Friday, June 23, 2017

Who I Am.....


Well folks, it's been another crazy week full of all kinds of excitement!

First, our grandson graduated from pre-k, now ready to begin his journey in the 'big kid' school.

The ceremony was priceless. These little faces took full advantage of the occasion to showcase their impressive new skills in sign language, learning to write their names without assistance, and tackling new songs, performing all of it with a level of adorability that was almost intolerable.

Toward the end, one of the teachers shared with the gathered family and friends, the littles answers to some questions they were given at the end of the year. A couple of which were as follows....

1) What did you like most about preschool?

The answers to this one were fairly unanimous..."playing with my friends/blocks/toys"

2) What to you want to be when you grow up?

The answer to this, on the other hand, varied significantly. Some want to be firefighters and police officers, others fairies, one, wants to be the red power ranger.

The answer, though, that struck a cord, resounding in a universal reaction of "awwwwwww" was the one uttered by our very own grandbaby, Jakey.

His answer to "What do you want to be when you grow up?"........"Who I am."

The majority of what we need to learn in this life can be learned from those under 6 years old. Truth.

Another bit of excitement came in a message via Facebook.

I'm tickled to pieces to be able to tell you that 'Once Broken' has been selected as part of a 10 book summer reading list for one of, if not the biggest, book clubs in Saskatchewan, and, has become part of a big contest on the radio station that sponsors said book club.

Pretty crazy.....

Another bit of excitement.....

Through the course of the last few weeks, it has been brought to my attention that there were some people that want a copy of 'Once Broken', who have been unable to attend any of the events, so far. So, on July 1st, which happens to be Canada Day, my hubby and I are embarking on the "#OnceBroken Canada Day Turbo Tour Road Trip"!

We will be making quick stops in 9 towns that day, meeting as many people as possible.

It's a kind of 'out of the box' approach, but, I'm kinda allergic to fitting into boxes. It's who I am.

 Besides, the absolute worst case scenario is that we cruise the countryside, stopping 9 times, in great communities, for pee breaks and snacks! I can live with that!


As for the upcoming days........

Working the shop. prepping for the turbo tour, some accounting, some laundry, some errands....

Who knows what kind of surprises will come to pass?


Well, 'tis the season for graduations, pre-k, middle school, high school, university and probably others I'm not aware of. Wth these in mind, I'll leave you with wish....

May you see the road ahead as one filled with adventure, it's yours, be fierce, be brave.
May you always make choices that bring you closer to becoming the person you crave.

May you see that not all future steps are predictable, there are hazards, detours, potholes, and storms.
May you know that you are strong enough to weather any of it, all of it, regardless of its form.

May you know there will be days filled with doubt, feeling like you don't know what you're doing, which turn to take, which path to follow, what decision to make.
May you also know, that doesn't go away, it's all any of us do, figuring it out as we go, along the way gaining skills and tools, yet still having times we feel like a fake.

May you just remember what's important, be kind, do no harm, listen more than you speak.
May you just remember, power doesn't make you strong, tears don't make you weak.

May you carry with you always, compassion, empathy, gratitude, humour, and the ability to dream big, dream far.
May you carry with you always, a piece of where you come from, good or bad, it's helped shape who you are.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Happy Daddy Day!


Life around here is never dull, but the past few weeks have been particularly exciting.

"Once Broken" has had a pretty great start. It's been two full weeks since the release date and copies, hardcopy, and ebook, have found their way to a bunch of different homes in four different provinces, in three different countries, on two different continents.

Another moment in time that, when I was elbow-deep in dirty diapers living on love and caffeine, seemed impossible.

There was a time when sleep was a luxury and making pennies stretch was my only hobby. When even allowing myself to entertain any kind of dream that remotely resembled what I am living today seemed a waste of time I simply didn't have. It seemed too far, too big, too much, I couldn't see a road from there to here.

That road has been a long one, with plenty of bumps, curves, detours, potholes, thrilling hills and sharp turns. I look forward to whatever is around the next bend, nothing seems too far anymore.

Do you see the guy in the top photo? The one at the head of the table, by the window? None of any of this happens without him.

He gave me our girls, this life, this adventure.

He is the guy our girls get to call daddy. He's the guy that would walk to the ends of the earth for his girls, pulling cars out of snowbanks, holding purses and coats during countless shopping expeditions, fixing bikes, cars, boyfriends attitudes, always willing to answer the call for a ride, no matter the time.

He is the guy that was their jungle gym, self-defense coach, teacher of changing oil and flat tires. He is the guy who will never let them forget that they are loved, he is proud, and they are worth everything because they are here, selling themselves short is not an option.

He is the guy that has been, and always will be, their protector, their biggest fan, their soft place to fall, always there with a hand up and a hug when they do.

