First, let me confess that I’m directionally challenged. Unless I’m driving into the sun and am sure of the time of day, I have no idea whether I’m headed south or east, west or north. Luckily for me, Magellan (my GPS) has solved that problem–most of the time. Unfortunately, Magellan has also diluted whatever skills I did have at getting around to the point where without someone telling me where to go…
At any rate, Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan, the first stop on my readings tour for Saskatchewan Education Week and Saskatchewan Library Week, isn’t a very big place even if it is Saskatchewan’s 14th city. So, it should have been pretty easy to get from the Super 8 straight up 9th street to Lakeview School–even without help from Magellan, since it didn’t have the school address in it (guess I need to update its memory banks).
Unfortunately, I made the mistake of confirming the location with a local who didn’t realize there were five schools in the near vicinity and who sent me off on the proverbial wild goose chase. In the end, it all came down to the incredibly helpful school secretary at Lakeview Elementary and my car phone, as she stepped in to become my local “Magellan.” Thank goodness for school secretaries, as she capably juggled phone calls, people in her office, and still provide turn by turn directions (Where are you now? The rink. Well, then turn left and come another couple of blocks to the...)
I arrived at the school to find the lovely breakfast (which I’d forgotten they were providing) waiting for me. Sigh. The fruit made an excellent afternoon snack, though!
While my game may have started off, things were soon on track with the gym set up exactly as I needed and enthusiastic students ready to visit. What a great morning it turned out to be! Three hours later, I’d shared the text and illustrations in L is for Land of Living Skies with about 350 students from kindergarten to grade 4, and taken them from a poetic tour around Saskatchewan along on a few of my favorite stops around the world with my travel writing.
Three more hours after that, I was back in Saskatoon, checked in at the Park Town hotel in Saskatoon for the Saskatchewan Writer’s Guild AGM.
While it was exceedingly difficult to resist laying down to just “test the softness” of the beds, I was soon off for my first session and immersed in an intriguing discussion of voice in poetry.