After 25 years of published writing, besides feeling more free to creatively stretch my writing fingers, I like to travel the path of mentorship and support. A personal delight of mine has become to welcome and support new writers. It’s very lucky to buy and then have an author sign her early work for you.
Today I took a meandering drive in the country to Fergus in order to attend Lisa Dalrymple (writer)
and Suzanne DelRizzo (illustrator’s) launch of Skink on the Brink (Fitzhenry Whiteside) at Roxanne’s Reflections Book and Card Shop.
Resplendent in a Skink-tail blue dress, (Blue-y and New-y to the children’s literature scene) Lisa talked about the nearly extinct skink showing actual photographs of the creature. Then she launched into a reading. At some point a bright youngster hijacked the story to ask a question and tell a rambling anecdote of her own. Don’t you just love it! Lisa displayed great humour and tact as she told her how much she wanted to hear more AFTER she finished reading Skink on the Brink.
Dressed in a contrasting fuschia (the colour of the head of the skink at maturity?) Suzanne guided the plasticine sculpturing. Young attendants modelled their own skinks and animals.
Did I mention the beautiful cake with all the colourful three D characters of the book perched on top of it? So much energy and activity in both the book and on the cake.
The story follows Stewie’s growth through a close escape from a weasel. It shows his dismay and then his final acceptance of the changes in his body (a tale that metaphorically parallels puberty?) and his return to home and happiness, using narration, rhyme and rhythm. Then when you think you’re done, there’s a couple of pages that instruct on endangered species with more specifics on the skink as well as instructions on how to make Stewie from plasticine. Turn to the final page and be surprised by a lovely sunset farewell to Stewie and his new partner in life.
Well, I needed to buy a copy for each of my three sets of grandchildren and I know I’ll enjoy reading it over and over to them. I am a very lucky writer indeed to be privileged to know so many talented creators both early and further on in their careers. My bookshelves are blessed.
PS The report form Grammarly is that the text was original, however there were 26 critical writing issues giving me a score of 51/100. There were nine issues with contextual spelling, six with grammar including one confusing modifier, two with sentence structure and two with wordiness. Hey, that adds up to only five! With punctuation within a sentence there were three issues. With style and word choice there were six issues with writing style and two with vocabulary. Well, I’m feeling way more confident having used Grammarly. Not.