Author Caroline Woodward returns to West Kootenay this month and reads at the Nelson library on Sept. 24 from her book Light Years.

Caroline Woodward’s memoir launches locally

There are days when any of us would like to relocate to a remote island. Author Caroline Woodward did it.

There are days when any of us would like to relocate to a remote island. Author Caroline Woodward did it, and eloquently describes the experience in her new book Light Years: Memoir of a Modern Lighthouse Keeper, published this fall by Harbour Publishing.

Woodward launches Light Years at the Nelson Public Library on Thursday, Sept. 24, as well as at the Nakusp Public Library on Sept. 23 and the Bosun Hall in New Denver on Sept. 25. All events start at 7 p.m.

Woodward’s early resume includes traveler, teacher, social worker, writer, board chair, choir member, bookstore owner, and publisher’s sales rep. She left a chock-full life when she joined husband Jeff George as assistant lightkeeper on Lennard Island Lightstation in 2008, trading freeways for freewheeling seagulls.

Kootenay folks may remember Woodward from her student days at David Thompson University Centre, her years raising a family in Nelson, and her stint as owner of the Motherlode Bookstore in New Denver. Her early books include Disturbing the Peace (Polestar, 1990), nominated for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, and Alaska Highway Two-Step (Polestar, 1993), nominated for an Arthur Ellis award. And then Woodward got busy, and nearly two decades flashed by.

When Woodward made the move to Lennard Island, the writing began again. First came her novel Penny Loves Wade, Wade Love Penny, (Oolichan, 2010), followed by two books for children: Singing Away the Dark (Simply Read, 2010), based on her own Peace River childhood, and The Village of Many Hats (Oolichan, 2012), inspired by the village of New Denver. Light Years describes the creative and personal rejuvenation she found in the lighthouse life.

Yet finding time to write on a lighthouse is not as easy as you might think, according to Woodward. Each day starts with a 3:30 a.m. weather report, and there’s building maintenance, sea sampling, radio communication, beach cleanup, and wildlife encounters. Shipwrecks and dramatic sea rescues are most often the stuff of fiction, she says. “So far, the only life I know I’ve saved is my own.”

Because yes, it is possible to live in isolation, with the sea at your door and the wind howling around you and just one human being for company, and thrive.

The event includes a 30-minute slide show of Jeff George’s photographs as a backdrop to Woodward’s reading, plus time for questions. Otter Books will be on hand with copies of her books. Woodward’s launch is made possible with financial assistance from the Canada Council for the Arts through the Writers’ Union of Canada.

 

Just Posted

Nelson Women’s March joins others across globe

The event was held to promote equality and an end to violence against women

Born 1 pound, 11 ounces, Winlaw premature baby comes home

Indra Greaves was born at the Nelson hospital after just 24 weeks of gestation

Leafs stretch winning streak to 8 games

Nelson downed Grand Forks 5-2 on Friday

RDCK moves ahead with Castlegar rec complex upgrade plan

Board approves grant application for $13 million from provincial, federal governments

Cottonwood Lake preservation group surpasses $50,000 fundraising goal

In 28 days, 393 donors have contributed to the fund

VIDEO: Students in MAGA hats mock Native American at Indigenous Peoples March

Diocese in Kentucky says it is investigating the matter, caught on video by onlookers

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

Want to avoid the speculation tax on your vacant home? Rent it out, Horgan says

Premier John Horgan and Sheila Malcolmson say speculation and vacancy tax addresses homelessness

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

No winning ticket in $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

No win in Friday night’s draw means the next Lotto Max draw will be approximately $17 million

Most Read