Tag Archives: Canada

giving thanks | catching up with my year of sweat! & nancytex2013

[Terry: Please note that it is not MY year of sweat but Nancy’s year of etc. I am not sure I’ve broken a sweat all year and that’s what I’d be giving thanks for if I was in Canada.]

giving thanks

In Canada we celebrate Thanksgiving Day on the second Monday in October, thus making this the Thanksgiving weekend here in my home country. Trying to coordinate the turkey dinner ritual across two families (mine and his) and then factoring in the extended family obligations of the spouses of our siblings can sometimes be challenging.

This year, to accommodate various obligations, we will be celebrating with Mr. Enthusiasm’s family tonight, and then with my family tomorrow. And while neither of those celebration dinners are fall on the actual holiday, I’m grateful that this schedule allows me to have all day Sunday and all day Monday to get my house in order before heading out to my home in Vegas on Tuesday.

We will be flying, not getting our brains fried in the topless Red Rocket. And for this I’m also grateful.

A non-Canadian friend once asked me what Thanksgiving means in Canada. I didn’t have an immediate answer. So I did some research. The Canadian holiday celebrates the harvest and other blessings of the past year. It was declared a holiday on January 31, 1957 by the Parliament of Canada, where they proclaimed, “A Day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed – to be observed on the 2nd Monday in October.”

So, it seems our sentiment for this holiday is linked quite closely with that of our neighbours to the South.

In the spirit of taking a moment to just be thankful for all the blessings in our lives, I dedicate this post (my 100th!) to gratitude.

I am grateful for my family.

I am grateful for my health.

I am grateful for the abundance that this life has offered me. And I’m also grateful for the struggles I’m currently facing. It makes me realize just how fortunate I have been in the past.

I am grateful for my friends. And I’m grateful that the tough times have provided me the clarity to know who the close/deep/forever ones are.

I am grateful to have had the good fortune to travel many places. I am grateful that I learn so much every time I venture out of my backyard.

Whether it’s the eerie display at Stonehenge in England, the colourful wooden vessels carrying Port wine in Porto, Portugal, the majestic peaks at Zion National Park in Utah, the wonder of a lone poppy growing amid the ancient ruins in Turkey, the azure waters kissing the shore in Sicily, Italy or the architectural wonder of Santa Maria de Montserrat monastery high above Barcelona, Spain, I am richer for having experienced it.

Stonehenge9Fuji Pics 284IMG_0156IMG_0424IMG_333Fuji Pics 359

via giving thanks | my year of sweat!.

Real Techniques to Weather the Storm


A Meeting of Minds: Author Interview of… Me! | Catching up with Christy Birmingham

[Terry: OK, here’s the backstory. Christyb has been nice enough to support this blog since it’s inception and lately become a email friend. So I went and bought her book of Poems–Pathways to Illumination.

I want to fit into the frame of your bedroom mirror,

Crawl into the detailing of the mahogany wood, and

Earn a splinter to

Remind you that I still exist.

Christy Birmingham. Pathways To Illumination (Kindle Locations 144-145).

Wow, this kid has some serious talent. Take a look, read her blog, buy her book. I’m just sayin.]

Poetic Parfait

A Meeting of Minds: Author Interview of… Me!

Heart Candle

Heart Candle (Photo credit: Bob.Fornal)

christyb leans forward and looks you right in the face. She grasps your hand excitedly and says in a high voice, “I’m the subject of an author interview!”

I send a thank-you to Laurie at Odds and Ends for having me over for a visit at her site today. We chatted about my fixation on poetry and my new book Pathways to Illumination. I explain why I wrote the book and the message I hope that the pages send to readers.

I hope you stop by Odds and Ends to read the interview. In addition, I hope your day is great, whether it is a holiday for you or not.

To everyone who supports my posts and book, you light the bonfire in my heart and motivate me to keep going!

via A Meeting of Minds: Author Interview of… Me! | Poetic Parfait.

Interview: Christy Birmingham Author of Pathways to Illumination

Christy Birmingham is a poet and the author of Pathways to Illumination. PI gives an intimate look at an abusive relationship from the beginning all the way

Christy Birmingham

to the healing. Today Ms. Birmingham is here to shed some light on herself and PI. Sit back and relax while we chat.

Welcome Christy, it is a pleasure to have you here with us today. Please introduce yourself to our readers.
Hi Laurie, thanks for having me here for a visit!

