We will remember them

Remembrance Day is an important day for my family. My husband’s currently serving in the military and has had colleagues who died while on duty.  We both have family members who served, most notably our maternal grandfathers. As a result, Remembrance services are highly emotional events for us, something I’ve tried to capture in the following poem.

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Sunday in Paris with George

My purpose is to portray the impression of an American visitor in Paris, as he strolls about the city and listens to various street noises and absorbs the French atmosphere. 

This quote from George Gershwin comes from an interview in Musical America that was published in August 1928. He was speaking, of course, of his masterpiece “An American in Paris”, which was still a work in progress. But the end goal for this particular piece was in sight. Two weeks from today marks 90 years since he completed the orchestration of his tribute to the City of Light. It premiered at Carnegie Hall on December 13, 1928, conducted by Walter Damrosch, who had commissioned the work. You can read more about the history of the piece here. And, if you’ve never heard the full piece, take a listen here to this performance by the Moscow City Symphony-Russian Philharmonic. It’s about 20 minutes long.

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Podcast of Mole and Niece now available

Back at the beginning of September, I announced that my story “Mole and Niece” had been published in the NonBinary Review.

Now I’m happy to announce that you can listen to the podcast and read the story here: http://nonbinaryreview.com/mole-and-niece/

Enjoy!

Stepping up and speaking out

Today is World Mental Health Day, so I thought I’d share something I wrote for Let’s Talk, a day in January when Canadians are publically encouraged to break down the stigma and talk about mental health. I wasn’t ready to share it then, but I am now.

While I haven’t received an official diagnosis of social anxiety, two years ago, I participated in a study for people displaying symptoms, and that has helped me a lot. This is just another bend in that road.

*deep breath*

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A read-letter day

I was pleasantly surprised to learn this morning that the Ottawa Citizen published my letter to the editor today!

It’s regarding the closure of an Ottawa fixture: Dunn’s deli on Elgin Street, a favourite place of mine. I had written about it earlier this year as part of a writing exercise, so I adapted it into a short tribute.

I was especially thrilled that it’s the first letter on the page and it’s accompanied by a photo by Wayne Cuddington.

I will still miss Dunn’s a lot though. 🙁

You can read it here. Enjoy!

(In case it’s not obvious, the title for this post comes from the joke “what is black and white and read all over”)

 

Appreciating Jean Little

In a previous post, I mentioned Jean Little, one of Canada’s most notable children’s authors. She was a favourite of mine growing up, and so I decided to revisit her life and work and write about it here.

About Jean

Jean Little was born in 1932 in Japanese-occupied Taiwan.  Her parents Gorrie (Flora) and Llew were both doctors working as missionaries with the United Church of Canada. Gorrie herself grew up in a missionary family, which often meant a life of long-distance relationships, ably described in Jean’s His Banner over Me (2008).

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Mole and Niece featured in the NonBinary Review

Big news! A story of mine was accepted by the NonBinary Review for their Wind in the Willows issue!

Mole and Niece imagines a time after the conclusion of The Wind and the Willows story when Mole gets to have an adventure of his own. For once, he is more than a sidekick to Ratty and Toad. Along for the fun is his niece Tally, and Mr Badger makes appearances too.

The Wind in the Willows is a multi-generational favourite in our family (I have my Nanner’s copy), so it’s a great honour for me to have my piece accepted.

Now, to read the story in text, you do have to buy the issue (it’s $1.99) here or you can until it’s featured Zoetic Press’s Alphanumeric podcast. Once it’s available in audio format, I will post the details here. Either way, I hope you enjoy it!

I should also note that it’s my first paid writing submission, and I’m the first author listed on the contributors’ page! Very exciting and humbling.

A big shout out to S, H, and A (who all loved the story), and the IF and LL groups for their suggestions while I was writing it. Your support means the world to me!

Melt with You up on Wattpad

It’s 15 years since the Great North American Blackout. It was a stinking hot day, especially for the poor squirrel that caused it all.

Here’s part one of a story I wrote based on that day. I’ve put it up on Wattpad as the whole thing is a bit longer than I’d like for a blog post. (It also gives me a chance to try out Wattpad) Hope you like it!

Note, you’ll need to sign up for a membership but it’s free.

A Martian Birthday

The planet Mars has been in the news a lot lately, what with:

  • The discovery of water;
  • the planet being at its closest perigee in 15 years;
  • the 6th birthday of the Curiosity rover;
  • The use of “Mars Awaits” in one of the proposed logo for Trump’s “Space Force”. (Still shaking my head at that whole thing)

So, here’s a bit of Mars-related sci-fi for you, a short story I wrote last fall. I hope you like it!

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Cracking the recipe

I am baking on a Tuesday evening. This is unusual for me. Normally my Tuesday evenings are tied up with choir practice or volunteer work, but in the summer, these things are on hiatus. And even though we have central air, baking isn’t something I do much of in the summer. But this evening is different as it’ll only come once. It is the 100th anniversary of my paternal grandmother’s birthday, and so I’m marking the occasion by attempting her signature cookie recipe once more. This time, I hope to get it right.

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