and never forget that you are invited to the launch of The Woefield Poultry Collective/Home to Woefield, this Friday, April 1!
I’ve received a few pictures from readers recently. First are two shots of a diorama created by Emily Hayward from King Edward School in Edmonton. Shown here, in the medium of Playmobil, are pivotal scenes involving Linda and Alice.
Here is a shot of Sue, who won a copy of Woefield in the first giveaway. You will note that she’s pictured against an extremely authentic and appropriate backdrop. Thanks, Sue!
I would love to see photos of our other winners with their hen bags! On that note, I have a rooster and a chick and a hen change purse ready to send out to readers who have a) spread the Good Word, and b) found erratum. Don’t forget to tell me if you’d like to become a Woefield Gold Member and win tremendous poultry-themed rewards. See post below for details.
for a reading at the Vancouver Public Library, downtown branch, courtesy of the Vancouver International Writer’s Festival and the Vancouver Public Library.
7:30pm on Wednesday, March 23
Admission is free*
Alice MacKay room, Central Library
Lorna Crozier is the award-winning author of fifteen previous books of poetry, including Inventing the Hawk, A Saving Grace, and, most recently, The Blue Hour of the Day: Selected Poems. She is also the author of a memoir, Small Beneath the Sky, winner of the Hubert Evans Non-fiction Prize, and the editor of several anthologies, including Best Canadian Poetry 2010. Born in Swift Current, she now lives in British Columbia, where she teaches at the University of Victoria. She will be reading from her new poetry collection, Small Mechanics.
Pauline Holdstock is a novelist, short story author and essayist, whose work has been published internationally. Her recent novel, Beyond Measure, was a finalist for the 2004 Giller Prize and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, and in 2005 won the BC Book Prizes Ethel Wilson Award for Fiction. She will be reading from her new novel, Into the Heart of the Country.
Do you think this sweater is too orange? Never mind. Don’t answer that. I hope to see you on Wednesday. I’ll be reading from Woefield. xo
With a couple of exceptions (cough, cough), the word thus far on Woefield has been great. Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to write about the book. And a huge thanks to everyone who has bought a copy. Please remember that you are all invited to the book launch on April 1 at the Urban Beet.
P.S. None of these people have received chicken paraphernalia. Yet.
“It’s so difficult to have a (theoretically) morally superior protagonist doing good works, and have them be in any way likable. Nanaimo’s Susan Juby achieves this miraculous feat with her latest novel, The Woefield Poultry Collective… The novel is genuinely funny and tremendously charming.”
Sandra Kasturi, National Post
“Alternately narrated by each of the main characters’ unique voices in chronologically overlapping chapters, HOME TO WOEFIELD unfolds gradually as we learn their histories, witness their transformation, and hope that Prudence’s vision for the future will somehow miraculously come to pass. Sure, it seems like a long shot, but so does friendship among these disparate, damaged souls. And as we read Earl’s tragic story of escaped fame, Seth’s bleary rants and ramblings, and Sara’s heartbreakingly earnest desires for the future, we eagerly don Prudence’s rose-colored glasses and hope for the best for all of them.
Quirky, heartwarming and extremely funny, HOME TO WOEFIELD should help Susan Juby find the wider audience she so deserves.”
Norah Piehl, Bookreporter
“A wonderful juxtaposition of parody and playfulness, Home to Woefield is a joyous book about someone living out a fantasy, confronting illusions, and attempting to make a dream come true.”
Debra Leigh Scott, New York Journal of Books
“When Prudence Burns inherits her uncle’s farm, she pictures barn raisings, strawberry socials, and the pastoral idyll. The reality: 30 acres of scrub land. Undaunted, her naive optimism, which alternately astounds and amuses, attracts a rag-tag band of misfits who join her bumbling, madcap efforts to make a go of Woefield Farm. … In her sparklingly witty and charming first novel for adults, the author of the Alice MacLeod YA series delightfully combines satire and a distinctly modern voice with old-fashioned sweetness, and her laugh-out-loud writing is tempered by the characters’ emotional pain and efforts to help one another heal. Woefield Farm may not produce a single crop, yet it’s fertile ground for superb storytelling.”
A “sweetly cockamamie tale of the emotional, physical, and spiritual recovery of lost souls sharing a neglected farm, a seriously depressed sheep, a coop of fancy chickens, and a last shred of hope.
… A wounded little girl and an indomitably hopeful big one book-end this lightly funny and touching yarn about an endearing band of social wrecks who are impossible not to love.”
“A great, lighthearted way to welcome spring. I recommend it to all gardeners and farmers, at any skill level, to ardent poultry fanciers and to anyone who just wants a good belly laugh.”
Laurie Glenn Norris, Telegraph-Journal
Interview with Nathalie Atkinson at National Post
Interview with Adrian Chamberlain at Times Colonist
There are few times more fraught for an author than when a book is first released. Will people read it? Will they like it? Will they like it enough to buy copies for six of their friends? Will they begin a campaign of terror against it because they hate any comedic novel written using multiple first person voices and set on a farm? So many questions.
