Sunny, mild, beautiful, temps zero
Lovely day - woke up to huge soft flakes falling outside our Quebec City window. Forgot to get coffee yesterday while shopping so were forced to go out for breakfast this morning - Chez Temporel on rue Couillard. 2 bowls of cafe au lait each and croissants aux amandes (only one each). Then picked up some coffee and fruit and spent the day writing at home.
Our friend Susan wrote to say she couldn't come this weekend, so that freed us up to go home...so much work to do there and the research is all but done here. We're going on a private historical walking tour of Old Quebec tomorrow morning, with David Mendel - have loads of questions for him and places we need to see.
Then back home to Sutton Thursday. Working on more edits on The Brutal Telling. This is a process that lasts quite a while. Am trying to say 'no thank you' to most events this year - outside the launch period - since there's so much work to do and I don't want to get too far behind with the sixth book - Bury Your Dead - the one set here in Quebec.
Had great news just now from the New York publishers...A RULE AGAINST MURDER has gone into a second printing. That is because you are all buying the book and spreading the word and I am deeply grateful!!! Thank you.
Had another email from Sheila in Melbourne. The fires are better, though while some go out others spring up. And as the smoke literally clears the full extent of the loss is becoming clear and it's almost more than people can bear. The towns wiped out, the historic and artistic heritage lost forever. The people, families, killed. The animals gone.
Often, during the crisis, people can cope. But it's afterward the real pain is felt. Like a personal loss - the grief builds, not diminishes, as the days and weeks pass. And the cards and casseroles stop. And people expect them to get on with their lives, and they expect it of themselves. But, weighed down with grief, people can just stop.
I think many people in the Melbourne area are feeling that now.
We're approaching the 15th anniversary of when Michael proposed to me - at Hovey Manor. And instead of flowers or gifts or a dinner we've decided to donate to the Australian Red Cross, and to the wildlife relief fund.
I'd also talked earlier about adopting a specific fund for this blog and my website. Well, I've thought about it a lot. As you know I'm quite active in literacy issues and a huge proponent of literacy as essential for the long hard climb out of poverty. There is no hope without literacy.
But after reflecting on it and sitting with all the options and the causes close to my heart I realize what moved me the most are issues to do with animals. Anti puppy mill crusades and legislation, animals affected by disasters, abandonned and abused animals. I can't do the work myself even if I had all the time in the world. I'm just not emotionally equipped. I can, and have, volunteered at palliative care for people but I couldn't do a single shift in a shelter. Especially one that had a euthanasia policy.
Now, there are a lot of exceptional people doing amazing work for animals. In Australia, certainly. In the parks in Africa to save endangered species. There's a fund called Noah's Wish in the US and Canada that is amazing. It rescues animals caught in natural disasters and was very involved in forest fires and hurricane relief.
But I think the one I'm going to propose is right around the corner from Michael and me, in the Eastern Townships. It's the SPCA Monteregie. It's a small shelter with a no-kill policy. It spays and neuters all the animals who come in. It goes on raids against puppy mills, and saves neglected and abused farm animals. All with volunteers. It staggers along on almost no money and the goodwill of friends.
A donation of a hundred dollars makes a big difference. A thousand is celebrated and used wisely. To buy food, and pay vets bills, and pay for heat. Our friends Kirk and Walter down the road will be hosting the annual Afternoon Tea this August as a fundraiser, and we've offered our property for the following year.
I realize this is a tiny operation, and you might not want to donate to it. I totally understand, and maybe you want to consider a shelter or organization closer to home. But I do know any money given to the SPCA Monteregie will be used well.
You can check out their website at www.spcamonteregie.com
As I say, they aren't particularly polished in their site, though it is informative and open. But I know the people and the operation. And it's where our hearts (MIchael's and mine) are.
Be well. And every now and then, on top of the normal good feeling I have about the people who read my books, and this blog - I feel overwhelmed with warmth. I do now. I have a wonderful life, filled with creativity and company and love. And kindness. And you're a big part of it. All you give to me. Thank you.