A Heart for Kristy

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When meeting Kristy Thackeray, the first thing you’ll notice is her big smile. The second thing is how friendly she is to everyone: she really cares about people. Kristy was a participant in one of my Chinook Learning Services memoir writing classes last fall and she went out of her way to comfort those who got teary-eyed while sharing their … Read More

La cervix

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It’s the first French class of Grade 11. I’m sitting in a small beige room with about 18 other students. Since it’s high school no one feels cool but we’re all trying to impress each other with our Beaver Canoe sweatshirts and high-end binders. Heck, even intelligence counted a little bit. Madam L.W. asks us, in English, if we know … Read More

Where to go from here

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When I graduated from journalism school the economy was in rough shape. It was 1997 and there was a global economic crisis. There’s a recession now too and journalism grads are in the same boat I was in almost 20 years ago. One recent go-getter grad e-mailed me and asked for some advice. I met him a couple of weeks … Read More

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

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

Floppy disc discovery

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While home for the holidays in Nova Scotia, I found a treasure trove: some old, old floppy discs. Not those round ones that look like records but the hard square ones. I brought them back to Calgary and wondered how to get the data off them. Who has a computer with a floppy disc drive anymore? The Calgary Public Library. … 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

Heart of the matter

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No matter who we are, we all want the same things. We all want to be sheltered from the heat and cold, have food to fill our stomachs, and to be loved. In the book, Voices in the Wind, you’ll see this as a common thread. Pick it up and follow it to your heart because some of the people … Read More