Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

The Last Post

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It’s hard to believe that the entire month of October has gone by and this is my last post as Open Book Writer in Residence! I've enjoyed and respected the experience and it’s certainly given me new respect for bloggers and daily columnists who need to produce, not fiction, but a developed opinion every day. In this, the 31st post on October 31, I’m glad to say I met my self-set goal of posting every single day. My WIR file contains 27,000 words, or about some 900 words per day. If only I could do that all the time with my own work!

Just to be sure there are no loose ends, I just did a checklist on my first post and I believe I kept all of my Top Ten reasons to read this blog, except the one where I said I’d tell you more about Herodotus, Hieronymus Bosch and Home Children. I’ll keep it now.

One of the historical sites I’m fascinated by is The House of Industry and Refuge between Elora and Fergus. As poor house, lunatic asylum, house for drunkards and unwed mothers, it’s crying out to have a novel named after it. Whenever I let my mind wander from Kefuffle, I’m starting to hear the story of its inmates, including a pair of Home Children, ironically sent to Canada from Britain to save their lives, who end up facing death in this Work House where the warden has lost touch with reality and spends much of the day believing himself in direct communication with the aforementioned Herodotus and Hieryonymous. To me, it’s forgotten history, an important Canadian story waiting to be told.

So once I hit send, what am I going to do with all my free time? The second I post this I’m going to do one of my favourite things that I haven’t been able to do for a month—go out for breakfast! Then I’m going to catch up on my reading. I’ve got three signed works from the IFOA that I definitely want to read: Half Blood Blues, by Esi Edugyan, The Sisters Brothers, by Patrick deWitt, and the book that won my heart at the Rogers Trust Readings, Michael Christie’s The Beggar’s Garden. I’ll also soon be indulging my sweet tooth for historical fiction by reading Eva Stachniak’s The Winter Palace. When I’m not reading, I hope to bring the daily discipline of a morning blog back to my own work.

For those of you left wanting more, I'll continue to post updates on Kefuffle, and hopefully on The House of Industry and Refuge, to my Author's Blog here on Open Book.

So thank you to all of you who read my musings. And many thanks to all the folks at Open Book for this marvelous opportunity to spend a month as a literary Lois Lane!

Best Wishes, Happy Halloween, Happy Reading and Writing,

1 comment

Thanks for an interesting month of posts. I was wondering if you had forgotten about Hieronymus Bosch. Glad you mentioned him, although only in passing! The casual reader would still have no idea who he was. Perhaps this will have to wait for more details in the House of Industry and Refuge, this as yet untold Canadian story. All the best in maintaining the daily discipline.

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

Dorothy Ellen Palmer

Dorothy Ellen Palmer is the author of the novel, When Fenelon Falls (Coach House Books). She lives in Toronto.

Go to Dorothy Ellen Palmer’s Author Page