Waiting for the dead frog to arrive ...
In order to take my mind off the fact that my book launch is in two days and the books haven’t arrived, the drycleaner lost the pants I want to wear to my launch and that my phone hasn’t been the same since I dropped it in the tub I went to Wordfest yesterday. Oh, yeah, I ran out of cat food and the cats have been nibbling on the dry skin on my heels, but that’s another blog post.
I went to see my writer friend Rukhsana Khan. I meet Rukhsana in 1990 in a writing for children class taught by Barbara Greenwood in Toronto. After the class ended I organized the members of the class into a critiquing group. The group lasted until I moved to Calgary, then a few of the more dedicated members kept meeting. Many of the lessons I learned in that group, I wrote about in"What do I know from Kosher: Lessons Learned in a Cross Cultural Writers' group." Since then Rukhsana has gone on to publish 11 books! She’s one of the hardest working writers I know. Her latest is Wanting Mor (Groundwood 2009) it’s set in post Taliban Afghanistan and is the story of a young girl who’s mother dies. The girl is abandoned in a market by her father. Rukhsana presented to highschool students and I have to say she rocked the auditorium! They laughed, they were moved to tears, and they were inspired by her quest to become a writer.
The other presenter was Mariatu Kamara her book, written with Susan McClelland is The Bite of the Mango. Mariatu’s was born in Sierra Leone and lead a carefree life until she was captured by rebels when she was 12. They cut off both of her hands. The Bite of the Mango is the story of her journey from the African bush, to a refugee camp, and final to Canada where she is in university. It’s a story of survival, redemption, and forgiveness. She told the students that she never considered revenge. Both speakers were inspirational, entertaining and informative. If you have an opportunity to see either of them at Wordfest over the next week I’d recommend it. Also, check out their books.