Saturday, September 7, 2013


As I sit here in my studio watching the number of participants of International Dot Day 2013 soar, (984,000 at the moment) it seemed appropriate to share this image of  my book "The Dot" which soared up into space aboard the Soyuz rocket last December tucked into the kit of Commander Chris Hadfield

In November of 2012, I noticed that a Canadian astronaut had begun following me on Twitter! I was curious why.  How were our "dots" connected?  Well, we are both Canadians. And we have incredibly fun jobs and missions. And... well, I was about to discover that we had only just begun to connect our dots. 

I was in my bookshop The Blue Bunny in Dedham, MA, when the phone rang. Our staffer, Cheryl picked up the phone and handed it to me with wide eyes. 

"There's an astronaut on the phone for you." 

There was indeed.  Chris explained that he was working on a children's book and had hoped I would want to collaborate. I was very curious and excited to sit down to explore the idea with him, but he said that he would be busy for the next six months as he was flying into space to command the International Space Station. 

"I'd love to go with you! Someday, I'd love to fly into space," I shared.

"Well, I might be able to get you one step closer."

Chris said that if I sent a book to Houston overnight, his wife, Helene might--just might--be able to pack it in into his personal kit being sent in the Soyuz rocket in only a few weeks time. It would need to be scanned by NASA and approved. 

I rushed a copy of The Dot to Texas. 

Months went by and I watched with the rest of the world as Chris shot into space and began his five month command, regaling us all with beautiful photos, an amazing Twitter account of his adventures, and of course, his now famous Space Oddity video

The phone rang in January and I did not recognize the number on my cell phone. It was Commander Hadfield! He wanted to just check in to say hi and see if I was still noodling that book idea. He spoke quickly--noting that the ship would soon be out of range of the satellite he was using to call me. I forgot to ask if the book had made it aboard. I had to wait until he landed and came to Boston to visit me to find out. 

The Dot had, in fact, travelled into space. 

The book had floated in the cupola of the ISS where he snapped this photo. My book, written 10 years ago, about a girl on a journey to discover her bravery, creativity, and compassion, had orbited to Earth 2,500 times and had been flown back to the planet with the Commander. 

International Dot Day, celebrated on or about, Sept 15th each year has gone global - and now it has gone galactic! 
To follow Chris on Twitter: @Cmdr_Hadfield

You can see the book on display in our bookshop, but it will also be going on tour at some point.  

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


Children start out on a creative roll. 

Drawing, splashing, singing, dancing, building, exploring, playing. 

Many though, slow down as they get older and, by the age of ten-ish, leave the creating to others. Not just art, but creative thinking, original ideas, bravery, and sharing one's voice. 

I call it the "switching yard." 
Quite a few trains get rerouted. 
Decades of tracks laid out in a straight, safe, and predictable route.
For some, it can be boring and frustrating. 
For many others though, it can be quite productive and pleasant, 
although often there is a lingering sense 
that something was missing 
on that journey. 

A curious thing happens when people retire: 

They get brave again. 

It is interesting to note that one of the first things many folks 
do is to take an art course - or some other creative endeavor. 

That "gap" of five decades was valuable time not being used 
to practice thinking creatively, being brave, exploring original ideas, 
and sharing one's voice with the world. 

Anything we keep at -- gets easier over time. 

So... please. 


: )

For those not familiar with London Transport's  "MIND THE GAP" - here's a bit of background.