Going to Summer Camp

I was an only child raised by a hard working single mom.  There wasn’t money for extras, but she managed to find a way to send me to summer camp when I was eight and nine years old.  And I am glad she did.

I remember the list – an assortment of the necessities a camper would need plus the reminders to write one’s name on all items with permanent marker.  Waving from the bus window as we headed off on this grand adventure and counsellors teaching us camp songs that had been passed down from generation to generation with a few updates here and there.  The first night in the cabin with eight little girls hysterically crying that they were homesick and two weeks later those same eight girls hysterically crying that they were having to leave their forever camp friends. Learning how to make S’mores over the campfire,  jumping off the pier into the ice cold lake,  afternoon crafts that often involved macaroni, glitter and Aylmer’s white glue,  putting on plays, green Jello, and a sense of fun and comraderie.

I have been invited back to camp ….. summer day camp to talk about being an author and why I love reading and to share my two books with the kids.

The day camps are for children who are recent immigrants to Canada.  For most this will be a brand new experience. Many of them and their families have been impacted by war, famine, racism, trauma and unimaginable losses. The camps will give them an opportunity to practice their English, try out some new activities and sports, have fun,  meet some new friends and perhaps even make S’mores.

Summer camps offer opportunities for children to play and learn and have positive role models. The campers often become strong leaders,  problem solvers, team players, and are more empathetic and independent. Perhaps the camp experience should be mandatory for all of us so we can remember that we are all in this together and sometimes sharing S’mores and sitting around the campfire singing makes life a little nicer.

Peace & Happiness





Grade 3 Wisdom

Recently I had the opportunity to read “The Remembering Wall”, to some Grade 3 students at a local school. They enjoyed the book and shared some very thoughtful comments.

In a time of intolerance, divisiveness, violence and hate these students were wise beyond their years. They talked about the importance of being good role models and treating others with kindness, not excluding others and talking about problems instead of fighting.

They also talked about wanting opportunities to feel part of their community. They want to feel safe, to have places to play and meet others, to be active and to learn. They all voiced a desire for connection and to be allowed to help. They want a sense of purpose and to be able to contribute at home, school and in their neighbourhoods They want adults to support their ideas and efforts to make the world a better place. They want us to know they can!

Take some time to have a conversation with a Grade 3 student. They might have a thing or two to teach you about some of the truly important things in the world. I walked away feeling very fortunate.

Peace & Happiness

The New Arrival

The book arrived. I am a proud momma. The process took much longer than expected, but it was worth it in the end. Books are being delivered to all those who pre-ordered and Author Visits are being scheduled with several area schools.

This Friday I will be at Belvedere School. The students and staff hold a special place in my heart as they exemplify the importance of creating a kind and caring community. I always feel welcome at Belvedere and know that the students love reading.

“The Remembering Wall” will be officially released on February 14th and an ebook version will be available later this year. You can order directly through me or through most online retailers after February 14th.

Peace & Happiness



Alas & Alack

The paperback proof of The Remembering a Wall arrived and I was thrilled. Upon closer examination I discovered a few minor issues that raised some concern. Now some of you might think I am being overly dramatic, suffer from perfectionism or am prone to hyperbole. And in some instances you would be right.

Here is some of the running commentary that took place in my head……

Yippee! (Happy dance & package opening)

Sigh (wonderous awe)

Hmmmmm (curious puzzlement)

I need to look at this in better light. (Sought out better light in every room in the house)

Why does it look so different from what’s on my computer? (Bewildered head shaking)

It looks like mud and not the fancy spa variety. ….. (Slight exaggeration)

Am I overreacting? (Sought out mirror to check out my red faced, teeth clenched visage)

Perhaps I am too picky. (Head nodding)

No I am not picky – it looks like mud. (Opened facial mud pack to compare shades)

Why? (Head in hands …..uncontrollable sobbing)

Help! (frantic email to layout designer)

This is why you always order a proof. It may seem overly cautious and time consuming, but you do it anyway. I foolishly ordered matte instead of gloss which results in darker tones looking flat and in some instances like mud. And I ordered it on the paperback and hardcover proofs.

Creating a mood with darker shades can result in an overabundance of moodiness…..not necessarily a selling feature for a children’s book. My mood had also darkened and I muttered about my foolishness.

The book can be altered and fixed, but alas more time is added to a process that has seemed fraught with hiccups, bumps and doubts. However we shall persevere and do what is required.

I am hoping that friends, fans and followers will be patient as we try this one more time. This experience has taught me so much. The self published author needs to have a thick skin, good connections, and a willingness to wear many hats as editor, critic, writer, and the person who handles the myriad other details that result in a book.

I would love to have a publisher doing all of this, but I have me. And me has decided that I want to have a book that I am proud of having written and also published.

Happy 2017 to everyone. It will be done I promise.

Peace & Happiness


Realism 101

Friends often describe me as a cock-eyed optimist….a believer that there are still happy ever afters and super heroes and that everything works out well in the end. Sometimes I am disappointed, but most times I continue to clutch on to this belief in part because I don’t like the alternative.

Sometimes even an optimist needs to be a realist. So today dear friends, fans and supporters I am going to be realistic. The Remembering Wall is now at the printer’s and in need of a few final tweaks. Before I order masses of books it is recommended in BIG BOLD print that i order a proof of the book. Alas this does not mean reviewing an email proof, but a real hands on copy proof to ensure the vibrancy of colors, appropriate spacing of text, proper page order, no typos and that The Remembering Wall looks like the book i dreamed it could be.