I am proud to introduce myself today, which is a different feeling than I had a few years ago. Back then, I was deeply ashamed of myself. Today I am healthy and live in British Columbia, Canada as a freelance writer, author and poet.
I love to write, whether it is a poem or a content article. Some of my favorite moments in the day are the ones when my fingers fly with intention across the keyboard. Outside of writing, I enjoy going for walks in the beautiful nature of Canada’s west coast. I am very close to my parents too.
Can you tell me how old you were when you first began writing poetry?
I was in elementary school. I had my first poem published around that time, and I was ecstatic. In high school, I took a writing class and Advanced Placement English. My teachers, including Mr. and Mrs. Stenson, encouraged me to write creatively. I wrote poetry and had a short story published in The Claremont Review.
Do you edit your poetry?
I usually do, although not always. I write some of my poetry in ‘free write’ form, which means I write continuously without allowing myself to go back to edit lines or stop mid-sentence. I rarely edit those ones later.
I didn’t start doing deep edits of my poetry until last year. I realized that when I ‘shelved’ a poem, or put it away for a time, that when I returned to it I saw ways to improve it. I enjoy creating images that appeal to the readers’ senses. When I edit, I am able to strengthen the images. I can also modify punctuation and line breaks to improve the flow of the piece.
In the book’s introduction, you tell the reader that PI is loosely based on your own experiences. Would you mind telling us a bit more about that and the reasons that you wrote PI?
The book is not a memoir, although I had a reader mistakenly think that. Instead, the poetic journey of the woman in the book ties loosely to my past. I went through a period of depression during and after an unhealthy relationship that was verbally abusive, amongst other issues. After I tried to take my own life, family members swept me into therapy.
I began to journal, at my therapist’s suggestion, as a way to work through my troubled feelings. I began to write poetry, in addition to the journaling activity. I had not written poems in years. As I wrote more, I began to see the poems as the basis for a future collection to publish. I began to realize I was not alone in my feelings of depression following abuse, and hoped to help others who read my healing words.
Who should read PI?
The intended reader is adult as the serious issues might disturb a younger audience. I originally wrote the book to help women who suffer from abuse, depression, and/or low confidence. Male readers have sent me notes to say they have found the read helped them too. I want the book to motivate readers, especially people questioning whether there hope exists in the future. There are hopeful notes throughout the book.


Photo avant-garde |Welcome to a new friend: Anto Youssef

Photography at a different level

My name is Anto Youssef, and I’m a dentist practicing near the city of Montreal, in Canada. Photography is my passion. I like to capture what I see whether when I travel or when I am home. I also love to explore and

I use this blog to feature artists who’s photographs leave you with a curious feeling of something you have probably never distinguished before (or at least I am hoping :) ). You will be amazed, you will be speechless, and sometimes you will even be confused.

Some of these photographs are mine. But the most that aren’t have bewildered me and blew my mind to a point that I attained high respect for the photographer who worked them.

via About | Photo avant-garde.

The pilgrim mists

The pilgrim mists

By photographer David Senechal.


Autumn, Krzysztof-Browko-11

By photographer Krzysztof Browko.

Shadow hunters II

From photographer Eric Valli.

Thank you for all you have done The flag will be flown in your honour At Half mast | Catching up with SFoxWriting’s Blog

Half Mast



via Half Mast | SFoxWriting’s Blog.

Half Mast

Respect those around you

It’s impossible to gauge how long they will be around for

This isn’t a holiday they are going on its work in pastures new

Occupation: soldier of  war

High spirits brothers in arms all around

Quick lay down on the ground

Bravery is shown in actions

Mainly courage and reactions

Saving others is the aim

Putting yourself second behind everyone else no matter their name

Looking down the sights

Sleepless nights

The task is done its finished

Danger relinquished

Friends and colleges return home

We are gathered here today to pay respects to selflessness shown

Respect shown by those around

Tears from grown men

Medal, flag and flowers lay down

Thank you for all you have done

The flag will be flown in your honour


Half mast

“There’s a million people inside my erratic mind. I can never have silence but for a brief time when I write”| Welcome to a new friend: Ky Grabowski

 Welcome to the inner workings of my mind

via Spotlight; Litebeing | Ky Grabowski.

That beautiful profile picture of me was created by the talented and super lovely artist Koizumi, whom you can find here on DevianArt

[Do check her out; she’s so creative and wonderful] 


Who I am.

Ky Grabowski was born in Canada, nineteen years ago.  She is the oldest of two siblings as well as the shortest. She had a younger sister, who died some time after she was born to which Ky has revealed she has her name tattooed on her shoulder.


Her thoughts on the tattoo “She reminds me to live life to the fullest because not ever gets too. Danielle reminds me that while life has darkness it is full of light, for her I live my life & never give up. It’s for her that I want to experience each emotion good or bad, and any adventures I can go on. She inspires me, & has given my heart salvation.”


Her parents divorced when she was a freshman & has stated that “I don’t feel I missed out on anything, my mother showed me strength, courage and how to be a fighter. She believes in me & loves me, there’s nothing else I could ever need.”


Ky has always been a clever, unpredictable & lively young woman. She explored everywhere she went & had no fear for the consequences. She once climbed out of a two story window as a child to save [gather] her adorable puppy from the rain against her mother’s orders because she thought he would melt. Her care and heart have proven to be some of her best qualities.


She is an avid runner and had once been looked into, and to be trained for a career in track but turned it down. She focused her attention on writing from the young age of ten to use her wild imagination for the good. The last ten years she has continued to improve her skills by reading as many books as she can and focusing hard during her high school education on her English courses.


Ky wrote her first entire novel in six months at the age of seventeen. Following that she began to outline a new & separate fantasy series expanding thus far to seven novels. Ky prefers to write drama’s, thrillers, and taking the norm out of her writing.  “There’s a million people inside my erratic mind. I can never have silence but for a brief time when I write I can express each person, each story, I can give voices to the noise in my mind. Writing allows me to escape.” – Ky Grabowski, on why she writes.