He is the guy.


The past week has been pretty great, a tradeshow in Kindersley, time with some great people, working the shop. Pretty Great.

The upcoming days will be filled with another trade show, Father's Day, working on some book promoting, and working the shop. Just keep swimming....................


Now to my Dad..............

May you know that even though some time has passed since last we spoke, I haven't forgotten how you sound.
May you know that even though you've been gone a while, at the most important times, I know you're still around.

May you know we see you, feel you, every time a prank is pulled, a joke is skillfully told, or when "nin-nins" come out to play.
May you know you left the best of yourself behind, I see it in my own eyes,  those of my kids, and my grandbabies, in sooo many ways.

May you continue to watch over us with that glint in your eye and tongue planted firmly in your cheek
May you know we miss you, really miss you, always miss you, but it hits hardest, this day, this week.

******************************************************************** on Twitter : @mugwatt

Friday, June 9, 2017

Some Beautiful Faces..............

Just a few of the beautiful faces that have taken home a copy of 'Once Broken.'  !!!

Well, it's been about a week and a half since the release of 'Once Broken', and it's been kind of a surreal experience. I work hard not to attach any kind of expectation to a project, although I always hope that at least a few people get some sort of entertainment out of what I do. I have had to get comfortable promoting and marketing my books, but, after I've put everything I can into a book, the rest is out of my hands, so there's really no point worrying about it.

The amount of support and positive feedback since the release day has been pretty amazing. At some point, in the near future, I plan on taking a minute, a few deep breaths, and let it all soak in. Maybe then, it will feel a little more real.

For right now, I want to say thank you. Thank you to those who have sent notes of congratulations, purchased books, and have been so supportive throughout this project, the ones that preceded it, and, I'm hoping, the ones that follow.

I know how lucky I am, how privileged I have been, and continue to be. Living in a country where,  growing up, I never knew real hunger, in a place in which I could actually complain about having to go to school to get an education, a community where if someone needed help, there was never a question of 'if' neighbours will pitch in, it was understood. Living in a country where we drink the water without worry, breathe clean air without exception, where the skies are bigger and bluer than anything you can imagine, where we are more likely to run into by a moose than a mugger, where we have parks bigger than some countries, the freedom to enjoy every inch of the playground in which we live, and where medical care is a right.

There are too many places in the world where there are way too many people that would view what I just described as a lavish fairy tale. Farfetched, unreachable, complete fantasy.

Maybe, just maybe, someday, we will figure out a way so that every single person, can have a happily ever after.........



In the past week....

Worked at the shop, signed and sent some books off to some people with really good taste in books, made a run into the city to replenish McNally Robinson with copies of 'Once Broken'. (Was so excited when they called and said they were sold out!), played hooky with a good friend and went to a the afternoon.....on a Thursday......shhhhh don't tell anybody..............

As for the upcoming days............

I will be selling and signing books at an event at Kindersley Mall tomorrow from 10-4

More working at the shop........

Prepping for Art in the Park....


Well, that about does it for now.....


The world lost a very special lady yesterday,  with her in mind.......

For Cathy...

May you know how special you were, your kindness, your heart, your grace.
May you know how amazing you were, the warmth and beauty of fine French lace.

May you know that without you, the world has lost a gentle point of light.
May you know how much you will be missed, our world simply won't be as bright.

May those you held closest, those who feel this loss the most, be given strength, given hope.
May you stand by their sides, letting them know that they will be okay, they will cope.

May the world understand, although not many knew your name, you were an absolute star.
May the world understand, the absence of your loving soul will leave a vivid, permanent scar.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Once Broken.....A Novel.....What?!?!?!?!?


Well, it's been a whirlwind kind of week!

Copies of 'Once Broken' were safely delivered allowing me to get it in the hands of readers!

Yup, the release date was June 1st, then, today we had the official launch in my home town at their Spring Fling event.  Kinda crazy, and a bit surreal.

Along with the release comes a bit of the running around that comes with it, getting it, physically, into McNally Robinson, filling out all of the appropriate paperwork that goes with it. Getting a poster made for upcoming events, getting the first copies shipped off to different parts of the continent, getting the word out on social media, etc.

Thankfully, my hubby is always supportive and pretty dang forgiving about me having to play hooky at the shop through it all.

It's been exciting, a bit nerve-wracking, and, in the best possible way, exhausting. Please forgive me if these ramblings are a bit short and maybe, lack a bit of luster.

The upcoming week will include some shop time, (month end and such) working on the next steps of marketing  "Once Broken", which will include an event in the Kindersley Mall on the 10th.

For those on different continents, that are so kindly interested in purchasing a copy, I would encourage the ebook version available on Amazon and Kobo if at all possible, as the cost of shipping to some of these places is pretty crazy.

