After 34 years in the teaching profession, 15 of which were in school libraries, interacting with young readers and running reading programs to promote great books, I’ve retired and moved on to the next stage of my life. A stage which will hopefully allow me to pursue interests that I’ve had for years, but done little with. One of these dreams is to write a novel, one that is close to my heart. Like most other people in Canada, my ancestors emigrated here to start a new life, one with hopefully more potential that what they were leaving behind. Many of them came from Scotland, either directly to Upper Canada, then on to Manitoba, or through more circuitous routes through either Ulster, Ireland or through United States. Although this novel, and this blog, is focused on a different family, and a slightly earlier time period, there was something about their circumstances and journey that drew me in. The history and research alone has kept me entertained for two years, as I struggled to get the story told. It may never get published, but for me, it was the goal of writing and feeling that sense of accomplishment that the writing was at least decent, that needed to be attained. With the first draft of 18 chapters and 37,000 words, I’m almost there.