As noted last week, yoga can help settle the mind as it stretches and tones the body. So here, for anyone who has ever written, planned to write, or read a novel, is some yoga for readers and writers.
This pose is called My Book Just Got Published and I Am Really Excited and Fulfilled!
This pose works opposite muscles. It’s called My Book Just Got Published and I Want to Google Myself But I Have Too Much Self Discipline, Plus I Can’t Because I’m Never Getting Out of This Pose.
Do not try this pose unless your book has just cracked the top ten of the New York Times Bestseller List (without the help of targeted buying by friends and family.) It’s called Ho Shit! I’m A Bestseller and No One Can Stop Me Now! (Little known fact: Nora Roberts spends almost all her time in this pose. So does Jonathan Franzen.)
This pose of surrender is useful when your book remains steady at 900,982 in the Amazon sales rankings. It’s called I Am So Sad About My Book Sales that I Can’t Get My Head Off My Knees. Maybe I’ll Just Stay Here Forever.
This follow-up pose to I’m So Sad means that you shouldn’t have tried to stay with your head on your knees forever. It’s called My Back Is Sore Because My Book’s Not Selling But I’m Not Bitter. I’m Stretching!
This pose is sometimes known as Reverse Prayer or If I Can Touch My Hands Behind My Back Will I Discover A Royalty Cheque Hidden Between My Shoulder Blades? It’s a pose you should try approximately six months after your book is published.
P.S. Thank you to all the twitterers and bloggers who have taken the time to write about Woefield. Please consider yourselves entered to win amazing poultry prizes! And don’t forget to send me your address.
Warning: tackiness, bribery and self-promotion ahead.
Did you ever want to be a missionary and spread the Good Word to the unenlightened? Yeah. Me neither. Did you ever want to get behind a team and support them by yelling a lot of rubbish and going to tailgate parties and painting your face and maybe your chest with the team colours? Again, me neither, unless it would get me an introduction to Coach Taylor from Friday Night Lights. Ahem.
Have you ever wanted to join forces with some other people in support of some random thing just because it’s fun? Well, here’s your chance. In the spirit of Prudence, Earl, Seth and Sara, also known as the cast of The Woefield Poultry Collective/Home to Woefield, I invite you to join our Woefield Outreach Team. I know: just those words have got you so inspired that you are reaching for the face paint and the flyers. Here are the details before you get ahead of yourself, due to an excess of excitement.
If you have read the book and enjoyed it, we (as I so grandly call myself) would be eternally grateful if you’d consider spreading the word with other readers.
Ways to join the (farm) team, so to speak?
Tell your followers on Twitter that you liked the book. Tell your friends on facebook why they should read it. Let the Amazon review readers know. Blog that Good News! GET A TATTOO! Then tell us about your jaw-dropping feats of persuasion.
At this point, you might be thinking, What do I get out of it? What don’t you get?! First, there’s the good deed element, which is crucial. But more than that, we are giving out Woefield Gold Member Reward Chickens in recognition of outstanding Good Word Spreading!
You could win a low-dollar-value, high-cuteness-quotient tin wind-up chick!
Or a tin wind-up rooster!
Not to mention our handy hen change purses!
And finally, for one grand prize Woefield Good Word Spreader, A FULL-FLEDGED HEN BAG! (This is our equivalent of the pink Cadillac. Please be suitably impressed and note how much of the picture frame she takes up with her wise hen eye.)
And if you don’t win one of these prizes, you’ll still see your name in lights (on the Rare Birds blog, at least) and again, there’s all that gratitude I mentioned earlier. (Okay, even I’m a little ashamed at this point. And I don’t shame easy.)
If you don’t like the book, feel free to disregard this message. Or, to put it more succinctly, no chicks for you.
(Welcome to the world, book. I hope you appreciate what I’ve done for you.)
P.S. Thank you to all those bloggers and Twitter-ers and kind-hearted people who have already (and without prompting or chicken-based incentives) written nice things about the book. Consider yourselves automatic Woefield Gold Members.
I don’t know about you, but when my life gets busy and stressful, I depend on yoga to help keep me balanced and sane. And flexible. Never forget flexible.
My new book is being released tomorrow (March 8, please buy a copy) and during times like this it’s extra important to keep up my yoga practice.
With that in mind, I’d like to share with you some of the yoga poses I love best as well as their true names.
This one is called Prayer That I Took Enough Muscle Relaxants or simply Getting Ready to Do Yoga.
This pose is quite challenging to your inner and outer balance. It’s called My Leg is Stuck and I Can’t Reach the Phone. Do not panic. The shooting pains are as much about anxiety as they are about lower back spasms.
This pose brings added strength and grace as well as hamstring pain to My Leg is Stuck. It’s called Now I Have a Cramp in My Calf and I Still Can’t Reach My Phone.
Ah, bliss! This one is called Keep Her Still and Stabilize Her Knees and Neck/An Ambulance is on the Way.
Next week: advanced poses for totally unprepared beginners…
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