Sunday, December 30, 2012

Instant, too.

On the way to Skagway, AK, USA from Whitehorse, YT, Canada one finds many places where water runs from the hills down to the streams to eventually join the Ocean. This is one instant. If one stops time then one can ponder what will happen, and capture the instant a characters life changes irrevocably due to a turn of events or a change in world view. 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

This week's word: Instant

This could be just coffee powder, or a unique moment in time. It is up to you...

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Crystal, shaped


like glass,
like window-panes.

and brittle.

Sheltering walls
of glaze.



Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Passage, too.

A space, a moment... come, gone, past... around the corner,
Here and now!

Monday, December 10, 2012


Passage like birds of passage..., like corridor, or channel, or ford. Like "No passage!". Like transit. Like the passage of time. Like rites of passage...

Or what do you think?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Monday, November 26, 2012

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Word of the Day: Bloom


This morning we decided to enrich the Word of the Day project by posting each a picture that represents our current view on the word we plan to use in our writing during the following week. There will be a new word every weekend, and you are welcome to let it inspire your own writing, or to let us know your arising thoughts.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Exploring words - BLOOM

It's a talent the local coffee shop has, making images in their lattés. I'm always torn, loathe to take that first sip..  to savour this work of art on my tongue, warming my lips and stomach on a cold winter day or watch it wither into death's cold grasp.  

Saturday, August 18, 2012

What hot coffee?

Do all writer's have a definitive taste for cold coffee? I used to blame my indifference to coffee temperature on having children, but perhaps it's the habit of sipping, pondering, and writing which is really to blame. How can one write and maintain a hot beverage? Would this be the real reason behind the invention of insulated mugs; the idea of being able to allow hours of writing to pass without any decline in drink temperature?

In the absence of the ability to write in my favourite coffee shop, a culture I truly miss, and the intrigue in what providing small hot cups of satisfaction to people on a daily basis might be like, I have decided to explore a fictional coffee shop. This coffee shop series will be written over time along with a very dear friend and will be my playground for the next while and I hope you will join me as I experiment with the many different flavours which will arise on my journey into this fictitious world located at #6 Marigold Plaza.

If the man in the black suit and tie hadn’t bumped into me, I probably wouldn’t have discovered the many secrets behind the red door. As I picked myself off it’s painted front, a raven’s reflection flitted across the shiny small diamond window hanging over the black number 6. I looked up and down the cobbled sidewalk; no one had noticed me, stance against the curious door in the brick alcove, catching my breath against the strong supportive grain. I slid through the doorway into the rich interior of creamy chocolate and coffee, lit by two large windows watching the colourful circus of passers...

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Character Question 3 - Who is Sauri?

Sauri Ann McLintock was born on the 6th of May, 26 years ago. She had married young and had the expected 2 children, one boy and one girl. She lived, with her husband Miguel, in the upstairs apartment of a pink stucco building with wide window sills, downtown at the end of Wood Street. The sidewalk ran in front, and there was an empty lot across the street, behind the graveyard.

Sauri would describe herself as a mother and wife, but in truth she wasn't sure who she was anymore. Had her chosen identities taken over her entire being; she felt smothered. This wasn't her, well, it was, it was part of who she was; she'd always wanted to be a mother, a wife, it was the expected womanly role, but what of her? She didn't know anymore. Where was she? Who was she? Did she really like that pair of black socks or did she just wear them because it was expected, because that was what she had... of were they truly her and what she liked?

She sighed... fear gripped her and threatened to bury her alive as she leashed her retriever, Keltie, and carefully locked the house door, running up the trail onto the bluff where she would be able to breath easier and have room to think. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Character Question 2

If Sauri had the choice, she would spent her day with Meg by the ocean, building sand castles, finding baby crabs and digging clams. But here, there was no beach, no clams, no little baby crabs being dive bombed by gulls looking for a feast. Skipping rocks along the river, casting spinners for greyling and watching Keltie run up and down the shoreline barking at sticks floating by was the best she could do.

Sometimes, they would get lucky and see a beaver or a canoeist paddling by, but more often they simply grinned greetings at the others taking advantage of the riverside walk in the hot summer afternoon. Usually ending their adventure at the local café, munching a hot scone and sipping latté. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Character Question 1

I have decided to explore my characters by wondering about things which I come across and how they would react to them.

If Sauri were to go into an attic and find: A doll house, a bird cage, a cedar chest, clothes, baseball cards, a tennis racket, a bicycle, a blender, a mouse trap, a frying pan, movies, a ball glove, a suitcase and a tennis racket. What would she keep?

