Meet writer, storyteller and ordained minister, Janet Stobie from Peterborough, Ontario. During the last two years she has been working on a picture book for children, Rajah Finds his Wisdom and Breakthrough Moments that are two very different books. Rajah finds his Wisdom has just been released. Including these two new ones, Janet has written and published four children’s picture books, three short story collections, two novels and one worship resource. In addition Janet writes a column for the Millbrook Times, writes a blog that is part of her website, enjoys filling in for colleagues on Sunday mornings at church, and doing guest speaking at fundraisers and group meetings. Janet likes variety.
Today we welcome Ken Morden who lives on a country property with his wife and 2 dogs near Cold Springs. He owned a marketing company in Toronto for 25 years but sold it ten years ago. He and his wife bred, raised and raced Standardbred horses on a farm near Garden Hill for 17 years. They usually had 30+ horses at any one time and another 5 or 6 at the track. They sold this business two years ago. Caroline still has one riding horse but Ken doesn’t ride, having a negative reaction to falling off. President of Friends of Music for the past 10 years, he also sits on the Board for Spirit of the Arts Association Hills, was a member of the NFOTA steering Committee and led the very successful fundraising team for the festival. He took up writing 3 years ago and has written and self- published four books with a fifth due out by year end. He has a short story in Hill Spirits V and belongs to two critique groups. He is now concentrating on developing a series which follows the career of a professional criminal.
Author Shelagh Mathers who publishes under her pen name, S.M. Hurley pays us another visit today. Shelagh retired from her law practice in 2020, just as the pandemic moved into high gear. Though she misses the people she worked with she doesn’t miss the practice. And she quickly settled into retirement and did a fun turn as a co-host of a local radio show, The County, Naturally. Recently however she stepped back from that to focus full time on Book # 3 in her series about Augie De Graaf, Prince Edward County Crown Prosecutor, which is now proceeding apace. Her second book in this series is called The Sevens and was published in 2020. She now spends a lot of time at the cottage with family, including a new granddaughter, who, like all grandchildren, is the most wonderful thing in the world!
David Carpenter grew up in Toronto, earned degrees at York University and Queen’s University, taught high school English for 25 years at Leaside High School in Toronto, and ran the Special Education program for 14 of those years. He publishes under the name J D Carpenter and began his writing career as a poet, but later turned to fiction, primarily murder mysteries: The Devil in Me (McClelland & Stewart, 2001); Bright’s Kill (Dundurn Press, 2005); 74 Miles Away (Dundurn Press, 2006); Twelve Trees (Dundurn Press, 2008) and The County Murders (Cressy Lakeside Books, 2016). A second Joe Horn mystery, The LakePirates was published by Cressy Lakeside Books in 2020. But David has now returned to writing poetry and has just published a collection, launching October 23rd, at Books and Company in Picton, titled A ROAD THROUGH THE CORN, PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY POEMS 1982-2022, as well as continuing work on a major revision to a Campbell Young mystery which he put aside several years ago. So though he told us that his biography hadn’t altered except in that he had grown several years older since he was last our guest, it seems there’s plenty to add to it
This week we welcome our co-host Gwynn Scheltema as our guest. After over 20 years of diversified experience in accounting, education, and administration Gwynn Scheltema decided to stop counting beans and start counting words. Since then, Gwynn has been a columnist, magazine article writer, ghost writer and a fiction editor for Lichen Arts & Letters Preview literary journal. Her award-winning fiction and poetry have appeared in literary magazines and anthologies and her latest poetry publication, Ten of Diamonds was published in 2021 by Glentula Press. She co-hosts Word on the Hills radio show on Northumberland 89.7FM, and writes, edits, coaches and teaches creative writing through her business Writescape.
Gwynn is also the president of Northumberland Festival of the Arts and headed up the Steering Committee for the festival which took place from September 16th and successfully concluded on October 2nd.
