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.


Friday, May 5, 2017

Whatever Blows Your Skirt Up.....Just Because

The world is a pretty crazy place right now.

So, basically, it's in the same shape it's been for generations.

Granted, it's a very different type of crazy compared to the days before seat belts, but every generation has grown up in some type of uncertainty and/or unrest.

Civil wars, world wars, trade wars, cold wars, we apparently can't live without some kind of war.

Racial discrimination, gender discrimination, sexual identity discrimination, age discrimination, weight discrimination, religious discrimination, more racial discrimination, cultural discrimination, discrimination against those who are differently abled. Basically, if there is any possible way to put down a segment of society, other than the one we exist in, we, as humans, will find a way to do so. If only we spent as much energy on celebrating what makes us alike as we do on what differentiates us. I'm all for a segment free world.

Crises have crept across time, Cuban missile, environmental, economic, refugee, famine, drought. Natural disasters have and continue to make their mark on history.

Technological advances have always been a part of our human fabric, from the discovery of fire to the contemplation and planning of humans actually living somewhere other than this planet.

Noble and evil leaders have had, and continue to have their days in the sun, spreading their unique brands of good and evil as deep and as far as they individually are able.

Even if the new crazy carries a smartphone and has better hygiene, it's still crazy.

When the worldwide chaos that surrounds us gets to be a bit much, it helps to remember that we are, by far, not the first to deal with it. Ours is but the umpteenth generation to feel this profound uncertainty, and we too will get through.

I think it's so important to keep from getting bogged down in all of it, getting weighed down by the enormity. One advantage/disadvantage we smartphone carriers have is the amount of information available to us. We are inundated with it, that it can quickly begin to feel like riding a bike in quicksand. Neverending, getting heavier with every push of a metal.

The answer?

For me, it's to remember to do things just because. It's keeping in mind that although it's important to live life on purpose, not every second of every day has to have one.

Just because.

A board game, an impromptu coffee date, a night at the movies, a bike ride without a particular destination, a day doing nothing but read a book.

Everyone's just because will look a little different, what blows my skirt up might not do the same for you.

So, remember that every once in a while, it's important to do whatever blows your skirt up for no reason other than....just because.


So this week was spent working at the shop, working on the marketing plan for "Once Broken", hangin' out with a grandboy, baking some buns, and a big  'ol pumpkin raisin cake.....just because.

In the upcoming week......

A trade show tomorrow, in Outlook

A visit with my baby bro......

Work at the shop.....

Work on having "Once Broken" available by Canada Day!


Well folks, that about does it for me.....until next time

May you do things 'just because', blowing your skirt up at every turn.
May you squeeze every ounce of joy from every single day, light your fire, let it burn.

May you dance like everyone is watching, and you're absolutely killing it.
May you sing like you do in traffic with the radio, talent overflow, spilling it.

May you see we live in but a minuscule window of time, many came before us, and many more will follow.
May you release the worries of the world, for they aren't yours alone, we share, deep waters become shallow.