little better last week, and then she took a real

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Dec
29

Ever Notice How Life Takes the Shape of a Story?

Maybe it's because I spend so much time writing and reading stories, but to me, it often feels that life takes the shape of a story. What I mean is that life has beginning, middle and end; there

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Dec
28

Thinking About My Mum

IMG_222.jpgI've been away from the computer for a few days -- not just on account of the holidays, but also because my mum has not been well. She came down with a mysterious virus last week and she's

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Recent Comments
Guest — Thea and Niki
Hello we are two girls from St-Thomas and we hope your mother gets a lot better soon! Thea & Niki
Tuesday, 29 December 2009 18:24
Guest — Monique
Thanks Thea and Niki! Your message gave me a real boost! Enjoy your days off from school.
Wednesday, 30 December 2009 10:04
Guest — Thea and Niki
Your welcome. Looking forward to hearing your good news!
Wednesday, 13 January 2010 21:59
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Dec
21

Stories that Just Won't Go Away

I know I need to write a story when it just won't go away. It's kind of like a pesky fly in summer... only it's a good thing, and not pesky in an annoying way.

Last week, when I got

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Recent Comments
Guest — Maïté
Monique, Tu m'impressionnes toujours! Quelle action et quelle efficacité. Cette histoire sera notre petit cadeau de Noël, j'aime ... Read More
Monday, 21 December 2009 14:36
Guest — Carol-Ann
Monique: Thanks for posting the details and pics of your jaunts to Harrington Harbour and le Grand Nord. I always find it so ins... Read More
Wednesday, 23 December 2009 13:20
Guest — Maïté
Monique, Je continue en français vu que tu sembles apprécier On a raté la sortie de la Christmas story dans the Gazette. Noam av... Read More
Sunday, 27 December 2009 00:54
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Dec
17

Stories Worth Hiding

IMG_555.jpgHello, hello! Today I had fun with more teenagers -- I did two writing workshops at St. Thomas High

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Recent Comments
Guest — Katie
I'd like to thank you again for coming in today! I learned a lot, and my notebook is full of short and important tips for writing... Read More
Thursday, 17 December 2009 17:22
Guest — Chistopher Ciafro
This the first part of a short story i'm working on. What do you think? Chapter one "One final question. Do you have any job expe... Read More
Thursday, 17 December 2009 20:07
Guest — Thea
Thank-you so much for coming to St-Thomas yesterday and teaching the group and I how to become successful authors. I am starting t... Read More
Friday, 18 December 2009 19:13
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Dec
16

Return Visit to Lake of Two Mountains High School

IMG_1537.jpgSo I'm back from "le Grand Nord," and feeling very inspired by the stories I heard,

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Dec
10

More From Me in Akulivik

IMG_1607.jpgIt's Day Three of our visit to Akulivik. Winds today are gusting at 45 kilometers an hour. so my morning run only lasted 10 minutes -- after which I went into the house where I'm staying and

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Dec
09

"Ai" from Akulivik

IMG_1596.jpgSome Inuit say "Hi" the way we do in Montreal, but most say something that sounds more like "Ai." This morning, my new friends here at Tukisiniarvik School in Akulivik were teaching

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Recent Comments
Guest — Secondary 3,4,5 - Tuksiniarvik School in Akulivik
Ai Monique! This is the Secondary 3,4,5 students at Tukisiniarvik School in Akulivik. Why did you put out picture on your websit... Read More
Tuesday, 15 December 2009 11:59
Guest — Monique
Ai Annie, Mary, Calai, Simon and Yolande! Fun to get your comment. Thank goodness you like that photo! Where are Taalia and Jason... Read More
Tuesday, 15 December 2009 12:13
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Dec
08

New Friends in Puvirnituq

IMG_1594.jpgGood morning today from Puvirnituq, a village of 1,600 people on the Hudson Bay side of Nunavik. It took about 90 minutes to fly here yesterday from Kuujjuaq, which is on Ungava Bay.

