From idea to business

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Capital Ideas is a community of business owners, helping business owners. Recently, they asked Calgary entrepreneurs: How do you know when it’s time to launch your business? Here’s my answer: http://bit.ly/1K6AFyX *There a lot of factors at play when deciding it’s time to launch a business. But there is no one right time. Of course, you can conduct research and … Read More

Playing with words

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We all have stories in our lives that we wish we could change. A new workshop by This is My City Calgary (TMC) gives participants the chance to do that with Write /Rewrite: a do-over. TMC is a non-profit organization that puts artist-mentors together with marginalized people. I volunteer as a memoir writer and Patricia Lortie is a visual artist … Read More

Media meltdown

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The newspaper industry across Canada was dealt a massive blow last week. It hit me personally as my husband was caught in the layoff tsunami. We need more trained journalists, not fewer. I know there are other sectors hurting and the economy in Alberta is weak right now. At a Calgary Chamber of Commerce event a couple of weeks ago, … Read More

Little snow, big snow

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When there’s a snow storm in Nova Scotia, there’s a snow storm. It’s not the full-sized, plump flakes that add up: it’s the little, wee ones that fall fast and furious. They hit the ground piling up and up and up…until the bus can’t get down our dirt road. That’s when school is cancelled and my sisters and I get … Read More

A New Year’s declaration

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I hope everyone had a good holiday and you left 2015 with happy memories. We have no choice in welcoming 2016 but we do have a choice about what we do in 2016. Some people like to make resolutions to map out their goals of the year. Some people just slide right into January without a thought about the upcoming … Read More

Young and Restless Anne

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Almost every weekday at four o’clock in the afternoon, I stop work and watch the Young and the Restless. It’s my dirty secret. The silly show is a nice break and the story arcs are so fantastical they’re ludicrous. Except for a couple of weeks ago when a scene sparked a Christmas memory: Anne of Green Gables made an appearance … Read More

30 years of helping

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STARS celebrated its 30th anniversary recently. I was lucky enough to write a piece on the history of volunteers with the Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society. Read the story by clicking on the image to the left or go to the STARS Horizons – 30th anniversary edition, page 16.  

Remembering our veterans

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I’m wary of writing about my memoir writing participants from the Drop-In Centre because they are like you and me. Except these people have been hit a little harder by life and need a helping hand. I’m writing about them now because my writers last week wrote about Remembrance Day and I wanted to share their outlook on the day. … Read More

Ghost writers are real

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What do you see sitting in the chair? It’s a ghost writer. Halloween means it’s time for apparitions to swirl outside or join us in our living rooms. This Victorian ghost writer is hanging out where all the action happens. (In the library of course.) The author apparition is actually a novelist and biographer from the U.K. Her name is … Read More

The “me” in memory

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For an hour a week I write with a man who has Alzheimer’s disease. We write about the yellow leaves that fall on his front lawn. We write about eating Thanksgiving turkey and Brussels sprouts. We write about going for walks with a dog name Bo. We don’t write stories about the man as a young boy or raising his … Read More