Friday, January 25, 2013


Take a book out for a talk!

Someone in The Ladies’ Killing Circle mentioned yesterday that within an hour, we’d shared over 15 emails. There were two, possibly three threads going and everyone had something to contribute. Busy minds or cold bodies?

It’s easy to get hooked on communicating via the net on days that are as cold as we’re experiencing. On Wednesday, Ottawa hit record low temps. for that day in 8 years with a windchill teasing –40. Some of us ventured out briefly to tend to commitments but it was so good to get home, get warm, and get connected.

Were we more isolated before this email thing took over the field of communication? I can’t remember…probably we spent most of the day on the phone but seldom did we do conference calls. Now everyone is included.

Another way of communicating is this great event that’s happening at most branches of the Ottawa Public Library on Sat. Jan. 26th. It’s called the Human Library, in conjunction with the CBC and part of the National Human Library Day. Between the hours of 11-3, people are able to “sign-out” people for 20-minute discussions. In Ottawa (and this is happening in many cities across Canada), there are 40 human books just waiting to be plumbed. I’ve heard ‘excerpts from several over the past week – a high school teacher, a Muslim woman, a chef, a recovering gambler, a drag queen, a firefighter, a former gang member, a war veteran…and the list goes on.

Besides being a terrific way to connect with others we might not otherwise meet in our community and to hear their stories, it seems to me to be a writer’s ideal research opportunity. Maybe, pick up some background information. Maybe meet a new resource.

I love the fact that libraries, and cultural centers, are spearheading this opportunity for readers to access these human books. Because books really do provide opportunities for learning and enjoying.

Linda Wiken/Erika Chase

Berkley Prime Crime, now available
A KILLER READ, also available at your favourite bookstores and online.

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