Day 82 A time to mourn. My heart is broken. I learned today that my publisher Sheila Barry has passed away. Sheila acquired and edited both Malaika's Costume and Malaika's Winter Carnival. She was kind and honest with her feedback as an editor, a mother, and a wife. She believed in my abilities as a writer and in my stories when I didn't feel "good enough". I am honoured to have known and worked with Sheila. There was a certain magic about how she worked, her attention to details, her warmth of spirit, how she brightened the room, and how she said my name "Nod-cha." I always wondered about how she was able to pull together or identify what artist-author combination would work. How did she know which books would go on to win awards? How she helped Groundwood Books become one of the best publishers in North America. How she took risks like publishing my story about a little girl written in standard English and Caribbean patois? How she was committed to telling much needed diverse stories in the children's market? She was an advocate and has left a wonderful legacy. The last time I saw Sheila was at my book launch at A Different Booklist in August 2017. We were supposed to meet again after that but it didn't happen. Sheila was sick and I wish we had more time. I prayed she would pull through. We shared cancer stories too. I know how much she wanted to get better and how she really tried to be there until the end. This happened way too quickly and as I've come to learn from losing my brother in July, life is way too short and things can change suddenly. I will miss Sheila Barry. Prayers up, hugs, and condolences for her family and friends and for the Groundwood Books family. The Canadian Children's literature scene has lost a few this year. Rest in peace.