I spent

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Recent Comments
Guest — Monique
Hey, Harry, Sure I remember you! Thanks for writing. And good luck carrying the Olympic torch. Don't drop it!! Best regards from M... Read More
Wednesday, 09 December 2009 14:18
Monique Polak
Hi Monica, What's up? Thanks for posting a comment! I miss your sense of humour!
Friday, 29 January 2010 21:36
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Dec
03

Hello from Kuujjuaq

IMG_1578.jpgToday I am writing to you from Jaanimmarik School in Kuujjuaq. I have lots to tell you, but I cannot find some punctuation marks on this computer -- so you will have to excuse me if I don t include

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Recent Comments
Guest — Elaine Grimsey
Hi Monique, I just happened to come across your writing. Remember me ... You came to my house one afternoon with Andrea and baby ... Read More
Wednesday, 20 January 2010 13:22
Guest — Monique
Hi Elaine, Thanks for your message! I so enjoyed myself at your house that afternoon. Glad your mitts were done in time for Christ... Read More
Wednesday, 20 January 2010 15:26
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Dec
01

Hello from Kangiqsualujjuaq

IMG_1571.jpgIf Kangiqsualujjuaq is too hard for you to pronounce, you can just call it George River. I'm

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Recent Comments
Guest — Melissa Morgan
I Love Your Blog!! How are you doing? I'm doing alright but very excited that Christmas is coming very soon... Hope you have a gre... Read More
Friday, 18 December 2009 19:26
Guest — Monique
Hi Melissa! I love getting news from the North, so thank you very much for your message. I am glad you are enjoying my blog. That ... Read More
Monday, 21 December 2009 11:35
Guest — Sapina
I love the picture!!
Wednesday, 10 February 2010 23:19
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Nov
29

Heading to the Far Far North!

My long underwear and thermal socks are packed! First thing tomorrow morning, I head to Nunavik. The Kativik School Board has invited me to visit four Inuit communities: Kangiqsualujjuaq, Kuujjuaq, Povungnituk

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Nov
26

New Friends In Harrington Harbour

IMG_1568.jpgIMG_1546.jpg

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Recent comment in this post
Guest — Sharon Chubbs-Ransom
Hi, Enjoyed meeting and chatting with you so much! Just wished we could have had more time. Bill's Cove looks good Monique2.... Read More
Thursday, 03 December 2009 05:51
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Nov
22

Time To Hit the Road

...or in my case, the sky.

Tomorrow afternoon, my photographer pal Monique Dykstra and I head for Harrington

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2 Comments
Recent Comments
Guest — Armen Attarian
Hello Miss, I have been able to visit your blog on and off despite the hectic semester here at Marianopolis. I heard the wonderf... Read More
Thursday, 26 November 2009 01:13
Guest — Monique
Hi Stella, Michael, Emily and Armen, I love getting comments on my blog. Thanks to all of you for writing! Stella, I promise to ke... Read More
Thursday, 26 November 2009 13:25
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Nov
18

By Golly, I Won!

IMG_02.jpgI really wasn't expecting to win the Quebec Writers' Federation Prize for Children's and

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4 Comments
Recent Comments
Guest — Leone
Way to go, Monique! So happy for you!
Thursday, 19 November 2009 16:10
Guest — Monique
Thanks Leone and Frieda for your good wishes. I'm still on Cloud Nine!
Sunday, 22 November 2009 21:46
Guest — Rachel
Wow!!! Congratulations!!!
Thursday, 26 November 2009 20:49
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Nov
17

Meet David A. Poulsen

IMG_01.jpgIMG_00.jpgThis

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Nov
12

Special Day with Special Students

IMG_1.jpgIMG_11.jpgI think I've told you that this year again, I am working on a Blue Metropolis Literary Foundation

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Nov
10

New Friends at The Priory School

I knew I was going to have a good afternoon at The Priory School yesterday when I opened my book bag, laid my books out on Mrs. Riggs's desk... and I was SWARMED by students wanting to see the

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Nov
09

Back At My Desk!

Our hiking boots are back in the closet -- and I'm back at my desk!

Oh, it was a good vacation! And oh, I am looking forward to getting back to my miracles manuscript! Except for writing

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Nov
02

What's Better Than a Four-Day Hike in the Grand Canyon?

IMG_1533.jpgIMG_1635.jpgThere's only one thing better than a four day hike in the Grand Canyon: THE SHOWER AFTERWARDS!!!

The hike was amazing. We saw a California condor

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Oct
30

Helloo helloo from the South Rim!

We're at the south rim of the Grand Canyon, and after our backpacks are loaded, we'll head down to the base of the canyon. We've got a laptop with us, but of course, we'll be out of

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Oct
28

Go Take a Hike!

