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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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« tokyo! (part one) | Main | beachcombing, part two »

welcome zoe!

Congratulations to Amanda and Scott Snyder! And a hearty welcome to:

Zoë Catherine Snyder

born 8/29/01 time 5:17am

weight 7 lbs 13 oz, height 19.5 inches

From Scott:

"Amanda labored for 22 hours and only dilated 4 cm when the doctor decided it was best to take the baby by C-Section.

Mother and baby are recovering well, Mother and Father are still trying to find the manual. :)

More as time permits... but here's the first picture. :) Look for more in the next week or two on ZoÎ's website : http:///

Written on August 30th

I am typing this on the ferry from Duke Point near Nanaimo (Vancouver Island) to Vancouver. I like ferries. I think that perhaps it's the multitasking aspect of the experience that appeals to I am, for example, typing on my computer whilst en route. Unlike a cramped airplane, I can walk around anytime I want to visit the restrooms, the cafeteria, the gift shop, or go out on deck to watch a pod of killer whales or passing scenery. Maybe I'd be more jaded about the whole thing if I did this two-hour ferry ride on a regular basis.

Jeff and I had dinner in the Inn restaurant last night, beside the fireplace. We talked about things we wanted to change in our lives, things we wanted to keep, and a little bit about what we planned to do when we finish our sabbaticals. I am VERYVERY excited about plunging fulltime into my freelance writing as well as establishing a regular routine. Our lives have been pretty chaotic and in constant flux for the past two and a half years.

Some would find the idea of routine/ritual frighteningly dull; Jeff and I are both yearning for it. For me, the undesirable extreme (i.e. in terms of unpredictability) came with my experience in Philadelphia...constantly changes in management hierarchy and in the company "vision", empty promises and meaningless meetings, not knowing whether I would still have a job from one day to the next. Speaking of Inkspotstuff, Luisa and Ruth have both e-mailed to tell me about Inkspot being mentioned in the most recent issue of CHIRP magazine (which apparently comes with Treehouse Family magazine for parents):

"KidLit Online

Websites For Would-Be Scriveners

by Hadley Dyer

Any budding Atwoods or Ondaajtes in your household? Well, they can tap into a host of online resources for inspiration, practical tips and places to publish their work.

Start with Inkspot's For Young Writers (, which is part of, a favourite virtual stomping ground for professional writers. Inkspot is jam-packed with information, including feature articles and interviews with established authors. Aspiring writers can post and critique stories and exchange ideas via chatrooms, polls and discussion forums. "The Hopper" section uses story jumpstarters to get creative juices flowing and has links to print and online publications that accept kids' writing."

As most of you already know, Xlibris shut down Inkspot in February. :-( Ah well.

This morning I woke at 6:30 am, unable to fall back asleep. I took our Lonely Planet Japan guide (thanks to my friend Kennerly for recommending this book) and found an armchair by the fireplace in the lobby to read it. From time to time I'd look up to watch the morning fog on the ocean.

After about ten minutes, the desk clerk came over and asked if I'd like a cup of coffee. She kindly refrained from commenting on my dishevelled appearance or the early hour. I'm normally not a coffee person, but the thought of something hot to drink was appealing. She came back a few minutes later with my coffee, and I settled in for about an hour and a half. I read about how to cope in a Japanese restaurant, some essential phrases, types of food to expect and where to find it. I even reviewed my rusty knowledge of hiragana...with any luck, I will occasionally be able to pick out enough recognizable characters to occasionally recognize the occasional useful word or phrase. :-)

Today's Blatherpics

- Zoe!

- Jeff on our last evening stroll at the Wickaninnish.

- Bill Hessin from "Missing Link Fossil Enterprises" near Qualicum Beach, B.C. We stopped by his shop on the way to the ferry and bought a few souvenirs for Sara and Annie. Really sweet guy. Check out his website at

Today's Poll:

Do you feel comfortable holding a newborn baby?

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