Friday 26 February 2016

Thank You Prairie Spirit School Division!

I'm not sure what I was imagining  about the time after Hutterite Diaries was out there for all to read. But I think I have to say some of the things that have happened so far, were never in my dreams. I've said before, that people write and tell me what my book means to them, sharing the stories they liked best.... And I'm always grateful and humbled to hear their thoughts. My most asked question to date is: "Are you writing another book?" I hope so, but we'll have to see how this one goes. 

Today, I want to give a big shout out to Prairie Spirit School Division, here in Manitoba. There are a number of teachers in that Division who have been very instrumental in promoting my book. They use it in their classrooms and decided every school should have a copy and went about ensuring that they all hear about it. Those two teachers are my friends, Clarence and Noaline Hofer, at Trileaf Colony School. Recently Clarence did a presentation at a principals meeting; he introduced my book and read a chapter from it, after which the Division handed out copies they had bought beforehand. I was deeply touched not only that they're so supportive and enthusiastic about Hutterite Diaries, but also that the School Division sees the value of schools having Hutterite books on their shelves

Here's a note sent to Noaline, from their Learning Services Administrator:

Hello Noaline,The Hutterite Diaries were a big hit.  Would you be able to send us ten more copies please?  If Linda has a chance to sign any of them that would be great.
 Lynda Matchullis
Learning Services Administrator
Prairie Spirit School Division
 Gladly, Ms. Matchullis! Will be my pleasure!

As part of I-Love-to-Read-Month, the teachers at Trileaf School invited me to read to their students via Skype. I've used Skype many times, mostly chatting with friends overseas, but have never read to students in another school before, so I wasn't sure how that would turn out. It was fun and I was very grateful for the opportunity. It's obvious that the students at that school love stories. I didn't read from my book, but read another story I have written. perhaps it too will be in a book someday. If so, Trileaf School can say, they heard it first.

Noaline wanted to make sure I saw myself  'on the big screen'. She captured the moment and sent it my way. Something for my Hutterite Diaries scrapbook, if I ever start one. Thanks! We were joking about it before, when Clarence said they'll put me on 'the big screen'. To which I responded, "All my life I've wanted to be on 'the big screen' and now it's happening." Noaline's laugh told me she knew nothing was further from the truth.  And she's right. I'm more of a behind-the-scenes kind of person.

On another note, but also from the same School Division. I got a sweet text from a teacher at another colony school. 

I love the rich Hutterian culture just oozing out of every single sentence. I think my students immediately recognized and connected with the 'Hutterite-ism' as soon as I started reading it to them. I was planning on initially using it just to introduce a writing composition called "A day in the Life of ..." Now they insist I keep reading the diaries to them because they are so rich in culture, dialogue, and just plain old colony life that all Hutterites can relate to. Even though this book is about Elm River, there is a character just like "that" in every community, that instantly comes to mind when reading.
Well done, very well done!
Raymond Wollman
Thanks, Ray! I really appreciate your comments! I'm glad you and your students are enjoying my book and were able to make meaningful connections. That's what it's all about, making connections and of course Hutterites unfortunately don't have too many books where they can identify with the characters and culture. And like you said, Ray, even though you don't know the people I'm writing about, you do know someone 'just like that'. So true!

Clearly, Clarence and Naoline spread the Hutterite Diaries bug to the Prairie Spirit School Division. I hear it's contagious. (: I'm wondering if any other School Divisions will catch it. 

My sincere thanks to Lynda Matchullis, Clarence and Noaline Hofer, Raymond Wollman and everybody at the Prairie Spirit School Division. I've felt for a long time that it's important for Hutterites to write and publish their own stories. And it's people like you who help validate that. I have one more wish, could you please encourage your teachers to post a review on places like Amazon. It doesn't have to be a long review, a few sentences will do. Once again, thank you so very much!


  1. Great post. Thanks for sharing this, Linda.

  2. Dear Linda, What a lovely post. Thanks so much! Like I said my part was easy, just e-mailed our wonderful Student Serviceslady and mentioned that there was this wonderful book out that needed more recognition.
    I just need to add that our community has just over 100 people and I have already purchased 6 of your books for our Adult/School library and still everyday I hear people complaining, including our hausholter, that he hasn't managed to read your book yet. Your stories are most entertaining, very "Hutterish" and so very well written. Like Ray Wollman mentioned earlier, we can all find someone on each of our communities to whom we can relate your stories to.

    1. You're welcome, Noaline. Thanks for your kind words!

  3. A very, very nice post. One never knows where it will take us when we take a big step such as yours in writing a book.

  4. That is so true, Michelle! So many exciting things have happened since Hutterite Diaries hit bookshelves. And are still happening, but more on that later.

  5. Well, one other School Division caught the bug. Thanks Sunrise SD, for ordering copies of my book!


Thanks for stopping by my blog and for sharing your thoughts!!