The missing pigeon section

Photo by Paul Hum

Photo by Paul Hum

Here’s the part with the pigeon, which was cut for length.

I was using the pigeon to break up the tension of the big fight between Gnash and Jock–sort of like cutting to Gabby Hayes, standing in the doorway of the saloon during a gunfight in the Old West.

CHAPTER 5: SHORT BENCH
The voices died down and became silent. The crunch of shoes on the dry in-field dirt and far-off curses and laughter from the soccer players were the only sounds in the Pits, as the baseball crowd looked towards Jock and Gnash at centre field.

A grey speckled pigeon, stabbing with his beak at a cigarette butt in the dirt behind home plate, turned its nervous, darting, pin-prick eyes on the scene.

Coop took off his baseball cap and ran his fingers through his sweaty faux hawk, and then tamped the cap back down onto his head.

And then, in a sudden outburst, Gnash angrily threw his glove onto the ground, wound up with his foot and gave the glove a kick that sent it flying towards third base.

“Seriously?” asked Jock, rhetorically. And then he added in a squeaky sing-song taunt, “and is that how we treat our equipment?”

“Shut up!” yelled Gnash, his face beet red. “Shut up! Shut up!”

Gnash launched himself toward the much taller boy, charging at him with his head down like an angry goat. Jock was caught off-guard by the attack, and soon he was on his back on the ground with his glove over his face, covered by Gnash who was landing blows anywhere he could find a soft spot.

The dugout cleared as the entire team ran to pull the boys apart. They converged on the dust-up, each boy grabbing a limb or a piece of jersey and yelling at the two to stop fighting.

With a furious flutter of its wings, the old pigeon scrambled up the hill behind the home-plate fence, cigarette butt clenched in its tiny beak, desperate to flee the angry scene.

You do remember Gabby Hayes, right?

Gabby_hayes

 

Please follow and share:

The “Tagged Out” pigeon returns!

In an early draft of Tagged Out, there was a curmudgeonly pigeon. He got cut for length, but editor Kat Mototsune and I still miss him.

In fact, when we got together a couple of days ago, we talked about him. How much we liked him but, alas, how he had to go (it was the right editorial decision).

Toronto Playgrounds is the league that plays in Christie Pits. This is truly life imitating art.

Photo: Paul Hum.

Photo: Paul Hum.

Please follow and share:

Thanks, to the students at Unionville Montessori!

Unionville Montessori TO presentation Jan 2017When I heard about this, it made my day. Thank you to all the kids at Unionville Montessori — it’s always a great pleasure to visit and to present there.

We had an all-school assembly on Friday, January 30th, to announce and kick-off the start of our annual Literacy Week. All the students were gathered in the gym, numbering almost 600, from grades 1 to 8.

Our coordinator, Gary Kohl, announced that authors would be visiting the students beginning that coming Monday. As he read through the names, in order, from authors visiting the grade 1s and up, the students listened intently. A few names were familiar, as they have visited before.

But when Mr. Kohl announced the return of Joyce Grant, a spontaneous and sudden cheer went up into the air. I was surprised to hear it, not because Joyce isn’t a dynamic and engaging speaker — she truly is — but because this cheer was so sudden and spontaneous. It’s been a pleasure having her.

– Adrianna McQuaid, Vice-Principal
Unionville Montessori Private School

Please follow and share:

Tagged Out on Glad Day’s Top 20 list

I’m extagged-out-15-on-glad-day-best-seller-list-2016cited and thrilled that Tagged Out is the #15 book at Glad Day Bookshop in Toronto.

Glad Day is an incredible bookstore–the world’s oldest LGBTQ bookstore, in fact–and the staff are smart and knowledgeable. I’m super-proud and pleased that Tagged Out is on their best-sellers list, in very good company.

Co-owner Scott was a beta-reader for Tagged Out, so how’s that for a bookstore that cares about and supports authors? Amazing.

 

Please follow and share:

Tagged Out: 4/4 **** “Highly Recommended”

cm-review-tagged-out-screen-captureTagged Out has received a coveted 4/4 star review from CM (Canadian Review of Materials) journal and a “Highly Recommended” rating.

Well-written and full of relevant kid friendly information, Tagged Out, is an excellent read… Grant reflects the attitudes and behaviours of today’s young teens and made each of her characters real. Middle school kids will really enjoy reading this novel.

Thank you to CM and reviewer Elaine Fuhr. Read the whole review here.

Please follow and share:

Baseball at the Ontario Summer Games

Photo: Allen Gou, Summer Games

Photo: Allen Gou, Summer Games

One of the reasons I wrote Tagged Out is that my son has played baseball practically since he could walk. In the summer, our entire family lives at the baseball diamond.

For many years, that diamond was at Christie Pits, where Tagged Out is set (and he still umps there). This year, he joined the Hamilton Cardinals Bantam Elite team and they were given a great opportunity–to participate in the Ontario Summer Youth Games in Mississauga. They had an incredible time, and took home the bronze.

Congratulations to all of the competitors — and yes, my next baseball book will include some scenes that happened right on the field during the Games!

Please follow and share:

Great review of Tagged Out on 49th Shelf

With strong characters and lots of action, the deeper themes of Tagged Out ensure that even readers who aren’t familiar with baseball, or don’t consider themselves sports fans, will find many things to think about.

Thank you, 49th Shelf, for including Tagged Out in your wonderful list of summer reads!

And thanks to The National Reading Campaign’s Roseanne Gauthier for such a wonderful review. She really “gets” what I was trying to do with Tagged Out — it’s a really well written summary of the book and discussion of what else is going on in there. So great.

Here’s the National Reading Campaign’s review of Tagged Out.

And here’s the 49th Shelf list.

Capture 49th shelf August 2016 Tagged Out radar compilation by Kerry Clare

 

 

If you don’t know 49th Shelf, you should check it out — I refer to it as kind of a “Canadian Goodreads,” (which I, in turn, call “Facebook for books”).

 

Please follow and share:

Thanks to Village Living magazine!

ThVillage Living article 2016 Profile JG by Chris Sweeney captureank you to Village Living for this wonderful profile. Written by Christopher Sweeney.

 

 

 

Please follow and share: