Category Archives: The Day Soon Dawns

Lessons From My Father: Lesson #1

Last week I spoke to a group of mostly seniors, residents of Finlandia Village, for Reading Town. Coincidentally, it was the day after International Holocaust Remembrance Day, and only a few days after the seventy-first anniversary of my father’s liberation from Stutthof Concentration Camp. In the days before the talk, I thought about what I would focus on. Sometimes at these events I discuss the method of interviewing my father, the process of writing and rewriting, the stumbling blocks and challenges Read more [...]

Farewell, Reading Town

Reading Town Ville Lecture wraps up this weekend in Sudbury. It was such an exciting week filled with opportunities to engage with readers and writers that it was impossible to be everywhere at once. If you haven’t heard of Reading Town, let me give you a few details. It’s a week long event organized by the National Reading Campaign to promote reading, books and authors. As a reading promoter in both my roles as a writer and teacher, I was thrilled to hear that my hometown was hosting this Read more [...]

Reflections on a Memorable Year

A year ago, last December, I decided to pull my manuscript from the small presses I had approached earlier that spring and self-publish my father’s memoir.  Looking back, it was a decision I made because of concern for my father’s health and a desire to share his story with others while he could still participate. In fact, at the end of January, my father was hospitalized after my mother found him splayed out on their frozen driveway.  Within a few days of hospitalization, the colour returned Read more [...]

Travel to Write

The more I write, the more I want to travel. The more I travel, the more I must write. Writing my family memoir brought me to many unexpected places: the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C.; the port town of Gdansk, Poland; Stutthof concentration camp in Sztutowo, Poland; the bay of Lűbeck, Germany. I tasted the salt of the sea air, felt the fine sand between my toes, heard the squawking of sea birds, and breathed in the scent of pine forests. Of course, historical documents, old Read more [...]

10 Tips for a Successful Book Launch

My experience with book launches is limited to two, one of which was my own, so perhaps I’m not the authority on this subject.  But, as always, what I didn’t know led me to read, investigate, ask questions, and eventually follow my own path. What I learned along the way suggests that book launches are as varied as the books they are celebrating and as unique as the individual writers. With that in mind, I offer my tips for creating a memorable book launch based on my first experience. Celebrate! Read more [...]

The Universe Conspires

Paulo Coelho wrote, “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” I always liked this idea, but I didn’t really know how it could be possible.  The whole universe? Conspiring? Really?  A month has passed since I launched my family memoir about my father’s experiences as a young Finnish sailor in a Nazi concentration camp.  Before its release on March 19, two months ago, I blogged about the process of self-publishing and all of those things I Read more [...]

My Little Book Goes to Washington

I had a full-circle moment a few days ago when I entered the industrial steel-encased elevator at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.  A fellow teacher and I had travelled to Washington, D.C. on a school trip with a group of twenty-four grade twelve English and Literature Studies students who were eager to explore the museum for the first time. It was our first stop. This was my third visit to the USHMM, but I was no less excited. Tucked into the pocket of my travel purse I had a copy Read more [...]

How My Book Almost Didn’t Happen

The following is a version of my talk at the book launch for The Day Soon Dawns on Sunday, April 19 at Parkside Centre. I thought I’d tell you a little about how the book came to be . . . or rather how it almost didn’t happen. I was about fifteen, my daughter’s age, when I learned about World War II in history class at Lo-Ellen. Even then, I knew my father had stories, but I couldn’t really make sense of them. He didn’t say too much, and I was afraid to ask. Even then, I vowed to Read more [...]

One Journey Ends and Another Begins

Spring has finally arrived, although it is difficult to tell as a layer of fine icing sugar snow fills the air and clusters on the deck outside my patio doors.  It has been a whirlwind of a week now that my book is finally published. Appropriately, I think, the official publication date was on the last day of winter.  I started self-publishing at the beginning of December and what a journey it has been!  Like waiting for spring, it took several weeks longer and was more blustery than I initially Read more [...]

Striving for Perfection While Learning to be Imperfect

Last week I was delighted to find the printed proof copy of my manuscript in the mail. When I cracked open the heavy duty cardboard packaging to reveal the book version, without the cover art, unfortunately, I was thrilled. What I didn’t expect was the anxious feeling that accompanied the excitement. This is it. This is the book. This is what I have been working for over the past three years. As I flipped through the pages, pausing to look at the pictures, the headers, the fleurons, and the fonts Read more [...]