Friday, July 21, 2017

Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, Gen Z and Then?........

Introducing Gen Alpha.

Yup, Generation Alpha began in 2011 and will include all those born between then and 2025.

This is the generation that, as of now, has no labels. They are not the flower children or the MTV generation, nor are they hipsters. They are yet to be defined.

This is the generation that will never know life without smartphones, selfies, social media, digital music, and live streaming everything...all the time.

This is the generation that, with any luck, will be the one that finds a way to make peace more profitable than war, discovers a way to feed every living soul that roams the planet, finds a way out of this cycle of environmental self-destruction, cures every type of cancer, Alzheimers, MS, diabetes and addiction.

No pressure.

Even if this isn't that generation, it could be the one that replaces tolerance with acceptance, judgment with empathy, violence with kindness.

This generation, more so than any before it, has access to an infinite amount of information. Limitless recourses from which to learn. The ability to gain an education that has no boundaries. Our schools are no longer limited to what lives within the covers of whatever text books the budget will allow. The opportunity for global understanding has never been so attainable.

Imagine a world wherein the generation running it has grown up in a culture of acceptance, kindness, and an unlimited access to education, both formal, and not so formal.

We, the adults, the village, raising this generation, have the opportunity and the responsibility to foster the culture that could encourage Gen Alpha to be the greatest yet.

The future looks bright, all we have to do is allow it.


In the past week.......

It's been another super busy week at the shop, as the weather has been such that a trip to one of the many lakes in our area is dang near mandatory......

Did some prepping for a wedding we are playing for in a few weeks........

Processed the paperwork to participate in Saskatoon's Word On The Street Festival in Saskatoon (Sept. 24th)

Found more copies of "Once Broken" a new home.....

I think I figured out which section of "Once Broken" I will do at McNally Robinson, Thursday! (July 27th 7pm!)

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

A trip to the city to watch our daughter in a dragon boat race...........

Working the shop........

Attending the McNally Robinson launch on Thursday @ 7pm! (Hope to see you there)

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

With this next generation in mind, I'll leave you with this wish....

May you take the reins and run, surefooted and free, when your turn comes, be bold.
May you be confident enough to be kind, never stepping to arrogance, causing others to fold.

May you seize every opportunity that a limitless education affords.
May the understanding this brings, be paired with inspiration, reaping great rewards.

May you be the generation that finally learns from humanity's mistakes, ceasing to repeat them, once and for all.
May you be the generation that, instead of rejoicing at the misstep of others, steps up to cradle the fall.


Until next week.........

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Little Thrills.........

Ahhhhhhh the little thrills..........

Losing your first tooth, your first time playing in the rain, receiving a photo of a little one as they are about to be read one of your books, they are fantastic!

Some thirst for the thrill of jumping from a plane, bungee jumping, riding on the scariest possible rides at the amusement park, and/or many of the other activities that make you feel like you are tickling the edge of death.

Don't get me wrong, I like a good adrenaline rush as much as anyone, I guess, I'm one of the lucky ones who can achieve that without threat to life and limb.

The path to the thrill is the same, regardless of your adrenaline threshold.

*Anticipating the activity- when, at the mere thought of taking in the activity, your heart speeds up a bit, and excitement begins to build.

* When the time finally comes, your hands begin to sweat and you actually start to have second thoughts about doing it at all.

* As it begins,  there is no turning back, you are now all in, like it or not.

*The euphoria upon the completion- there is nothing like it. The sense of accomplishment, the feeling of being, at least momentarily, bulletproof.

It's kind of funny. The feelings we chase for an adrenaline rush, are the same ones we try to avoid when dealing with anxiety.

Humans are complex and weird creatures.

Yeah, some people need to base-jump off a cliff to achieve this feeling. Me? A scary movie will do the trick.

Little thrills.....

The little thrills in life, generally, don't take a lot of chasing. Life tends to supply them without much effort. All we have to do is take advantage of them.

