Launch Gratitude

MAKING UP THE GODS launched on Sunday! Here's just a little of the gratitude I expressed that day at Thunder Bay's independent bookstore, Entershine Bookshop. I feel more grateful every day for the support and the opportunity to share this story with readers. 

Thank you so much for being here with me today.


The view from the audience
at Entershine Bookshop

To start, I acknowledge as a grateful guest that I live and write on lands of Anishinaabe and Metis peoples, in Robinson-Superior treaty territory, and I am reckoning with my family’s settler roots.


Making Up the Gods is the first novel I’ve finished, but it’s not the first one I started. I worked on three other novels, even starting a new one after I’d tried imagining my way through this book. Making Up the Gods itself has felt like several novels along the way. BUT this, at last, is the story that kept bringing me back to the page for a dozen years, through many versions. In fact, the work continued until the end of December last year, when I submitted my final revision to Latitude 46.


I’ve had a lot of help along the way, from individuals and groups. I’ll start with groups.

Thanking everyone. Well,
not "everyone." I'd still
be there if I tried to do that.

The Canada Council for the Arts, through the Writer’s Union of Canada Public Readings Program, helps make sure that artists have time and space to share their work across the country. That support made this launch possible.


The Ontario Arts Council awards many kinds of grants to writers and independent Ontario publishers. Their support made this book possible.


I found colleagues in the Northwestern Ontario Writers Workshop. NOWW provides opportunities to develop your skills and to share your work. It’s also a place to meet all types of writers who have all types of goals.


The Laughing Fox Writers group, an informal den of folks who gather periodically, has provided a sense of camaraderie. The kind that’s necessary when you’ve just tossed out 1/3 of your novel and you know that was the right thing to do, but you don’t know whether to laugh or cry.


And of course I appreciate the support of Latitude 46 Publishing in Sudbury, for their dedication to telling stories of the north. I was thrilled when they inquired about using an image from a local artist on the cover. Erin Stewart did a magnificent job of creating an evocative and inviting collage that tells a story.


Writers need to know other writers, but they also need to know other artists and other communities. People in the greater arts community in Thunder Bay are thriving and doing many cool things, whether they’re in theatre, food, dance, visual art, or music of all kinds. Creativity supports creativity.


I’m also greatly indebted to readers. For more than ten years, I’ve belonged to a book club, whose members who are passionate about books and reading and who challenge me to read beyond my comfort zone. And just in general, I’m so grateful that people read, whatever they’re into, for whatever reason. Reading is an act of hope.


Another community: the folks at Trinity United Church welcomed my parents when they retired and began spending summers up here, and when I moved here, they kept their arms open wide, providing a safe place for me. Special thanks to Randy Boyd for examining the big questions in his sermons and inspiring me to keep turning them over and over, through many years.

Me (right) with Jean E. Pendziwol,
whose new picture book,
released this month and
will be celebrated in November. Can't wait!


Now I’ll thank some individuals.


For years, Marianne Jones and Maureen Nadin and I met on Friday mornings at Calico Coffeehouse to commiserate about the writing life. Their encouragement has helped sustain my creativity.


Writers Susan Goldberg and Rebekah Skochinski helped me revise the essays that went into my first book, and, because they are absolute SHEROES, they gave feedback on TWO different drafts of this novel. Likewise, Jean E. Pendziwol and Cathi Winslow read an even later, but no less messy, draft. The feedback and questions through all these drafts helped me figure out what I REALLY wanted to say.


And mostly I need to thank Roy, for all the things.

Then I read from the beginning of the book--some from each of the three narrators. MAKING UP THE GODS is now available from your favourite bookstore and from the publisher, Latitude 46 Publishing

I hope this post shows just how many people it takes to bring stories into the world. It's a privilege to know they supported mine.