Storrytime in Ontario

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One of my memoir client’s lives in Ontario and I’m going to visit her this week. We’re working on finishing her two books. She has lots of interesting and fascinating stories, photos and documents and I can’t wait to put the books together and publish them for her family. See you when I return.

Giving back

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Capital Ideas Calgary asked businesses: “How does your business give back to the community?” Here’s my answer published in the Calgary Herald on July 23, 2015: http://bit.ly/1MaJcig How does your business give back to the community? Everyone has a story but not everyone has the chance to share his or her stories. This especially true of people living on the … Read More

Beginning, middle and end

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I instruct writing workshops and one thing I teach is a story has to have a beginning, middle and end. An easy way to accomplish this in a piece is to remember to use the three o’s: objective, obstacle and outcome. To get the point across I split a class into groups of three. Then I have everyone write an … 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

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

Dressing like a “gangsta”

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For the past four weeks I’ve been spending some time at the Calgary Drop-In and Rehab Centre teaching a memoir writing workshop. Every Wednesday morning for about an hour a few people write around a table in the midst of a busy room buzzing with conversation and movement and a movie blaring on the TV in the corner. It’s not … Read More

Uncovering treasures

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This past week I was in Burlington, Ontario for work. A client had bought my ticket so I could fly to her home and help her dig through boxes and files and root out any stories that had been hiding. We uncovered a few new adventures by looking at old photos as well as added more details to other memoirs. … Read More

Much ado about nothing

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There are so many things to write about but I sometimes get stuck thinking about what to write about and can’t come up with anything. Probably lots of people who are looking to record their corporate or personal stories are in the same boat. They don’t know where to start but given a prompt – their memories will be set … Read More

Moving on in more ways than one

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I’ve noticed a lot of people moving this weekend. Young people who look around the age of university students. I’ve seen them put clothing and framed posters into cars or trucks and then go back into condos or houses or apartment to get more. When I graduated from Acadia University in the 90s, I had more schooling to look forward … Read More

History is not just in text books

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It’s been almost a week since five people were killed in Calgary, each stabbed to death at a party. I have no immediate connection to the victims but I can’t help but think about how their families, and the suspect’s family, are dealing with an immense amount of tears, pain and confusion. It’s a horror I can’t even imagine can … Read More