I hate to write and run, but I'm functioning on fumes and if I keep writing, the gibberish will be unbearable.

Thank you all so much for your ongoing support. It means more than I can express.

Until next time................

May to find it within, to take the steps you need to take, to hold a dream in your hand.
May you see it through, bring it to fruition, eliminate the 'what ifs', put your footprints in the sand.

May you enter the adventure without expectation of outcome, it will be what it should be, without your consent.
May you see that the greatest part of the reward lives within the journey, leave your guts on the floor, every effort spent.

May you see that there is power in the vulnerability required in the baring of your soul.
May you see that, even under the microscopic eyes of those who don't approve, you remain completely whole.

May you find it within, to take the steps you need to take to hold a dream in your hand.
My you see it through, bring it to fruition, eliminate the 'what ifs', put your footprints in the sand.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Life...Not A Competition


Since the last time I sat to write these ramblings, our world was witness, yet again, to unimaginable horror. Horror, this time, targeting kids. Kids.

In Manchester, at a Pop Star concert, where the majority of fans are too young to attend without an adult, another suicide bomber senselessly subjected others to his violence.


Another twisted being took it upon himself to forever alter lives. Bringing some to an abrupt and tragic end, while shattering the lives of those who loved them. The trauma, the shock, the utter terror inflicted on innocent people is completely heartbreaking.

In the face of this despicable evil, heroes arose. The homeless ran to the aid of the injured. Children were gathered and kept safe until they could be reunited with their parents. Just as quickly as the bomb inflicted its destruction, kindness made its presence known.

The heroes will always rise. Kindness will always overtake the darkness. Our instinct to care for each, look out for one another, help one another, will always outweigh any hate.

Those that hate try to make us fear one another. Fear one another's culture, faith, race, belief system, sexual identity. Hate is simply fear in disguise. They try to create fear as a way of perpetuating hate. Attempting to create an environment that will justify their actions.

What can we do? Us, the regular people, walking through life, what can we do? I believe the best way is to accept each other, respect each other, care for each other. Don't wait for a tragedy to let your inner hero surface. Let it shine at every opportunity.The opposite of violence is kindness. The opposite of terror is peace. It stands to reason, at least to this ever-idealistic heart, that the best counter-terrorism isn't more terror, but peace.

I am ever hopeful for a time in which our differences are celebrated, our abundance shared. A time when, as the human race, we finally realize that life isn't a competition. There is no "race."

I believe we honor those who go before us by living the best life we can, capturing joy whenever possible, embracing the good moments. Overtaking the darkness, at every turn.

In that spirit,...... I am happy to say that I'm now a mere 5 sleeps away from holding in my hands, a tangible version of one of my long-time, hard-fought-for dreams. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't excited. I'd also be lying if I said I wasn't nervous.

All I can do now is hope a few people will like it. Time will tell.......


So the past week was spent spending some time with family, working at the shop, and doing the glamorous things it takes to run a house......

As for the upcoming days...............

Tradeshow tomorrow in Saskatoon at the Travelodge..................

Work at the shop.........................

Receive my books!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Get a poster made for the new book.................

Get 'Once Broken' on the shelves at McNally Robinson.............

Get 'Once Broken' added to my website..........................


Well, that about does it for now.........

With the people of Manchester in mind.........................

May you find the strength to breathe, to speak, to walk through each day.
May you know we are with you, all of us, we just don't know what to say.

May your shattered souls, someday, begin to heal, someday, for grief, time does not exist.
May the heaviness, someday, begin to lift, allowing the sun to give your uplifted face an angel's kiss.

May you once again find yourself smiling without having to try.
May memories of those you lost, someday, no longer bring tears, but a smile, and a sigh.

May you find the strength to breathe, to speak, to walk through each day.
May you know we are with you, all of us, we just don't know what to say.

Until next time...............

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Only A Boat Needs An Anchor..............


Holy Cow!

"Once Broken" will be out on June 1st! Ebooks are available now for pre-sale on both the Amazon and Kobo websites. I will have hardcopies available on the release day. They will be available through my website, at McNally Robinson in Saskatoon, and I will have them at various tradeshows, the debut of which will be in my home town of Denzil on June 3rd.

When the idea for this story started to formulate in the back of my mind, I really had no idea where it would go, or what the end product would be.

As time went on, it evolved and revealed itself to be the beginnings of a novel.

Taking on any project that resides in the vicinity of the unknown can be daunting, scary and sometimes, straight-up overwhelming. This project was no exception.

I am under no grand delusion that I have put forth the next great piece of literature that will change the course of humanity, but, the fact that it's not War and Peace doesn't mean it didn't present its own challenges. Simple things that, as a reader, I take for granted, like character names, back stories, settings, technical terms. They are all things that, prior to this endeavor, I never gave a second thought as to how it all made its way to the page.

