Someone always knew you would

My favourite Miss B. quote set against the clouds of Scots Bay.

So, the news is out—the process to adapt The Birth House into a television series has begun! (If you missed the official press release, there’s a link to it at the end of this post.)

Because so many of you have been along with me on the novel’s journey from the start, (can you believe it’s been 13 years?) I thought I’d share a few behind-the-scenes glimpses into this new chapter in the book’s life.

A few weeks ago, two members of the AMAZING team behind this project—Kerri MacDonald (Frontier, Little Dog, Republic of Doyle) and Elizabeth Schofield, (Director of Scripted Development at Omnifilm Entertainment)—joined me in Scots Bay, Nova Scotia for a three-day creative retreat. The other member of this stellar development team is Sherry White, (Maudie, Little Dog, Ten Days in the Valley). Wow, right?

The Ross Creek Centre for the Arts by day. (Photo by Macky Schwartz)
Ross Creek at night.

Each day’s work began and ended at the Ross Creek Centre for the Arts, an artistic haven on the North Mountain that’s near and dear to my heart. Elizabeth and Kerri wanted to stay in a place that was local to the geography of the novel, so the beautiful farmhouse at Ross Creek was the perfect spot. (Special thanks to Centre Director, Chris O’Neill, Chef Kathleen Novelia and the entire Ross Creek staff for their fabulous hospitality!)

The rocky shores of Scots Bay.

The bulk of our time was spent exploring the landscape and landmarks that inspired the book, and dreaming up what the show and characters can and should be. It was quite a profound experience to walk the shores and trails with my new companions, always thinking, talking, imagining through the stories this place holds.

On the way to the Cape Split trail.
On the road to Blomidon.
Blomidon, home of Glooscap.
Wandering into the mossy woods to find our inner Miss B.

And whenever our feet were tired and we needed rest and tea (and groaning cake) we’d retreat to the place where it all began, my little house on the edge of the earth, my birth house by the sea.

Kerri, Ami and Elizabeth.

We could’ve sat around the dining room table, or lounged in the cozy living room, but somehow we always wound up in the kitchen and adjacent nook (the room that had once served as the midwife’s birthing room.) Fire blazing in the woodstove, tea steeping on the counter, the three of us happily gathered in what has always been the heart of this house—to share wisdom, stories and support—just as the women of Scots Bay did over a century ago.

My house stands on the edge of the earth.

As you might imagine, the road from book to screen is a long one. I’ll be sure to post updates whenever I can, but for now I’ll close by saying THANK YOU, for reading my work and for carrying Dora and Miss B. in your hearts. I’ll be on tour this fall across Canada, talking about my memoir, Daughter of Family G, (which coincidentally includes the story of how I wound up moving from the north side of Chicago to a birth house on the Bay of Fundy.) Hope to see you along the way!

People, places and things mentioned in this post:

The Birth House Optioned for TV Series (Full Press Release)

Daughter of Family G: a memoir

The Ross Creek Centre for the Arts

Omnifilm Entertainment

Omnifilm on Twitter

Kerri MacDonald on Twitter

Sherry White on Twitter

Elizabeth Schofield on Twitter

Ami McKay on Twitter

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