Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

GRAMADAY

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Today is Gramaday. Every Wednesday afternoon, I inject my little beauties with anarchy. They have music lessons from my husband, read, write, draw, swim, watch a film and eat. The parents don't seem to notice the political content, but the food part does draw some critical comment.

My grandson is interrogated as soon as he walks in the door. What did she feed you? I am inclined to tell said parent to bog off, but we have a contract, my grandson and I. Both of us know the value of discretion. What kid ever came home from school without a big angry hole gnawing in his/her stomach?

I ate a whole loaf of bread and a dozen oranges after school during my elementary years and later, when I was University Hill's primo babysitter and had acres of spare cash, I had coke and french fries at Nick's Cafe EVERY afternoon.

I (usually but not always) give my grandbabies healthy food. Today, it will be a fruit plate of apples, oranges, watermelon, yoghurt smoothies, and soft cheese with Mexican guava paste and crackers. Boo hoo. What (the hell) is wrong with that?

You can live on poems, but you can't eat them. Or was it the other way round?

Today we are going to write Christmas poems and make cards. I have stikflat glue, paper, glitter, you name it. My grands may not grow up to be poets (God help them), but they will remember the fun we had.

My own kids worked up their writing skills when they published an underground newspaper called The Red Baron. The RB was fill of gossip, kid reviews, great drawings (they are all artists) coloured with cheeky irreverence. The paper became a hit. Since they collected the subscription $$$$ and spent it at Jung's candy counter, my postage costs spiralled. It was worth it.

A love of language is such a gift to share with children. I went to a baby shower last week and the new mother, who had a wish list at Toys R Us, told me,"Just bring on the books!" I did - my faves: Goodnight Moon, Runaway Bunny, A Child's Garden of Verse, and the new Charles Pachter Alphabet Book from Cormorant.

For Christmas, all the smalls on my list will be getting There Once Was a Camel, by PK Page, illustrated by my former kidlit student Kristi Bridgman and published by Ekstasis Press. It is GORGEOUS, a richly woven Byzantine tapestry.

This is my favourite day of the week. I could get rich renting out my high quality descendents as surrogate grandchildren , but that is not going to happen. I am too greedy.

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

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Linda Rogers

Linda Rogers is the author of the novels Say My Name (Ekstasis Editions, 2000), Friday Water (Cormorant Books, 2003) and The Empress Letters (Cormorant Books, 2007). She has also published several collections of poetry, including Love in the Rainforest (Exile Editions, 1996), Heaven Cake (Sono Nis Press, 1997), The Saning (Sono Nis Press, 1999) and The Bursting Test (Guernica Editions, 2002).

Go to Linda Rogers’s Author Page