The Writing Room

2024 is here, and many of us will have committed to some fresh starts and new year’s resolutions. Establishing new year’s resolutions is a tradition found around the world. People generally [...]

On Writing Memoir

Most of us want to know that we matter and that our lives matter. Leaving a written memoir is a legacy of sorts, a way of documenting what small impact we hope we have had in the lives of [...]

The Families We Choose

My new novel has much to say about the importance of families and their evolving nature. I believe that discussions about family structure are particularly relevant in a country such as ours [...]

Persian Carpets

Some people are curious about the title of my new book. I’m by no means an expert on Persian carpets but I thought that it might be useful to share some thoughts about my interest in carpets. [...]

The Legacy of Trauma

Most of us can survey our bodies and point out the scars or marks left by accidents and our encounters with life – a badly scraped ankle from a fall, a broken arm, a deep cut, a burn, perhaps [...]

Stories in Old Furniture

None of the furniture in our house is particularly valuable but each piece priceless in terms of the memories and history it represents, and each has its own story. There’s a stuffed armchair [...]

The Gerrow Family History

Everyone in Port Perry has a favorite delicacy that can only be purchased at Hank’s Bakery: cinnamon buns and knots, danish pastries, carrot cake, eccles cakes, strawberry pie, sausage rolls, [...]

Can we trust the news?

Is it any surprise that people are having trouble knowing who or what to believe anymore? The public seems polarized on contentious issues (i.e., decisions about whether or not to wear masks or [...]

Dead Butt Syndrome

Yes!  That’s what the title says—my butt is apparently dead. Dead butts are a real thing. Who knew?! Like many of you, I intended to age gracefully. I consider myself to be a reasonably [...]

Date Squares

Ingredients: Crust & Topping 41-1/2 cups all-purpose flour ½ tsp. baking soda 1-1/2 cups quick quaker oats 1-1/2 cups brown sugar 1 cup butter Filling 1 pound pitted dates ½ cup hot water ¼ [...]

Humber College

The Creative Writing Correspondence Programme at Humber College is an incredible learning opportunity. Humber carefully partnered me with a writing mentor who was sensitive, respectful and [...]

Recipe: Madeleines

Ingredients: 4 eggs 1 cup sugar 2 tsp grated lemon peel 1 tsp lemon extract 1 cup plus 4 Tblspn all-purpose flour 1 cup unsalted butter, melted (icing sugar to sprinkle on the top after they are [...]

On Tanning

Visualize a raw turkey breast in the grocery store: white-dimpled skin covering a rounded, fleshy chunk of poultry. That’s what I thought my un-tanned legs looked like. I was reckless with my [...]

My Struggles with Lycra

Although I consider myself a fairly accepting person, my views on the wearing of Lycra are perhaps best reflected in the following statement: “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.”

Garden Memories

We are now living in our third house, having moved from our starter home to a sprawling farmhouse and now finally to this one, a downsized version closer to services, where we intend to grow [...]

Ideas for the House-Bound

As we are all adjusting to the “new normal” and what that may mean for each of us, there have been a number of articles written on what we should be doing with our “spare time” while we [...]

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Before COVID-19 began in earnest, one of the great pleasures in my life was spending a fair amount of time in kindergarten classrooms. And to my delight, I was once again reminded of the [...]

Focussing on Writing

Like many others, I find that my life is rich and full and busy.  There are an unlimited number of choices and opportunities when trying to decide how to spend time.  The writing life can [...]

Sins of My Youth

Something that I have noticed recently is that the sins of my youth have finally caught up with me: the sunburns, the lack of moisturizer creams, and the erratic cleansing routines. I am [...]

Seasonal Decorating

Seasonal decorating is a source of much good-natured banter in our household. My partner does not understand my desire to change the door wreaths or to erect any number of attendant gee-gaws.

This Old Home

Our current house was built in 1874 and was completely gutted and renovated approximately one hundred and ten years later. When we bought it five years ago, we promised each other that we would [...]

A Room of My Own

I have had a room of my own for over twenty years. It is a tiny, delicious space filled with favorite books, mementos from childhood, souvenirs from trips and ephemera that speak to me. Above my [...]

Processing Feedback

Writing is, for many people, a solitary and private enterprise. Going public is a step that requires both good fortune and courage. The moment you allow your words, your stories, your ideas, to [...]

Naming Characters

People at book club presentations have been asking me to explain the process I use for the naming of characters. Although I am certain that other writers have their own secrets for naming their [...]

Use of Language

The words we choose to tell our stories with reveal much about our training, our values, and our priorities. Each writer is going to have their own mental checklist of what matters most to them [...]

Story Starters

The words Once Upon a Time conjure a feeling of excitement for me. I know that a story is about to unfold and I prepare myself to be transported somewhere magical, a long, long time ago in a [...]

Blood Sisters

Award-winning story for OPEN BOOK TORONTO, Stories About North York, June 9, 2018 Lavish willow trees bordered Wilket creek and the ravines and streets where we lived and played. The trailing [...]

The Importance of Research

Although writing is seen as a creative process, good writing often involves research in order to support the work. The research component is much like the underpainting in a finished canvas – it [...]

Brewing my Characters

Several people have asked where my characters come from. This seems to be something that people are curious about. I suspect that all writers have their own methods for creating or meeting their [...]

Editing as Boiling Down

We have an oversized cast iron ladle in our home that was used for making maple syrup. I like to imagine the excitement of youngsters, cheeks rosy with the cold, standing in spring snow waiting [...]