Deadly Fall in Ramsay

This week’s Calgary Through the Eyes of Writers blogs about Deadly Fall, with a hilarious picture of sculpture in Ramsay that looks like a falling church. Hilarious. How have I missed seeing this art? I’ll look out for it on my next walk through Ramsay.

Opal POV

I’m honoured to be the featured writer in this month’s issue of Opal POV, an E-zine launched this summer by Calgary writer and publisher Cindy DeJager.

In addition to interviews, articles and flash fiction, Opal POV features regular columns by Calgary writer Catherine Saykaly-Stevens on social media (this month her topic is Password Protection) and author, former police officer and paramedic Dwayne Clayden on what TV and movies get wrong in police and medical shows. You can subscribe to Opal POV E-Zine for free.

If, like me, you have problems reading the flip E-zine format, the publisher has added a DOWNLOAD PDF button just below the flip-zine on this page.


Happy New Year

NaNoWriMo got me interested in tracking my writing activity stats. For Christmas, I received a present that is doing this for physical activity – a fitbit that tracks my daily footsteps.

So far — that, is for six days — my fitbit has encouraged me to walk or jog on the spot when I’d normally be sitting or standing. I have to say this jogging has sometimes been distracting for my family.

Periodically, through the day, I log onto my fitbit computer site and ‘synch’ the steps I’ve walked since I clipped the small device onto my shirt or pants that morning. The site displays graphs that show how close I am to my daily goal of 10,000 steps, the calories needed to lose a pound a week and my minutes of activity, which still seem small compared to my sedentary hours. The dashboard also rates activities by intensity. My basic walking around the house has been low intensity, a quick walk through a grocery store and one riser stair-stepping were medium and on-the-spot  jogging was high. Stair-stepping feels a bit more intense to me than spot jogging, so this might not be completely accurate. While I’ve usually reached my goal for daily steps, my calories burned have yet to hit the mark. It seems to lose my holiday weight I’ll need to increase the minutes of intensity and/or numbers of steps. This might happen, at least some days, when I restart gym classes and do longer walks in the new year.

This fitbit has been fun. I hope I keep going with it and, for once, keep my ususal New Year’s Resolution to exercise more. And one of these days I’ll have to stop eating those chocolates and cookies.

Best wishes to you for your 2016 resolutions and dreams.

Happy Holidays

I wish you all a magical holiday season. Best wishes for a wonderful 2016 filled with reading and writing.

Christmas Gift Ideas for Writers

I'd enjoy a 2016 desk calendar with this theme

While Googling images for memoir writing I came across a couple of Christmas gift ideas for writers interested in memoir: a desk calendar and a game.

I also like playing board games. A family game of 'Memoir' would have plenty of scope for conflict.

See today’s blog post for my thoughts on Memoir vs. Fiction.

Happy Holidays!


Compelling! Earthshattering!?? This is why memoirs are hard to get published.

My National Novel Writing Month project this fall wasn’t a novel — it was a memoir. I decided this was allowed, since memoir is, in many ways, closer to novels and than it is to other non-fiction. On the whole, while writing the book last month, I found memoir closer to fiction than I expected.

Writing a memoir this fall surprised me more than anyone. I first thought of this book idea about a week before NaNoWriMo was due to start. It came out of my musings on how to promote my newly completed novel. Publication could be far down the road, but I had the time now to consider issues from the novel that I might write or speak about to attract an audience to the fiction story. Being me with my novel brain, the ideas morphed into a larger concept. NaNo was coming up and I figured, why not give it a try? If nothing else, exploring memoir, a new genre (for me), would be a good writing exercise and, possibly, help me work up some short articles and talks from the material.

And so, my NaMeWriMo project was born. Check out my blog posts today and next week for more reflections as I progressed through the writing process.

Could be compelling and earthshattering.

NaNoWriMo is over

National Novel Writing Month is over. I both lost and won.

Win: I accomplished my primary goal of completing a first draft of my book idea.

Win/lose: It’s a short book – 31,327 words. I don’t know if it’s expandable enough to publish traditionally, if it’s publishable at all.

Win: Regardless, it was a worthwhile writing experience.

Lose: I didn’t reach the NaNo goal of writing 50,000 words during the month of November.

I finished the book draft on Nov 19th and had planned to continue piling up words with other writing projects. This would have been fun, since I loved adding my word count to the NaNo stats at the end of each writing day. But I decided, in the end, I’d benefit more by devoting the last weeks of the month to other matters, including reading the massive short story collection Family Furnishings by Alice Munro for my book club. For me, NaNo didn’t allow much time to do anything else, and I mean anything.

Congratulations to all those who won/won NaNoWriMo and completed both their drafts and 50,000 words. I know now that is a massive task.

Giller Bash photos

Check out these photos from Calgary’s Giller Bash last week. A well-attended fun event, as seen in the smiling faces.

Day 13

Day 13 of National Novel Writing Month. It sure is grueling to try to write 50,000 words in one month, but NaNo has pushed me forward. My word count slipped today, but I’m still a little ahead of the target and on track to reach the goal on Nov 28th. NaNo provides stats and a graph showing your progress and updates them every time you add words to your count. It’s fun and could turn anyone into a numbers geek. 

NaNo – Day 2

Total word count to date: 4,850. I’m giving it a strong kickoff because I know I won’t be able to maintain a fast pace. NaNoWriMo has been interesting so far, for a variety of reasons.

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