Actually, "Go take a hike!" is a very rude thing to say!

Except in our case, that's exactly what we're about to do: go and take a big hike. My husband and I are heading back

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1427 Hits
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Oct
27

Meeting the 2009-2010 Quebec Roots Team

Since 2006, I've had the great privilege of participating in an exciting educational program called Quebec Roots, run by Montreal's Blue Metropolis Literary Foundation. The program allows writers

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Oct
23

Report on a Very Happy Launch

IMG.1555.jpgI'm always telling my students not to use the word "very," but today, well, you'

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3 Comments
Recent Comments
Guest — tamar
it's law school in ottawa. but my mom was delighted to have met you. I finished junk yard dog friday night and enjoyed it. My rewa... Read More
Sunday, 25 October 2009 23:27
Guest — Jill Murray
Congrats Monique! Just wanted to let you know I finally downloaded my photos from your launch and made a Flickr set for them: http... Read More
Saturday, 07 November 2009 19:53
Guest — Jill Murray
Oh, and I managed to get a blog post up! http://www.jillmurray.com/2009/11/07/monique-polak-book-launch/... Read More
Saturday, 07 November 2009 20:40
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Oct
22

Launch Day... and a great old radio interview

Today is launch day. In less than 90 minutes, I've got to be at Babar en ville, Montreal's number one kids' bookstore, to launch my two new books: The Middle of Everywhere and <

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1332 Hits
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Oct
20

Back to Kindergarten!

What, you may ask, was I doing today in a kindergarten class?

Having fun -- and working!

Lately, I've been concentrating mostly on my new manuscript. I've done some book reviews

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Oct
19

On Not Being Able to Read a Book Without a Pencil...

Can you read a book without a pencil between your fingers? Not me. When we're at the beach or on a hike, my husband always thinks it's strange that I can't read a book without a pencil.

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Recent comment in this post
Guest — Leone
Wow! A two book launch! Is that what you'd call being "prolific"? (I would!) Have a great time Thursday evening, and congrats ... Read More
Tuesday, 20 October 2009 13:56
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Oct
15

Inside and Outside

For me, writing is an inside thing. I don't mean that I write indoors (which I usually do), I mean that I write from my inside. I've heard some writers say that they write for an imaginary

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2 Comments
Recent Comments
Guest — Rosa
Congratulations on the short-listing! It's been a while since I last read your blog, but I saw announcements about your new books.... Read More
Sunday, 18 October 2009 23:27
Monique Polak
Hey Rosa! Nice to "hear" your "voice." Glad you are in love with Gerry Snyder's poetry. Lucky you to be taking Zsolt's class. Hope... Read More
Monday, 19 October 2009 21:04
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Oct
13

Coffee Date With Fellow Writers

I'm buzzing -- could be because I just had a latte with three kid-lit writers... but it's also because of the shared energy at our table.

Joyce Scharf, Continue reading

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Oct
08

Stories that Stick

Today's blog entry is inspired by a comment I got from John Abbott College English teacher Lesley Checkland-Orr. Lesley wrote to say that on her drive home this week, she thought about something

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2 Comments
Recent Comments
Guest — gabriela
This reminds me so much of our stuff of nonsense class.. To this day, even in university, your stories are the ones that stuck wit... Read More
Tuesday, 13 October 2009 21:55
Monique Polak
Hi Gabriela! How fun to hear from you! I'm glad my stories stuck with you (though it's true you were in a very special Nonsense cl... Read More
Monday, 19 October 2009 21:05
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Oct
06

Happy Day at John Abbott College!

IMG_1111.jpgThe truth is -- I miss teaching. It's a great privilege to be on sabbatical  and to be writing

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3 Comments
Recent Comments
Guest — Michelle
Hey Monique, you were extremely energetic and interesting to have as a speaker. Your thoughts on body language were so accurate, y... Read More
Wednesday, 07 October 2009 15:16
Guest — Lesley
Thanks so much for coming, Monique. It was great to see you again; you look just the same as you did all these years ago when we b... Read More
Wednesday, 07 October 2009 15:35
Guest — Emilie
Good afternoon Mrs. Polak! I would also simply like to take the time to thank you for your wonderful visit on Tuesday. Your advice... Read More
Thursday, 08 October 2009 15:06
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Oct
05

So D'You Like the New Banner?

