Tag Archives: The Journals of Mary O’Brien

A Writer’s Notebook

I have been reading The Journals of Mary O’Brien 1828-1838. It is a portrait of life in early Ontario.

Mary Sophia Gapper came to Canada in 1828 at the age of thirty and married Edward O’Brien. She first lived in Vaughan Township north of Toronto, then later at Shanty Bay on Lake Simcoe. Mary, with her mother, sailed from Bristol harbour to visit her two brothers who had taken up land near Thornhill in Upper Canada.

I read the journals with interest as a small part of my novel, to be published in 2016 by Allen & Unwin, is set in Toronto. My novel has a working title at the moment and the link to Toronto has provided me with two options. I also have a long list of other titles to consider and when the time is right I’ll send the final list to my publisher. How those few words can take so much time!

Here in Melbourne it is very cold. I can almost imagine there will be a dusting of snow on the suburban landscape when I wake in the morning. Cold weather can be ideal for a writer: hot chocolate, hot soups and fresh crusty bread and a place to write near the fire with Bella my cat curled up dreaming her cat dreams. There are daffodils on the window ledge and roses on the mantle; portents of spring.

I purchased one of those red and black chinese notebooks from the news agent and index cards. I  (might investigate Scrivener)  can’t wait to start a new story.

Have a good writing week

Elise x

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