Wow! How is it almost the end of November? This year has sped by and the last few weeks have been particularly crazy. There have been a lot of things happening in my life on a personal level lately and a lot of things happening out in the world. I'm just going to take a minute here and send a huge blast of compassion to you all. I find myself more and more aware of the challenges our different experiences and ways of thinking create but I'm going to keep hope that we will find a way to practice compassion and empathy with one another. I'm also going to keep hoping that we can all find a way to come together to protect the water, because truly - no matter what views or beliefs we have, we and our children need water to survive. I'm so grateful for water and I know it's one of those things that is too important to take for granted. It's also something we can all work together for.
The last few weeks I've been super busy with my course work and preparing my research proposal for my dissertation. Academic writing is so interesting (very different from my creative writing) and I have really valued learning how to go about it.The topic for my dissertation is exploring community-based collaboration in the area of Indigenous language revitalization - which is a passion of mine. It's nice to read about the great work that's going on and it's also nice to be inspired to speak and use the language more (I'm learning Cayuga).
I've also been working on producing/designing/formatting a book for a friend of mine. It's called "Art of Peace" and was inspired by the story of the Great Law of Peace. She also asked me if I wanted to launch my book Spirit & Intent when hers launches next week and so that's coming up as well, which is super cool. Here's a little poster. We're having the book launch at the Woodland Cultural Centre in Brantford, Ontario - a place I love and have been going to since I was little because their collection has some of my dad's art in it.
Last week I did a short reading of one of my stories at a really cool event called Stories From the Land. I was a bit scared - it was my first time reading one of my stories out loud and in public but I was very excited and grateful for the opportunity to be apart of the project. Stories from the Land is a podcast of 12 storytelling events happening in First Nation communities across Turtle Island. The stories are meant to be about our connection to the land, community and culture. Very cool stuff. The stories will eventually be available for listening and I'll be sure to post a link here when they are!
Ahh. What else? Oh yes! I've been learning to make comics. I've only really done a test one so far but I'm really excited to do more and I know I will get better at them as time goes by. Along the same lines I also started another special project that combines my love of painting, stories, language and videos (and also music in the future). It's here - a short movie about the story of The Vampire Skeleton which I illustrated using a combination of watercolour and shadow puppet theatre. I LOVED this project and have already started working on another. Moving into 2017, I'm going to be doing a lot more of these. Here is some of the art that I made for it:
And lastly, I'm about to finally (after months and months of delays) release a very special YA fantasy book called The Fortune Teller's Daughter. Stay tuned for the cover release next week!
Okay. Phew. I think that is all from me. Busy busy busy times ahead as we move into the last month of the year. I hope you are all well and as always - happy writing!