I shall always believe that my most rewarding experience of becoming an author is all the people I have met. Although my preference would be to dialogue with every one of you in person, I have connected with a host of wonderful people via email, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Each conversation, email, and message is precious to me, as you affirm that I have truly achieved what I set out to accomplish—to immortalize the real, ordinary Canadian in my Understanding Ursula trilogy.
The complexities of human relationships have intrigued me for as long as I can remember, and the further I embark upon my journey as a writer, the more I marvel at the intricacy of our connections with one another. In many ways, I wonder if the impact I’ve had on many of my readers compares to the far-reaching effects a skilled teacher unknowingly has on her students.
Over the past two-plus years, I have chanced upon so many fascinating people that I would like to share some of our interactions with you: One day this past January after lunching in an open-air family restaurant in Costa Rica, I was about to leave when Martha stopped me. She said her husband and she had been observing me and had concluded that I must be an artist. Our brief encounter resulted in Martha ordering my trilogy when they returned home to Ontario and having me send the books to her parents in Regina as a surprise anniversary present.
In March when ending a morning stroll in Mesa, Arizona, I greeted a woman, also returning from a walk. Shirley studied my face with close scrutiny before saying, “You’re Ursula, and I need your last book!”
Returning from our RV trip to Kimberley in May, we camped beside Eustice and Judy from Pace, Florida. Although I had no copies of Arriving: 1909-1919 with me, Eustice insisted that he buy my last two books and order the first when he returned home in July.” Since then, Judy liked me on Facebook and, with her daily pictures of the gorgeous scenery, I felt as though I was touring Alaska along with them.
During my many appearances and book tours, I have been blessed to meet a host of warm, caring individuals and to stay in such charming and peaceful B&Bs that I could pen another book. Although our personal exchanges are often brief, most have been exciting and intense and I believe could have some long-lasting impact. Perhaps because writing is so reclusive, I value every opportunity to communicate with others and the recent posting to my timeline: “No, we don’t have wi-fi! Talk to each other.”
All my life I have appreciated the creativity and passion of art, whether painting, music, or writing. Pablo Picasso’s words summarize my feelings perfectly: “The purpose of art is washing away the dust of daily life off our souls.”