W-Day: A Fresh Start

In cyber-time, I haven’t posted a new blog since I-Pad 1s ruled the Apple store, so this is long overdue. I’m easing in slowly, committing one day a week. Wednesday. W-day, for cool women I’ve met or hope to meet.

As fate would have it, I attended an awesome event last night combining two of my favourite things: reading and well-appointed bars. More than a Reading Series debuted Oct. 18 at the Economy Shoe Shop in the heart of downtown Halifax. I got to meet three other authors, two of whom were newbies like me. I got to enjoy the company of good friends who came to cheer me on. I was able to introduce Little Jack and his compadres to a new crop of potential readers.

And I got to do this through the stellar efforts of the keen lady of the day: Kathleen Healy, Editorial Director of Bryler Publications Inc.

I hesitate calling her a lady, only because at age 24, she’s young enough to be my daughter. Like I ever thought I would hear myself saying that. However, she already has a very proud mom and for good reason. At an age when many of her peers are languishing at home bemoaning their futures between texts, she has rediscovered her passion and set out full-tilt to earn a living at of all things, publishing books.

I know. Kids her age aren’t supposed to be reading anything not posted, tweeted or broken down into initials and here she is, devoting her life to the creation and promotion of the ultimate printed tome. My daughter is clamouring for an I-Pod Touch for Christmas and Kathleen wants bookshelves. Young enough to be my daughter, maybe, but definitely her own person.

She admits to taking a few detours. Academia was her calling, she thought, until she realized over time that the pursuit of higher knowledge was depleting her deeper calling: that of writing, reading, and thoroughly enjoying a good story. She switched her higher education gears to publishing, then set her sights on a new company that she believed was so perfect for her, she spent six months working for free to prove her point. Now, she is living and working in rural Nova Scotia in her chosen field, as well as one or two others to subsidize her passion. And if her days aren’t busy enough acquiring manuscripts and working with authors to make their writing dreams come true, she has taken on this new reading series to help highlight the work of not only her employer, but other regional publishers as well. She issued invites, set the lineup, read all of our books, wrote the questions, and delivered everything with the relaxed glee of someone doing what she truly loves.

Books are dead? Not as long as there are folks like Kathleen. It makes this new author and old fogey have hope that even if I can never afford an I-Pod Touch on my book earnings, I can still do what I love and make a difference.

Now if I can figure out how to wrap that up for my daughter …