Stage Struck – Guest Post by, Felicity Sidnell Reid…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Photo credit to Anne Sidnell and permission of Primrose Donkey SanctuaryRoseneath, Ontario

The first snow fell late that year. November was mellow, the sun turning the long grass pinky gold in the morning, the cedars holding their green, and the earth sending up a faint mist through the frost. Edward rolled in his field, next to the house, and brayed for his summer friends, who’d shared his pasture. Alone now, he huddled in his small, straw-lined barn on cold nights.

I’d inherited Edward from my uncle and aunt when they sold their farm. He became my daughter’s pet, but Megan left for theatre college. She came home sometimes on the weekend, but most of the time, Edward had only me. I felt sorry for him—he needed company.

One morning, the phone rang. I answered, “Nina Harris speaking.”

A voice said, “Hello. I believe you own a donkey. Right?”

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Blogging Bliss – Guest Post by, Felicity Sidnell Reid…

Thanks again, Chris!

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

What I like best about blogging is feeling free to write about whatever seems most important or interesting to me at the time I sit down to my computer. So this week, as I am still coming down from my high over the Festival of the Arts we planned, organised and executed and which turned into such a fabulous success, I’m going to tell you a little about the weekend and post some pictures of the various events.

We opened the festival on Friday night with a reception in honour of our sponsors and supporters at which Cobourg’s poet laureate, Ted Amsden, read his poem that celebrates Canada 150 and the town of Cobourg. This was followed by a staged reading of De Beaux Gestes & Beautiful Deeds, a musical play in which the playwright, singer-songwriter Marie-Lynn Hammond, performed and sang 10 of her original songs.

Marie -Lynn Hammond in…

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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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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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