“How did you determine you would write a Canadian historical-fiction trilogy?”

“What possessed you to spend nine years sitting at a computer to write your story?”

“Did you have any idea what it would entail to become a published author?”

Are you following your path?

These are a few of the questions I have repeatedly been asked, and which kept coursing through my mind during my hike in the Kimberley Kootenay Mountains. Now approaching a year since the release of Arriving: 1909–1919, I still am unable to provide succinct answers.

I believe if one were to inquire of any person following a dream, the response would be remarkably similar: it is a path upon which the dreamer is compelled to follow, and once committed, cannot stray. Time, energy, doubt, practicality, obstacles, pitfalls, success, failure—all are inconsequential once in pursuit of our destiny.

I have always recognized that my Understanding Ursula trilogy is a labour of love for my grandparents, who were my childhood source of affection and stability and are my continuing source of inspiration. Yet, these two unassuming people who lived out their lives on a little German farm on the Saskatchewan prairie would be incredulous that, in tribute to their memory, their granddaughter penned a story that is resonating with over 1200 readers to date.

I remember with fondness a person I recently met in Swift Current. This legendary woman is the owner of Gramma Bep’s Bed and Breakfast; although perhaps a little more than three years older than I, she insisted that I address her as “Gramma”. My protests fell on deaf ears, and by the time I left her comfortable home, where she is the hub of incredible activity, I realized that if ever I had met an inspirational individual, who reminded me of my beloved Grandma, it was her.

Now, amid going to print with Thriving: 1920–1939, I genuinely encourage all of my readers to dare to persist in achieving their dreams. I am invariably motivated by the lyrics of Richard Rodgers’ Climb Ev’ry Mountain:

“Climb every mountain, search high and low, follow every byway, every path you know. Climb every mountain, follow every stream, follow every rainbow until you find your dream, a dream that will need all the love you can give, every day of your life for as long as you live.”



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