Play in the rain.


The past week.....

Our girls pulled off a surprise bar-b-que and provided us with a nice hotel room stay to help us celebrate our 30th anniversary. We have pretty great kids.

Some quality time was spent at the shop, trying to make sure nobody misses a fishing trip....

Did some prep for my upcoming McNally Robinson event......

Included some glamorous toilet scrubbing, and car cleaning....

As for the next few days.....

A mystery adventure orchestrated by my hubby...

Working the shop..........

Prep for McNally event.......

Squeeze a grandbaby or 4...............


With little thrills in mind, I'll leave you with this wish.....

May your bungee bounce you back safe and sound, keeping you in one piece.
May your plane always fly, your parachute always open, your landing be filled with grace.

May your roller coaster stay on its tracks, providing crazy twists and turns without mishap.
May you soar from the cliff, falling with style, floating to the earth without so much as a scraped kneecap.

May you, no matter the size or path you take to seek your thrills, find them, seize them, savor.
May you enjoy the little thrills along the way, every accidental one, every kind, every flavour.

Enjoy your week! Until next time....

Friday, July 7, 2017

Just Keep Dancin' ......

The distance that divides these two photos is both a lifetime and a blink, thirty years and a minute.

We are living proof that you don't need a storybook beginning to have a happily ever after, that even if every statistic is stacked against you, you can make it, if you both want to badly enough. You don't have to have perfect or be perfect, you just have to be perfect for each other, and even then, there are challenges.

In in the summer of 1985 we met at a bar and danced...and danced...and danced.

In 1987, our vows took place on a mud-soaked day that pushed the limits of Murphy's law. I wish I was exaggerating. I would fill you in on all that happened, but, it honestly reads like a bad sitcom. Let's just say it involved car breakdowns, badly timed emergency dentistry, a flu bug, a tardy DJ, and cooking for people whilst wearing a wedding dress, and much much more. Regardless, by the end of the day, we were married.

As statistics go, we were 21 and 23 years old, we were two months from welcoming our second daughter into the world, we had only known each other for 3 months when we found we were going to be parents the first time. I had grown up in a very Catholic household, my hubby didn't have a religious background.

On paper, we should have been divorced within the first 5 years....if it took that long.

Yet, here we are, still dancing.

How? I can only tell you what has worked for us, as it's all I know.

*Hold each other's happiness as a priority, every day.

*Never hurt on purpose, it will happen often enough without trying.

*Kiss every day, not doing so can become a habit.

*Love your kids to death, but don't forget to be a couple, they need to grow up knowing what a healthy, loving one looks like.

*Have fun... even when you're broke, stressed, and the kids are driving you nuts.

*When you argue, and you will, don't do so in circles, get to the root, and find an answer.

*Hard times always get better if you let them, don't hold a grudge. Learn what not to do again, and move on.

*Keep promises....period. If you can't keep them, don't make them.

*Do nice things for each other for no reason.

*Hold on to each is a hell of a ride, holding each other steady, you can get through anything.

*Your spouse should never doubt, not even for a second, that they are your everything, and you are all in, every single day.

*Just keep dancin'.......


Well folks, our #OnceBroken Turbo Tour Road Trip is in the books!

Well over 500km driven, way too much junk food, and nine times setting up the car and tearing it down. We were pretty tired when we got home, but had a great day meeting new faces and catching up with some familiar ones. Thanks to all who gave some books a new home!

The rest of the past week has been a busy one at the shop, trying to get caught up on the dust bunny hunt and capture, and starting.

As for the upcoming days......

After a couple of cryptic phone calls and texts from various daughters, we will be heading to the home of our third daughter and her honey for something. We have no idea what. When I asked if we should dress "fancy", I was told, "You can dress as fancy as you like, but we aren't going anywhere. Oh and pack for overnight." This was followed by a text a couple of hours later..."Bring swim gear."

I'm intrigued. Whatever it turns out to be, it'll be fun, for sure.


