Cardinal

Hi Jackson,

Thanks so much for your drawing of a cardinal, one of my favorite Canadian birds. Their gorgeous orange colour is a real standout against the deep green forest, and I do enjoy the variety of their songs and whistles. One of their calls sounds to me like the cardinal is asking, “Would you eat, would you eat, would you eat peas, peas, peas?”

That’s how I memorize bird songs. I make up words that I think they’re singing. I learned this trick from other birders. When I’m out in the woods, and I hear the question about the peas, I know there’s a cardinal nearby.

Happy reading,

Jessica

Big yellow Sun

Hi Judy,

I selected your letter for this week because of the blindingly hot yellow sun you’ve drawn, which is what it feels like right now in Nova Scotia. I just checked the temperature, and it is 31 degrees Celsius in the room of my house where I write. My window is open but only boiling air blows in.

I’m doing okay, but my puppy looks like she is melting in her fur coat. I give her little sponge baths and that seems to help. She also likes to chomp on ice cubes. I’ve been writing really early in the mornings, when it is cooler, and then finding shade to read a book in the afternoon. Are you doing the same?

Happy reading,

Jessica

Summertime mysteries

Dear Savanna,

I’m so glad to hear that you’ve added my mystery novels to your summer reading list and that you are making good use of the library. Libraries are the best, next to museums and galleries I think. I’m also working through my summer reading list, mostly based on what friends have recommended. I like reading well-written books because I hope that reading them will help to make me a better writer.

Have a great summer and happy reading!

Cheers,

Jessica

Pixies and demons

Child's drawing of fantastic creatures

Dear Claire,

I will look for all your fantastic creatures this afternoon when I go for a walk with my dog Ivy in the woods. We walk everyday (unless it’s blowing rain) and although I haven’t come across a pixie yet, I’ll keep looking. Like you, I think the woods are magical, and whenever we spend time there, Ivy runs around like a speed demon. Perhaps that counts?

Happy reading,

Jessica

Stuffed bookshelves

Child's drawing of a room with a desk and bookshelves

Dear Kim,

You’ve drawn a wonderful room to write in. I especially love the cozy rug and the well-appointed desk. Your bookshelves look as stuffed as mine do. I have several rows of books that I haven’t even read yet. I vowed that this year I would tackle those shelves, one book at a time.

I think that the more reading one does, the better author one can become.

Happy reading,

Jessica

Black-capped chickadee

Child's drawing of a black-capped chickadee

Dear Lulu,

I also like black-capped chickadees very much. They are regulars at my bird feeder and they are big fans of the peanuts I leave out for them, even more than the seeds. Picky eaters! You’ve captured their striking head markings very nicely as well as their delicate feathers. Well done!

Happy birding,

Jessica