This story has legs

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Who doesn’t like a mystery? Today, I have two to solve. One is modern while the other is more than one hundred years old. Both come with people to seek and stories to unravel. They also both come in boxes. The first mystery is in a metre-long heavy cardboard box. When my husband and I moved to Edmonton in September, …

Her story – anonymous, until a few days ago

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I didn’t want to buy any furniture when I moved to Vernon B.C. because I knew I wasn’t going to stay there long. I didn’t like it. However, my parents said they were going to visit me, so I had to get a table and chairs. I also bought an interesting piece of artwork, which remained pretty, but anonymous, until …

Entrepreneurial spirit – with beer

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Cling, clank, smash – the noise at Edmonton’s Strathcona bottle depot is deafening. The small building is stuffed with noise, bottles and people. My husband and I have picked the worst time to bring back our recyclables: right when students are cleaning out their homes. Twenty-five years ago, I was doing the same thing. The line-up today, a rainy Saturday, …

Road maps for your memoirs

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It doesn’t matter what kind of writer you are: science fiction, romance or memoir, when you get an idea in your head, it sticks around. That little kernel of a thought will pop into a full-blown story that bounces around in your brain – until you get the words out. Sometimes though, there are too many ideas and it’s hard …

Soapy memoirs

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Go online or visit your local bookstore and you’ll find a variety of memoirs. The genre is on the rise and we’ve seen many stories, such as Cheryl Strayed’s Wild, hit the big screen. Memoirs are also hitting the small screen and ending up as plot lines, too. The Young and the Restless (YnR), for instance, has weaved life stories into …

Apple of my eye

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For the past several months, I’ve been giving writing workshops to children. Every Sunday afternoon, students in Grades 4, 5 and 6 learn about formatting essays, figurative language and other aspects of writing. Last week, I taught them about clichés. However, some of the sayings I thought were commonplace, aren’t so much anymore. Clichés are those sayings that are repeated …

Blast from the Past

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Some of my early writing, I’m talking childhood, is embarrassing and not at all noteworthy. I don’t know why I’ve been holding on to it but last week, I got the chance to share my Grade 3 prose. The Writers’ Guild of Alberta put on Blast from the Past and I was one of nine readers chosen to read our …

Planting the seed: making the change to a whole food plant-based diet

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What is a whole food plant-based diet? Until I edited Nele Liivlaid’s Plant-Based Made Easy book, I thought it was an expensive and time-consuming way of eating. Now I know that’s not true. A whole food plant-based diet means eating plant-based food in its natural form. You eat fruits, vegetables, tubers, whole grains and legumes and exclude animal products (meat, …

Mass appeal

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When someone doesn’t like your memoir “What if someone doesn’t like what I wrote?” asked a participant in my memoir writing class last week. That’s just it – not everyone is going to like or agree with what you put in your life stories. However, it’s your story. O. Henry, an American short story writer, said this about writing: I’ll …