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Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Raven's Great Light Show

I honestly don't know what role Leprechaun plays in Irish culture, but like most, I have heard it said that Leprechaun sits at the foot of the rainbow with a pot of gold.

It was that that got me to thinking.

I had just recently returned ftom a trip to the Arctic filled with stories and dreams.

One of the most exhilerating experieces I had had was being in the front row watching the spectacular show of the Aurora Borealis - the Northern Lights.

Like many, I listened and I dreamed. I heard stories and I let my imagination run wild. When it was over and done: Raven's Great Light Show.

As I always do in creating my books, I meshed what I had seen, heard and dreamed. Mixed in with it all was Leprechaun sitting at the bottom of the rainbow. Whether or not Leprechaun was responsible for the rainbow I didn't know but in my mind, Raven was totally responsible for the Northern Lights and that was the story I would tell.


Next came a partner/an illustrator. Keep in mind that most of my partners are not illustrators but fine artists. What I needed was one whose work perfectly typified the Northern Lights. Enter Jasyn Lucas:



I reached out to this amazing Oji-Cree from Thompson, Manitoba. Illustrating a book would be new to Jasyn but he was all in. The rest is history... 

Thank you Vidacom Publication https://www.vidacom.ca/ for producing such a beautiful book. 



Monday, May 18, 2020

A Pandemic and a New Direction


I have lived through the tragedy of Canada's residential schools. I saw the start and end of the Vietnamese War. I was here when the Kennedys and Martin Luther King were assasinated. I experienced the break up of the Soviet Union, the taking down of the Berlin Wall and I saw the twin towers fall in 9/11. I was here when appartaid ended in South Africa and when the US elected Barack Obama, their first black president. I was one of the many shocked as the US elected Donald Trump their president. I have lived through many things.

Today' pandemic is as world changing as any I have seen.

This pandemic will have some major and lasting effects on my personal and on my professional lives.


As I write this in mid-May, ready or not, the world seems to be on the verge of reopening. It will  reopen with severe restrictions. It will reopen but likely not ever be the same. Change is usually good and in this case, good might come of it.

For certain, this new reality will affect what I do and how I do it.

I accept the need for change and have already embraced it.

My friend/manager/partner Chris Patrick and I have  decided to aggressively attack remote-learning.

We have already hosted two webinars that were both well attended.

What we will attempt to put in place is a programme by which I can go on doing what I have done for the past 20 years only working from home. The carbon footprint I have left on the environment during years of travel will be greatly diminished. Through remote-learning, I will reach many more students, educators and parents because travel, hotels, etc...are expensive. And finally, I will be in a better position to customize what I do to a greater extent.


I picture my reading with kids, sharing ideas and answering questions remotely in classrooms from kindergarden to post secondary.

I am ready to start sharing with teachers through staff meetings and pro-d as well as parents durinig PAC meetings or parent conferences.

I will, of course, continue to make myself available in person as this type of presentation is not going to disappear.

Change is a-comin' and we are embracing it for all the good things it offers.































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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