Graphic designer Cindy Murphy is responsible for the new banner at the top of this webpage. D'you like it? With two new books coming out this month (The Middle of Everywhere and Junkyard

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1 Comment
Recent comment in this post
Guest — Elene Moussa
Hi Miss Polak! Hope you are enjoying your semester off from Marianopolis and that your writing goes well! I am contacting you beca... Read More
Monday, 05 October 2009 15:41
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Oct
01

Talking To Myself (Do You Talk to Yourself, Too?)

Maybe it's because I'm on sabbatical and have no students this semester... maybe it's because I'm getting used to the idea that my daughter doesn't live here anymore...

but

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Sep
28

Back from the Burlington Book Fair

IMG1588.jpgToday's pic is of the window at Border's bookstore in Burlington, Vermont. And you see some

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2 Comments
Recent Comments
Guest — Leda
Great to meet you in Burlington--and I can't wait to read your books! Leda Schubert
Tuesday, 29 September 2009 18:47
Guest — afgsghg
Heroes copies in the tank is no longer the only wow gold candidate, but a copy of the RAI Druid tanks are still the best candidate... Read More
Friday, 30 October 2009 22:29
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Sep
24

Back to the Drawing Board!

So it's time to "get back to the drawing board" -- or in my case, the carpet! I do some of my best story planning on the pink and green and red and blue and yellow carpet in my little

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Guest — Monique
Hey "MMarion", I LOVE HEARING FROM FORMER STUDENTS. And you have a daughter, now! How great! Yes, you must also do what you love t... Read More
Monday, 28 September 2009 13:03
Guest — Monique
Just wanted to say I just figured out who the Monique is who wrote the first comment on this blog entry (don't want you to think I... Read More
Monday, 28 September 2009 13:07
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Sep
21

Mothers and Daughters Talk Books

IMG_1526.jpgTonight was a very special night for me because I did a little talk at Montreal's Jewish Public

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Guest — Rachel
I went to the Mother-Daughter Book Club at the JPL for a while with my mom - it was great. Now my mom goes to her own book club an... Read More
Tuesday, 29 September 2009 23:27
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Sep
17

Meet Rachel Martinez!

I've mentioned before that one of the bonuses of being a writer is the people you get to meet through your books. Now in the case of Rachel Martinez

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2012 Hits
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Sep
15

Research Trip to Ste-Anne-de-Beaupre

IMG_1530_2.jpgMy husband and I spent the weekend in Ste-Anne-de-Beaupre, a little town about 3-1/2 hours from

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2052 Hits
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Sep
10

On-line Interview -- and News on the Stray Cat

So I've been meaning to tell you a little about the on-line interview I did two nights ago with Derrick Grose, editor of School Libraries in Canada . I did the interview at my neighbours

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1519 Hits
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Sep
08

It's a Two Interview Kind of a Day!

Usually, I'm the one who does the interviewing -- but not today. Today, I'm being interviewed not once, but twice. The first interview just happened and it was for 570 News, a radio station

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1538 Hits
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Sep
06

Movies, Movies, Movies

It's the final weekend of the Montreal Film Festival and we've been seeing movies, movies, movies. We've gone to three in the last two days and I'm going to another three tomorrow.

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1838 Hits
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Sep
04

Three Amigas!

IMG_1523.jpgThat's me in today's pic, with my two amigas -- fellow writers Jane Barclay and Lori Weber

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Guest — Lori Weber
Aren't women just like wine? We get more beautiful with age as our confidence grows and we learn to be happiest with the simple th... Read More
Saturday, 05 September 2009 09:08
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Sep
02

That Man You See Out for a Walk...

That man you see out for a walk... just may happen to be a writer. At least,  that's what I learned this morning when I was jogging down Monkland Ave., near my house in Montreal.

I spotted

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Aug
31

Cat Characters

123.jpgSo this weekend our friend Carole Wilbourn, who works in Manhattan as a cat therapist, came for a visit. Carole is the ideal houseguest -- independent and easy to please; in fact, she is a little like

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2076 Hits
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Aug
27

A Little Autumn in the Air

So this is going to be my first autumn in 44 years that I haven't gone to school! I'm on sabbatical from my teaching job at Marianopolis College

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1571 Hits
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Aug
25

Back to Work!

Nothing like a week of bicycling uphill (well there was A LOT of uphill anyhow) to make this writer eager to get back to work.