She has stated “I want to share my inner world with others through my novels.”  Continuing on with “My stories showcase life struggles in ways that can allow readers to grow with the characters inside the book. I hope that the words I write open eyes to change. I write many flawed characters so that people can connect with them & learn from them.  I need the world to see that you can overcome anything in your way & that you never give up on something worth fighting for.”


Ky also has a passionate dream of opening a community center or home for trouble youth. She once was determined to be a counselor to help others that have experienced or are in trouble. She has expressed that she does not have a desire to get married or have children of her own but rather would like to foster and or adopt children. “It’s not that I would pass up the chances for either but I don’t see the future, I only have ideas of what I want however the future could say – it might not be what I need. I want to foster or adopt because I know what it’s like to be where those kids are, they need to know someone cares, someone loves them. They deserve they’re happy endings – I suppose as cheesy as it sounds, it’s the truth.” – Ky Grabowski


She is also an experienced photographer & editor, having been hired on numerous occasions for parties, events, and weddings. She designed the cover for her novel “Courage.” She described her choosing of what she did as follows. Eve goes through a journey from an event that tells the readers just who she is. She grows from a girl to a woman quickly and you get to see her story as well as see her growth with each passing page. The cover though looks simple is meant to showcase the evolution of the character.”


She has stated that her hero’s are her sister, mother & Ellen DeGeneres and that her favorite band is “Florence & the Machine.” Some of her favorite authors are as follows; Oscar Wilde, Edgar Allen Poe, Nora Roberts, Lauran Kate, Jane Austen, George R. R. Martin, C.S Lewis, Johanna Lindsey, James Patterson, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, William Shakespeare, F. Scott Fitzgerald.


I wish the world would stop being so full of hate; love is so much more powerful when you cherish what it truly has to offer. Sometimes I want to be ignorant to the evil in the world so I can blissfully stay naive that we’re capable of more than we have shown. Though of course I cannot and I will try my best to help others whenever I can.” – Ky Grabowski shares a random thought.


Currently Ky is focusing on her blog & second novel series as well as taking care of the two new additions to her family, puppies. She is also an avid supporter of mental illness as she suffers from undisclosed mental illnesses herself.  Ky is currently twenty and is looking to publish Courage after it’s been professionally edited.

Book 1; Courage in the Vices & Virtues series


Tanix Keeran is a troubled adult with a sinful past. She left her family behind for the pursuit of drugs & alcohol and a life on the run. Tanix’s fun filled future suddenly ends and her family openly welcomes her back. With hope this time Tanix will stay sober– expect it’s short lived. When her entire family is murdered and Tanix survives it’s suddenly clear that now she won’t be running from her life but running to save it. Tanix has made choices that define her and her future doesn’t look promising when temptation arrives at every corner.

Tanix’s only problem is she doesn’t know who’s after her or why. But when she’s kidnapped from witness protection by the people who were supposed to help her she finds herself in the hands of the man who turned her life upside down. He hunted her down to have her to himself and now he does. Tanix is now trapped and locked away with the sickest man she’s ever known. All he wants is her and now her only chance to live is to surrender herself to him.

So what can you do when evil wins? Most of all how to you survive when you believe this is a punishment you deserve?

Opinion Monday #1 Mental Illness

Opinion Monday’s are now official. Each Monday a selection of questions will be posted and answered. The answers are not recommended for everyone, but are simply opinions and experiences shared. Not everything answered is suited for different situations, people & etc. These answers are shared in the hopes to help others and show what someone else would do in a similar situation. In the end all of the information provided is subject to change and interpretation, and in any situations it is up to ‘persons choice how to be handled. These questions that are answered are answered in what someone else would try, do or think might work based on questions. These opinions are not from a professional.

 Question; Should I seek help regarding mental illness?

Thoughts & Tips; Yes, I personally think seeking help out is a good choice but that’s not easy for everyone to do. It hasn’t been easy for me. I’m the type of person who fixes my problems myself but regarding mental illness I cannot. I think it’s best to seek out help because I’ve noticed with the help of professionals I’ve gotten better in many areas I struggled with. There’s still issues but with professional help in times when I can’t go to someone I’ve learned great tips to help me deal with my struggles. In the end it’s your choice but from personal experience being happy, healthy and living my life without limitations has proven to be a better life to live.

Question; I’m nervous about telling my parents about what’s going on with me, mentally. Do you have any tips to speaking to them about it?

Thoughts & Tips; At any age this is always hard, especially with parents. I was extremely nervous to tell my mother what was going on with me and it was only about two months ago I confessed a lot of it. When I first started counseling I didn’t explain the entire truth because I was scared and that’s normal. It’s okay to be scared in telling your loved ones but with a supportive group around you, I think you can achieve more in this situation.

My tips would be to politely tell them you would like to sit down and talk. Ask them to listen to you first, so you can explain your story and that knowing they love and support you will greatly help you in this situation. I asked my mother to simply listen to what I had to say and then I best tried to answer her questions revealing as much as I felt comfortable with at that point. It’s not easy to speak about it and it’s just as hard to hear that your child is struggling. Keep an open mind and work together – that’s the best thing!

