A Busy Week and Purple Fingernails

Thank you Cynthia, yeah for Myrtle!

Cynthia Reyes

Accepting a blogger friend’s challenge, I painted my nails purple to attend the Festival of the Arts in Cobourg, Ontario last weekend.

Blog Photo - Myrtle Purple NailsOf course, my friend won the challenge hands-down (hands-up?) because in this picture below, she’s also wearing a purple shirt! 

Blog Photo - Myrtle and Mandy and Purple Nails

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I’m a volunteer with the Festival and it was a great success! Painters, photographers, authors, actors, musicians and others shared their talents with enthusiastic audiences.

Blog Photo - Festival Marie-Lynn playing guitarBlog Photo - Pat Calder Stall at FestivalBlog Photo - Festival Mandy Bing paintingsBlog Photo - Festival Book FairBlog Photo - Festival Sharon Ramsay CurtisBlog Photo - Festival Kim aubrey readingBlog Photo - SOTH Festival Performers

Blog Photo - SOTH Festival gifts for Chairs
Above 6 photos by Hamlin Grange

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In the photo just above, publisher Jennifer Bogart(right) and I are presenting gifts to Felicity Sidnell Reid (left) and Susan Statham (2nd from right), the hard-working co-chairs of the Festival’s organizing committee.  

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It’s also been a great ‘Myrtle week’.  I dropped into A Different Booklist  – one of Toronto’s best-known book stores. Owners Itah and Miguel introduced me to customers Shay Lin (holding a copy of Myrtle), an international student from China, and Qing, her…

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Why read anthologies? Please welcome Hill Spirits 111! – Guest Post by, Felicity Sidnell Reid…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Do anthologies have popular appeal these days? And if not, why not? We’re told that readers have given up on novels and want something shorter, that the novella is making a comeback and that, short stories, flash fiction and graphics are what catches the book buying public’s attention. Most comments about the reading public need to be taken with at least half a teaspoonful of salt, of course. But it does seem that short, varied pieces of writing with strong individual points of view ought to appeal to a wide audience and since an anthology usually has “something for everyone” within its covers shouldn’t it be just the ticket?

The Spirit of the Hills Writers’ Group , based in Northumberland County Ontario, has published two anthologies, in 2012 and 2015, and is about to launch the third Hill Spirits 111 at our Festival of the Arts in early November. They…

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Felicity Sidnell Reid — Arts Multi-tasker

Only three weeks to go before this event which has absorbed so many of us for over a year!

Cynthia Reyes

I don’t go out much. But I recently got ‘volun-told’ to help my artists’ group.  You can blame Felicity Sidnell Reid.  I joke that she twisted my arm — most graciously.

Blog Photo - Felicity and granddaughter Felicity and her grandaughter

An author and radio interviewer, Felicity is always involved in the arts.

She and her husband John moved from big-city Toronto to Northumberland County 20 years ago.

SOTH - Patricia Calder Farm Country“I love the country,” she says. “And I love the atmosphere of a small village. I feel more relaxed here.”

Felicity lives in “a small house on a large lot with a stream that runs year-round.”

Blog Photo - Felicity gardenBlog photo - Felicity petBlog Photo - Felicity CreekBlog Photo - Felicity Book CoverHer book, Alone: A Winter in the Woods was published in 2015 by Hidden Brook Press. Skilfully written and illustrated, it’s a survival story about a teenager left alone to look after his family’s cabin and livestock in 1797 while his father fetches the other family members from abroad.

Felicity also chairs…

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Favourite Festivals – Guest Post by, Felicity Sidnell Reid…

Many thanks for hosting this post, Chris!

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Summer here is festival season. Because many Canadians are celebrating Canada’s 150th year, this year our region of Eastern Ontario has been particularly well provided, even embroidered with concerts, weekend programmes, and festivals that provide several weeks of music. Literary and poetry festivals abound as well, and of course theatrical ones. Some of these are long established, others new.