This week we are re-broadcasting a show we made last spring with Antony Di Nardo. Antony has written six books of poetry. His work appears widely in journals and anthologies across Canada and internationally, and has been translated into several languages. His long poem suite “May June July” was winner of the Gwendolyn MacEwen Poetry Prize for 2017 and was short-listed for a National Magazine Award. He spent the last years of a teaching career in Beirut where he launched his first book of poetry “Alien, Correspondent” in 2010. He is an active member of the League of Canadian Poets and the Cobourg Poetry Workshop. His collection “Forget – Sadness – Grass” was released by Ronsdale Press this summer. The winner of the inaugural Don Gutteridge Poetry Award, “Through Yonder Window Breaks” has recently been published by Wet Ink Books.
Elder Melody Crowe is an Ojibway woman from the Alderville First Nation, where she has lived all her life. Melody is an Eagle Feather Carrier and for more than 25 years she has taught the Ojibway language and culture to children, youth, adults and elders. She is the recipient of many awards including the Honouring our People Award Sept 2015 from the Ogemawahj Tribal Council and a Lifetime Achievement Award for her work in the Preservation of Language and Culture from the Union of Ontario Indians in 2007. Melody holds an Honours BA in Indigenous Studies from Trent University and, as a student, was the recipient of both the Joyce Moonias Award and The K. E. Kidd Awards from the University. She has worked as the First Nation Liaison for the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board since 2001.
Last week Melody gave an absorbing and moving workshop for Northumberland Festival of the Arts on Resilience, Revitalization and Reconciliation. This episode of Word on the Hills is a repeat broadcast of a programme Melody made with us in the fall of 2021.
WOTH welcomes Shannon Linton and Marianne Marusic.
Shannon Linton is a Canadian singer-songwriter, classically trained vocalist, and climate activist. After narrowly avoiding a career in opera, she began performing and recording her own songs, first with Northern Hearts (2019 CBC Searchlight Top 100) and now as a solo artist. Shannon’s debut EP, In Spite of Everything, was released on May 30. When she is not writing and singing her own music, Shannon is also one of the founding directors of the SONG program, and lives on her fifth generation family farm with her husband and two kids.
Born to Slovenian and Croatian parents and raised in Toronto, Marianne Marusic is a graduate of piano performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music History and Mathematics from the University of Toronto. Marianne owns and operates Metropolitan School of the Arts and teaches piano in Toronto and Cobourg. She is an Examiner with the Royal Conservatory of Music, has written a book for young children called Cougar’s Great Adventure and has organized several concerts in Cobourg over the last few years and is a frequent church musician.
This week we interview Susan Statham. Susan is the editor for the anthology Hill Spirits V and was co-editor and contributor for the four previous Hill Spirits anthologies. A former librarian, Susan is also a trained portrait artist and her mystery novel ‘The Painter’s Craft’ was inspired by the potential poisons in paint. Her recently completed second novel, ‘True Image’, combines her experience painting portraits with her work in a psychiatric hospital and ‘Caged’, the novel she’s presently working on, is inspired by a commission from the Toronto Zoo.
This week listen in to Cynthia Reyes and Carol Shaw talk about memoirs and the workshop they are giving at Northumberland Festival of the Arts.
Cynthia Reyes is a passionate gardener and writer, and is happiest digging around in the dirt, but she also finds time to produce her very popular blog, write several bestselling books, including the richly illustrated Twigs in My Hair, A Gardening Memoir. Her series of illustrated children’s books about Myrtle the Purple Turtle which she wrote with her daughter Lauren, have received excellent reviews. She now enjoys reading them to her granddaughter. An award winning journalist and executive producer with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, more than a hundred episodes of her programs appeared on network television.
Carol Shaw lives in Warkworth and is also a passionate gardener. She and Cynthia will be giving a workshop about memoir writing, another interest they have in common, at the Northumberland Festival of the Arts on September 23rd. Carol has retired from two careers – one as an elementary school teacher, and the other as an administrator in long term care for seniors. Although Carol has written and published articles on seniors’ issues when she was working, Covid gave her the chance to finally write the memoir that she had envisioned, enabling her to share her memories with her family.