Thursday, April 3, 2014

CCA Grant and other news

So much news for you! 

Audio Rights:

We've sold the audio rights for Ice Dogs to audible. It's going to be made into an audio book! 

Grants:

I've just received the good news that I've won a significant writing grant from the Canadian Council for the Arts! I can't tell you how shocked I was when I opened that letter. It's a wonderfully validating feeling to be selected. 

I also won a smaller Writers' Reserve Grant from the Ontario Arts Council last month. I've been very very fortunate this year.


Awards:

This fancy thing came in the mail from Junior Library Guild and made me all sorts of happy




Reviews:

Latest professional review for Ice Dogs came in - 

“Emotionally satisfying and insightful, this story has staying power.” — Booklist


Skype visits:

I've done over 40 Skype visits with classes all over the US and it has been a wonderful experience. Some feedback:

Terry was fantastic. She shared invaluable experiences with the kids about being a musher and author. — Mary Lee

The kids are still talking about it! — Christina Moline

What a wonderful experience for the kids! They were completely engaged as were the teachers. Terry left time for questions and it was clear from the questions that the students had learned a lot. — Mrs. Wainwright, Boxford MA

Mrs. Johnson hooked my class immediately. She shared funny stories, showed equipment, read from her book, and talked about writing. By far the BEST Skype lesson my class has done. — Amy Wilson

Here's one teacher's blog post with photos - Donna Young said my visit was one of the best she's had the pleasure to be part of. 
Awww! Thanks, Donna! Loved meeting your students!



Students shared their stories with me too. Here's a pet dog story: 

"My dog eats whole packs of crayons and then poops all different colors."

A dog who poops rainbows - Awesome!


Photos:




Thursday, March 6, 2014

Skyping for Read Aloud Day

What have I been up to lately?


Here's my living room turned into a teaching nook. I'm getting ready for epic Skype sessions - 8 per day. After I took this photo, it reminded me of something. 

Does anyone else think this looks similar to the set of The Friendly Giant? Pull up a rocking chair next to the fire. (Needs Rusty and Gerome.) Look up. Waaay up. 
I loved that show. Life is so funny.


I've been making lots of new friends from all over the States, the UK, Australia and Canada! I'm skyping with 39 classes in the next three weeks to celebrate World Read Aloud Day.

I'm so grateful to meet all these amazing young readers with such smart questions about dogsledding and writing and being an author. I'm hearing lots of stories of pet dogs too.

  • Pet dogs who drink out of toilets
  • who run their butts across the carpet
  • who walk on their back legs


I'm new to Skype, and now I'm a fan!







Wednesday, February 12, 2014

School visits and photos from the vault

If you're wondering what happened to my last post about Amazon running out of my book on day 2, I've decided to take it down because I'm really not a fretting kind of person. I'm going to let my editor and agent worry about the business end of things.

So, I'm off to do my first school presentation tomorrow. Three classes in one day! We're going to learn about dogsledding - I have a mini dogsled with gear, and maybe we'll do some dogsled races down the school halls. If everyone leaves with all their teeth, it will be a success!

I'll post pictures if I can remember to take them.



In the mean time, here's a few pictures from the vault.


This is me winter camping with a dog team in Nenana, Alaska - the setting of ICE DOGS.


This is my summer dog yard



Me and one of my lead dogs, JADE hanging out


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

ICE DOGS release day and a giveaway

IT'S FINALY HERE!

I'm so happy to announce ICE DOGS is available to purchase today!

If any of you see it on the shelf of your local bookstore, send me a photo and I'll send you something!



A Junior Library Guild Selection
A Scholastic Book Fair Pick

"The high-stakes adventure and episodic nature of the chapters will make this book an easy sell for reluctant readers." -- School Library Journal

"(A) thoroughly engaging and incredibly suspenseful survival story… Well crafted, moving and gripping." -- Kirkus

Purchase links

Indiebound
Amazon
Chapters Indigo


now for the GIVEAWAY

Simply comment to help me celebrate release day and you'll be entered to win a hardcover copy.

Ends at midnight EST

EDIT UPDATE ON GIVEAWAY - Dezmond wins a copy of ICE DOGS!
Dezmond, please send me a mailing address! Thanks to everyone who helped celebrate my release day!


Monday, January 27, 2014

Outdoor living for your health

Minus 36 Celsius last week! Fresh!
The snowshoeing has been spectacular this year!

It's been extra cold and snowy and it's tempting to stay indoors more. But I wanted to share some research I discovered.

Recent studies show:


  • lower stress learning in nature vs classroom
  • viewing nature scenes reduces muscular tension and blood pressure
  • more parks = lower mortality
  • television and computers reduce cognitive performance
  • screen time reduces life expectancy
  • nature-based recreation is down 50% last 4 decades
Why?

Nature gives us:
  • aromatic chemicals - nature-derived chemicals provide emotional connection
  • sunlight - produces mood-regulationg seratonin, reduces depression
  • negative air ions - improved health and longevity
  • natural sounds - reduces stress, improves immune system and cognition

Some of my favourite things are:

  • DOGSLEDDING
  • Snowshoeing
  • Skiing (cross-country and skate skiing)
  • Walking the dog
  • Ice Fishing (only if the sun is out and can find a spot out of the wind)

What kinds of things do you like to do outside?

references: 
Your Brain on Nature, Selhub and Logan, 2012 Wiley
Last Child in the Woods, Louv, 2005, Algonquin
Escarpment Biosphere Conservancy

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Good Things jar


Jeff Schultz photo - the last month in my 2013 calendar

In 2013, we kept a jar for all the good stuff that happened to us or that we were grateful for over the course of the year. It kept us remembering how fortunate we were whenever we looked at it.