I've got a boost of energy because my editor, Sarah Harvey at

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1546 Hits
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Aug
23

Busy Day in Georgeville

IMG_1524.jpgIMG_1541.jpg

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1685 Hits
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Aug
20

Ever Meet a Real Live "Character"?

We writers are always on the look-out for real live "characters" -- people we can use in our stories. Well, this week on our bike trip around (well, okay, half-way around Lake Champlain ...
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1476 Hits
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Aug
18

Going Downhill!

Well, hello there! I'm writing to you from the town of Westport, New York. I can't find my reading glasses so I might make some typing errors. My husband and I are on a bike trip. We were attempting

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1436 Hits
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Aug
12

A Bonus of the Writing Life: New Friends in Far Places

Once a book is published, it has a life of its own. If you're lucky and your book is well distributed, it will be read by many people. I remember how excited I was when my daughter told me she

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1499 Hits
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Aug
10

Lynda Barry on Creativity

I spent the weekend with a very dear friend in Kingston, Ontario. On the drive home, I listened to a really good CBC interview with American novelist/graphic artist/playwright Lynda Barry. I have to

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1551 Hits
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Aug
06

Thursday Afternoon Smoothie!

I just had a delicious mango-pineapple smoothie at a cafe on Sherbrooke St., in NDG, the Montreal neighbourhood where I live. Better even than the smoothie (which was totally yum-yum) was the company

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Recent Comments
Guest — Michèle
Hi Miss P! That smoothie sure sounds yummy! Anyways, I was reading the Gazette this morning and sure enough I stumbled on your b... Read More
Saturday, 08 August 2009 17:07
Monique Polak
Hi Michele!! Nice to get your message! Can you believe summer is coming to an end? Yikes!! I'm writing away and that makes me happ... Read More
Monday, 10 August 2009 08:09
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Aug
05

You Need to Be a Little in Love with Your Narrator!

Well, at least I need to be a little in love wih my narrator. Most YA (young adult) novels are written in the first person (of all of mine, only one, On the Game, is told from the

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Aug
02

This is What My Office Floor Looks Like

IMG_1549.jpgPretty messy, no? I shot that photo for you this morning because I want you to see what the floor

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1448 Hits
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Jul
30

Thinking Time!!!

We all have our weaknesses and though I hate to admit it, mine might be THINKING!! I'm way better at DOING!! (If you know me, you'll know that I am a very active person.) So you can imagine

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Recent Comments
Guest — *Jayda*
Hi Monique! Well I'm glad u finally thought of something! And I can't wait till I get ur books from chapters indigo! I orderd sc... Read More
Monday, 03 August 2009 19:45
Guest — Monique
How nice to hear from you, Jayda! Hope you are having a good summer. And be sure to let me know what you think about Scarred and H... Read More
Monday, 03 August 2009 20:06
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Jul
27

I'm Not the Only Snoop Around

This weekend, I was reading in the Montreal Gazette about film director Ken Scott and how he came up with the idea for his latest movie, Les doigts croches (Sticky Fingers), which is about

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1564 Hits
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Jul
23

Delilah's Dreams

You may remember that after one of my school visits this spring, I mentioned a student named Delilah in one of my blog entries. Delilah was determined to improve her writing and she was going to try

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Recent Comments
Guest — Brittany W
Hi Ms. Polak, I'm Brittany, one of the kids that listened to your lecture at Lake of Two Mountains High School a good couple of m... Read More
Tuesday, 18 August 2009 19:36
Guest — Monique
Hey Brittany! You don't NEED ME to wish you luck on your journey to becoming a published author... that's because I have no doubt ... Read More
Wednesday, 19 August 2009 22:27
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Jul
20

We Are Our Own Best Material

Today again, I can't take credit for the title of my blog entry. The line, "we are our own best material" is a paraphrase of something Irish-American writer and teacher Frank McCourt

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1409 Hits
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Jul
16

"Imagination Saved Me"

I got the title for today's blog entry from an interview I heard yesterday on CBC radio. Literary journalist Eleanor Wachtel was interviewing Jackie Kay, a Scottish poet. Jackie, who is bi-racial,
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1520 Hits
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Jul
14

Ahh, the Power of a Beautiful Paragraph

I don't know about you... but a beautiful paragraph can sure have power over me. Sometimes, I think life is all about language. When you think about it, words can start wars; they can also make

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1816 Hits
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Jul
12

First Review of Junkyard Dog

So I've got what's called an "advance reading copy" of Junkyard Dog -- one of my two new books coming out this fall. An advance reading copy means it is an uncorrected proof

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1558 Hits
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Jul
08

Hope You Didn't Think I'd Go a Whole Week Without A Blog Entry!

