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.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nelson Leafs lose to Dynamiters 4-3 in overtime

The game got off to a bizarre start early in the first period

On the job hunt with Nelson’s Make A Change Canada

The employment charity is organizing next week’s Kootenay Patricks, Montreal Canadiens game

FedEx distribution centre coming to Castlegar

Development permit for ground facility before council next week.

Heart, minds, and 100 years of the Nelson library

Past and future collide this year at the Nelson library, and it all kicks off this weekend

Crows, pirates and Segways: L.V. Rogers students make projects out of passions

The Grade 12 students presented their capstone projects Wednesday

Kids across Canada more at risk of hospitalization from flu this season: doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam said influenza B does not usually peak until February or later

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

Good Samaritan pays part of rent for B.C. woman facing eviction in can-collecting dispute

Zora Hlevnjak, 76, supplements her pension by collecting cans and receiving public donations

Kelowna’s ‘Baby Mary’ finds biological parents after more than 30 years

Geneologist and DNA test helped her connect with her biological parents

Kelowna hotel to award couples for baby-making with Nooner deal

The deal includes a free stay every Valentine’s Day for the next 18 years

‘Scariest boat ride of my life’: Passengers trapped by ice on rocky B.C. ferry sailing

The Nimpkish docked in Bella Coola on Jan.12 coated in a thick layer of ice

B.C. pair ordered to pay $55,000 for oil tank discovered four years after selling home

Judge says defendants breached contract, despite being unaware of tank until basement flooded

Canada to give $25,000 to families of each Canadian who died in Iran plane crash

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also made it clear that Canada still expects Iran to compensate victims

Oil and gas industry applauds top court’s dismissal of B.C.’s Trans Mountain case

The high court’s ruling Thursday removes one of the remaining obstacles for the project

Most Read