The holiday season is fast approaching and based on printing and delivery dates I cannot get books to everyone before Christmas, even with Santa’s help. So I ask for a bit more patience and that you all rest assured your book or books will arrive after January 15. For those of you who want an in school reading those will also be scheduled into late January & February.

If you absolutely need a book by Christmas I will order a handful of proof copies. However there may be some slight imperfections, a punctuation glitch, color bleeds,or the book could by all appearances be perfect and you’ll get yours ahead of everyone else. In most things I am willing to take a chance if it just affects me. In this instance I am not willing to take the risk when each of you showed me that you believed in this project before it was even fully realized and invested in another one of my dreams.

What am I learning from all this …….good things take time; the more people involved in a process the longer it may take; I am a fuss budget and some of the delays are a direct result of my extraordinary pickiness (who knew); all the hurdles only make me want to keep writing………

Thank you for your patience and understanding. I so look forward to sharing The Remembering Wall with everyone.

Peace & Happiness



Like Blanche Dubois she relied on the kindness of strangers as well as wonderful friends who loved her, eccentricities and all. They helped her meet her Kickstarter goal with hours to spare. Her night sweats, strange rash  and shortage of breath dissipated as another step towards the goal was realized.

Those closest offered soothing words and mint tea when she worked herself into a dither about one of the myriad tiny details that indie authors face…..”why are the cars on the wrong side of the street?…..do we need another goat?……. what font looks friendly?……are there too many commas? ….” Some of these challenges were easier to remedy than others.

At last the illustrations were complete and sent off for layout. All seemed well and then she was asked about the ISBN or International Standard Book Number – 13 digits that must grace publications. Alas one detail that she had overlooked. Trying to remedy the situation she quickly went on line to request the necessary IBSN for free from Library and Archives Canada.  The paperwork was completed and she pressed submit. A message in very small print advised that it could take up to 10 days to process the request.  And so she waits as this is not within her control and no amount of teeth gnashing or frustrated mutterings will change anything. Let us hope there is a short lineup at the IBSN counter.

Books have been promised for a pre-Christmas delivery. Hopefully the delay will be short lived and your copy of The Remembering Wall will arrive well ahead of Santa.

Hiccups are part of life……they can come on suddenly……they can be loud and distracting…….everyone has a remedy…….and sometimes you just have to know that this too shall pass. “The Remembering Wall” has tested its author at every step. And yet she would not give up even one hiccup.

Fingers crossed apple sauce……..will keep you posted.

Peace & Happiness








Coloring 101

Those of you who know me well know that I like to color outside the lines.  Rules are meant to be adapted and a no can surely turn into a maybe.

These are important lessons for an indie author. You need to convince others that another one of your harebrained schemes has potential and it is worth supporting. So dearest friends, fans and followers I ask you to support this project any way you can. Cash is nice, but I am happy if you simply spread the word. Tell a teacher, a librarian, a bookstore owner or your book club friends.  Help turn The Remembering Wall into a real book. ….how do you think Pinocchio became a real boy ….. Someone believed in him and helped him become so much more.

All we need to do is have 168 people purchase 1 book  each to realize our goal.  There is a line in The Remembering Wall that says, “Let’s see what we can do.”

Here is the Kickstarter link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/42771006/the-remembering-wall/posts/1708623

19 days and counting….fingers crossed applesauce.


PS: Thx to my wonderful illustrator Kia Valdez Bettcher


The Next Chapter

Last September we were in the midst of a Kickstarter campaign and doing pre-sales for ‘Under My Bed’.  It has been a busy year and  I have loved sharing the book with kids of all ages. Thank you to the many schools, students and teachers who have welcomed me and promote and love reading

Work has been underway on the next book project and we expect to have The Remembering Wall available in early December. Get yourselves over to Kickstarter to get your copy or copies before the holidays. Deadline for pre-orders is November 2/16. Your support helps cover the costs associated with the book business including layout, printing, shipping and a whole lot of other stuff that I forget to include on the budget.

After a lengthy search I connected with Kia Valdez Bettcher, my wonderful illustrator. We are in the midst of finalizing some of the sketches.I knew she was the right person for the job when she sent me this sample. She is being very patient as we go through this process and has the ability to transform my words and feelings  into something extraordinary.


The journey continues. I look forward to sharing The Remembering Wall with everyone.


Peace & Happiness














Turn the page

As 2015 draws to a close I am sitting in front of the fire, sipping tea and reflecting on the journey thus far.  It has been quite the year and I am grateful for opportunities, learning, stumbles, struggles and small successes. I appreciate my circle of friends and their love and support. I appreciate the road traveled less and my penchant for marching to the beat of my own drum.

As I turn the page to 2016 I look forward to chasing waves, laughing with friends, worrying less, writing more and releasing another book.

Look under you bed, in the back of your closet, up in the attic or in the corner of your heart for a put away dream and make it come true.

Peace and happiness.





Signed, Sealed & Delivered

Sandra & I spent much of Sunday unpacking boxes of books,  signing them and sorting out pick ups, deliveries and shipping. My car is still filled with books, but they will make their way to you soon. Enjoy!

Over the past few weeks I have had the pleasure of reading “Under My Bed” to several groups of students. They’ve given the story a thumbs up and that brings me great joy and satisfaction. Sandra & I will be visiting other schools over the next few months and look forward to answering questions and finding out what’s under other people’s beds.

There will be some promotions and giveaways on the Facebook Author Page as well as on Goodreads. Stop by and give me a like, ask a question or share your review of the book.


Thank you for being part of this once upon a time and here’s to many more telling of tales.