Thursday, January 31, 2008


I happened to see this poem today and thought it appropriate. So, I am taking a bow today, as I have been working hard lately, and presenting much, and yesterday I passed a big milestone, and so I kinda feel like, TA DA!

Remember this
As you go through life
Performing your own small feats of prestidigitation.
No matter what happens,
Even on your deathbed,
Even if there is no house band,
Or for that matter an audience,
Don't forget to go
And take a bow.

Phil Cohen, Wakefield Village PoetWebsite click here
(on his website you can hear an audio file of Phil reading this poem)

Monday, January 28, 2008


A few years ago I took a creative writing course at UBC and was sending the fruits of my labour out to local rags for potential publication, and was receiving rejection letters in return. My professor told me something one day that I will never forget.

When she was a student, her professor told their class that they were not to fear rejection, but embrace it. To be afraid of rejection means that you will never want to send your writing out.

So my professor made a bet with another woman in her class - the one with the most rejection letters at the end of the term won. Needless to say, they both sent our their work furiously, and both racked up an admirable number of rejection letters. 200-300 each if I remember correctly. And yes, they both did end up getting published. In fact, my teacher ended up being nominated for a Governor General's Literary Award for her book of short stories.

Now, I see rejection as an indication that I tried, not as an indication of failure. The problem is, the rejection letter I found a few days ago indicates that I stopped trying years ago. Perhaps one day, I will try to collect them again. Wanna bet on it? :)

Friday, January 18, 2008

12 times, one hand

"Mom, my hand grew last night," my youngest son mentions while climbing into my bed this morning.

"Oh yah," I reply, "that's cool."

"Yah," he said, "12 times."

Now that is cool! Beats my dreams of tall horses and palm trees and bbq's and people I didn't need to see in my sleep.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

A few from Paris

Paris and I had a ton of fun on holidays in Maui playing with the camera. Here are four great shots Paris took while watching a fire dancer do his thing. The energy in each shot is fabulous. The top shot is my favourite, but I must admit, I love the peak-a-boo tattoo further down.

Memories of Maui

Who wouldn't want to wake up every morning with birds chirping and a garden to fill the gaps between the dewdrops?

Who wouldn't want to wake up every morning to peace and stillness.

Who wouldn't want to wake up every morning to the unusual?

Who wouldn't want to wake up every morning in Maui?

p.s. All photos above were taken in Granty Sharon and Gruncle Duke's garden, except for the berries, which were taken in Waianapanapa Black Sand Beach Park.

My favourite photo

This was once my favourite photo. I went for a walk with my mom in the woods and discussed local politics and community activism. And looked at the trees. Sechelt, B.C.

My favourite photo

This was once my favourite photo. I still remember burning rubber down a 20 km/hr dirt road to capture this shot before it sank. Davis Bay, B.C.

My favourite photo

This was once my favourite photo. Modern dance a la Moose. A new moose in motion installation from Wells, B.C.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

De Nada from Robert Fulgham

This is the Jan 4, 2008 post from Robert Fulgham. I like his insight, I like his books, and I also really like that on his website he acknowledges that his material is copyright, but as he says in his own words, "on the other hand, I publish it here to be shared. Feel free to pass it on. Just give me credit. Fair enough?" And there you have it.

January 04, 2008, Buenos Aires, Friday morning,
Perspective: En route to an internet more amenable to writing ("Air conditioned, Comfortable, Tranquil")

I was carrying two one-peso coins loosely in my hand to buy a copy of the Buenos Aires Herald. An elderly woman, focused on counting the coins in her palm, stepped out of a ¨Maxikiosco” into my path. In making the sudden tango-esque moves of avoidance I dropped my two pesos. Collecting my coins I stood up to find the old lady, smiling broadly, and holding out her hand: “Muchas gracias, senor!” She thought I had retrieved coins she had dropped. Well. So. I placed the two pesos in her hand¨: ¨Den nada, Senora.” Even if we both spoke the same language, it would have been ungraceful of me to argue that the coins were mine. It would have debased the gift of her thanks. I walked on down the sidewalk toward the newsstand.

SENOR! SENOR!” The old lady hobbled up behind me. Now what? She fired machine gun bursts of Spanish. “Pardon, no hablo mucho Espanol, Senora,” I replied. She lifted her eyebrows. Well, then. She took my hand. And placed two pesos in my palm, and wrapped my fingers around the coins. Then she showed me her own coins. Apparently she knew exactly what she had when we collided, and knew she had not dropped anything. These coins must be mine. And I had given them to her. She could have kept them. But, no, here she was.
With her own sense of what was graceful.
She smiled, kissed me on my cheek, as is the Argentine custom, and hobbled away.

The newspaper seller, from whom I have often bought the Herald, and who overheard the conversation, smiled, and handed me my paper. And refused to take my two pesos. “De nada, senor.”

It’s nothing, they say.

And it’s so much.

Click here to read more from Last Tango in Argentina

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

J'aime pas ca!

Have you met David yet? He is a cute little cartoon boy who is every parents nightmare. Bad David is fun to read, but you have to plan a pre and post reading discussion with your child to ensure all of David's little nasty tricks don't get tried out at home.

Tonight, David, starting page 4, was full of vim and nasty vinegar. Burping, pulling the cat's tail, breaking the window, and walking to school without his pants on, to name just a few. He even got his mouth washed out with soap for speaking like "Papa." (Papa le dit bien, lui!)

Tonight, we read David in French.

"J'aime pas ca," dit David (I don't like it, says David) as he sits in front of his food, grouchy face on.

"What would you say to David," I ask my youngest son, who is notorious for saying he doesn't like food before he tries it. I am expecting him to mimic me: "Just try it once before you say you don't like it."

But no...

"I'd get a pointy fork and poke him in the butt, and he would jump up and yell Owwwwwww.... and then eat up his food."

Hmmmm... I'm going to try that next time. And of course, I am documenting this here so that in 20 years when he tells me how I was such a bad Mom for poking him in the butt when he wouldn't eat his Pad Thai, I can refer him here and say "but you told me to."