Tag-Archive for » Heather Conn «

Gracie goes to Gibsons March 20

Author Heather Conn signs a book at Woods Showcase

Want to meet Gracie the goldfish and the author of Gracie’s Got a Secret? Don’t know how to keep the kids busy during March break? Come to Woods Showcase at Sunnycrest Mall in Gibsons, BC on Tuesday, March 20. Heather Conn will be reading from her new book, starting at 10:30 a.m.

She’ll chat with the children and their parents and ask for several kid volunteers for her reading. Heather will have some fun puppets to help tell her story, thanks to the participation of her husband Frank. This free event is aimed at kids age 4+.

Budding authors in Seattle

Donna in Seattle

While in Seattle recently for a conference, I introduced Gracie to seven-year-old Donna, who was staying at my hotel with her family. She and her brother were using the computers provided in the lobby. They both said that they wanted to become writers, so I encouraged them to write down their ideas in a notebook so that they wouldn’t forget them.

They kept asking me: “Are you a real writer?” I insisted that I was. They seemed incredulous, as if they could never meet such a person in the flesh. I felt like a rock star. It was great to hear them rattle off ideas for characters and to share in their enthusiasm. They wanted to know all about getting a book published and were excited at the prospect. I didn’t want to explain the stack of rejection letters that I had received.

Who knows? Maybe one or both of them will be an author some day.

Some of Gracie’s secrets spilled in Times Colonist blog

This week, my guest post “Spirituality and writing for children” appeared on the blog Spiritually Speaking, produced by the Times Colonist newspaper in Victoria, BC. (The blog’s creator invited me to contribute and I was delighted to oblige.)

I was happy to share my story about how Gracie Got a Secret came to be.  You’ll discover some of Gracie’s “secrets.” Click here to read my post.

Gracie, meet Grace

I recently received a lovely note from Grace McCarthy, former B.C. cabinet minister, after she had read Gracie’s Got a Secret. I had spontaneously decided to give her a copy of the book, about her namesake, after speaking to her in a dentist’s office. (You can read more about our encounter on heatherconnblogs.com.) Here’s what she said:

“Your book, Gracie’s Got a Secret is so great. I’ve read it right through, and love the message. It is truly inspiring. Many thanks. Do hope our paths will cross again. . . with all good wishes as you continue to inspire.”

I’m touched by her thoughtful thanks. In this era of digital media, it’s still wonderful to receive a personalized card and hand-written message. Thank you, Grace.

Gracie appears in NJC Class Notes

My alma mater, Neuchatel Junior College (for Ontario grade 13 curriculum), has featured a photo and write-up about Gracie’s Got a Secret in its online alumni Class Notes.

Click here to read the entry.

Gracie to support special-needs community project

Gracie and Heather Conn will appear at a fun event Dec. 5 in Sechelt, BC to support kids with special needs. As part of a fundraiser for Kids In Motion, a program run by the Sunshine Coast Community Services Society, they’re going to join about a dozen local craftspeople and home party vendors and sell their wares.

Ten per cent of the sales of Gracie’s Got a Secret will go towards this important community initiative.

Join Gracie, Heather, and others from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Community Services Building, 5638 Inlet Avenue. For further information about the event, contact Liz or Merrily at the Infant Development Program at 604-885-5881.

Gracie at West Sechelt Elementary School

Gracie and Heather Conn, along with Sunshine Coast author Shelley Leedahl, will be selling books Dec. 1 at a special kids’ event at West Sechelt Elementary School. From 5 to 8 p.m., they’ll join other vendors with home-based businesses who offer products for children.

If you haven’t bought Gracie’s Got a Secret at one of the Sunshine Coast bookstores or craft fairs, this will be a great time to get a signed copy from the author.

Gracie needs no dolphin training techniques

Curious to find other goldfish books on the Internet, I recently came across some wacky and intriguing titles in a variety of genres:

  • The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish
  • Do Goldfish Gallop?
  • Molly the Goldfish Fairy
  • Memoirs of a Goldfish
  • How to Bury a Goldfish: and other ceremonies and celebrations for everyday life
  • Punky Dunk and the Goldfish
  • Goldie the Goldfish (some people have called my character “Goldie” by mistake)
  • My Cat Is In Love With the Goldfish
  • The Two-Thousand Pound Goldfish
  • The Giant Goldfish Robbery
  • Why Goldfish Never Die and so on.

My favourite was the title How to Train Goldfish Using Dolphin Training Techniques by C. Scott Johnson. Gracie doesn’t need such education — after all, she can fly.  In Hollywood, they use wranglers (trainers/handlers) for every creature from horses to maggots, so maybe they even have them for goldfish. I’d love to meet one. Can’t imagine a real goldfish twirling a ball on its nose, can you?

Secretly reading your children’s books?

“Have you been secretly reading your children’s books? You’re not alone. Many of the books aimed at kids, particularly those written for teens and pre-teens, make for great reading for adults too . . . .

“Gracie is a feisty, wee goldfish on the go who becomes an inspiration to the creatures, an alligator and an elephant, that she meets on her journey outside the fishbowl.

“Conn explains that the book helps kids understand a concept that she learned on her own journey of self-discovery in India: the idea of letting go — a Taoist notion. Gracie knows she can do something seemingly impossible and this gives her confidence. The book is a fun read with engaging pictures despite its deeper message.”

— Arts reporter Jan Degrass, Coast Reporter, Sechelt, BC (Nov. 25/11)

Click here to read the complete article online.

“There is a magic in a book for children. Your book has this magic too”

After receiving a copy of Gracie’s Got a Secret for his birthday, my uncle Don, in his mid-80s, sent me a typed letter. Here’s what he wrote:

“A long time, more than 80 years ago, Hart family [my mother’s side] had a children’s book. It was a marvelous book. It was created by your grandmother’s best friend and roommate while she attended classes at Mac Hall [at the University of Guelph, Ont., Canada]. The book did not seem to be anything very special. It started with a 5 cent “HUGE” scribbler, the kind little children took to school to write out their lessons. (These were tough times, money was scarce.) As I remember, all the printing and drawing was done with pencils and wax crayons.

“I don’t remember if the material used was conventional as in ‘Mary had a little lamb, its fleece was white as snow”

Or was it all original verses with the pictured colored? Some of it was certainly original. ‘And the Swallermareezeres that swallered themselves.’

“I can’t remember the rest. That much was certainly original. It was my favourite and I heard it every night. . . It’s strange, but that is the only thing that I remember from the whole book . . .

“The old scribbler gradually fell apart from all of the little hands that wanted to hold it. It was sort of like shuffling a deck of cards to get all of the pages back in place.

“There is magic in a book for children. Your book has this magic too. . .”

Love, Uncle Don