Much More at


“a meditation accident in a Sunday.” |Catching up with I.J. Keddie


Dixeia lands on palm,
fragments shared
in a pensive ellipse.
Ferris wheel framed,
spinning joy,
in a tree’s gap.
Windy sleeves,
a white mask watches
in a French window.
A bruised side,
a meditation accident
in a Sunday.

via Dixeia | I.J. Keddie.

Catching up with Imagineer-ing

Return to Cardamom Blog Tour

Return to Cardamom Blog Tour

About Return to Cardamom

Return to Cardamom by Julie Anne Grasso Title: Return to Cardamom (Caramel Cardamom Trilogy, Book #2)

Author: Julie Anne Grasso

Publisher: Independent

Publication Date: July 17, 2013

Pages: 136 (Paperback)

Recommended Age: 9+

Life is sweet for Caramel and things are finally getting back to normal. Well, as normal as it can be for a telepathic elf who can train trees and control computers, but she soon finds life on Cardamom is not all cupcakes and apple cider. A saboteur is hiding in the rainforest canopy, and the elves’ precious cardamom export has been wiped out. Caramel is certain it’s another trick of Alexander222 and her Aunt Isabel, but no one will believe her, and the clock is ticking. She must expose the saboteur in time to save the crop or the Elves of Cardamom will lose their livelihood. Caramel won’t rest until her theory is proven. While she is on the hunt, she makes a shocking discovery, one that will change everything.


Amazon (US) * Amazon (UK) * Amazon (Canada)

The Buzz About Book 1: Escape From the Forbidden Planet

Escape from the Forbidden Planet by Julie Anne Grasso“Julie Anne Grasso has created an action-packed story featuring a range of interesting and imaginative characters (i.e., elves, the Alexanders, and other creatures), intergalactic travel, advanced medical and scientific technology, and complex environmental and conservation issues. Escape From the Forbidden Planet contains an intricate plot which slowly unfolds until you’re hooked and you are left on the edge of your proverbial seat wondering what will happen next.” ~ Mother Daughter Book Reviews, 5 Stars It’s part geeky, part science, and part fun, all brought together to become this awesome book called Escape From The Forbidden Planet. I would recommend this book to reading age kids and adults who like sci-fi kids books. Definitely something different. I really enjoyed reading it!” ~ Michael S., Amazon, 5 Stars “I loved this book. Super great series for middle graders. I loved Caramel. She has a great attitude and determination. I really admired how she was focused on getting home, saving her family but also made the best of being stuck on an alien planet. Definitely a book with great role models for kids. I really hope there is more to come where this came from. Kids need books like this with catchy stories, solid characters who have good values that they can relate to.” ~ Unorthodox Mama, Goodreads, 5 Stars.

*** Get your FREE COPY of Escape From the Forbidden Planet by Julie Anne Grasso July 17 to 21, 2013. Available for 99 cents after July 21, 2013. ***

Amazon (US) * Amazon (UK) * Amazon (Canada)

About the Author

Julie Grasso - Author Julie Anne Grasso is an Australian author with a background in paediatric nursing. She spent many years literally wrapping children in cotton wool. Every day she witnessed great courage and resilience from the tiny people she cared for, which inspired her to write stories about a little girl elf just like them. Add in some very funky technology, her love of science fiction and desire to impart great values through her little girl elf named Caramel and there you have it, the Adventures of Caramel Cardamom Trilogy was the result. Julie lives in Melbourne with her husband Danny and their little elf Giselle. Most days she can be found sipping chai lattes, chasing a toddler, and dreaming up wonderful worlds that often involve consumption of cupcakes.

Book Website:

Author Blog: WhenIgrowupIwannawriteakidsbook

Facebook page: Julie Anne Grasso Books

Twitter: @Jujuberry37

Goodreads Author: Julie Anne Grasso

Return to Cardamom Blog Tour Schedule (2013)

via Return to Cardamom Blog Tour | Imagineer-ing.

welcome to a new friend: Melonie Ann –Melonie’s Poetic Life

Melonie’s Poetic Life


I am an aspiring writer and poet who has been writing since I was fourteen years old and am now ready to share my words with the world.

I hope that my experiences and words help those who read them find their own voice and unleash their creativity.

English: Map showing the location of Attawapis...

A bit more about me ..

I am 37 years old, live in Northern Ontario Canada – happily married. We have a black lab named Shadow – who is our fur baby. He is 8 years old this April..

My interests besides poetry and writing are:

Melonie’s Poetic Life | A topnotch site.

Search for..

This would be a dream come true to own so many books ...

This would be a dream come true to own so many books …

Drawn to the building standing so tall

What are the secrets hidden away after all

What is the voice that beckons to me now

So curious to find out somehow

Through the doors I enter with curiosity

Wondering what stories will unfold in front of me

Drawn to the area I take my seat at the table quietly

Searching through articles and sites to see what I stumble upon

My worries have escaped me, my frustrations gone

My hands type the words freely with ease

The knowledge I am gaining make me feel pleased

Time escapes me and suddenly I am told “5 minutes to go”

Carefully I pack my work again and tuck away the knowledge I now know

War Torn Lives

Raptured by war
Rebels overtook
Clawed and torn apart
Death a familiar foe
Ashes instead of homes
Stranded – some escape
Not all make it alive
Woman and children
Captured for slavery
Obey or die!
Tortured and raped
Half Beaten to Death!
Silence or Consequence
Cries and screams
No one hears their silent pleas!
Unknown faces no one sees
Stories untold and forgotten
Precious and troubled souls
Endangered by our ignorance

 [Terry:  Wow. That last poem has a real punch. Nicely done!]

