Mum’s not just a mum

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I don’t have a first memory of my mother. She’s always been there: picking me up, carrying me, holding my hand and teaching me about life. For the past few months, I’ve been collecting my mother’s stories. Now I’m learning about her life. You’d think that I’d already know a lot about my mother. Of course I do. She told … Read More

Worlds collide

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Nepal is on the other side of the world. It seems so far away. Yet it’s not. The earthquake that hit, and hit hard, is hitting Canada too. My sister visited the country a couple of years ago and I have several  friends who have lived and travelled to Kathmandu. Through their stories I’ve heard about a country that smiles … Read More

Come out to the festival

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Yesterday I was at the Calgary library talking about my experiences teaching memoir writing workshops to participants from the Drop-In Centre, Alpha House and Women’s Centre. My presentation was one of five and part of the This Is My City Festival 2015. I’m a volunteer with This is My City (TMC). TMC matches artists with people living at the margins … Read More

Whip it real good

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We’ve all had those days or weeks or months or years. When things are tough. When things aren’t going smoothly. When everything you do ends up on the proverbial floor. Today though, I’m finding humour in the unfunny. Turning the tables on the rough stuff and looking through the gloominess and into the sunshine. During a particularly bad week, I … Read More

Making friends

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I’m missing a family member today. Thursday, our cat, died last week. I wrote about how I met her a few weeks ago but I hadn’t had a chance to post her story. Here is it now. She’s orange and white. Yes, a female and that’s unusual for an orange cat. Her name is Thursday and she’s 19 years old. … Read More

Run away runway

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In my writing workshops, I talk about emotional writing and how to convey sentiment without using words like angry or happy. The best way to express feelings in writing is to actually describe what these emotions bring to you or your character’s face, body laanguage and voice. Next, my participants do a writing exercise where we take an emotion word … Read More

Love at first sight

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I saw him from across the room. A handsome guy with an intense stare. I decided to go over and say hello. That’s when he head-butted me. It was my introduction to Tomas, a cat at the Fort Smith Animal Shelter. He knew he was going to be mine the moment he laid eyes on me. And he wasn’t about … Read More

Target, Zellers and Grade 7

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I walked past some Calgary seniors last Thursday lamenting the loss of Target. It sounded like they were truly upset. However, one woman asked, “What was wrong with Zellers? I miss that place.” I have to agree with her. While Target and Zellers are only two of the many retailers fading away, the Mom and Pop clothing stores that used … Read More