When Justin Trudeau was elected prime minister of Canada in Oct. 2015, his acceptance speech included the phrase “sunny ways, my friends, sunny ways.”  Now, Mr. Trudeau appears to have a sunny disposition and he campaigned on a platform of hope and positivity, so one would expect him to extol sunny ways, but it turns out he was quoting another prime minister, Sir Wilfred Laurier, who held that office from 1896 to 1911.  During that time he devoted himself to national unity in Canada using the politics of compromise.  When disputes arose he appealed to Canadians’ better nature to reach a workable solution.  Mr. Trudeau seems set to follow that example.

When Barak Obama was first elected in the United States, he too campaigned on a message of hope, and the positive slogan “Yes, we can.”  History will judge the success of his administration, but there is no denying that he won with “sunny ways.” There is no denying that hope, affirmation, positivity are great motivators.

I love a sunny day.  I don’t suffer the worst effects of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)but here on the west coast where it rains and rains and rains during the winter season, I can get a bit grumpy.  When it’s not raining, the clouds are hanging so low it feels like we’re living in a grotto.  So, when the sun breaks through it’s cause for celebration.  My energy picks up.  My imagination goes to work.  And I smile — a lot!

One of the ways I cope with those dark days is to review the notes in my “sunshine bowl.”  That is a pretty yellow bowl painted with spring flowers that sits on my desk.  Whenever I receive a compliment, I write it on a piece of pretty paper and pop it into the jar.  Re-reading those notes is a great pick-me-up.  One of my favourites reads, “I like your writing.  I like your descriptions.  It feels happy.”

Every author hopes her books will make a difference in someone’s life.  Some will inspire readers to climb a mountain, or adopt an orphan, or start a school.  Others will encourage kindness, generosity and empathy.   If my stories can make a reader feel happy, I am content.

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