Extremely Important Note to All Fans of This Blog

English: Presence of Albanians in "Greate...

Hello Sweetheart, Get Me Rewrite has been named as one of first blogs where WordPress will launch it’s WordAds advertising. (This is probably because of the reticent and pure manner in which I’ve already got Google Ads, Amazon Affiliate Marketing, Zazzle T-Shirts

How to Get Ahead in Advertising

and everything else but Joe’s Advertising and Auto Repair up on the site already.)

Now, it’s extremely important to me that this go well–I have gotten used to eating real food over the past 60 years and would rather not stop now. I have absolute and complete faith that the $16.57 that I have made this year from my previous efforts will be vastly exceeded by the classy advertising that WorldPress will install.  They are promising new videos, automated tweets from the people in the ads, and completely seamless integration of advertising with my usual high-quality content.

I Love Taiwan T-Shirt By Hepnova

I Love Taiwan T-Shirt By Hepnova (Photo credit: leesean)

So, everyone needs to gather together around their computer screens, click on everything that seems clickable and, in general, act like a bunch of damnfool spendthrifts  I have full faith that you can do this and support this tiny piece of American Content Production before it’s outsourced to the Albanians who wrangle zillions of zombie computers and actually know how to make money at this game.

Don’t just do it for me,

Do it for America (and Canada and Australia and Romania and Windermere and Oz)!

Catching up with friends, eh?: Canada Day + Summer = A Great Day | Poetic Parfait

Canada Day + Summer = A Great Day

Posted on July 1, 2013 by Christy Birmingham

Hello my Poetic Peeps!

It is Canada Day here and we are celebrating our country full of its beautiful trees, flowers, and genuine souls! To my Canadian followers, I wish you a glorious holiday. To my friends who live elsewhere, I do hope your day is full of smiles and contentment. That is what I wish for us all.

Don’t we all crave that breath, the long exhale, the sigh that is full of contentment?

Summer quote card.

Summer quote card.

Today on this holiday, I unveil the first of my quote cards that my friend Cat Forsley made for me. She is a beautiful singer and artist, so please visit her site if you have not already. She made the card, part of a collection just for me. I am spoiled!

Have a wonderful summer day, all of you! ~christyb

via Canada Day + Summer = A Great Day | Poetic Parfait.

Dan Newman |

Dan Newman

The Author, Dan NewmanThe son of a globetrotting international aid worker, Newman, who was born in England, grew up on St. Lucia in the Caribbean – where The Clearing is set – then in the Kingdoms of Lesotho and Swaziland in Southern Africa, then Canada, then England again, then Australia, and then…

Well, you get the picture.

His education was similarly global; primary school beneath swaying palms in the Caribbean, secondary school in Africa at an international boarding school witnessing apartheid throttle a nation across the border in South Africa, and then undergrad and grad school in Canada and Australia respectively.

There were starts and stops on the career track, too. He played semi professional football in Africa, and had trials at a number of clubs in London – all of whom chose to callously snuff out his boyhood dreams. It turns out the ability to actually control a football is quite important to those who manage these teams.

To put himself through school, Newman spent time as a sweaty mover be nice to those guys, a plant pot cleaner less so to them, and a beer brewer. Eventually, after taking a keen interest in journalism and heading to Australia to complete his graduate degree, Newman found a way to avoid doing any actual real work by writing copy for corporations.

Later still, that became a career in corporate communications.

And that’s where he finds himself today: in Toronto, Canada, plying his trade for a Fortune 500 company.You can find out more about Dan at his chilling website here.

And make sure to follow Dan on Twitter @DanNewmanWrites too.

The Clearing November 2013

 All three of the boys knew Richard was dead.

His limp form lay at their feet in silence, his eyes wide and unblinking, and his left hand waving an eerie goodbye as the river tugged at his arm in a regular, unsettling rhythm.  They stood in a loose semicircle, their wet clothes dripping and making small spattering sounds on the bank, watching for something to happen but knowing nothing would.That image would burn indelibly into each of their memories, even haunt them from time to time.  And one day it would reclaim them entirely.Decades later, Nate’s life is being viciously stripped bare.  Everything he has worked for is falling unstoppably apart: the last handhold he can reach for, his last chance at redemption lies -– just as it always has -– in a dark clearing in the heart of the island’s rainforest.  Nate must travel back to the clearing, back to the world as it was when he was twelve and to the moment when his childhood was cut suddenly and brutally short.  To survive the collapse of his personal and professional worlds means tearing open another, and threatening to expose wicked secrets long held by the island’s powerful elite.   In a land steeped in occult and Obeah lore from deep in the St. Lucian rainforest, Nate’s only chance at deliverance will mean confronting the failures of his life, and revisiting the disturbing, unexplainable events of his youth.  It’s time to go back to the island; time to risk everything and right that first and most terrible wrong.

