Happy New Year’s from Germany

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In 1993 I spent part of New Year’s Eve in a small mountain town near the Black Forest in Germany. The other part of the night I spent in a hospital. It was an evening to remember although not one of revelry. I was in Germany for two weeks visiting my friend who was attending the University of Freiburg on … Read More

Searching for Santa Claus

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Santa Claus was not part of my family’s Christmas. My parents decided they wanted the birth of Christ as the main focus of the holiday and not Jolly Old Saint Nick. Which was fine by me until I went to school. When the festive season rolled around all the kids started talking about Santa Claus. Of course I knew who … Read More

Christmas in South Korea

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One of my first Christmases away from my family was when I was teaching English in South Korea. It was 1997 and the Korean currency, the won, had fallen. I wasn’t making any money, but I was getting rich in experiences. I was living on my own in Puyo, a rural town. I didn’t know many people and had been … Read More

Oh ugly Christmas tree

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Since my husband and I live in a smaller apartment in Calgary we don’t have room for a large Christmas tree. Instead, we have a tiny artificial one that we hang lights on and a few decorations that will suffice for now. Still, I can’t help but remember the “grand” trees my family put up during the festive season in … Read More

Clichés and stereotypes

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I’ve been teaching a short story life writing workshop at the Kerby Centre, an older adults’ activity hub. For our sixth class, we talked about avoiding  clichés and stereotypes in our memoirs. So instead of using a banal phrase such as “calm before the storm” or “crazy as a loon” — force your mind into different ways of describing  things. … Read More