Monday, September 17, 2007

You Know You're North When... Meyer

Greetings from Norway House, Manitoba!

The boxes are almost unpacked and most of the pictures hung. Right now, I’m looking out my window at this beautiful peaceful scene – very different from Winnipeg. We’re pretty far up north – around the 55th parallel, which will mean more if I tell you that the equator is 0 and Toronto is around the 40th parallel.

On the way up here, there were definite signs that we were heading north. My husband was greatly impressed when we stopped at a service station and he asked the teenage girl at the counter if they had any tire plugs – and she knew what they were! They also had an interesting sign hanging in their store and I just couldn’t resist taking a picture of it (not sure it will show up too well on the blog - the sign says, "We don't call 911").

As we journeyed closer to Norway House, we were informed that the ice road was closed, a great relief to us since it was only the first of September! We got to drive our big U-Haul truck onto a ferry instead for the journey across the river to Norway House.

The bears up here stroll down the middle of the road as if they own it! Apparently, there aren’t as many moose or deer on the highways, which is good news for those times when we’ll be driving back late at night from Thompson or Winnipeg.

Norway House is about 8-10 hours north of Winnipeg (the distance varies, depending on how far over the speed limit you are willing to go). The nearest large center is Thompson, which is located about two hours down a gravel road followed by another two hours of pavement. Thompson is the third largest city in Manitoba. It’s got a Wal-Mart, Canadian Tire, Home Hardware and even Staples. What it doesn’t have is a bookstore! There are in fact no bookstores anywhere up here. The Northern Store carries a rack of some popular titles but that’s it. Thompson has a nice little library and our church in Norway House has a little room with books for sale in it that is open when the church is open. Yep, so already I’ve explored all the marketing opportunities in the region for my books – the Thompson Public Library and the Norway House Bible Church bookstore!

But it’s great. I feel like I’ve come home. The people are very friendly and the pace is so much slower. People smile and wave as you go by. I really missed that in the city.

Norway House is also, of course, a great place to write, especially since all of my books are set in a fictional First Nations community. My newest book, Deep Waters, is set to be launched on November 22 at McNally Robinson Booksellers in Winnipeg. So, if you’re not able to make the journey up to Norway House, maybe I’ll get a chance to see some of you then. Winnipeg is only around the 50th parallel!


Anonymous said...

Hi Doreen,
It's Lindsay Bergen, from one of your "How to get published" classes.
I recieved your email about your book launch, congradulations!! I am very happy for you.
So you are living up north now? It's wonderful that you feel as if you've gone home. The photos sure look peaceful. I enjoyed reading your blog.
Good luck with your writing up there. I will try to make it to your book launch! (I have a new job now, in a funeral chapel, so my life is busy all of a sudden. So if I don't see you at the book launch, I'll wish you good luck now!)
All the best,

Dorene Meyer said...

Thanks, Lindsay. Nice to hear from you! Maybe we'll see you on the 22nd!

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