Monday, February 21, 2011

The Beginning

The year was 1990 or 1991 and I was about 9 or 10 years old when I first discovered L.M. Montgomery's amazing Anne of Green Gables.  I was a voracious and advanced reader but it was a struggle to find books to read that were challenging and/or interesting enough to me while still having content appropriate for a child.  I had devoured The Lord of the Rings and Terry Brooks' Shannara series when I was introduced to Anne.
I don't recall exactly what happened first.  This time was booming for Anne with the Sullivan mini-series still exploding in popularity and the new Road to Avonlea lighting up screens across Canada. Either I discovered the novel first or was first taken to the performance of the Anne of Green Gables musical at the Elgin Theatre in Toronto. Either way, I quickly became obsessed.  I explored Montgomery's first six novels and dedicated myself to never missing an episode of Road to Avonlea. I even joined the official Road to Avonlea fan club!  I was totally caught up in the incredible romance of the stories.  As an adolescent myself I identified with Anne's outsider-ness.  I was a quiet bookworm who had few friends but I could always retreat into Montgomery's world for a break from reality.
A couple of years later I was able to visit the outdoor sets of Avonlea village in Uxbridge, ON.  It was a transformative experience that heavily influenced me to want to work in film and television.

Though interest in Anne has waned somewhat since the 1990s in the popular consciousness I have never stopped loving her or the other characters created by Montgomery.  I deeply love the Sullivan productions as they capture the spirit of the novels so well and are also beautifully shot!
This August, for the first time, I will have the opportunity to visit PEI and explore the place that so influenced Montgomery's work.  This has been a dream of mine since childhood and I thought it might be an interesting idea to create this blog to reminisce and also make plans leading up to the trip.  If you're interested, I hope you'll join me on this digital journey.

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