The Clearing November 2013

via Dan Newman |
The Clearing

sweetheart rewrite COMBINE

A Poem to Future Readers | Poetic Parfait

Hey Sweetheart We Get Rewrites

A Poem to Future Readers

Posted on June 7, 2013 by Christy Birmingham

The Future: Look out on Nature and imagine

The Future: Look out on nature and imagine. Victoria, BC.

Do you ever think about what future generations will think as they read what you write today? I took that question and wrote a poem to my future readers.

This is christyb, inviting you to let your mind wander with the wind as it answers questions. This is christyb, on a windy afternoon in Victoria, BC, Canada.

To Future Readers

The wind teases my skin.

Crisp air brushes against my fingers

That move with greed across the keyboard

To create new combinations of words that will

Hold me in place of a warm body.

My comfort is the future,

The images of readers who feel the depth of

My words, who wrap the

Thick metaphors around themselves

Until they are able to verbalize their troubles.

I long for the words I can to heal someone else.

I hope pages of words share a wall with

Hooks for keys that fit

Doors for readers; may their eyes

Open with certainty and confidence.

I hope to be certain in my confidence.

To the minds unborn,

May you sleep well with my words.

My sweaty fingers crave more wind.

©2013 Christy Birmingham

via A Poem to Future Readers | Poetic Parfait.

Sunset Over The North Atlantic | Ron Scubadiver’s Wild Life

Hey Sweetheart We Get Rewrites

Sunset Over the North Atlantic

Sunset Over the North Atlantic

Non Stop From Newark to Rome

via Sunset Over The North Atlantic | Ron Scubadiver’s Wild Life.

Welcome to a new friend: Nadine J Clark | The Art of Bullshitting

The Art of Bullshitting

chronicling the creative writing process of a university student

About: I’m a 19-year-old university student from Canada who obsesses over hockey, Latin, and paperback novels. I hope to eventually see my own name on book covers (and stageplay scripts, poetry collections, literary magazines…). You can learn about my decision to create this blog and the purposes behind it here.


via About Me | The Art of Bullshitting.

Losing My Blog Virginity

The creation of this blog is a culmination of a whole bunch of ideas I’ve had spinning around in my head for a while. My mental process essentially went like this:

  1. Despite joining the creative writing club at my university and attempting to be active on a few internet communities, I haven’t made any close writer friends yet. It’s kind of isolating.
  2. I eventually want to be published, either through a traditional publishing house or my own efforts (I hear e-books are the way to go, now?). But that’s only step one; how will I convince people to read my what I’ve written? Most of the world doesn’t know me and has no reason to trust my opinion of my own writing.
  3. I need somewhere to keep track of my ideas, as well as a qualitative log of my progress. Hopefully looking backward will allow me to improve my future writing.

English: WordPress Template Hierarchy. עברית: ...Thus, community + marketing + journaling = WordPress!

I should note that I like to consider myself pretty internet-savvy, but, as it turns out, I have absolutely no idea how WordPress works. I’ve spent a few hours tinkering with theme and layout, but I think I’ve only managed to make it look worse. Hopefully I’ll get that figured out soon so I can stop using this as an excuse to procrastinate.

And Your Name Is…?

A few days ago, I sat down at my computer with the full intention of creating characters for The Hockey Novel (I am not good at working titles). I planned to give them names, personalities, backstories, families, opinions, and anything else I could think of. Instead, I did the equivalent of writing the title of an essay into a blank Word document and then deciding that’s enough productivity for the day. I gave them names, but I didn’t get any further than that.

Normally I just invent character names as they become necessary. My protagonist’s childhood best friend moves back into the city? Boom, his name is Daniel. He has suddenly acquired an attractive step-sister? Let’s call her Andrea. However, this spontaneity only works because, as I mentioned a few blog posts ago, I rarely have more than two characters in any given scene so it’s really easy to keep track of them. But I’m not going to do that anymore.This is a "thought bubble". It is an...

I want my characters to create the scenes. I want them to have memorable personalities that inspire emotions in my readers. I want to be able to think about them like real people, complete with secrets and contradictions and thought processes that don’t cease when I stop writing them. I want to create the kind of character that you remember long after you’ve forgotten the title of the book or the name of the author.

With that in mind, I decided I should probably develop my characters before I attempt to write their stories. Step one is obviously names. A lot of the time, I don’t have to think very hard about naming my characters. When it came time to create a previous protagonist, I just thought of a name I liked: Sebastian. His last name sort of flowed along at the end: Merik. Unfortunately, there aren’t twenty names I like enough to bestow upon an entire hockey team. Also, hockey players often have international backgrounds, and I’m not very familiar with Russian or Swedish naming systems, for example.

After realizing that sitting and thinking wasn’t going to be enough, I turned to a randomized character name generator. I selected the desired gender and nationality. I clicked “generate a name.” Then I clicked it again. And again. The problem was, I was never satisfied with the name I was given. I think this may have been because the names weren’t products of my own imagination, but instead presented to me by a machine. There was a level of distance there that I wasn’t comfortable with. I did, however, manage to cobble together a few names this way.

