Join Leanne Dyck's exciting author journey. Leanne is writing picture books for children, a novel for young adults and short stories for you. Every Sunday evening, she shares book reviews or articles about writing or glimpses into the life of an author with dyslexia or one of those short stories. For a list of Leanne Dyck's published work please visit the publishing history page. Please help nurture this blog by visiting, commenting, subscribing and sharing.
Update: Congratulations to Julie Emerson for winning The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku International. Her winning entry will be read by Christopher Gaze (from Bard on the Beach) atSakura Days Japan Fairon Saturday, April 5th at 12:30 p.m. at the Van Dusen Gardens. The festival continues on Sunday. On Saturday, June 8th, Julie Emerson will read from her book The Herons of Stanley Park at the Stanley Park heronry. Bird Week is from May 3 to 10
I’d like to
thank Leanne for giving me the opportunity to tell you a bit about my book A
Hundred Days– a botanical
novel. It’s the story of a woman, Rosemary, who spends 100 days on an
island, and each day she chooses 1
plant or herb in her garden to observe and write about – with
botanical and mythological and historical information. In the 100 chapters, she
also writes about her observations of island life, and what happens to her.
Because I’m an artist, I drew a pen-and-ink illustration for each of the 100
chapters. I wrote the observations nearly 20 years ago. Last year I was
involved in the process of publication of the book A Hundred Days, and it
took about 100 days. I’ll tell you some of the differences between the writing
of it and the publication, and you’ll recognize some of these yourself.
was the different perception of time I had while I was doing the writing and
the drawings. You can imagine when I would walk slowly around the garden, look
at the ground and at the sky, look at the plants and trees and then stop to
focus on the flower or herb. I would smell it and observe the shapes and colours
of the different plants. I took notes and I sat inside writing. I was alone, and I was outside of time. Not
only didn’t I look at a clock, but I also didn’t have a cellphone or Google or
When I was
getting this book ready for publication, I used 5 different software programs,
and because they blew out 2 computers, I also had to buy a new computer and
scanner and printer to prepare the cover photographs and the illustrations. When
I was observing the natural world and writing, there was nothing to buy.
While I was
preparing A Hundred Days to publish, I was inside looking at a screen. I
spent a lot of time on the micro level. It was time-consuming, and I tried to
do it as fast as I possibly could. This is a different kind of lack of time.
When you take a break outside, you do some weeding, or when you stop writing,
you do the tasks you need to do. When you’re inside at the computer and you
need a break, you switch to another screen. You look at another, and another…Working
on a computer, you need a special effort to maintain your focus and to sustain
negative effects of technology on books are undeniable, and I love books. At
this same interesting time in the history of reading, the technology now exists
for writers and independent publishers to do it themselves, exactly as we’d
like to. It’s a wonderful opportunity for us to have books that would be
classified as difficult Mixed Genre and to have books on paper that are as
beautiful as we can make them.