I didn’t really intend to write a book about benches-I was looking for a way to turn my ’round the world trip blog into a book. When I heard that Julie Salisbury was offering an InspireABook weekend workshop, it seemed like the perfect tool to make that happen. However, as I was going through the pre-workshop assignment, I realised that the ’round the world book was too complicated for a weekend project. It would be more beneficial to choose something simpler, like the writings from my favourite benches around Victoria.

At first it was just an exercise to learn the process that Julie teaches: how to organize your material, how to publish, options for marketing. But, as I worked through the assignments and received feedback from the other participants, I decided to write and publish my benches book.

The group of authors from the workshop continue to meet and have provided me with feedback and support. I thank all of them for helping me turn a vision into reality, especially Jo-Ann Loro for her design layout and photo advice.

My “bench writings” started before the book was even considered. June Swadron’s “‘Write’ Where You Are” workshops nudged me back into a habit of writing. June’s special talent for facilitating writing groups pulled the words out of me. I started writing, not only for myself, but to share with others.

My special writing friends, Nan Campbell and Deb Jones, listened to me read and helped me find my voice.

Words on a page make more sense when the grammar, punctuation, and spelling are correct. Esther Hart’s critical eye and ability to cut away the unnecessary eased the transition from draft to final copy.

When I decided I needed maps for each chapter, I put out a call on Twitter, using Victoria’s hashtag, “YYJ.” Margaret Hanson responded within minutes of my request. I was delighted when I met Margaret, as she is both personable and professional.

Structure, advice, encouragement, and inspiration were what I needed to create this book, but through it all I received support from my family and friends. Most of all, Galen, my husband, has supported me in every way.

My thanks to all of you.

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