Family ties

Posted Oct 20 2017 in , , , , ,

My mom grew up in a picturesque Canadian village in rural eastern Ontario—twelve miles from where I now live.   Dotted with stone buildings and tucked into a rolling landscape of century farms and historic waterways, it’s a place that shaped me as a person, as well as the writer I’ve become. Several weeks ago, […]

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Endings and new beginnings

Posted Sep 8 2017 in , , , , , ,

The leaves on the maple trees are changing from green to red, yellow, and orange here in the Rideau Valley, and as another summer transitions to autumn, endings and new beginnings are much on my mind. English Rose started high school this week, a major life milestone for her and me as well. In what […]

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Sand between my toes & memories in my heart

Posted Aug 11 2017 in , , ,

Tech Guy, English Rose and I have been on holiday this week. After months of bouncing between writing deadlines (me), school and medical appointments (English Rose), and work in big-city Toronto and our small-town home (Tech Guy), we all needed time to stop, reconnect and simply “be.” And so this week we’ve been in Nova […]

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Alone time

Posted Jul 14 2017 in , ,

Like most writers, I’m an introvert. Although I can extrovert when I have to (at conferences and reader events, for example), I’m happiest living inside my head and need frequent alone time, preferably at home, to recharge before facing the world again. As I write this post, though, I’m in a very unfamiliar place for […]

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Life lessons from a dog

Posted Jun 2 2017 in , , ,

When I was living a life that didn’t fit me, I thought about the one that would. The life I then imagined was bracketed by what I called “the three p’s” – porch, pooch and pickup truck. All three represented a more authentic way of living that was better aligned with the values I hold […]

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Sending my book baby out into the world

Posted Jan 27 2017 in , , ,

My very first published book, The Cottage at Firefly Lake, releases on January 31. Although advance review copies are already in circulation, the shiny, finished book doesn’t hit shelves and e-readers until next Tuesday. In the author world, a book release is called a “book birthday.” Much like the birth of a child, the excitement, […]

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Hope, love and the meaning of life in a Christmas cactus

Posted Dec 16 2016 in , , , , ,

The past year has been difficult for many of us, and my word of the year, “gratitude,” has taken on a poignancy I could never have anticipated when I chose it last January. In some ways, I’ll be grateful to see the end of 2016 for it’s been a year of turbulence and loss both […]

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Remembering my mom…and a special giveaway

Posted Nov 18 2016 in , , , , , ,

Sunday, November 20th is World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims. It’s a day I’ve marked since my mother was killed crossing a street while returning home from an ordinary, afternoon shopping trip. Road death is sudden, shocking, and it forever changes the lives of loved ones left behind. Although the loss of my […]

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What’s in a name?

Posted Oct 21 2016 in , , , ,

In the past month, I’ve been called Rebecca, Mary, Megan, and Jessica. At church last Sunday, another parishioner asked me where “Jennifer” was, mixing up English Rose and I.   Together with a struggle to name a character in my work in progress, and a report in Britain’s Daily Mail  newspaper that nearly a fifth of parents regret […]

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Gratitude and new beginnings

Posted Oct 7 2016 in , , , , , , ,

My small town has recently welcomed a Syrian refugee family. Soon after their arrival, the newspaper ran a picture of the mom, dad and their three young children playing in the local park. It was an ordinary, yet also extraordinary scene. Our new neighbours have spent the last three years in a refugee camp not […]

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