In 2003-4, when I was living in Toronto, my sister introduced me to friends she had met in an Esperanto Club that got together every Monday at a downtown coffee shop. This group welcomed me immediately, even though I never learned to say any more than “Saluton,” “Dankon,” and “Gxis!” They allowed me to speak English and I never felt excluded in any way when the conversation turned completely to Esperanto, because I could always understand some of what was being said – and members of the group were quick to offer a translation or explanation if they saw a puzzled look on my face. I was invited to join their parties, and helped by cooking food for a couple of these events. Several of these new friends stayed in contact after I moved back to Bequia, and they’ve followed my writing career, as well, coming out, along with my sister, to hear me read at Ryerson University when I won a student writing contest – and buying copies of the White Wall Review in which my story was published. I know that both Detlef and Scott have now read my novel, Island in the Clouds and told me they enjoyed it. For that I say, Dankon!
Scott Dawson is a terrific graphic artist who is currently working at producing an eBook of his own – a graphic eBook! He’s, well, let’s face it, a bit of a computer techie, and has commented and consulted with me on all things technical to do with the production of eBooks, eReaders, and everything else to do with technology surrounding computers and other devices. In return, I’ve consulted with him on writing and the publishing biz. All exchanges have been conducted on Facebook and through email, since Scott still lives in Ontario, while I’ve been bouncing back and forth between Canada and the Caribbean all this time. The Esperanto Club still meets on Monday evenings, although at a different coffee shop now (usually followed by dinner at a restaurant) than where they met when I was attending. And I know the same core group of friends I made at that time still comes out every week for conversation in Esperanto. Dankon to Scott for posing with my book on his iPhone, and Dankon to Ken for taking the photos!
From Skoto: Attached are two pics of me reading your book on my iPhone at a meeting of the Esperanto-Rondo de Toronto last Monday. Location: Coffee Zone on Carlton just west of the Gardwns in Toronto. 🙂
And here’s what Scott said after reading an earlier manuscript version: I’m done. I really enjoyed your story. It moved along quickly, and threw in complications I was totally not expecting. I will recommend it to friends. One thing… My visual impressions of the book were aided by the fact that I’ve seen a few of your pictures from Bequia. I wonder what the impressions of someone who’d never seen pictures of the island would be. I also felt the use of dialect in speech was good… not so accurately portrayed that I had trouble reading it, but when reading it, I could hear their voices. And in response to your earlier question… yes, I’d like to hear more about this place and these people. So… when is the paper book coming out?