We remember you … Maya Angelou

Today we lost one of literature’s most endearing, inspiring, brilliant leaders, Maya Angelou.

She was known for many things – actress, director, producer, teacher, activist, but perhaps what set her apart was her brilliant contribution to the world of literature as a poet and writer. In her autobiography, “Caged Bird”, Maya Angelou challenged the common structure of writing by producing work that her editor, Robert Loomis called, “high art”.

In honour of her life and the inspiration she has left with us, I’d like to share some of her words. They will continue to enlighten us in her passing.

Words mean more than what is set down on paper.
It takes the human voice to infuse them with deeper meaning.


If you don’t like something, change it.
If you can’t change it, change your attitude.


I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.


My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry; to get my work done and try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return.


Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.


There is no greater agony than bearing
an untold story inside you.


Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.


We may encounter many defeats
but we must not be defeated.


If you have only one smile in you
give it to the people you love.

If you find it in your heart to care for somebody else,
you will have succeeded.


Life loves the liver of it.

Rest in peace Maya.

Great article remembering Maya Angelou by Jian Ghomeshi

Words on a Limb Interviews Lisa Dalrymple

Lisa Dalrymple has lived with chickens in South Korea, a cat in Scotland, swam with sharks and a gecko (in her shower) in Thailand, swam and fished for piranha in the Amazon River – but she has never EVER shared a home with a polar bear. Between all her adventures, she’s also made some time to write several inspiring children’s books, including the award winning Skink on the Brink.

She lives with her husband in Fergus, Ontario, Canada. They have three energetic and imaginative kids who it would be only right to credit as co-creators of many of her children’s stories.

Skink on the Brink won the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award for Canada 2014 and has also been nominated for a Rainforest of Reading award in Grenada. A Moose Goes A’Mummering, her next book, is due to be released in October 2014.

We caught up with busy Lisa, if only to put her under our Author’s Spotlight. Let me tell you, we enjoyed it. Here’s Lisa!

About writing …

When did you first realize you wanted to become a writer?
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, so I don’t actually recall a time before I knew it was something I wanted to do. I do, however, recall the first time I submitted to a publisher. I was twelve and it was a middle-grade adventure story à la Nancy Drew or Trixie Beldon. I sent it to Grolier, the encyclopedia people, to ask if they would be interested in considering it for publication. Needless to say, they weren’t. (However, they did send me a very nice rejection letter.)

What book(s) has most influenced your writing?
As a reader and as a writer I go through phases. I often get so involved in another writer’s world that I find myself starting to write in a similar manner. I have to remind myself to step away in order to find my own voice again. Even then, there continue to be times when I hear in my own writing the influence of writers I’ve previously (and still) adore, like Margaret Laurence or Daphne Marlatt–or even as far back as Roger Hargreaves (of Mr. Men fame.)

When and where do you prefer to write?
At the risk of sounding like a difficult artist, I do need complete silence, with no distractions, in order to be able to write. As luck would have it, we live in an old house, with poor insulation and 3 incredibly energetic (read: loud) children. Needless to say, I just have to write whenever and wherever I can find a moment–which isn’t really often enough. As luck would also have it, however, I do tend to be able to write in just about any physical location. I actually have an old shelf, pulled from a bookcase, which journeys with me from room to room–to front porch, to front seat of our van, to anywhere else that I may be able to hide, curled up with my laptop on my knees.
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