Mystery Photo #155

I don’t know about you, but after a few busy weekends in a row and a week full of icky, snowy weather, I am looking forward to a quiet weekend at home.  I’m starting to realize just how quickly Christmas is approaching, and although I have already done quite a bit of shopping, I need to sit down and figure out who I still need to buy for and maybe get started on my Christmas cards.

But before everyone gets started with their weekend plans, let’s see what you can do with the mystery photo.  This is a fun one, rather than a difficult one, and if you don’t recognize it right off the bat, think of what I spent last weekend doing.  Ok, ready, set, go….


Mystery Photo #155

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Portraits of Talent and Inspiration

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Sitting in the front row at the main stage listening to gifted writers speak about their craft was the icing on the cake for me at the Toronto International Book Fair.  Reading has always been my favourite and most satisfying hobby, but there is something about actually listening to an author describe how and why they do what they do that makes the stories mean so much more to me.  It’s like they actually share a little piece of themselves with you.  And then to actually get to meet them and tell them how much you love their books, well that is the biggest thrill of all!  Here are some portraits of the authors I was most excited to see.

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Anne Rice, author of the famous Vampire Chronicles series.

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Kathy Reichs, author of the hugely popular mystery series that the TV show Bones is based on.

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It was an absolute honour to meet Margaret Atwood, who celebrated her 75th birthday this week.

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Will Ferguson, author of the 2012 Giller Prize winning book, 419.

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Lev Grossman, author of The Magicians Trilogy.

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Maggie Stiefvater, author of many popular Young Adult series.

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Amanda Lindhout, the Canadian journalist who spent 460 days in captivity in Somalia and lived to tell the tale in her book, A House in the Sky. This is an incredible book!!

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Lisa Genova, a neuroscientist, who is the author of three hugely successful books, including Still Alice, the story of a woman with early onset Alzheimer’s Disease, which has been made into a major motion picture.

Last but not least, and the main reason why I bought my ticket months ago for this book fair, was to see one of my favourite authors of all time, Deborah Harkness.   She is a fascinating and extremely intelligent author and university professor who manages to take fantasy, history, and science and mix them together in just the right combination to make you believe that maybe witches and vampires could actually exist, and in the process you get great history and science lessons.  She is a very gifted writer, and if you haven’t read her All Souls Trilogy I would highly recommend that you give it a try. You won’t regret it!

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Finally, here is a picture of Deborah Harkness, myself, and Grega, a new friend from the All Souls Trilogy Discussion Group on Facebook.  What an incredible weekend!!

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Posted in Authors, Blogging, Books, Excitement, Famous People, Happiness, Hobbies, Inspiration, Memories, Photography, Reading, Toronto, Ontario, Weekend Activities | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

A Booklover’s Paradise

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I think I made it pretty obvious in my mystery photo blog last Friday that I was incredibly excited about the book fair I was going to attend all weekend.  Well, I am happy to report that the book fair did not disappoint.  In fact, it far surpassed my expectations, and I came home exhausted but extremely happy, with 13 new autographed books :).

This was the first year for the Inspire Toronto International Book Fair, so I didn’t know quite what to expect, except that there were some amazing authors scheduled to appear. I made the drive to the city and back both Saturday and Sunday, leaving the house at 7am in order to arrive at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre when the doors opened at 9:30am.  As my friend, Jan, and I walked into the Fair my jaw dropped because there were books literally everywhere, and the displays were fantastic.  For instance, the publishers, Penguin Canada, Random House Canada, and Simon & Schuster all had amazing setups that looked like rooms in a home with books not only filling the shelves in each room but also on coffee tables, bedside tables, and kitchen tables.  It’s hard to describe just how wonderfully creative it was, so let me show you.

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The areas set up for children had activities for them to do, and adults could relax in any of the other “rooms” to flip through books and choose any they wanted to buy.  I thought it was brilliant, yet overwhelming in some respects because I wanted to buy every book I saw LOL!!  When I wasn’t listening to authors speak or meeting them to get my books signed, I always found myself wandering back over to the “house” to explore.