Will I do it again? Absolutely! But first, I need to get a couple of kids books that are kicking around out of my system before I can embark on the next novel project.


Ten years ago, I never in a million years would have thought I'd be where I am.

Time is a funny thing. It carries us, at times, unwillingly through the different chapters of our lives. It's both a blessing and a curse. Its passing gifts us incredible people and experiences while simultaneously bringing our existence on this earth ever closer to its inevitable end.

When you look at your life and realize more years are behind than ahead, time gains value. Every tick of the clock signifies a moment impossible to relive.

A couple of things that have made themselves known to me......

Finding joy every day is important. It doesn't have to be big, but it needs to be there. Allow yourself to get excited about things. Roll with change, don't fear it, its inevitable. Worrying doesn't actually change one iota of a circumstance. If there is an aspect of your life that drags you down, find a way to cut it loose.

Only a boat needs an anchor.

None of us were put on this earth to be miserable. If we breathe, we deserve every happiness. We are born filled with it, made of it. Through the course of our lives, people are put in our path, some add to our happiness, some rob us of it.

Those that add to our happiness are the ones that encourage you to shine. The ones that, by their mere presence, lift you. The thought of them makes you smile, the sight of them makes you calm. These are the keepers.

The thieves usually start with small pieces, so small we barely notice. The pieces get gradually bigger until we barely recognize what our happiness looked like. We simply need to decide how much of our happiness we are willing to part with, where we draw the line. These are the anchors.

Only a boat needs an anchor.


Well folks, from the pics at the top of the page, you get a pretty good idea what I've been up to for the past few days.......Sooooooo excited!!!!

Some ticks of the clock were also spent working at the shop....

Annnnnd had a great time with a fantastic group of ladies at a fundraiser for Lend-a-Paw, an animal rescue group in North Battleford.

As for the next few days..............

Attend the wedding of our nephew and his lovely fiance..................

Work on promotions for "Once Broken"

Work at the shop..........

And that about does it for now......

With weddings on the mind.......................

May you remember always, the overwhelming love that enveloped you as you said your vows.
May it see you through any hardships, any disagreements, any anger a thermostat might arouse.

May you protect your marriage with every breath, building each other up with each passing day.
May you look for the humour in the dark, rolling with the unknowns that are bound to come your way.

May you never take for granted just how lucky you are to share your life with your best friend.
May you see that with them you can make it through anything, no matter what might be around the bend.

Friday, May 12, 2017

For Those Who Answer To "Mooooooom"!!!!!!

Happy Mothers' Day to all of you out there who turn your heads at the sound of "Moooooom!"

It happens at home, for sure, but also, pretty much, wherever there's a crowd. It doesn't go away once your kids all grow up and leave home, either. I still find myself whipping around to this precious moniker.

It's a title of honour, one of which I have never taken lightly, have cherished and for which I will continue to be forever grateful.

Speaking of titles........................................

I'm so excited/scared/nervous/excited that my first novel "Once Broken" is sooooooo close to being ready. It's hard to believe that I am now only weeks away from having it in hand and ready to share.

It's in the sharing that the trepidation lives.

This is the threshold.

This is the part where I let people hold my imagination in their hands and hope they like it. At least some of them. I have no delusions that every single person who reads it will think its great, I just hope that at least a few think it's good.

If it makes a couple of people lose track of time, laugh, cringe and/or cry, I will be beyond thrilled.

Whenever you pour yourself into something, your hope of hopes is that it will be well received.


So this week was a tornado of decisions concerning the cover design, page layout, "about the author" photo. It involved writing the synopsis for the back cover and a more detailed one for the person designing the cover.

It also included working at the shop where things, gratefully, continue to be very busy.......

As for the upcoming week.................

Attending a fundraiser with some great people and spending time with an amazing friend.............

Pouring over the proof of "Once Broken" and hopefully soon thereafter, mark it "approved" .....

Receive a release date for "Once Broken"

Begin the scramble of everything that needs to be done between now and that release date!!!!!


For those who answer to "Mom"

May you cherish the breakfast in bed, eggshells, cold coffee, burnt toast and all.
May you, in receiving your macaroni necklace, memorize the tiny face, for more in love you'll fall.

May you allow yourself, at least for this day, to see yourself through their eyes.
May you see that to them, you are the one who holds the keys to everything, you hold up the skies.

May you know the sacrifice, scars, and heartache all mean you're doing it right.
May you know none of us are perfect, but we never quit, our babies, forever worth the fight.

May you understand you will feel every echo of every single heartbeat long after they are grown.
May you recognize these echoes for what they are, pieces of your soul, standing strong on their own.