The Baby Bonus Has Arrived

I was pleasantly surprised to receive a cheque for $100 today, as a result of the Conservative government’s new baby bonus, a.k.a. the Universal Child Care Benefit. This was especially a surprise after hearing (from various sources) that we weren’t entitled to this benefit unless we applied for it.

I looked at the application form earlier this month and gave up in confusion. It was simple enough for natural born Canadian parents, but as Erin only gained her citizenship this past November, I was routed to another form that asked for her American income information for the two years before she landed in Canada (1997 and 1998; we have no idea, and it would have been a chore to find the tax returns). As a result, I resolved to wait until November to apply for this benefit, as this requirement did not apply to individuals who had received their Canadian citizenship a year or more beforehand.

But the cheque came anyway, without our having to apply for it. Looks like we tripped a switch somewhere, by virtue of Vivian’s recent birth.

I have no idea if the earlier reports were wrong, or if the Conservatives moved quickly in the face of public opinion, but I think somebody in this government deserves some credit, here, and credit I will give. Thanks, guys.

Now, why this couldn’t be rolled in with the Canadian National Child Tax Credit is beyond me. It would save this government having to cut Vivian two separate cheques…

On My Reading List

I always love getting free books, and Dundurn has been kind enough to send me their latest young adult offerings as they come out. This is a wonderful perk for being published by this wonderful press.

I remember especially asking for Tom Henighan’s Viking Terror. Reading the preview in Dundurn’s catalogue, I was intrigued. It was a young adult novel set in the Viking settlement in medieval Greenland. That story has always intrigued me, and Tom Henigan is an acknowledged expert in Viking lore and Norse mythology. It promises to be a good read, and I’m looking forward to it.

Also on the pile is Valerie Sherard’s Sarah’s Legacy, an interesting mystery around impoverished 12 year old Sarah and her mother being granted the strange legacy of a mysterious old house.

There are no fantasy elements in either of these books, but Young Adult History and Young Adult Mystery intrigue me almost as much as Young Adult Fantasy. I myself am working on a young adult thriller with no fantasy elements, and it will be interesting to see where it goes.

More Unwritten Girl Reviews

I’m pleased to report that I received three more reviews of The Unwritten Girl this month. The first comes from the political blogger Windy Weather, while the second comes from the book reviewing blogger Electic Closet (this review has since been reprinted in a number of e-zine book review sites. I was very pleased that the reviewers were pleased with my work.

I was also pleasantly surprised to discover that The Unwritten Girl was on the Prairie Fire Review of Books:

The Unwritten Girl — is a quirky, literary story, a blended mixture of fantasy and realism. — It could easily be read by teens or adults who enjoy a fantasy with clever twists. Indeed, adults might best appreciate some of the clever literary references and subtle irony used by the author.

Worth humming about, I think!

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