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Morning Meanderings… New Normal – Official Day One and Brown Bag Author

Sheila DeChantal, Book Journey

Good Morning!  Happy Wednesday!  (Is it crazy that I had to pause there and think what day it was?)  Yesterday was my first real full day of feeling like I was moving into my new role.  I have home space set up, and made a commitment to be in it.  I actually had time to open up a packet of papers that were given to me in mid June as research for my manuscript I am revising.  They have been sitting in the library since they were handed to me and are now in the office and I spent time yesterday reviewing them and making notes. It was a good feeling.



JOhnathan Friesen, Book JOurney, Sheila DeChantal

Author Johnathan Friesen

This past Monday we had an exciting author at the Brainerd Public Library.  Author Johnathan Friesen (pronounced “free-zen”) spoke at our library about his books, and read from his most recent book, Mayday (LOVE the cover!)

I had never read or listened to Johnathan Friesen before and I for one was excited to have him at the library as a YA author.  He started out with sharing a very powerful story about his childhood and Tourette’s syndrome.  I think most of the room was in tears – and then he turned it around into his passion for writing.  At this stage in my life, what he said really resonated with me.  He spoke with intelligence and I found myself scribbling on a napkin (I know, I know, you would think I would be more prepared!) to capture some of the things he said…

…and when she left my room, she took something with her.  Almost like a magnet it stuck to the back of her shirt…. when she left, the hate I had felt for myself left with her.  ~ Johnathan Friesen



Johnathan was a delightful speaker!  He was animated and funny and can really channel his inner child! While he spoke about each of his books I found myself trying to choose which I wanted to read, they all in one way or another spoke to me.  His book Jerk California is about a boy with Tourette’s.  This Schneider Family Book Award winner changed the face of Tourette’s Syndrome for modern teens.

When the event was over, the crowd of 44 people gathered around to but his books.  I always wait to be last to make sure everyone has the opportunity to pick up the books that they want.  I left this event with:


If you ever have the chance to hear Johnathan speak, I highly recommend you do.  I was very impressed with his style and look forward to digging into his books!





STILL A Winters Journey by Greg Budig



you are being guided through a winter wonderland.  The snow is falling.  Gently.  Beautifully.  Each flake unique in its own way as you walk through this world of quiet snowfall.

As I sank into the book and viewed the pictures they gave me the impression it was dawn – but no, author Greg Budig whispers his words into the pages:

What seemed like early morning, was really afternoon,

as the ever lowering, powder grey sky covered me in a world of half light.

The words fall on to the pages in a rhythm that reminds me of the snow fall itself.  There is something about reading this book…. I can feel the quiet of what is being written.  It is a Minnesota snow globe day – where the sky hangs low and dark and all is peaceful.

A beautifully written book.  I am Minnesotan and have been all my life and this well written book leaps from the pages into my own world, into my own memories, of walking through the quiet of a snowy, snowy day.

Greg Budig was born and raised on the windswept prairie of western Minnesota in the community of Morris. He grew up with his mom, dad, and four sisters in the spacious house that was attached to the small grocery store that his parents owned and operated for over 30 years. He is the middle child with two older and two younger sisters…needless to say, he never knew the joys of having to share clothes or a room. It was in the privacy of his own room that he spent hours writing, painting, and dreaming.

For over twenty years now, Greg has lived and worked in the city of St. Cloud, Minnesota where he and his lovely wife Cindy are raising three wonderful and imaginative children named Matthew, Emily and Anna. Both their cozy little northside house, as well as their three children, are featured throughout his current book which is entitled “I Hear the Wind”. The book is dedicated to his wife and children, as well as to the memory of his editor Craig Thorn IV who lost his courageous battle with cancer shortly before the book was released.

“Sometimes who we are and what we do are two different things.” Greg has said. He has spent a lifetime working at jobs that have nothing to do with writing or art, but he has always kept the hope alive that his talents will someday be recognized.

I received my copy of this book from Author Greg Budig