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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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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Ice cream season is here!

Posted May 19 2017 in , , , , ,

As you may know, I like ice cream. Although I’ve indulged even when wearing my parka, it’s summer when ice cream comes into its own as my treat of choice. Ice cream features in my two “summer” books. Strawberry Sensation has special memories for the hero and heroine in The Cottage at Firefly Lake, and […]

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Making a joyful noise

Posted Feb 24 2017 in , , , ,

As some of you know, I joined a choir last year. Every Thursday night, I gather with friends and neighbours at my church to sing together and prepare to lead the congregation in the musical part of the Sunday worship service. During that practice time, I’m not connected to social media. I’m not thinking about […]

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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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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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Canadian repatriation: One year

Posted Jul 15 2016 in , , , , , ,

On 18 July 2015 English Rose and I landed in Toronto on an Aer Lingus flight from London via Dublin. I was on my way home, but English Rose had left the only home she’d ever known. Missing England One year later, I still miss the gentle English mist, fish and chips and the “have […]

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Clothes make the woman (and her heroines)

Posted Mar 25 2016 in , , , ,

I’ve never owned a pair of Jimmy Choo sneakers. At prices topping US$500.00 I’m not likely to either. I’m also not likely to own an exquisite Chanel handbag of the kind I saw a white-gloved sales assistant sell in bulk to a trio of Chinese businessmen at Hong Kong’s international airport. As an author, though, […]

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Lessons in community

Posted Dec 4 2015 in , , , ,

The small towns I write about aren’t perfect. Neither is the one I live in. There’s hunger and deprivation and, as a result of rural poverty and unemployment, there’s disenfranchisement and loss of hope. I’m reminded, though, how gestures large and small build a community, and make it a better place to live, renewing the […]

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