June 30 . Issue #156

A cool breeze in summer and snow in winter. If your mind is not clouded with unnecessary things, No season is too much for you.

Hello all, and welcome to this month’s journal. A place for me to share five points of interest. Things that have been going on in my neck of the woods. Some things that you may find useful, interesting, and entertaining. At least, I hope so.

This month, the beauty of the Grey Highlands, the Toronto Jazz Festival, writing events, and more.

The featured photo is from a lookout at Old Baldy Conservation Area in the Grey Highlands, near Kimberly, Ontario.

1. Festivals, farmers markets, and artisan markets, June has been busy for me.

The Book Shelf, I had a great time, sold a few books, and met lots of people at my first Writers Community of York Region, WCYR, Bookshelf booksellers market. Thank you to the great members, organizers, and authors/writers in the WCYR who made it happen and came together so smoothly.

The next day another event at The New Earth Village, the new earth love festival and Artisans Market. Another artisan market is planned for July 9th, I can’t make that one. I  will be at the following one on Sunday, August 20th.

2. Another event that I am excited about is my visit on August 2nd to the East Gwillimbury Public Library. I hope you can attend my children’s writing workshop, a Kindle Creativity Workshop. A reading and an exploration of how we can spark that creative fire.

I have facilitated this workshop online and in person. The children seem to enjoy it. The last time I read a Japanese fairy tale from Yei Theodora Ozaki based on the story “My Lord Bag of Rice” about a brave Samurai warrior and the great Dragon King.

3. Jazz Festival time and I am accredited for the TD Toronto Jazz Festival running from June 24th to July 2nd. There are some ticketed events with big-name acts and many free events every day and night of the festival.

So far, I have seen and heard some excellent acts. I have met some great artists and I am scheduled to see many more. My favorite to date:

The Avashai Cohen Trio. Cohen is an outstanding bassist. He was joined by a young pianist, Guy Moskovitch and a young drummer, Roni Kaspi. These musicians played wonderfully together, the concert was outstanding.

On the subject of music, one of my favorite saxophone players passed away on June 22, 2023. Peter Brötzmann. He was a German jazz saxophonist and clarinetist, a central and pioneering figure in the European free jazz movement.

4. Illustrator extraordinaire Joshua Miller visited my northern sanctuary recently. We decided our next meeting for the new book Dojo in the Woods would be an in-person up north meeting. A chance to review and reveal the book’s illustrations.

Well, first, a canoe adventure or two and hiking the Bruce Trail.

A visit to the artist town of Clarksburg. Dinner in Thornbury. A serene canoe trip in Collingwood and a meeting to discuss the illustrations. I am pleased with the awesome illustrations. They are beyond what I had imagined, and I can’t wait to show them off.

5. Summer is a great time for reading. I have been borrowing books from those little libraries you may have seen on the front lawns of residential areas and small-town main streets.

The most recent book is by John Irving, A Prayer For Owen Meany. I was putting one of my books, Scratchy the Squirrel: A Time for Friends, in the little library in Clarksburg. I recognized the author and grabbed the book. I read his book, The Cider House Rules, many years ago. I enjoyed the movie as well, it won an Oscar for best writing, screenplay by John Irving.

Thank you for reading, and if you know someone who would like to read my journal, please share it with others. All of my books are now available at your favorite bookstores; support local bookstores with your online purchases.

Make sure you get out and about and enjoy the beautiful days. Visit an artisan market, a farmers market, or a book festival. If you’re looking for a great early reader chapter book, get my book Scratchy the Squirrel: A Time for Friends. My picture books are perfect for the younger ones: Samba in Switzerland, Samba on a Snowy Day or  Samba in Brazil.



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