Saturday Roundup: Newmarket Market and Garden Dedication

Bench dedication to Richard A. Jarrell

On Saturday afternoon at the Thornhill Village Library, I gladly stood in the hot sun and watched some speeches. The Jarrells are friends of the family, and the late Dr. Richard A. Jarrell did many things for his community and for the world beyond his work as a professor at York University. One of these ongoing projects was the garden at the Thornhill Village Library–not just maintaining it over the years with the assistance of his wife Martha, but also making sure it ever existed. I did spend my earliest years in the area but my memory of this library is fuzzy; I’m told it was all a bunch of gravel parking lot before someone stepped in and did something. And that someone was Richard. The bench in the Featured Image of this post had already been dedicated to him, but now the rest of the garden is too; there is a more official plaque that I managed not to get a picture of this time, because by the time there wasn’t such a crowd around it, I was being somewhat social, drinking lemonade and eating peanut butter cookies etc. The refreshments were welcome, as in my long morning I was running on a pack of fruit snacks, a Snickers bar, and a single coffee.

Anyway, pictures:

Martha Jarrell speech

Martha gives a speech at the dedication of the Richard A. Jarrell Memorial Garden.

Court Jarrell speech

Court gives a speech at the dedication of the Richard A. Jarrell Memorial Garden.

Mayor Frank Scarpitti speech

Mayor Frank Scarpitti gives a speech at the dedication of the Richard A. Jarrell Memorial Garden.

That was my later afternoon event, where I had the easy tasks of listening and sweating. Court also loaned me Dark Night: A True Batman Story, which I read cover to cover in a single sitting; I was left to wonder if that was really the first graphic novel I had ever read, or whether a picturebook from Brom that I read for Morbid Outlook once counts as a graphic novel. I wouldn’t mind if Dini’s personal story was my first graphic novel, no problem at all.

The morning was actually consumed by a Newmarket’s farmer’s market (with The Bookshelf event running indoors in the community centre). I was a vendor at The Bookshelf that morning, and so was Allison Cosgrove of the Stan Brookshire novels fame. And she drives, and I don’t, so she helped me out, which is wonderful.

Newmarket vendor setup

My book vendor setup in Newmarket.

This was the first event where I set up a monitor to play book trailers on looping playback. The first major upgrade to my vendor setup, so just imagine what a nice real tablecloth would do! A few observations about the video aspect:

  1. I don’t know how to put captions on to the videos as they exist on my hard drive, so that I could just loop trailers without need for internet access. Not all my YouTube videos have captions, but I made sure both trailers do, and new videos tend to; I type them myself, since the automatic captions look rather sad.
  2. Fortunately, I had free internet access at this event (which seemed even faster than my connection at home), so I made a YouTube playlist off my own channel and looped that, full-screen. But then I had to manually click away Swiss Chalet banner ads and skip other video ads after the requisite 5 seconds.
  3. Choosing one of the two trailers and looping that seemed to cut down on the ads.

Captions are important because I didn’t bring speakers, and markets are noisy rooms/spaces anyway; if I turned up my laptop speakers you could hear my echoey lo-fidelity voice to a point, but not even the nice background music from Satie. So captions are already important for accessibility’s sake (which is why I typed my own for YouTube), but if I want anybody to have any idea what I’m saying in these looping trailers, now they’re mandatory for everyone. People told me it was just nice to have the pictures and minimal text, but come on, you don’t get told the trailer’s story at all that way.

The Crown Princess’ Voyage: Free Full Preview On Wattpad

The Crown Princess' Voyage proposed cover by Rona Dijkhuis

Are you on Wattpad? Do you have a Facebook account you can use to access Wattpad? If so, you have an early opportunity to read The Crown Princess’ Voyage, Book 2 of The Gift-Knight Trilogy.

Wattpad is a great resource for readers to discover new authors, and likewise for emerging authors who want readers to discover them. I’ve had some limited works up there for a while now, and other authors who are on a similar path (i.e. have to do a lot on their own or with services/help, not always traditional publishing) have told me they use Wattpad to “test the waters” and see the response to a new work.

I decided to give my readers a similar opportunity.

Just bear in mind that this is a sequel! This is not meant as a standalone. You can still jump into the series’ middle first if that’s how you usually roll, but if you haven’t read The Gift-Knight’s Quest first then I don’t know how that would alter your enjoyment of The Crown Princess’ Voyage.

Rona Dijkhuis’ cover will be the first edition’s official cover.

I’ll have another post up Monday. Saturday was interesting, and I have a couple of pics from a couple of events I attended.

Monarch caterpillars project

Illustrated Luna moth lifecycle

You probably haven’t heard from me as often in the last while as you used to–at least not through this blog.

Well, busy, sick, various things one after the other; and also the fact that I’m raising five monarch caterpillars into butterflies. This is my life now, and it’ll stay that way until they hatch and flutter away. Here are some images of what they’re up to. And the blog header image (another Rona Dijkhuis masterwork) doesn’t count, that’s a sort of Luna moth if you really examine it.

Read More

Goodbye Hafla at Habeeba’s

Many of my event photos don’t make it to Flickr these days, because I give the memory stick to an event organizer who can then choose what goes online, what needs editing… it’s a better form of quality control because I don’t have as much knowledge of what I’m looking at. I can see “someone’s facial expression doesn’t seem flattering in my opinion” but it’s always the little things.

Check out Serpentina North Ensemble’s instagram and they’re just gradually putting up my pics of the Goodbye Hafla event from Habeeba’s Dance Studio.

Further Dedications

A plaque on a Mississauga park bench is dedicated to Michael Lienerth.

The name on that plaque might look vaguely familiar if you’ve read the dedications for The Gift-Knight’s Quest. Granted that for the purposes of the book, I used a different and more colloquial form that many of us called him, whereas I believe the plaque bears his legal name.

He was a handyman, knowing a lot about carpentry and having practical knowledge of electrical work; he could do a lot more than that. The park bench which bears this dedication looks a lot more like the wood he worked with, not having the same stain as the other benches.

This past Sunday a bunch of us celebrated his birthday in a manner he would have wanted, and I’m just about recovered from it now…

Coming to a word processor not near you

Alathea banner which reads "Coming to first draft November 2016"

A standalone tale. You can place it in the same series but someone should also be able to read this book without being aware of the existence of the others.

For over a hundred years, the rest of the world wrote off her homeland and ignored the struggles of the peoples there, occasionally speaking of them like they were doomed to strife and not even worth considering. Born into this chaos was Alathea, who from a young age would be challenged with piecing together a broken empire; the same Sisyphean task that every would-be emperor has failed at for the longest time. But what if she succeeds where others have failed? And what will it mean for the rest of the world when she’s prepared to take by force more than just their undivided attention?