A friend and I always talk about how things feel fresh in September. Perhaps it is the “Back to School” vibe in the air, perhaps it is the changing seasons, perhaps it was because the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, always landed in September bringing in an opportunity for renewal.
This Fall marks a couple of interesting shifts in my life, because I’m learning how to balance certain opportunities–opportunities that I’m so excited and grateful for–with my daily writing practice. Much of the summer I worked within my own schedule, allowing time to relax while also making sure that everything on the “to do” list got done. And EVERYTHING reminding me of Maud–like waiting for the waves to catch the shore here in Niagara on the Lake.
There has certainly been a renewal of Maud in our collective consciousness, the various new editions of her books, news this summer about traveling to PEI–in fact I had two or three separate groups of friends go there and send me pretty postcards–as well as a new theatre company, “The Spirit of Maud,” opening in Norval, Ontario this past summer.* In July, LMM Online posted a number of links in the news about Montgomery. People are connecting to her work more than ever before and it is really inspiring as I continue to work on the book, as well as the number of projects that are coming up.
One would think that I would get tired of all Maud all of the time, but actually she’s so multi-dimensional–like we all are–that there is always something new to look at. I hope to convey this in the coming months as I once again step out of my comfort zone and do some public speaking.
This past week I was accepted to speak alongside some of the most knowledgeable and well-respected Montgomery scholars–Benjamin Lefebvre, Laura Robinson, Emily Woster–at the Lucy Maud Montgomery Society of Ontario’s “L.M.M. Day & Uxbridge Storytelling Fun Fest” on Saturday, October 25th. My presentation, “From Her Story: L.M. Montgomery as Teen Author,” will explore how Montgomery’s early essays show the origins of her storytelling voice, as well as how she was learning to use facts to create compelling stories. And, I’ll get to do it in the church where Montgomery’s husband, preached. That is pretty awesome, because I’m sure as a minister’s wife she did a lot of speaking there so it will be like standing where she stood and all of that cool stuff. It is such a beautiful space, with lush light, and the lunch is always delicious. As more details become available, I’ll let you know. In the meantime, it is a great excuse for that Fall road trip you’ve been planning.
I was also invited to be on the roster of speakers for The University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies University Lecture Series. My lecture, “Maud Without an “E”: L.M. Montgomery’s Legacy and Canadian Culture,” will explore how Montgomery’s work has contributed to Canadian literary and popular culture.
Here’s the info as it stands now:
1) Date: Monday, November 24, 2014
Time: Noon-1:oo pm
Place: Dining Room, The Oakville Club, 56 Water Street. Oakville, Ontario.
2) Date: Thursday, December 24, 2014
Place: Council Chambers, Markham Civic Centre. 101 Town Centre Blvd. Markham, Ontario.
I never would have imagined this to be possible, but it is quite amazing to be connected to this renewal of interest in Montgomery’s life and work and the rich and vibrant community it inspires.
*Some friends and I are going to see their new production, “Conversations With The Ladies Of Lucy Maud Montgomery” next weekend and plan to meet the producer and writer of the show, Marion Abbot Piccin, who has agreed to do a Q&A on this blog over the fall. So more merging of theatre and writing to come!