Comox Valley Writer’s Society (CVWS) member Carol Fletcher has waded into the book publishing world with a small, charming collection of short stories and poetry inspired by her family, her work with the elderly and her garden.
Like all books, Living Reflections is special. Unlike most books, it is collaborative effort between Fletcher and her fellow members in the writers’ society. This is the first time Fletcher has had her work published and the first time the CVWS has self-published a member’s work.
The more than 20 active members, whose writing experience varies from novice to seasoned authors, got together and decided to publish this book for Fletcher after she was diagnosed with a rare liver cancer with a carcinoid syndrome in June 2012.
“She is a faithful member who’d been writing regularly and we thought at least something could come together,” said Des Lindo, the CVW society’s past-president.
She’d written many of the stories as submissions to their monthly memoirs group before she was sick.
“I was surprised to find out I was the only person the club has done this for,” said Fletcher. “So I hope they can do it again for somebody else. Not everybody can pursue the idea of self-publishing.”
When the society first approached her about the idea, she was worried she didn’t have enough material prepared and because of her illness she couldn’t write more. But society members were confident she did and soon collected up what she had and put it together in the small volume.
“It was really neat — all of the sudden it became a real book full of little bits and pieces that you like.
“There is nothing wrong with little books. There are lots of good books that aren’t huge volumes. You can sit down and enjoy a little book as much as a large one.”
In the book, Fletcher reflects on simple things like her happiest moments, working with the elderly, family weddings and a walk through her large garden in Comox.
“I don’t write about sad things,” she said. “It’s nice to take a trip down memory lane … It’s pleasant to remember things.”
Many of her happy moments are those spent gardening, first as a small child in England where she was born, then as a young mother of four daughters in Ontario and finally in the Comox Valley, where she’s lived for the past 23 years.
“This book is mainly for my family, so I hope they are pleased with it and not offended,” said Fletcher. “I hope it encourages other people to write memoirs and poems.”
Fletcher joined the writers’ society about two years ago with her husband to support him in his writing.
“I liked the people and the no-pressure atmosphere,” she said. “They are friendly, not demanding so I thought I could come to a couple more meetings.”
To meet the author of Living Reflections, come to the book launch at Muir Gallery at 440 Anderton Ave. in Courtenay on Feb. 19 at 7 p.m.
Living Reflections will also be available for sale at the Muir Gallery after the book launch for $10 each. All proceeds from the sale of the books will go into helping the club publish the work of more local authors.
For more information about the Comox Valley Writers’ Society, call Des Lindo at 250-338-0965.
— Comox Valley Writers’ Society