It amazes me to look back on my life's experiences, and realize how those ripples have flowed, and branched out in so many directions - that is what my writing is all about: the power and wonder of the ripple effect, beginning with our first actions as children.
I was very fortunate to have been raised in a small, but lively home on the banks of the Rideau River, in rural Manotick, Ontario. One of seven children, ours was a typical Irish Catholic family, struggling to get by on scarce resources. Love, music and laughter, however, were in good supply; Those gifts saw us through the tough times, and brought a special sparkle into our many celebrations. They have remained woven into the fabric of my writing and artwork, along with a desire to give my fellowman something to smile about.
In 1970, I married Ross Batstone, and together, we raised three amazing children. Their ripples grew to take in their three spouses, and six beautiful grandchildren that keep us in a constant state of thankfulness. In 2010, we retired from our organic farm and market-garden operation, Padgeberry Farm, after 25 years. My love of nature was nurtured during these years, as was my sense of humour (totally essential in coping with the physical and financial stresses of farming!) Along with chickens, vegetables, and field crops, we grew a wonderful circle of friends, including those in the farming, market, and restaurant communities, which we continue to cherish.
We initiated and were members of the ITR (amateur)Theatre Group, based in Osgoode, Ontario. This experience gave me a tremendous respect for those who put their talents out there, and leave themselves vulnerable, in order to share their gifts with others. I was inspired to pursue my own gifts for writing and artwork, which had me hooked at the tender age of four, when I received my first paint-by-numbers set. That first love grew with every book I read, every stroke of my pen or brush, and with every class I was able to squeeze in. In the Fall of 2008, I began to pen my first book of children's poetry, "How To Wash A Puddle", and I completed it with my own illustrations. It was published in May, 2010 by Baico Publishing Inc. in Ottawa.My second book, "How To Grow A Puddle" was published in November 2011, and "How To Stretch A Puddle" in 2012.
Recently, I have created melodies for some of my poems and enjoy singing them to the children. This adds a whole new element of warmth and fun at book readings.
Children and music, in beautiful colours, continue to romp through my head, eager to be included in the 'ripple effect' as I continue to write, from our new digs in the beautiful town of Prescott, Ontario.
Birth Place: Ottawa, ON, Canada
Accomplishments: Hopefully, time will tell.