“In early June the world of leaf and blade and flower explodes, and every sunset is different.” – John Steinbeck, The Winter of Our Discontent
“Summertime is always the best of what might be.” – Charles Bowden
“The spring rains woke the dormant tillers, and bright green shoots sprang from the moist earth and rose like sleepers stretching after a long nap. As spring gave way to summer, the bright green stalks darkened, became tan, turned golden brown. The days grew long and hot. Thick towers of swirling black clouds brought rain, and the brown stems glistened in the perpetual twilight that dwelled beneath the canopy. The wheat rose and the ripening heads bent in the prairie wind, a rippling curtain, an endless undulating sea that stretched to the horizon.” – Rick Yancey, The Infinite Sea
Thriving: 1920 – 1939, the second book of my Understanding Ursula trilogy begins, “If the cycle of life parallels the distinct seasons of the Canadian prairie, Lydia reflected, they must surely be approaching the winter of their years. Not that William Thompson would ever admit it. As soon as the snow began to melt, her aging husband would perk up as though the reawakening of the earth imparted its energy to him.” I suspect that there are few among us who do not become invigorated and experience the yearnings of youth in the spring, in particular this year following our seemingly endless winter that lasted deep into April.
Still, there is something magical about summer, whether its the long evenings spent outside or the way the sun streams through the windows in the early morning. It is a time of bloom, beauty, expectation, and contentment as children are released from school, and we look forward to gardening, travel, rest, and relaxation in the great outdoors of our spectacular scenic country. It is the season when many of us reach the peak of our careers, achieve our sought-after life goals, contribute to our unique fields of expertise, and come of age as productive human beings. In the cycle of life, summer is the analogue of the fulfillment of our adult years.
For those of you who are reading Lords and Lepers, Scott Hayes offered succinct advice in his wonderful article in the April 25, 2018 edition of The St. Albert Gazette, “You’d better be ready to dedicate your time to this page-turner that fits in your hand just as well as a robust sheaf of wheat.” It was during the evening after the launch of my epic prairie saga that Scott’s words became poignantly symbolic. As the main protagonists in my current novel become a foursome, so too had I more than twenty years ago with three colleagues who similarly shared a supervisory role in a specific area of programming at Grant MacEwan College. Following dinner, I was presented with the most unique and beautiful gift – earrings of a glass sheaf of wheat. Thank you, Bev, Donna, and Raylene.
From the designer, Jacqueline Berting, “In creating the Glass Wheat, I am able to give back to the Canadian Farmers the hope, encouragement, inspiration, and motivation I received growing up on a farm. The dedication of these resilient people continues to inspire me. Through the generous support I have experienced, I am fortunate to have the assistance of my parents, Sally and Dan, Cliff and partner, and husband James Clark.” A woman after my own heart – Jacqueline strives to immortalize the real, ordinary Canadian in her artwork, as have I in the fiction of my novels.
Lords and Lepers is travelling well beyond our Canadian border. Yes, it is being read in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec, but also in Arizona, Florida, the United Kingdom, and thank you, Rhonda for the beautiful photo of you enjoying my new book in Italy. In fact, I was intrigued that the very first copy, a hard cover was purchased by a reader from Fredericksburg, Virginia. And, thank you to Robin Farrell Edmunds from Manhattan, Kansas for her wonderful ForeWord Magazine/Clarion Review.