• 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…

  • 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…

  • Surrey International Writers Conference (SIWC)

    Throughout my career I attended many conferences. The primary purpose for doing so was to learn advanced skills, knowledge and techniques about my profession, so I could remain competitive and do my job well. For me, attending the SiWC provides additional value. I embrace my passion for writing and am enriched through the fellowship of like-minded individuals. Any writer will tell you that writing is an isolated choice of career. Aside from encounters with individuals during the research phase, we spend hours parked in front of a computer. The only companionship we might have for days on end are those characters firmly installed (or not) in our head telling us…

  • Get Ready For The Crest (Typesetting Is Almost Complete!!)

    Last month, I was pleased to report that typesetting of The Crest was almost complete. This month, I’m excited to share that The Crest is complete and almost ready for Amazon, and The Emerald is in the typesetting-process. I’m not a whiz when it comes to publishing, but I think the goal is to have The Crest available for pre-order on Amazon after mid-October. I’ll keep you posted.    My Short Story Will Be Published By The Royal City Literary Arts Society On another note, I’m happy to share the link to issue 57 of Wordplay at Work, the monthly e-zine publication by Royal City Literary Arts Society. While my humble…

  • One Step Closer

    One Step Closer to Publication So…my three manuscripts are finished, ready for print, and the typesetting of the first story is almost complete. Artwork for the title pages is almost complete too. And, I have a soft target date for publication in November, 2018. Of course, The Crest will launch as an e-book first. Print on paper will follow in due course. One Step Closer to Sharing Another Short Story In the meantime, if you’d like to read some of my short stories, and enjoy excellent poetry crafted by some very talented folks, you might like to check out Wordplay at Work, a monthly e-zine publication by Royal City Literary…

  • Travel and Exploration

    For those of you who have been bit by the travel bug, you might be interested in my recent adventures. Exploring New York City In January, I was treated to a short vacation in New York City. New York in January! Did I just hear someone say that? Crazy? Nasty weather? To that I answer – yes and no! The weather was chilly, but not cold or snowy, and what better time to take in some shows? We thoroughly enjoyed two very different plays: Rafinelli and the King, written by Claire van Kampen, and staring Mark Rylance as the King. Fabulous! Mr. Rylance’s performance was outstanding, as usual. I’m a…