Good Things Jar



Here are some of the highlights from our jar:


  • I received a significant work in progress grant from the Ontario Arts Council
  • Hubs got a moose with his gang for the freezer and some geese for sausages. Organic eating
  •  Ice Dogs was picked up by Scholastic Book Clubs and was a Junior Library Guild Selection
  • We were fortunate enough to travel through Alaska and saw sea lions, killer whales, humpback whales, grizzlies, big horned sheep, moose, sea otters and seals following us in our kayaks
  • Hubs completed a tri-athalon in August after learning to swim (better) Well done!
  • And we enjoyed another year of good health and happiness living right where we want to be


We loved this idea so much of being grateful, we started another jar. On Friday, my year started off well with this box of awesome...




tell me, what were some of the highlights in your good things jar?



Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Ice Dogs Trailer debut

You will not guess where my trailer is debuting today. 


It's being revealed exclusively over at School Library Journal

I'm so honoured to be part of Betsy Bird's wonderful blog. And I'm thrilled with the results of the trailer made by Bookcandy Studios. It's full of mushing goodness. 


To share my good fortune, I'm giving away:

  • FREE CRITIQUE of your first ten pages. 
  • FREE SWAG
  • Winners randomly selected from comments. 

Please go check out the ICE DOGS TRAILER here



I've had other good news lately for ICE DOGS, so I'll share now:

  • Ice Dogs was picked up by Scholastic Book Fairs for 2014! 
  • It's a Junior Library Guild Selection!
  • It's a featured book in Houghton Mifflin Harcourt's MIDDLE GRADE MANIA website with its own page! Check it out for excerpt

Publishers Weekly full review

"a page-turner full of white-knuckle action…Readers will be riveted until the end." -- Publishers Weekly

Add it to your Goodreads list 


Leave a comment - what do you think of the trailer? Now you're entered to win. Easy as that!


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Dogsled Race Education Programs

Putting the kayaks away is always a sad event. But the good news is - it signals the start of my favourite season...

DOGSLEDDING



Many dogsled race committees are joining the growing trend to include an educational component to their race.

If you are a teacher interested in following a race with your class, or even just a fan wanting to learn more, there are blogs and websites you can follow along with.


  • Pick a favourite musher (I'm a loyal fan of Martin Buser, my musher-crush)
  • Meet the dogs
  • Follow the race via GPS
  • Live Chats
  • Read news reports from a Canine news team
  • Contests, videos for classrooms, games and more!

Here are a few links to get you started












Iditarod 2014 Teacher on the Trail, Jennifer Reiter

















Saturday, July 13, 2013

Alaska


We're back from an epic adventure in Alaska where my mg novel ICE DOGS is set.

For nearly three weeks we backpacked up mountains and camped, hiked across glowing glaciers, and kayaked our way through spectacular scenery.

One of the best things about travelling is sharing pictures! Here's a few:

note: I missed getting a really cool shot of a humpback whale breaching as well as a sea otter eating an octopus. The octopus was larger than the sea otter! The otter floated on its back while tearing at a rubbery tentacle. It was so cool to watch it smacking its lips while peering over to make sure we weren't trying to steal the prize.

Can't wait to go back!

Grizzly on the Denali Park road
Killer Whales in Kenai Fjords National Park
Having fun on Mat-su Glacier

Hiking the back country of Denali

Sea Lions Kenai Fjords National Park
View of Mt McKinley

Kayaking out of Homer
Denali Park road
Up on the Kesugi Ridge, Denali State Park
great view
Kachemak State Park - the marmots were everywhere on this trail! Standing up and screaming their alarm. 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

one of those moments

'Scuse me while I gush a bit...

You know those moments when you've worked at something for years, and dreamt of how it would be, and visualized what you would do and how you would feel if you achieved it, and then it finally COMES?

I had one of those yesterday when my ARCs of ICE DOGS came in the mail. It was even better than I imagined it. The cover is so shiny and gorgeous! It looks like a real book, feels just like a real book - but with my name on it.

I wrote a book. Yes - I've been writing books since I was eight. Yes, I always said I was going to grow up to be a writer.

But it actually happened.

Here's what my moment looked like.  Tell me about yours!


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

COVER REVEAL for ICE DOGS


I am truly blessed with a spectacular cover for my next middle grade novel,
ICE DOGS, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Feb. 2014

I couldn't be more excited about this amazing piece of art!






add ICE DOGS to Goodreads
like the author page on Facebook 

ARC's will be available in April. Note that the publisher gives out ARC's. If you are interested in receiving an ARC for review, please fill out the request form on the tab at the top of the blog. 


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Paddle to the Mink Islands

We're back from our fall kayak trip, this time we explored islands in Georgian Bay. It was a chilly one this year - and the gale force winds made for some exciting moments! But the scenery made it all worth it.


loading my kayak

Is all that gear going to fit in your kayak, Den?
(It did!)



Love the rocks
Awesome!

Cooking supper

Soup goes down nice when it's four degrees Celcius out!


Anyone have kayak adventures they want to share?