To laugh or not to laugh

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Humour is one way to deal with tough issues. Last Tuesday, while leading a memoir writing workshop at Alpha House, the participants taught me that jokes are allowed even in the deepest and darkest moments. They gave me permission to laugh with them when I might have otherwise cried for them. Alpha House is a shelter in Calgary that gives … Read More

The making of Loyalists

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Calgarian Linda McClelland is proud of her heritage. So much so that she undertook an ambitious project to mark the centennial in 2014 of the incorporation of the United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada (UELAC). United Empire Loyalists were people loyal to the British crown during the American Revolution (1775-1783) – and they weren’t just white folk from the U.K. … Read More

Monsters into words

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“Write the hard stuff,” suggests the last line of a story in a writer’s magazine. That’s easy when the hard stuff is just basic hard stuff, like what to make for supper. But what if it’s like the hard stuff the people living at Alpha House are dealing with – the stuff that turns lives upside down and inside out … Read More

My mother always said…

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My mother isn’t afraid of anything or anyone. Nor is she intimidated by fashion and wears whatever she wants, wherever she wants. Much to the horror of a 14-year-old. Me, a few years ago. I liked my socks to match, Mum didn’t. She once wore a pink striped sock with a black sock. I pleaded with her to change them … Read More

Memoirs: insight not ego

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Talking with a client today, he said he feels like he’s tooting his own horn when it comes to his memoirs. That telling his story is selfish and who would want to know what he had experienced and thought. I said maybe right now it seems egoistical but down the road his children, grandchildren and their children will be happy … Read More

Sounds stir up memories

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Sounds bring back memories for me and most likely, for a lot of others too. Noise, or lack of noise, connects us to a myriad of flashbacks from happy to sad to scared to whatever you heard and felt at a particular moment. While I was home in Nova Scotia last week the outdoors resonated in my brain and trigged … Read More

Memories in a time of sadness

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Sometimes making memories isn’t a happy thing, especially during difficult times. But these memories will be shaped by caring and the pain that goes along with the occasion lets us know our capacity for love. I will be offline, excluding a few Facebook posts and tweets, for the next two weeks. Hope all is spring thoughts.

Springing back into university

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Spring has sprung – officially. Unofficially most days in Calgary feel like they’re struggling to understand their new seasonal identity. They haven’t shed winter yet and it’s been snowing and cold for a few days now. There was one day last week when the temperature hit 18 and we could believe warmer weather was coming. That day also reminded me … Read More

Forming Voices Out of the Noise

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My new blog post for This is My City: http://bit.ly/10sakOg For the past few weeks, I’ve been volunteering with a Calgary organization: This is My City (TMC). TMC brings art and people together no matter what income bracket or social status because art builds bridges and lessens differences. Currently I’m part of a TMC initiative that puts visual and theatre artists, … Read More

This is My City

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For the past few weeks, I’ve been volunteering with a Calgary organization: This is My City (TMC). TMC brings art and people together no matter what income bracket or social status because art builds bridges and lessens differences. Currently I’m part of a TMC initiative that puts visual and theatre artists, musicians and writers as instructors at homeless centres around … Read More