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10 Years On

2019-09-13 11:25:07 A.J.B. Johnston

In another couple of weeks, it will be 10 years since my departure from Parks Canada. (I don’t like to say retirement because I like to think I am still working, just independently.)

Looking back and taking stock
of that decade, I see that I have published five novels and three books of
history. Not bad.

In that same 10-year time frame, I contributed story-lines and texts to exhibits such as the Black Cultural Centre; N’in na L’nu: The Mi’kmaq of PEI; VANGUARD for the NS Museum; the Colchester Historeum in Truro; and many smaller exhibit elements in Yarmouth, Pubnico, and Grand-Pré and elsewhere. Those were, if I do say so, some pretty good exhibits.

Looking ahead,
2020 should see the publication of my 20th and 21st books. One is about The
Lincolns and rock ‘n roll in Nova Scotia in the 1960s. It will be coming out
from Nimbus. I have to say that researching and writing that book was
tremendous fun. The other new book is co-authored with Jesse Francis and is
about Skmaqn-Port-la-Joye-Fort Amherst NHS on PEI. Acorn Press is its
publisher. It is the second time I have worked on a book with Jesse, and both
experiences were great.

Then, I hope, 2020 may also see the revised edition of Storied Shores come out, along with, for the first time, a French version.

So, 10 years
after moving on from Parks, I’m still very much engaged in writing. I look
forward to many more projects to come.

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Updating "Storied Shores"

2019-09-13 11:21:30 A.J.B. Johnston

I am happy to report that many revisions and additions have been made to Storied Shores — whose word count is now about 5000 words more than it was when first published in 2003. It appears as if the new edition, as well as a French translation, are in the works, hopefully for 2020.

Luckily for me, just as I sent that Storied Shores manuscript off, Nimbus editor Barry Norris sent me his suggestions for the book on The Lincolns. I will be going through those comments over the next few days.

I feel pretty lucky to be able to write about both the 18th century and 20th-century rock ‘n roll.

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Cornwallis and Indigenous Commemoration

2019-06-20 12:57:36 A.J.B. Johnston

The first four sessions of public engagement in the process dealing with issues relating to Edward Cornwallis and to the need for greater Indigenous Commemoration wrapped up this week.

All of us on the Task Force were greatly impressed by the numbers of people who attended the sessions at the Mi’kmaq Friendship Centre, St. Mary’s University, the Millbrook First Nation Community Centre and the Zatzman Dartmouth Sportsplex — and equally by those who gave what were clearly heartfelt presentations. My guess is that close to 200 people came out to the four sessions, with about 50 coming up to the mic to speak.

Perspectives on the topic of Cornwallis and the early history of Halifax ranged widely, and the Task Force thanks all who took the time to offer their individual views.

Everyone in all four settings followed the guidelines, which asked for respectful silence to be given to each speaker, with no interruptions of any kind. The sessions were intended to be for listening, not debate, and that’s exactly what happened.

One observation I had was that regardless of the differing points of view expressed, each speaker came there for the same reason: which was to share their perspective on the matters under discussion in the hopes that it would resonate with others. Their presentations were affirmations of hope that others would see value in their point of view. Talking not shouting. It was, the Task Force believes, how such controversial issues need to be dealt with for us all to move forward.

There will be more public engagement sessions in the fall. In the meantime, the Task Force meets once a month to discuss how best to move toward reconciliation on both important topics.

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HRM Task Force

2019-06-06 11:41:42 A.J.B. Johnston

For the latest information on the Halifax Regional Municipality’s Task Force on the Commemoration of Edward Cornwallis and the Recognition and Commemoration of Indigenous History, please go to the web site given below.

https://www.halifax.ca/city-hall/boards-committees-commissions/a-c/task-force-commemoration

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The Hat is now on Kobo

2019-05-11 16:51:36 A.J.B. Johnston

I finally got around to making my YA novel about the 1755 Acadian Deportation from Grand-Pré available on Kobo. It remains on all Amazon platforms as well. Here is a link to where it is on Kobo. https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/the-hat-6

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Books ... so far

2019-04-21 14:01:39 A.J.B. Johnston

There is at least one of my books missing from this display — Louisbourg: Past, Present, Future — but I think the rest of them are all there. When the book on The Lincolns comes out in 2020, it will be number 20. A book to be co-written with Jesse Francis — for Acorn Press about the history of PEI’s Skmaqn—Port-la-Joye—Fort Amherst National Historic Site will be number 21. It too should come out in 2020.

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