• REPETITIVE HISTORY

    Author’s Note: Usually, I travel, visit museums and libraries, and interview people to research the topics upon which I write. However, because of COVID-19, my plans to spend a month in the UK this summer for research purposes have been postponed. The characters of my current manuscript encountered the 1918 flu pandemic. In lieu of travel, I turned to the internet and found some interesting reading, which I thought I’d share. The Spanish flu pandemic started in January of 1918 and plagued the globe beyond the end of World War I. Throughout the following three years, it infected approximately twenty-five percent of the world’s then population (500 million people). Unofficially,…

  • TRAVEL PLANNING

    I’m beginning to think that the thrill of travel is more appealing than actually travelling. When my husband and I decide on a journey, we might spend a year, even two, planning where we want to go and what we want to achieve. Why Travel? We are both history buffs. We have little interest in resort or warm-weather-only vacations. We enjoy discovering the history behind ancient cities and connecting the dots of what was – and is – the basis of our civilization. The stories that we hear along the way help flesh out what bits of history we might have learned in school or picked up as adults. If…

  • READING FOR CHARITY

    On March 9th, 2019, I shared the company of great, local talent at The Variety Hour hosted by Vincenza’s Angels. While some danced, sang songs, shared humorous anecdotes, or animated poetry, I just read. The fundraiser was for the benefit of The Heart and Stroke Foundation. My material included a short story called In the Absence of Rain, that speaks of heart disease and the effects of a stroke, and a poem in memory of my grandfather called New Gumboots. During the intermission, everyone was invited to bid on items donated for a silent auction. I bid on two. Imagine everyone’s surprise – especially mine – when it was announced…

  • Book Launch Celebration

    My first novel The Crest debuted on Amazon on December 10th, 2018. Well before it’s release, friends and family began asking me about a book launch. Given other festivities held in December, hosting a book launch didn’t make sense to me.  Deciding to Host a Book Launch Celebration For weeks, I hemmed and hawed about what to do. All the while, friends and family kept reminding me that they were keen to celebrate. Before I could host a book launch, I had to understand its purpose and structure.   “Who would want to come and hear me read?” I asked myself on more than one occasion. At the same time,…

  • Christmas Wonder

    As a small child, I learned the wonder – or magic – of Christmas from my parents and extended family. As an adult, I prefer to think of Christmas with wonder. Wonder is defined as surprise, mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable. Two Concepts of Christmas I was raised with two concepts of Christmas – the Santa thing, and the nativity, the birth, of Jesus Christ. I remember going to Sunday school to learn, among other things, about the origin of Christmas and Christmas carols. At home, it was about the Christmas tree, Santa and presents. My family moved several times during my childhood. Each…

  • Character Development

    The composition of a character draws from many sources, especially the primary characters – protagonist and antagonist. To a lesser degree, the supporting characters also require some shaping. Physical, Mental and Emotional Development I have completed forms similar to an employment application, where I’ve been asked to record all types of personal data: date-of-birth, height, weight and eye colour; schools attended, including post-secondary; work history; love interests; residential addresses, and so on. I’ve also completed forms that reach into the psyche of my characters. Needs, Beliefs and Personal Values Those forms are helpful, but, for me, my character development is based more on what my character needs, his or her…

  • SELECTING A WEBSITE COVER PHOTO

    Designing a website is not for the weak of heart, especially me. I have no aptitude for it and must rely on others who are better equipped. A year ago, I relied on someone to create a website for me, and, more recently, I’ve relied on someone to help me upgrade its presence. That said, I have learned to work within the website, including posting photos, writing blogs, editing. With this recent upgrade, however, I struggled to find a cover photo that suited current needs. Selecting a Photo I wanted the photo to reflect me, because the page is about me and my accomplishments, after all. I also wanted it…

  • Remembrance Day, 2018

    Sister Agnes-Marie Valois Remembered on Remembrance Day Sister Agnes-Marie Valois died in France last April. She was 103 years old. To Allied soldiers injured during a failed raid in Dieppe in August 1942, she was known as the “White Angel”. I had the opportunity to meet with her briefly in 2014 and found her delightful. Honour Veterans, Especially on Remembrance Day Veterans at Menin Gate, Ypres, Belgium 2014In addition to remembering all of those who participated in World War I, World War II and other wars before and since then, and those who continue to serve our country, I will remember Sister Agnes-Marie when I attend a Remembrance Day ceremony…