Entrepreneurial spirit – with beer

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

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 …

Mass appeal

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 …

Writing is work

This morning, my spin instructor said December was for wrapping things up and January is for starting new things. Hmm. I’ve never thought about it that way before. I do know a lot of people start going to the gym this month – part of their “New Year’s Resolution” regime. According to this article, one in three Canadians make resolutions …

Hollywood Hong Kong

Looking out across Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong, I see lightening split the sky. It’s only noon but it’s as dark as a Calgary winter evening. I had hoped to be shopping right now but my friend, Digger, just texted and told me to stay in. “Don’t go out in the storm,” she said. “Wan Chai can wait.” I’m glad …

Shared stories

Stories bind us. Words tie society together with strands of familiar narratives and shared experiences. Not all stories are happy ones but there’s value in listening to how people are dealing with tough times. You may also learn others are more like you and me than you know. I heard a lot of these types of stories when I was …

Lost Andy

Andy talks and talks and talks. Talks and talks. Then talks some more. “At school we painted pictures,” he says. “I can make super-sonic laser beams come out of my eyes.” “Can I take Jasper out for a walk?” Andy is annoying me with all his talking. I want to tell him to shut up but I won’t. He’s only …

Headless on Halloween

Halloween is in a few days and while I won’t be dressing up, I do remember some costumes from when I was in elementary school in Nova Scotia. I always wanted to be dignified and pretty while my mother always wanted me to be something funny. One Halloween, I asked to be a “Lady.” I’m not sure what I meant …