This fair was extremely well organized.  I knew that we had to get wristbands if we wanted to get a book autographed, but I figured that I would have to line up for a wristband for each author.  As a result, I thought that I would spend most of my day in lineups, thereby limiting how many authors I would actually be able to hear speak. However, it turned out that we only had to line up once in the morning to purchase books we wanted signed and to get our wristbands.  The wristbands were then good for the whole day, which meant that I was able to see every author that I wanted to see, and there was an incredible variety.  If I have one complaint, it was that for most of the signings, you had to buy the book there to get it autographed.  Some authors actually did additional signings though where they would sign books you brought from home as well, which was really great.  Needless to say, I was on cloud 9 all weekend, and I’m already excited to hear who will be in attendance next year!

Stay tuned for my next blog post where I will post photos of such incredible authors as Anne Rice, Deborah Harkness, Margaret Atwood, and Kathy Reichs, just to name a few. They were all so friendly and fascinating to listen to that it made it a weekend I will never forget!

Posted in Blogging, Books, Excitement, Happiness, Hobbies, Memories, Photography, Reading, Relaxation, Toronto, Ontario, Weekend Activities | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Mystery Photo #154

I know this is shocking, but you almost didn’t get a mystery photo today.  I’m just so excited about this weekend that I haven’t been able to sit down at my computer and concentrate on anything this week!  Both Saturday and Sunday I will be attending the first annual Inspire Toronto International Book Fair in downtown Toronto, Ontario, and the list of authors who will be speaking and signing books is out of this world!!  I’m extremely excited to meet Deborah Harkness again, one of my favourite authors of all time, but I’m totally freaking out because Margaret Atwood and Anne Rice are going to be there.  I don’t know if any of you will agree, but to me this is huge!  They are even having a 75th birthday party for Margaret Atwood with cake.  If it is chocolate, I can see this becoming the best book event of all time.

With my exciting weekend in mind, I have to go now.  I need to work on my arm muscles to get them ready to carry heavy bags of books.  Yahooooo!!!  Here I come Toronto, and let nobody get in my way :).  While I’m exercising my biceps, it’s time for you to exercise your brains and take a guess at the mystery photo.  Ok, ready, set, go…….

Mystery Photo #154

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Mystery Photo #153

I was out for the evening last night to see author, Ann-Marie MacDonald, speak in Orangeville, Ontario about her latest book, Adult Onset, and today we are heading to Waterloo, Ontario with our youngest son, Daniel, to an open house at Wilfred Laurier University and then back home for his high school commencement Friday evening.  So, it’s crazy busy, but I still managed a mystery photo for you.  It’s like those brain exercises on the Luminosity website – regular practice keeps your brain sharp :).  So, let’s see what you can do.  Ok, ready, set, go….

Oh, and one other thing.  Yesterday was my parents’ 59th wedding anniversary, and I want to wish them a very happy anniversary.  In this age of broken marriages, they are an inspiration!

Mystery Photo #153

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Scenes on the Seine

Every famous city is known for its iconic symbols, like the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Big Ben in London, and the windmills in Amsterdam, but many cities have their iconic waterways too.  In Amsterdam it’s the canals, in London it’s the Thames River, and in Paris it’s the River Seine.  Growing up in a sailing family, I am drawn to water and always feel a sense of peace and happiness when near water.  As Mike and I strolled along the Seine in Paris, I couldn’t help but appreciate the incredible beauty that this majestic waterway adds to Paris.  These photos never fail to bring a smile to my face – I hope you enjoy them :).

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Posted in Adventure, Beauty, Blogging, Emotions, Exploring, Famous Landmarks, Happiness, Life Experiences, Memories, Paris, France, Peace and Quiet, Photography, Rivers, Scenery, Summer, Travel, Urban Photography, Vacations | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Mystery Photo #152

Ghouls and ghosts, witches and vampires, superheros and villains, Disney characters and cute little animals, pirates and hobos.  All of these and then some will be knocking on my door tonight, and I will have to be a good adult and give them all the wonderful little chocolate bars that I bought for the occasion.  That’s sheer torture, let me tell you!!

However, Mother Nature might actually come through for me this time because she’s threatening to dump snow on us for Halloween which means there’s a potential for leftover chocolates.  Yipeeeeee!!!!  Seriously though, I hope Mother Nature will take pity on the little ones and their parents this year and not spoil all the fun.  Happy Halloween everyone :).

I should have thought of something creepy for my Halloween mystery photo, but I couldn’t resist using this picture because I think it’s a really tough one, and I’m getting sick of telling all of you that you were correct once again LOL!  So, is this as tricky as I think it is?  Ok, ready, set, go…..

Mystery Photo #152

Posted in Blogging, Mystery Photo, Photography | Tagged , , | 19 Comments