Next, I turned to baby name lists. I have no idea how parents ever manage to name their children. There are so many things to consider: you don’t want your kid to have the same name as three of their friends, but you also don’t want them to have a name that will be mispronounced by every substitute teacher they ever encounter; their first name should flow well with their surname; you don’t want their name to mean “child of God” if you’re an atheist or “blonde one” if you’re not even Caucasian. And these lists are seemingly endless. Just when you think you may have found a potential name, you scroll down a little and find one that sounds even better. If you find a name you like that starts with “A,” you worry that you’re missing the perfect one by disregarding the rest of the alphabet.

In the end, the majority of the names I chose were the result of searching through my Facebook friends and Frankensteining together the first and last names of different people.  I had to choose people who were acquaintances rather than close friends, so that I wouldn’t bring my emotional associations with those names into my story. I even had to resort to flat-out making stuff up; the last name of one of my characters is a street I used to live on, and another consists solely of some syllables I thought sounded nice together. My quest to find ideal character names ended a lot less pretentiously than it began.

I intend to streamline this process in the future. Creating characters is fun, but I don’t want to get lost in preparation for too long lest I begin to use it as an excuse for not actually writing anything. However, I also have to restrain myself from beginning this story before I have properly planned for it. This is a strange situation for me, as a person who often writes first and thinks later. I can only hope I’ll be able to plot (and then write) my way out of it.

[All the name generators do is randomize and most are loaded with silly names. Here’s a trick: most good character name generators (e.g. Scrivener)give you the ability to load lists of character names. I needed modern Cheyenne names for the current novel I’m working on so I went into the Obituary section of the Lame Deer Montana newspaper and copied out about 200 names (there are always about 30 in each obit, aunts and nephews  etc.)

The other files I loaded in–as you did–were a couple of lists of “Most Popular Baby Names” from the years when my characters would have been born and a list of Vietnam casualties. By the way, the other nice thing about Scrivener for writing is that it saves your Characters and Scenes in side-notes you can pull up and drop below the chapter you’re writing to refer to.

That, and it’s really cheap.

In the end, it won’t be your characters’ names that will stick. It will be the character that develops as they speak. I’m still using most of the ‘placeholder’ names that I started with. Once they developed, they couldn’t be changed. Terry]

Welcome to a new friend: Amanda River | Write It Down

24657_10152494575288539_1271076397_nAmanda River

Crest of the University of Ottawa

Main Library of the University of Ottawa, Otta...

Main Library of the University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Studying English with Honors at the University of Ottawa

Ottawa, ON, Canada

Aspiring author working on her first novel

via About Me | Write It Down.

One Of The Biggest Struggles I’ve Faced


Writing on the road.

Poor pup thinks he’s going to the vet so he’s shaking like a leaf. My battery only lasts so long so I carry my charger in my purse and charge it on the floor of every restaurant we stop at. Bumps in the road make typing a struggle and if I don’t break to look out the window every 20 minutes I might throw up.

Oh the things we go through for our books!

I just can’t wait to have a sturdy table to sit at and write without distractions. A Wi-Fi network other than Starbucks would be nice too. And a meal that’s not McDonald’s. Is that too much to ask?




Grilled Chicken Tacos | Patrons of the Pit

Grilled Chicken Tacos

cottonwood leaf

We will go out a limb here and foster the notion that summer has finally come to Minnesota. Or at the very least, I suppose, that cottonwood leafwinter is gone now – retreating rampantly into the far northern tiers of Canada and beyond. Minnesotan’s have cut their lawns now, for the first time since, well, I think since last October. It was a very, very long winter. But the people have emerged now. And there is hope on their face. They have wagered it plausible maybe stick a tomato plant in the ground. So to have the Lilacs began to bud, poised to unleash their fragrant bouquet any day. And the leaves of the Populus deltoides, or Cottonwood tree, have formed now, down by the pond. There is the smell of green in the air again, and humidity has come with it.20130518_180421_edit0

I raked the crackling hardwood lump coals to the side of the old kettle grill, readying it for in-direct cooking, and admiring the utter simplicity of pleasure it is, to do such things, and not have to stave off a subzero wind chill at the same time. Something year-round grill keepers don’t take for granted. Our stoic stands at the winter pit influence even these tranquil moments, pit-side, amid the sunshine and song birds. It is paradise over coals, and a patron of the pit knows it. He knows it by the soft impression on his soul, left by lazy clouds in a blue sky, and the silently curling smoke which lifts from his grill.

I spread out some chicken thighs over a cleaned grate, opposite the hot coals. Then I dusted them over with Cajun Injector Cajun Shake, and tossed on a small chunk of hickory wood, into the fiery coals. Lid on, and top vent tweaked – it was not long before a gentle smoke began to curl. I flipped the pit radio onto the local Twins game to complete the acoustic wallpaper. Then of course, I did what all real men of BBQ do best – repair to my BBQ chair with a lovely beverage, feet up, and survey my smokey kingdom. On the grill tonight, we’re doing one of my bride’s favorites, grilled chicken tacos – POTP style.

