Portrait_SJuby-0558-Edit_MEDIUM.jpg

Susan Juby has written many books for young adults, including the now iconic Alice series (Alice, I Think; Miss Smithers; and Alice MacLeod, Realist at Last) which was made into a TV series. Her most recent adult fiction, The Woefield Poultry Collective, was shortlisted for the Leacock Award in 2012. Susan has decided to write a book in every genre she likes to read--and she reads a lot! Despite that ambitious agenda, Susan found time to become a Page Turner. Or, someone over in Smithers did. It seems that today's Page Turner is the star of that first YA series: Alice MacLeod. Take it away, Alice.

Hello.

My name is Alice MacLeod and I am a Page Turner. Some of you may remember me. I hail from a little town in Northern BC that I like to call Smithers and I wrote some diaries that were more or less leaked/self-published a few years ago. I appear here before you today to make a heartfelt appeal. I wouldn’t call it begging, exactly. I prefer the term cajoling. Anyhow, my appeal is for you to consider donating to the Page Turner Campaign.

What is this, you might ask? It is part of the campaign to support Project Bookmark Canada. This is an awesome project that celebrates Canadian literature by putting permanent Bookmarks at exact sites mentioned in Canadian novels. Because contrary to what I thought when I was a misguided fifteen year old, things happen in Canada, even though Portland and New York are not officially in Canada.

At risk of sounding self-involved on behalf of myself, I’d like to point out that if Project Bookmark keeps being a thing, there’s a chance that they might decide to put a Bookmark in Smithers! Where I live and write! I know there’s heavy competition to get a Bookmark. The PB people are looking to commemorate quality and literary importance. And while my diaries were quite heartfelt and extremely exciting, they weren’t exactly Emile Zola, who also wrote with great sincerity about matters of importance. His Bookmark would be found in Russia. Or maybe France. I’d look it up but our computer is dead. The point is that effort and sincerity ought to count for something. And the chance of getting a Bookmark is enough to keep a struggling writer struggling and might make a person proud to live in a town that would otherwise make them ashamed.

Another thing for you to consider is that I’m currently working as a sick animal and older person transporter. I take pets to the vet and legless retirees ― by which I mean older people who have had too much to drink. I don’t drive many actual amputees, except for Mr. deDecco, who lost his foot in an unfortunate log-rolling incident in the 80s ― to the Legion, bingo and doctor appointments. My twenty-year old car smells like urine and I’m in my mid-twenties and still living at home in near squalor. So even if I don’t get a Bookmark and some other writer who writes about Smithers, B.C. gets one, if you support Project Bookmark Canada, you’ll be giving me a moment during which I feel I have influenced what I like to call our “cultural conversation.”

Please imagine me driving down Main Street in my 1990 Ford Focus. It’s 8:00 on a Thursday night and I see a new plaque. As an involved and evolved citizen, I pull over to admire and learn information from the plaque. I am tired from driving all day and from wiping sick off the backseat. I don’t know whether the mess came from the Mr. Ramiriz’ Great Dane, Barry, who ate an entire kettle of black eyed peas, or from Mrs. Lake, who had some tough losses at the Friday Night Meat Draw. Anyway, I want you to imagine my surprise when I read that the plaque commemorates a piece of Canadian writing set in Smithers (preferably my writing)! What a service to the human spirit that moment would be. It would be proof positive that some of us are late bloomers, from a success perspective. At least, that’s what my counselor keeps telling me. If I don’t get a Bookmark, maybe some other author reeking of vomit and despair will get one. And just maybe that’s enough.

So please: Support Project Bookmark. I did. To the tune of $25, which is a lot for someone who really hasn’t lived up to her potential from a financial perspective. Here’s a further incentive. I recently read this book called The Woefield Poultry Collective. It wasn’t bad and it was written by this person who used to live in Smithers. I hit her up for a free book and if you donate to Project Bookmark and help writers and readers to feel better about themselves and where they live, I will send you the copy of The Woefield Poultry Collective that she sent to me. I’d give you a copy of one of my diaries, but that would feel too much like bragging. Donate today! 

Love, Alice MacLeod.

Comment