Well, hello, hello... I'm writing to you from Hammondsport, New York, a very cute little town in the Finger Lakes region of New York. We're here for a little holiday -- though I am not REALLY

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1472 Hits
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Jul
03

Special Gifts

I have found that when I am hard at work on a project (the way I am now), life has a way of serving up special gifts (though they are not the sort of gifts that come in wrapped packages!). For example

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Guest — deniz
Can't wait to start reading the Gazette blog too!
Monday, 06 July 2009 22:02
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Jun
29

Three Cheers for Grandmothers!

So I am working on Chapter Six of my new manuscript. I get some of my ideas when I am just waking up, or just falling asleep. This weekend, I was waking up and wondering what would happen in Chapter

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1428 Hits
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Jun
22

Snowy Day in June

A snowy day in June? Now how could that be? It's actually warm and sunny in Montreal today, but in my head it's snowing. That's because in my head I'm in the far north!

I spent

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1564 Hits
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Jun
18

Meet Kristin Butcher

One of my favourite parts of being a children's writer is getting to meet other children's writers. This week, I "met" Kristin Butcher. I put the word "met" in quotations

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Recent Comments
Guest — Kristin
Hi again, Monique. Thank you for including me in your blog. It was great talking with you on the phone the other day. I am really ... Read More
Thursday, 18 June 2009 14:29
Guest — Monique
Well it's not every day I get a comment from a fellow author. Thanks for posting Kristin -- and see you in November!
Monday, 22 June 2009 20:05
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Jun
16

The Boy in this Picture is Not Sleeping!

IMG_1522.jpgJust so you know... the boy in today's photo is NOT SLEEPING! He is THINKING OF AN IDEA FOR A

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Recent Comments
Guest — Priya
Oh my god its Mathieu
Tuesday, 16 June 2009 18:29
Guest — Bilal
Geez Man! This thing is fun! I really like what Mrs. Monique wrote. It's really good. 8) :-* - =D... Read More
Tuesday, 16 June 2009 23:48
Guest — Oriana
This is weird... I saw Mrs. Monique take a picture of Mathieu thinking (it looks a lot like sleeping), but I didn't know she woul... Read More
Tuesday, 23 June 2009 16:57
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Jun
15

New Friends at Parkdale School

Ever have one of those days that just zipped by? Well, that's what happened to me today at Parkdale School in Ville St. Laurent, Quebec.

Do you remember when I told you about my beloved

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Guest — Oriana
YAY MISS SHETZER!!!!!! ... Read More
Tuesday, 23 June 2009 17:00
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Jun
11

Tea Time

IMG_1525.jpgThe title "Tea Time" means things are going well today in this writer's life. The sheets are hanging out on the clothesline (do you already know that I have an obsession with clotheslines

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1768 Hits
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Jun
09

Doing Difficult Things

One of the characters in the novel I am reading -- Secrets to Happiness by Sarah Dunn -- is a TV writer. Writing is difficult for him: "He felt, while sitting in front of his computer

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1515 Hits
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Jun
07

Getting Personal!

Last semester, in my Writing for Children class at Marianopolis College, we talked a lot about the connection between our real lives and our stories. I'm one of those authors who draws on memories

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2866 Hits
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Jun
02

To Outline or Not To Outline, That is the Question

So I'm working on Chapter Two of my new manuscript and I'm going to let you in on a little secret: I don't know what's going to happen next. But one thing I do know: I am having fun

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Recent Comments
Guest — Maureen Fitzgerald
Monique...I am a 62-year old Irish Catholic 'adolescent' who attended your interview at Thomas More last evening. I found your sto... Read More
Thursday, 04 June 2009 15:41
Guest — Louise (Mayerovitch) Elkin
Dear Monique: I just finished reading your essay "Hug it out, class" in today's Globe and Mail, and I decided that I immediately ... Read More
Friday, 05 June 2009 12:08
Guest — Monique
Hi Maureen and Louise, I've been away for a couple of days... how nice to come home and find your messages. I'm going to write to ... Read More
Friday, 05 June 2009 19:45
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