For all the bright lights, shiny things and distractions around it, nothing motivates the creative mind quite like a deadline. And as deadlines go, catching Canada’s 150 is a pretty big one.
And yet, with ‘Where Pines and Maples Grow’, a group of eight local authors managed to do just that.
Known in group form as Write Intentions, Donna Belanger, Ray Burns, Sarah Butland, Nancy Larsen, Carolyn MacIsaac, Heather MacKenzie, Crystal Mann and Bonnie Rose not only met their deadlines but also created eight unique stores with a maple theme at their core.
“Eight different stories,” Belanger explained, “completely different. We took the theme of the maple leaf and ran with it. Everyone came up with something totally different. That’s what amazed me the most. All of our stories are so completely different, but all with that theme of the maple leaf.”
The group said that some ideas may have been kicking around for a while, but all the stories are new and written just for this project. Belanger wrote a new story about the Ship Hector while other stories are centred on immigration and life in Canada.
“Basically it goes past, to present, to future,” Belanger said.
Tradigital artist John Ashton, who created the book’s cover, is credited with sparking the idea, or at least the suggestion of the idea. From there, the group thought it would be an excellent exercise in deadlines, the first of which was May 15th.
“It was just in the spring, and we decided we needed to do something for Canada’s 150th Birthday,” Belanger said. “And realizing that this had to be out by the end of the year there was a great push to get it down. We all wrote it pretty quickly.”
That need to have their writings published by year’s end became the driving motivator.
“That was the push we all needed, we just needed a kick in the pants to get going,” Belanger said.
‘Where Pines and Maples Grow’ will be released October 14th – Indie Author Day – at the Pictou and New Glasgow libraries, in dual launches occurring from 2 to 4 p.m. at both locations.
ABOVE: Author Crystal Mann sees a copy of the Write Intention’s writer group’s ‘Where Pines and Maples Grow’ for the first time. The book was ready from the publisher – Advocate Publishing – last Friday and is available at a two-location launch at the Pictou and New Glasgow libraries.
INSET PHOTO: The Write Intentions writers group, from the left: Crystal Mann, Sarah Butland, Nancy Larsen, Donna Belanger and Bonnie Rose. Missing: Heather MacKenzie, Carolyn MacIsaac and Ray Burns. (Cameron photos)