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The first draft of Shattered is DONE!

Liam and Alice have found their happily-ever-after …or rather, they’ve found each other and promised to rebuild their lives together. Happiness will take them some time. This is definitely a book that has to have an epilogue, just as Halifax did. The above photo shows reconstruction happening circa 1918, and here’s a modern street scene where destruction once reigned.

I’ve found it isn’t easy to write about the devastation of a place you know and love, even if it all happened over ninety years ago. The recent tragedies in Japan and New Zealand haven’t made it easier, but after all, Halifax’s story does have a real happy ending. The human spirit is unstoppable. Now, I have to go back to the beginning and make sure I’ve done my characters justice.

I wish I could step back in time, just for a day, and see the community of Richmond as it used to be. All the accounts I’ve read are full of real affection. I think it was a place where I would have liked to live, an unpretentious neighbourhood where people knew each other’s dogs and cats and kids, with backyards big enough for a milk cow and a few hens. The Hydrostone District that replaced it – named for the cement blocks used for rebuilding after the Explosion – is attractive, with rows of neat garden homes and a strip of fashionable stores and restaurants, including my favourite French bakery.

It’s become a trendy and relatively expensive part of town, but it’s less to my taste than the old neighbourhood would have been. Still, the Hydrostone is a testament to the resilience of Haligonians, and so I appreciate it too.

Now back to work.


  1. Janet
    March 28, 2011 at 11:02 am

    Congrats on finishing SHATTERED, Jennie 🙂

    I love the history of Halifax – Nova Scotia, really – one of the many reasons I chose to relocate. And the Halifax Explosion fascinates me. I drive through the area and try to imagine what it was like. The display at the Maritime Museum just fuels my curiosity. I can't wait to read your book.

    BTW – I, too, love the Hydrostone Area. The sushi restaurant there is one of my favorites 🙂

  2. Julia Smith
    March 28, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    *applause* on finishing this draft, Jennie! Pretty weird to have current events mimic your characters' destruction environment, but in a way it gives it immediacy, too.

  3. Anne MacFarlane
    March 29, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    My Dad owned a business in the Hydrostone area many years ago. I still love to visit, have lunch there. My grandmother, who died a couple of years ago at 100, used to tell us fascinating stories about that time. I wish written down some of her stories – and asked more questions.

    Congratulations on finishing Shattered!

  4. Theanne and Baron
    March 30, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    Congratulations on completing your first draft of "Shattered". I would have known nothing about this event if not for your blog…what a devastating tragedy. Man made, not nature made but with a similar aftermath.

  5. Sarah Butland
    April 19, 2011 at 10:49 pm

    Congratulations, Jennie! I can't wait to read any of your works, this one especially as I grew up in Nova Scotia and would love to learn a perspective of the Halifax explosion.