Novels, short stories, poems, oh my! The authors of the Garden & Art Tour brought it all, including their talent. Take a read below to get to know them.
Donna Besel grew up in the Whiteshell Provincial Park. She loves writing of all kinds and leads workshops for all ages in schools, libraries, universities, and lots of other places, including the local correctional facility. Her work has earned recognition from Manitoba Arts Council,
Canada Council for the Arts, CBC Literary Awards (three times), and national contests. It has appeared in literary journals, magazines, and anthologies. Her short story collection, Lessons from a Nude Man, placed fourth on McNally Robinson’s 2015 bestsellers list, earned a spot on Canada’s Relit Awards, and got nominated for two Manitoba Book Awards.
You can reach Donna at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo credit: David Griffin Whyte
Conni Cartlidge grew up in Selkirk. When she was little, her mom took her to the library once a week and her dad read to her every night. She raised her family in the Interlake. Now a retired college instructor, she has returned to her hometown where she helps to care for her mom and grandchildren. Throughout the good and the sad, she writes.
Her poetry and creative non-fiction have been published in the Lake Winnipeg Writers Group journal “Voices”, the Winnipeg Free Press, CBC Online, and the book “Keep It Cold and other Good Advice” by Fred D. Anderson. Her blog is: conni-smallboxes.blogspot.com.
In a world filled with constant distraction, endless to-do lists and our often unrealistic expectations, this colourful little book shares the artwork and insightful words of Amanda Onchulenko. “Wisdom at the Crossroad” by Amanda Onchulenko has been described as weightier than its small stature, (Pam L.) and colour therapy for the soul (Dona W.) Amanda describes her book as a picture book for adults, or yoga for the mind. Images from her painting practice provide the illustrations for the text that comes from being mindful and attentive to intuitive details in the everyday. Wisdom at the Crossroads is Amanda Onchulenko’s first book. It evolved out of a personal healing journey that turned adversity to insight and led her to take the time and space necessary to gather a new perspective.
Amanda hopes it will inspire you, to carve out a little peace, as you navigate the winds of change in your own life.
Doreen is the author of four non-fiction books to date, and is currently working on her fifth title. Chocolatour: A Quest for the World’s Best Chocolate (volume I) won Doreen a Readers’ Favourite Award in 2014. Her book, Before You Say Yes … A Guide to the Pleasures and Pitfalls of Volunteer Boards has been called the “Bible for Volunteer Boards.” Doreen was a co-author of the bestselling Manitoba Book of Everything. And in 2003, she penned the first edition of the Frommer’s Guide to Newfoundland and Labrador. She has also written freelance articles for many publications including National Geographic Traveler. You can find her at chocolatour.net.
Susan Berry is a writer whose two children's books, The Little Pink Pig and I Can Do Anything, have been on McNally Robinson's best seller list for some weeks this June.
Susan, who has written educational guidebooks and articles in her previous life as a teacher, has more recently written articles for Senior Scope newspaper, and many short stories, one recently published in the anthology, Measured Words, (ed. Barbara Becker.)
She also has three children's stories and a book of poems ready for publishing later this year.
Susan lives on an acreage near Selkirk Manitoba, where she enjoys many creative endeavours; and during the colder months, especially, she finds lots of time and inspiration to write stories and poems for her tiny granddaughters, Riley and Shae, who live nearby.
She is enjoying the summer months planting trees and gardens around her residence, the previous home of local raspberry farms, off Old Henderson Highway. Susan also keeps busy working part-time as the coordinator of the Friday Circle of Friends, a presentation program for seniors at the Gaynor Family Library in Selkirk.
Barbara grew up in a railway family in Englandwhere her father was a conductor for British Railways. After Winnipeg became her new home she married a Canadian National Railway employee from the Transcona Shops.
As she and husband Larry Lange travelled on Canada’s ribbons of steel they heard many stories. Barbara decided to help preserve a slice of Canada’s railway history, and published Through the Window of a Train: A Canadian Railway Anthology. Her interest in all things railway increasedand she soon found herself embarked on another journey – this time through Manitoba’s history. Memories of the Moonlight Special and Grand Beach Train Era (www.borealispress.com) captures the summers of the first half of the 20th century, when trains transported people to beaches on the east side of Lake Winnipeg, and passengers felt part of one big family.
Contact Barbara at email@example.com.
Teresa-Lee Cooke’s work has been included in “Wine and Words” 2013 (Theater by the River), and in FemFest 2013-2016 (Sarasvàti Productions). Her poetry has been published in The Lake Winnipeg Writers’ Group’s journal “Voices”, “Verses Afire” (The Ontario Poetry Society), as well as “Edible Dreams: Poetry and Recipes by Canadian Writers.”
In June 2019, her poems were included in “Awesome Onyms: An Anthology of Canadian Poetry,” (The Ontario Poetry Society - Contest). Her first non-fiction book “A Union of People and Song – A Tribute to Einar Nordstrom was published in 2017. It is a compilation of history, poetry, and fond memories and was launched in Thunder Bay, Ontario, and Winnipeg, Manitoba.
You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lorna Doolan (Penny) was raised on a mixed farm producing beef, hogs, chickens, cream, and grain. This is where her love for farming and rural living began.
Lorna’s Mom was the biggest inspiration in her life. She describes her Mom as the most diversely talented, skilled and hard-working person she ever knew. Her Mom taught her everything from cooking and gardening to plumbing and fencing! They both especially loved caring for the animals on the farm. Lorna’s most valued memory of her Mom was when they would read storybooks together. Lorna said it didn’t matter which one of us read the book, we laughed and cried and discussed every detail, it was the highlight of the day. This sharing often resulted in learning important life lessons. Perhaps this is what has inspired the barnyard tale, Timmy and Tina.
When you read a story together it promotes important sharing, fun, and conversations that you normally would not have.