Well folks, that about does it for now. With summer in full swing, I'll leave you with this wish....

May your sun-kissed skin feel every cool breeze as you sit with only the frostiest of drinks in hand.
May you find time to let your stresses go, play a game, squeeze your toes through the sand.

May your tent stay dry, your bathing suit wet, and the mosquitoes stay at bay.
May the s'mores be plentiful, and watermelon sweet, laughter filling every moment of the day.

May you, if a full-fledged holiday is not in the cards, get to enjoy every stolen moment in the sun.
May you take advantage of every possible second, and grab some friends for some summer fun!

May you watch some sunsets, some sun rises, and countless stars in between.
May you find a spot with big skies, warm blankets, and someone to hold, to enjoy the scene.

May your sun-kissed skin feel every cool breeze, as you sit with only the frostiest of drinks in hand.
May you find time to let your stresses go, play a game, squeeze your toes through the sand.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Happy Canada Day!

Hi and Happy Canada Day to my fellow Canucks!

Well folks, tomorrow we are embarking on a bit of an adventure. We will be making quick stops in nine different communities to sell and sign books. So, if you are interested in meeting us to pick up a copy of Once Broken, or any of my other books, or just to say hi, feel free check out my event on Facebook for all of the times and places.  #OnceBroken Canada Day Turbo Tour Road Trip 

It'll be a fun day that, I'm sure, will go by way too fast.

When you look at the world, the countries, the cultures, and the turmoil that seems to relentlessly torment some, celebrating Canada Day and how lucky we are to live here, takes on a bit more meaning.

We are free to love who we choose, live where we choose, vote for whomever we choose, believe in whatever we choose to believe, or not. We are free to go camping, take in concerts, visit museums, visit each other, play, work and live in a place where almost all of us move through each day knowing we are safe.

I say almost all because we are not perfect. Far from it. We have too many who are homeless, too many that live in poverty, too many that live under the threat of some kind of violence, too many. Any, is too many.

Do we have things to fix about how our country works? Yup. Are the issues fixable? Absolutely! At 150 years old, as countries go, we are barely a toddler. We'll get it figured out.

In the meantime, we are a country where there are more lakes than all other countries combined. We are a country where we have room to run, as we have fewer people than the state of California, and more room than everywhere except Russia. We are a country of many cultures, all of which are important in weaving the fabric of our flag. We are a country that can handle the deep cold, in fact, we seem to find new ways to play in it all the time. We are a country that is

Even with our faults, quirks, and incessant need to apologize, we are a country that's pretty awesome. I, for one, feel pretty lucky to call myself a Canadian.

So, tomorrow, wherever on this planet you call home, if you come across a Canadian, be sure to say hi, and wish them a Happy Canada Day!


So these ramblings are hitting a  bit early because of the aforementioned road trip.

The past few days were filled with a shits and giggles day with the hubby, last weekend, working the shop, working at home, an unexpected visit with a nephew and his munchkins, and the obligatory laundry, and dust bunny massacre.

After tomorrow, the rest of the weekend is up in the air... I kinda like those.

Then, it will be back to the shop, month end, and whatever gets thrown our way!


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

With our nation's birthday on my mind, I'll leave you with wish.......

Dear Canada,

May we find a way to care for you, helping you flourish, grow and thrive.
May we find a way to care for each and every citizen, allowing them to shine, not just survive.

May we find a way to harness your gifts, without damaging you at your core.
May we find a way to share these gifts, for they surpass our needs, and could provide for many more.

May we continue to be reminded that we are mere stewards of this land, we own nothing, we are but brief trespassers, here for but a blink.
May we do our best to be a beacon of kindness in the world, humanity is a chain, we must strive to be a strong link.

May we always remember, in this world that can easily fill with fear and hate, that is not who we are.
May we always remember we are Canada, tough, funny, kind, courageous, a fierce and loyal friend, with a warrior's scars.


Until next time......

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.