Photo by Jennifer Wood 

When I set up my website, I had just completed my book and you can read my comments below about that experience. I have now been writing my blogs since that time and have enjoyed sharing my journeys, recipes, and thoughts about life, particularly senior life with you.

About my book Aria: Song of a Life  
October, 2014

People keep asking me if I am excited now that my book is published and out. My answer is ‘not really.’ I have been living with it for more than four years and it is an old friend. Every day I woke at 6:00 am and started to write. I would then go for a swim either in Toronto at the very old Gus Ryder pool, and find myself with a large group of like-minded swimmers, or go solo in Florida at a little pool outside my door. Swimming has always focused me. Much of my thinking occurs in the 40 minutes or so that I spend in the water.

After that I would walk the dog, eat breakfast and start the day with my husband, Charles. The book would just sit there on my computer waiting for me to return to it. When I first started writing, I would send chunks to a fellow member of my writing course at Humber College. She would make some suggestions and kept asking me for more writing. It was a good time of positive reinforcement.

My manuscript became a friend and even when I thought I had finished it and started working with my editor, Sylvia Fraser, and did three re-writes, it was still there on the Mac waiting for me. From time to time I would email Wayson Choy, my mentor and teacher at Humber, and he would offer advice that was not always easy to take, but was crucial.

It was a journey. Michael Levine who has been a friend since my elementary days became my agent/advisor, and we looked carefully at the book-publishing world as it is now in Canada. He presented some options.  I found iUniverse and they took me through the process of publishing. Their consultants were terrific and very helpful.

Finding the photos for the book and scanning them took one Saturday of great patience. Twelve hours of frustration mixed with success turned out to be a rewarding memory-filled day. Those old pictures…

Then the proofs arrived and I read them in a motel room in Powell River before we went with our sons and future daughter-in-law on a week’s sailing trip in astoundingly beautiful areas of the BC coast.

When the first copy arrived at my door it was strange for me to see my manuscript as a book. I love the cover and stupidly forgot to credit the photographer, my darling husband, Charles Petersen, although I credited every other photo. The soft copy came first, and then the hard one.  Then I saw what it looked like as an e-book. 

June. 2015

So it is 8 months since my book came out at a lovely launch at The National club. My sister hosted. Since that time I have had marvellous book parties given by friends, book club events, speaking engagements and a visit to a library. I have sold many books directly and enjoy these meetings where I talk about the process of writing and self publishing. I always end with a verse from Musetta’s Waltz. I spoke at a fundraiser for Youth without Shelter. This event was entitled Rising Above Hope. I spoke about overcoming challenges and coping with life on a daily basis and finding happiness despite what life throws at you. I have been asked to do more inspirational talks and I enjoy them. The feedback that I get is rewarding. 

I was the guest host on This is My Music, a CBC Radio 2 program that lasted 2 hours. You will hear me talk about my life and my favourite pieces. Some of my own singing is also featured. So far the response has been terrific. I adore receiving emails about that show and about anything else that is pertinent to my career and my life now. 

More to come…