• NEW GUMBOOTS

    My first pair of gumboots / Stomped in puddles in the lane. / Grandpa watched from the gate / Leaning on his cane. Once he’d saved folks from fire, / now handicapped he was. / A stroke had robbed him of his speech, / Yet my safety he ensured. “Yes, yes, yes!” His voice was clear, / Bringing Mother to my side. / As water teamed into my boots, / ‘My socks are wet!’ I cried.

  • IN THE ABSENCE OF RAIN

    I had been six years old for three months. By the time I was to start school in September, I would be closer to seven than six. In those days, you didn’t start school when you were five. You had to wait. I passed my days playing with neighbourhood friends caught in the same dilemma as me, talking with grandpa, or playing by myself or with my two younger sisters. Saturdays were different though. On Saturdays, mom would dress the three of us in fancy clothes, and dad would take us on a bus ride into town. We’d walk up and down the streets, wander through the toy departments at…

  • 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,…

  • Writing Prompts, A Short Story

    Treasure my foot! Charles thought as he tipped the old wooden chest onto his dolly. He pushed it toward the stairs with a groan. I expected the chest to have some weight, but I certainly didn’t expect it to be as heavy as it is! He paused, testing the balance before fastening the straps that would hold it snug. If I can just get this down the stairs without damaging it or harming myself, I’ll be happy. He tightened his muscles and his grip on the dolly, and slowly lowered the wheels off the landing and down to the first step. At each stair, he paused to ensure the cargo…

  • 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…

  • An Interview with Santa

    Santa sat beside me on the train. I knew it was him. Has to be! I marvelled, feeling my skin prickle with certainty. His white wavy hair was slicked back from his full forehead and ended in curls at his collar. His full beard lay like freshly-fallen snow on his upper chest. A neatly-trimmed handle-bar mustache curved over his upper lip, and he wore square-framed, silver spectacles that rested on the nose of his naturally flushed face. He’s a perfect Santa, if ever I saw one! My Santa didn’t wear a red suit though. He wore a navy trench coat over an olive-coloured shirt, and dark trousers. On his lap,…

  • 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…