A Busy Writing Crafting Autumn

Have you noticed that I haven’t written anything here for the past couple of months? I’ve been busy writing, but not here. The Valley Harvester, a small local paper that is a part of the Halifax Chronicle Herald has asked me to write an article every month for them. Since they have the rights to the articles that I send them, I cannot post them here. But I can give you a link to them. Here are a couple:

http://thechronicleherald.ca/valleyharvester/1502106-put-yourself-in-another’s-shoes

 

http://thechronicleherald.ca/valleyharvester/1494383-the-joy-of-living-through-facebook

It has been interesting writing about something and then actually seeing it in the newspaper, with my name attached! You could say it makes me more aware of the wider audience than here in the blog, and so I’m editing more and trying harder.

Imagine my surprise when I started getting emails from friends in Newfoundland congratulating me on getting published in The Evening Telegram in St. John’s and The Western Star in Corner Brook! Apparently that’s what they meant when they said they have the ‘rights’ to my articles- they can be picked up by an affiliate newspaper. A humbling but exciting experience to be sure.

But I miss writing here!

Also I have been taking a writing course the past couple of months, Jeff Brown’s Writing Your Way Home, and I’ve been doing a lot more writing for it. It’s mostly been learning to find my ‘writer’s voice’ and to get more into the nitty gritty of my sometimes messy life. It has actually changed the way I see myself as a writer, which is not a bad thing.

In the meantime I have been doing the usual Autumn craft shows with my lavender wares front and center. I did a great show in Antigonish in September, a two day juried show. After much fear and trepidation, I showed up and had the best show of my life! I will go back next year, if they will have me. It was called Windfall Fine Art and Handcraft Market, and was well organized, well publicized and well attended. People loved my lavender things, but in particular the Lavender Body Butter and Lavender and Wheat Eye Pillows.

cream

Then I’ve had a couple more shows in October and November, one left in December and that will be it for another year. I have to say, it’s been rewarding as people call for repeat orders of body butter and I’m quickly selling out.

I hope you’re having a great fall!

Christine

Getting Aquainted With My New Digs

Most people would agree that moving to a new town can be a traumatic experience. Having moved several times to various Canadian locations makes me a veteran at this. I always said that it takes a year to get a feel for a new place: finding your way around the grocery store, getting a new hairdresser, knowing your way around town, and most importantly, finding out where all the bargains are.

Last January I moved to Coldbrook, Nova Scotia, in the beautiful Annapolis Valley. Newly married, I was not only finding out about my new locale, but also my new husband. I thought that wading my way through the tax system, getting my car licensed and inspected, applying for health care and getting into the system, finding a doctor, and all those other bureaucratic red tape things would make me an authority on the way of things in Nova Scotia. Not so.

I learned that there is such a thing as “Nova Scotia time”, which is never “on time”; I learned that the people are incredibly friendly. After spending 27 years in Quebec, I found this amazing. Here, you get honked at, smiled at, waved at and hello-ed by everyone, and I mean everyone, you come in contact with. What a difference from Quebec where I started out not being able to speak the language and when I did, I found that people were just not that friendly.

My mom always said you have to join something in order to make friends and become a part of the community’s fabric. I think she’s right. First I joined a church not far from the house. I diligently went there every Sunday but didn’t really meet people until the day I went into the kitchen to wash dishes during a Mother’s Day Tea. Well, you could say I was baptized into the soapy waters. All the action in the church comes from getting involved. What a novel idea, I thought, as I started to make some new friends.

I decided to try out the Wolfville and Area Newcomers Club. I went to the first meeting in the hallowed halls of one of Acadia University’s buildings. I had been told to be prepared to be snobbed because, I heard, Wolfville is a snobby town. Well, I thought, I can snob as well as the rest of them, and haven’t looked back since. At that first meeting, since I was the new person, I was given two tickets to a play at Center Theatre in Kentville. It was great! I go to the gourmet dinners which are held once a month, and participate in the book group, the writing group, and the quilting group. Hey, they even asked this transplant to be on the executive as a greeter and welcomer (it must be my friendly Newfoundland roots).

I was thinking of getting a job in order to meet people, but with all the newcomer activities, craft shows I’ve been in, and the writing course I am taking at Acadia this fall, I don’t have time to do my dishes, never mind something else.

So last week I sold divorce fudge at the Horton High Craft Fair, and I ran into people from church, people from the newcomers club, people from other craft shows, and people I met through Dave. Not bad for this newbie….

I think I’ve arrived

I think I’ll stay

I think I love it!