Westben Theatre – Photo by Michel Proulx

Choosing which events to attend is the challenge, as there are so many you’d really not want to miss. My favourite summer music series, presented at the Westben Theatre (a purpose-built barn with great acoustics) in Campbellford ON, is now in its 17th year and a flourishing concern. Westben presents a wide variety of music from Bach to Broadway favourites, opera, jazz, fiddle, folk and world music. Performances range from full symphony orchestras, fully staged operas to solo banjo, flamenco guitar and…

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Nine Lives and a poem – Guest Post by, Felicity Sidnell Reid…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

My cat, Lucy, probably on life number 7

Cats have nine lives so it’s said. Lying awake last night, reflecting on my own life, I came to the conclusion that it is humans who may live several lives and on leaving one, they shut the door on it as they turn to another.

If you Google the question of cats’ nine lives, you’ll see many people have commented on it. Most quote the old proverb which goes further than the statement with which I began. It runs, “A cat has nine lives. For three he plays, for three he strays and for three he stays.” Interpretations of this are various; most regard it as a comment on the hardiness of cats and their ability to survive against the odds but also that old age makes cats more loving. Some point out the saying was well-known in Shakespeare’s time and that…

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Getting ready for Spirit of the Hills Festival of the Arts November 3rd and 4th 2017, by, Felicity Sidnell Reid…

With thanks to the story-reading ape!

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Spirit of the Hills, the Canadian arts association to which I belong, is planning an exciting and challenging project. To mark Canada’s 150th anniversary, celebrate the growing variety and diversity of our arts community, and engage more members of the public in the arts, we decided to hold a Festival of the Arts on November 3 and 4.

Spirit of the Hills is a flourishing organization. It started in 2000 to promote and support the many artists of all kinds who live in Northumberland County, east of Toronto, and surrounding areas.

We have been working on the Festival since last October. How quickly time goes by!

The events—featuring members of Spirit of the Hills who are writers, artists, musicians, performers, and teachers— have now been confirmed.

We’re thrilled to hold the festival at beautiful St Peter’s Anglican Church in Cobourg. It has wonderful facilities, including an auditorium and a…

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OF READING, WRITING LETTERS AND…BLOGGING – Guest Post by, Felicity Sidnell Reid…

Many thanks to the Story Reading Ape, as usual!

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Licensed to use image obtained – Copyright ragnarocks 123RF Stock Photo

Who remembers Josephine Tey and her hero, Inspector Alan Grant? Perhaps very few, though her novel, The Daughter of Time, was listed as number 1 on the British Crime Writers’ Association list of the Top Crime Novels of All Time in 1990 nearly 40 years after her death. In 1995, The Mystery Writers of America rated the book fourth on their similar list.

TheDaughter of Time is an unusual mystery, in which Alan Grant, recovering from a badly broken leg in hospital, is sent a card of the National Portrait Gallery’s picture of Richard III painted by an artist who was Richard’s contemporary. In Grant’s view, the portrait doesn’t jibe with Richard’s reputation as a murderous villain and Grant sets out to discover the “real nature” of the maligned king and to prove that he had no…

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Walking under trees: facts and fantasies – Guest Post by, Felicity Sidnell Reid…

Many thanks to Chris as usual for finding a spot on his blog for this post.

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

After the torrential downpour we experienced yesterday, walking in the park with my dog, Danny, was a special pleasure today. The woods were full of puddles, some the size of small ponds. The trees drinking up the water shook off the rain and set their flowers and new leaves dancing.

Japanese scientists suggested a few years ago, that walking under the woodland canopy an activity they call “forest bathing” improves immune function, reduces stress levels and promotes creativity.

Cleaner air and less noise and distraction play a part, but some researchers also argue that the trees may give off a mist of “wood essential oils” which have a beneficial effect.

New research recently measured an improvement in cognition after subjects of the research took a 50 minute walk in a treed park. Not only the improved air quality and quiet affected the walkers but the colours and complex shapes in…

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Musings About Identity and Home – Guest Post by, Felicity Sidnell Reid…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

This year Canada celebrates the 150th anniversary of Confederation. It’s a year in which many will think about where they came from and where they now live. Whether they came as an immigrant or a refugee, those who have arrived in their own lifetime, may wonder once again if they are at ‘home’; ask themselves when that conviction came to them and what changed them from someone seeking a new home into someone who found one.

Some may look back on generations of their family who have settled here, others to thousands of years that this land mass has been the home of their ancestors. In spite of its vastness and many travellers’ first impressions of its apparently untouched beauties, we have learned more in recent years of the people who lived here thousands of years ago and how they lived. In the past week a new discovery has…

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