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Archives | Sylvia McNicoll

Life strums

The sales associate at Lakeshore Music said my classical guitar (as opposed to acoustic which is more for strumming chords rather than playing notes) is fine to play. He replaced my two broken strings but said all the strings really needed replacing. I bought a chord book complete with a DVD to help me play. But the guitar sounds flat! No matter how much I tune it. I’ll have to take it to my friend Angela McKay. Maybe with all new strings and a more professional tuning I’ll be set to go.

I also saw that at Spencer’s Landing the skating rink is operational despite the warm weather we’ve been having. I quickly foraged for skates in my dungeon and set them in the front hall: tomorrow’s fun challenge.

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Goals and Resolutions

To take the time to do things I enjoy or at least remember to enjoy the things I’m doing!

Tomorrow I’m having a manicure and pedicure, the gift certificate for which was given to me in September. Wow, it takes me that long to get around to using it. I also have a massage gift certificate, but I’m making the appointment right away this time.

Tomorrow I also hope to take my guitar (that I bought with money from my first summer job babysitting back when I was sixteen) and replace the broken string. It’s been quite a few years since I last played. If that works out, and the guitar’s not warped or anything, I hope to visit my friendly musician Angela McKay for a lesson

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or two. I want to be able to accompany myself singing the lullaby I wrote for Kyle in Beauty Returns.

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It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.


December 28, 2006

Closing in on the old year makes me look back and think of all the highs and lows and because endings are what you walk away with, I’ll start with the lows and leave you with my highs.

The Lows

My mother lost her independence to Alzheimers. She spent the summer in the hospital and it feels like I did too. I sat by her bed daily and saw a wonderful view of Lake Ontario, complete with a jogging, roller blading path. Boats would sail by and I would wish we could both be anywhere but in that room. She went from there to a beautiful residence but still remains unhappy there.

Two of my favourite novels Project Disaster and Walking a Thin Line were put out of print. They’ve had a long life but it’s like a couple of my children are dead.

My agent of ten years retired from actively representing clients. It’s like I’ve lost a best friend.

The Highs

My eldest

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daughter, Jennifer, announced her pregnancy.

My youngest daughter Robin graduated from Mohawk’s advertising program with honours.

I hiked the Columbia Icefields with my husband, wrote about it and sold the article to the Hamilton Spectator. The research from this trip helped enormously in writing the newest Norwegian novel River of Ice.

I toured the Northwest Territories for Canadian Children’s Book Week. What an amazing experience!

For the CANSCAIP newsletter I interviewed and wrote the profile for Eric Walters.

I have a new literary agent who lives in Amsterdam. Hopefully I can visit her there sometime.

Beauty Returns, the final novel in my Beauty trilogy came out in Canada in May. Lots of nice reviews and fanmails already. I

While I know I’m forgetting some other wonderful smaller moments, finally, I want to mention I won the Korean War Veteran’s Award for Short Fiction because of a piece I wrote about spending a day with my grandson and Mom when she was first diagnosed with Alzheimers. Hopefully I can continue to make sense of this awful disease by writing about it.

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