Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Baby named

Well, it's official. My book finally has a title. Wait for it ...

Lake Erie: Struggle and Survival on a Freshwater Ocean

Whaddya think? I'm feeling pretty satisfied, actually, because it was on the shortlist of suggestions I submitted to the publisher (easily the most difficult list I've ever written, by the way).

The idea sprang out of a conversation my wife Amy and I had one hazy day as we were driving to Leamington from Toronto along highway #3, which runs along the north shore of Lake Erie. Amy, who spent a couple years living in Italy, gazed out the car window and said, "You know, many Europeans would look out there and swear they were looking at the ocean."

It got me thinking. Growing up on her shores, I, and most other North Americans, wouldn't even consider Erie as anything more than a lake. But massive bodies of fresh water such as the Great Lakes are a rarity in the rest of the world. In fact, when he first set eyes on Georgian Bay (which is technically a part of Lake Huron, but only by fluke of history is it not a Great Lake of its own), French explorer Samuel de Champlain referred to it as "le mer de douce" or "the sweetwater sea."

And why should Lake Erie be any different? She looks like an ocean, and when she's whipped up into a froth, she can certainly be as deadly as an ocean, so maybe it's time to give her her due.

Anyway, Lake Erie Stories is still on schedule to make her way into the world this May from Dundurn Press. So make sure you pop into your local bookstore and pick up a copy on your way up to the cottage.

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