After a suitable amount of loitering, I flipped the chicken thighs over, and hit the other side with some more of that Cajun Shake, to give the routine meat a bit more flavorful kick. Lid back on, and the hickory smoke resumes as soon as I make it back to my roost. Hard work this BBQ stuff. I settled in, listening to the baseball game, whilst watching the thin smoke curl from the grill. A routine by and far that I could become accustomed to.  The ambiance of the pit – something always missed, and then lamented over, every time a misguided pit keeper opts to cook his spoils indoors.

When the chicken is done, chop it up into man sized chunks, and consult your tortilla taco making instincts. Like a true man, I stuffed my tortilla way too full of smoked chicken, tomatoes, cheese, lettuce, onions, and sour cream. And savory globs fell all which way. But who cares. Good is good, and this was good! And my pants were already dirty.


So next time you’re hungry for a taco, and want to take it to the next level, try doing them up on the BBQ. Because everything is better outside, and absolutely better off the grill.


Hickory Tinted Grilled Chicken Tacos. If a taco gets any better, you all let us know about it!

Grill on!


via Grilled Chicken Tacos | Patrons of the Pit.

Welcome to a new friend: | inesepogagallery

Welcome to my blog devoted to visual art, painting and life style.

Art has always been a big part of my existence; I have been drawing and painting for about 30 years. I am for the most part a self-taught artist, and I love exploring new techniques, materials, approaches and themes. Drawing and painting comes to me naturally as breathing, and once I had started to draw and paint when I was about 8 years old, I kept drawing and painting all my life. I relocated to Canada in 2004 and started out from scratch because I could take hardly anything with me from my native country Latvia (Europe).

My style is best described as romantically inclined realism or realistically inclined romanticism, because my paintings often are emotionally enhanced captures of my favorite objects: landscapes, still lives, florals, nature scenes.

via About | inesepogagallery.

Events and shows in 2011/2012:

Solo exhibition April 1-30, 2011

9th Annual Oshawa Art Association Spring Studio Tour, 2011

10th Annual Oshawa Art Association Spring Studio Tour, 2012

OAA 43 Juried Art Show: “Kitchen Symphony” and “Take a Rest”, 2011

OAA 44 Juried Art Show: “Gifts of Summer”, 2012

Featured artist at SilverStone gallery, August 14 and 28, 2011, I also gave watercolour demonstrations at the SilverStone gallery, Pickering.

I arranged two day event at my studio-gallery within Canada Culture Days, 2011;

Open art event at my gallery, December, 2011.

My painting “Farmers Market View” was published on the life style magazine “Natural Awakenings” cover in the USA, March 2012.

I am participant of the Fall Art festival at Camp Samac, September 2012.

I am participating in Canada Culture Days with a 2 day event at my studio-gallery in September 2012.

I have my own art gallery in downtown Whitby. I am a member of DWAC, PRAC and OAA.

44th Juried Art Show Reception at McLaughlin Gallery, OAA, May 31, 2012

My painting “Gifts of Summer”in the background

One of my still lives: Crispy Fruits

Fruits and Berries, large still life

“Kitchen Symphony”, very large watercolour painting, was presented in the 2011 Juried art show at McLaughlin gallery.

“Take a Rest”, my large scale garden scene painting, was also exhibited at McLaughlin gallery during the 2011 OAA Juried art show.

“Farmer’s Market View”, very large watercolour painting of Whitby Farmer’s Market, was published on the “Natural Awakenings” cover in the USA, March 2012.

“Gifts of Summer” is displayed in McLaughlin gallery this year.

In my art studio, a couple of my larger nature scenes can be seen in the background.

Yet, painting still lives is something I enjoy a lot. This is my “Time for Fruits and Vegetables”, large size watercolour painting.

“Coffee with Flavour”: one of 2012 still life paintings

In my opinion, art should be uplifting, poetic, thoughtful, endlessly beautiful and always taking to a higher level of human experience.

Bite Size Canada


Canada (Photo credit: palindrome6996)

there are many Canadians today who are proud to be descendants of the United Empire Loyalists. They were the people who lived in the United States until the American Revolutionary War led to the break with Britain. Remaining loyal to Britain, they decided to move to Canada, many of them giving up beautiful homes.

Some of them went back to Britain but found it difficult to fit in there. An exception was the famous Boston painter Copley, whose son became Lord Chancellor as Baron Lyndhurst. Another was Benjamin Thompson, who went to live in Germany where he became Minister of War. He created the English Garden in Munich and was eventually made a member of the Institute of France, a fellow member with Napoleon.

via Bite Size Canada.

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About BiteSizeCanada | Bite Size Canada

I write little bite size tidbits of Canadian history and trivia. Each post takes just a few seconds to read. A great way to learn and hopefully a stepping stone to wanting to learn more!

For more Canadian trivia and history (and even some unique puzzles) why not visit BiteSizeCanada’s website.

via About BiteSizeCanada | Bite Size Canada.

Click to visit the original post

I  have in my hands two boxes
which God gave me to hold
he said, “put all your sorrows in the black
and all your joys in the gold

I heeded his words, and in the two boxes
both my joys and sorrows I store
but though the gold became heavier each day
the black was as light as before…

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