by Sarah Maetche - Lacombe Express
posted Oct 15, 2015 at 10:00 AM
From the bustling downtown streets of Edmonton, to the big blue skies of rural Alberta followed by the battlefields of Italy and then the quaint streets of Lacombe, A Wake for the Dreamland is a tale that draws you in.
For Lacombe born and raised author Laurel Deedrick-Mayne, the tale is one that she has wanted to tell for many years.
... READ MORE
Deedrick-Mayne will be hosting a reading of her novel at the Mary C. Moore Public Library in Lacombe on Oct. 21st. The event begins at 7 p.m. She will also be hosting a book signing at the Red Deer Chapters on Oct. 17th, from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.
This July I was delighted by an invited to write a post (click to read) for Meredith Allard's historical fiction writing site.
Meredith Allard has taught creative writing and writing historical fiction workshops at Learning Tree University, UNLV, and the Las Vegas Writers Conference. Her short fiction and articles have appeared in journals such as The Paumanok Review, Wild Mind, Moondance, Muse Apprentice Guild, The Maxwell Digest, CarbLite, Writer’s Weekly, ViewsHound, and The Huffington Post. She is the author of the best selling novels The Loving Husband Trilogy, That You Are Here, Victory Garden, Woman of Stones, and My Brother’s Battle (Copperfield Press).
Photography by Nico Laroche-Humby
The bitter, damp days of four English winters were being relegated to memory while they captured, on Kodak film, the last day of their fourth and final English June, a day that glittered with hope and promise. It seemed fitting that on the longest day of the year they would mark the longest years of their short lives with a walk through the garrison.
Men from other outfits were doing the same, or sitting alone letter-writing or reading. The friends wove their way through the camp. Barrack doors were held open with kit bags or stones. William had a last-day-of-school sort of feeling.
Now, strolling up Queen’s Avenue, a group of them stopped for a while at the Iron Bridge and watched the water flowing through the Basingstoke Canal. At last Bill “Boss”’ Teleske said it was time to gather their gear and go. They would not know where to until they were on board the ship. Secret.
The sun was just beginning to sink, barely kissing the tops of the chestnut trees lining Queen’s Parade. Their English friends waved and cheered as the regiment marched past, making their way, at last, to the Anglican Church of Holy Trinity in this tiny town, their home away from home.
There were more scenic churches around, but it was here where Edmonton Regiment Privates William Walter Shepherd and Robert Faroni, along with thousands of other Canadian soldiers, left their mark.
Here, in Holy Trinity, the army chaplains invited them to celebrate their last communion before boarding the long line of waiting trains — ready to transport them through the countryside they’d begun to think of as theirs to the English seaports for embarkation.
Here, strong young fighting men in full battledress and webbing, hauling the weight of their kit and concerns, walked down the aisle to sit in narrow pews.
Here, they ate and drank the symbolic body and blood of Christ, sang hymns of thanksgiving, and prayed for strength and grace to meet whatever greeted them on the beaches or in the trenches.
Here, they rose to their feet, awkwardly scuffing and scraping their way down the west aisle, under the glittering stained glass window, and out the door, their hobnail boots echoing farewell on the stone floor.
And yet, scarring the soft pinewood pews of Holy Trinity Church in Aldershot, England, the Canadians left their mark: indelible engravings, scuffs and scratches etched by their helmets and weapons.
And then they were gone.
Every day Facebook reminds me that I haven’t posted anything for ‘x’ number of days and every day I mean to do so, even though there’s some debate about whether Facebook ‘likes’ and ‘comments’ really translate into book sales. Well, let’s see. Last Friday, when I should have been posting this photo of the best seller list (my 4th week in a row) to all my FB friends, I was meeting this lovely woman, a real life friend from the cosmetics floor of Westmount Woodward’s Store – 36 years ago. We would likely never have connected again, if not for Facebook and her seeing the cyber excitement about my book. So while I wasn’t busy posting, we were catching up: sharing stories of our lives, the good old days and yes, taking this obligatory selfie. So, while my semi-meteoric rise to the top of the Edmonton Journal Best Seller list, I expect an equally stellar disappearance into obscurity any minute now. But that hour drinking lovely lattes from Three Bananas and soaking up the mid-day sun on Churchill Square, sharing a hug, a laugh, a memory or two will stay with me forever. And oh, bless her, she bought a couple books! I’ve had to take another pile of books down to Audreys and I’ve had to order more from the publisher so you, too, can still pick up your copies. I’m grateful, to be sure, and if you want to connect over coffee or a kitchen party, message me. I have loved my stint on this list. A character in my book has a line: “Oh, it matters. But it’s not what matters the most.” I have other friends with books on the way. Watch for Caterina Edwards new offering, The Sicilian Wife.
A sincere thank you to my readers for making A Wake For The Dreamland Edmonton Journal's Fiction Bestseller!
Thanks to @YEGWrites (Facebook) for tweeting these 'clippings'.
What a whirl of a week! I am delighted and grateful for all the early response to A Wake For The Dreamland. The private events preceding, and the public launch at Audreys Books on Sunday, were a joy to participate in and I thank everyone for coming and celebrating (and not waking) the book. I hope you will share it with your friends and spread the word... It is a tribute to a generation and a city I love.
This book is a tribute to the generation of her parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles who took the time to hang on to family letters, clippings, stories, and poetry — all those treasures that inspired this story. .