This week was one of terror, grief and heroism in Ottawa with the shooting and murder of Corporal Nathan Cirillo, who was standing guard over the tomb of the unknow soldier at the war memorial. And he was not the first soldier murdered. The week before, Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent was run down by another crazed individual in Quebec.
For most of Wednesday, the entire downtown core was in lockdown as police and RCMP searched for a second shooter. I wasn't in the office that day. My first inkling that something was going on was reading an e-mail and then text message from my daughter Lisa asking if I was safe. She didn't know that I hadn't gone into work that morning. This was followed by phonecalls and e-mails from friends and family across the country checking in to make certain everyone was out of harm's way.
This week has shown so clearly how people pull together - that we care about each other and and mourn together in grief when a brave young man, with his life in front of him, is killed so tragically. Our first responders, those brave passersby who tried to save Nathan's life, our armed forces, police, the Seargent at Arms Kevin Vickers who confronted the shooter in the hallway of the House of Commons ... all who rush in to keep others safe, are our heroes. They keep the darkness at bay.
My mind hasn't been on writing although the projects continue. I managed to write 4000 words last weekend on my latest manuscript and feel like the engine is starting to rev. My editor Pam and I completed the last edits for A Model Death, which Grassroots Press will be releasing before the end of this year. I've also been asked to write a fifth Anna Sweet for 2016 and the contract will be arriving soon - so great news. I now have to write some questions for A Model Death for teachers and tutors to use with adult learners. I'll try to find time this week.
Today, I am taking part in the Kids' Lit Cafe from 2-4 at Greenboro branch of the Ottawa Public Library. Lots of local authors will be talking books and writing with kids and CBC radio host Alan Neal will be interviewing two batches of authors and signing copies of his children's book (ccwritten with Neal Christopher) Ava and the Little Folk. I'm be talking to some kids about writing, giving some tips for becoming an author, and reading a short passage from Second Chances. I haven't done many kids' events in the past while since I've been writing the two adult series and it'll be great to be back with young readers again.
So time to get my day underway. Another cup of coffee, some music on the stereo, and this grey rainy day is starting to look like a good one. I hope wherever you are, you enjoy this fall weekend and take a moment to give thanks for all the people in your life and the people who dedicate themselves to keeping us safe.
I know that I have.