The doll house sat empty in the attic for a decade by the time the old lady died and her daughter put the whole house up for sale. If Miguel hadn't bought it, Sauri would never have found it and the whole situation might have been avoided. No, who was she kidding, the situation would still have happened, it just might have taken longer, in the end.

Meg would have fun with it, she thought, as she dragged it down the stairs and into the living room. It was fortunate she'd found it. The birdcage, blender, mouse trap, frying pan, movies, cedar chest, baseball cards and ball glove would go in the garage sale. But the suitcase she would keep, along with the bicycle and the tennis racket.

Clarence, assumed the house was his and moved in before Meg could even come home from school and see the find. "Don't get too comfy," Sauri said, knowing Meg would kick the cat out as soon as she got home. She was, however, proven wrong.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Secret Life of Characters

Today, I spent time moving and pricing stuff in preparation for the garage sale I have having next week. It's something I have been trying to get organized for awhile as I am trying to purge and clean out things I no longer need. My biggest hang up is books. What to keep and what to get rid of? I'm uncertain if I will even put the books in the garage sale. However, this got me thinking about the secret lives of characters. One of the things I love about Jasper Fforde's books is that his characters can go in and out of books and that the characters in books are only living a part on the page, like actors in a movie, and have whole other lives outside their 'home' books.

As a writer, one of the things I love about my characters is learning about them through the story. But, now that my novel, "The Trade Off," has been written in first draft, which I am about to revise, I am wondering what else I can learn about the characters which isn't in the book. I suspect that if I become intimately acquainted with the characters, aside from the story line, that it will help them become more vibrant on the page.

So... I am going to begin a series of posts where I explore aspects of the characters in relation to real life and I hope you will join me on the voyage and enjoy getting to know their secret lives with me. 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Writing Beans - Part 2

There is nothing quite like sitting in a warm, cozily lit coffee shop, sipping a hot latte and painting story scenes. Especially when the weather drops to -40 and the sun crochets the mornings ice fog into lace, covered the trees in shimmering starkly in the daylight.

Stretching, one can watch the shop slowly fill and empty of residents, bundled like Michelin Tire men and vehicles bump down the road square tires.

Every once in awhile there's the opportunity to share a cup with a friend, or notice a specific detail which can make a story more vibrant in detail or description.

Hmmm.... look at that scarf with the paisley reds and blues and yellows. Did the woman wearing it just grab it to help layer against the cold or does it hold some significance for her? Faye would so wear that, it will be her favourite, in that scene where she goes to meet Steph for the first time; a meeting she will later regret. The scarf will eventually become saturated with memories best forgotten and wind up in a second hand shop down on Commercial...

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Writing Beans - Part 1

As a coffee shop writer I really enjoy the number of different, privately owned, homegrown coffee shops which are available to me.

Bean North is a local roaster which resides 20 minutes outside the city centre, by a popular swimming hole, the Takhini Hot Springs. It boasts city personas looking for a change, local cross-country skiers ending their morning and those topping off a sightseeing trip from the Yukon Wildlife Preserve.

The thing which sets Bean North out from the other shops is it's little rooms and the art/crafts in the shop. There are hand knit items as well as metal crafted wall hangings. The rooms are furnished by couches, chairs, coffee tables as well as taller tables and chairs; one room has a small stove in it, which makes it toasty on a 40 below winter morning. 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

A Shell

It all started when I picked up the shell, the small pink one hidden amongst the rocks on the beach. I hadn't planned the journey before then, you see, I hadn't even realized I could use the staff to travel. I had thought Old Rumeir made up all the stories he told, not that he experienced them. Once I had the shell, I knew I would be able to get her the help she needed. The medicine woman didn't seem to be able to help her, but I could, I had to; after all, she was my mother and I couldn't lose her now, when I could get her the cure. 

Saturday, June 2, 2012

A Life of It's Own

For the past month I have been sick with what many of us, here in the Yukon, are now affectionately calling 'the plague,' as soon as you feel you are finally getting better it knocks you on your ass for another 3 - 5 days; I'm on round 4 and really hope I can kick it this time.

In the meantime.... life goes on.
Freak snow storms in the middle of May.....

Stellars Jay's return...

Bears have snacks on the side of the highway... hopefully not people.

And I begin writing a new story... 

The day the snowbirds returned, I followed the Innukshuk down into the ancient land. It was no accident I had inherited the staff that took me. Old Rumier had known me before I'd taken my first introductory breath, I still miss him. 

A new chapter, of an old piece... 

But isn't that what all stories are, continuations of stories told before, told anon with fresh eyes, new mouths, as we each travel the worn path of life, learning who we are, finding purpose, daring to dream, to stand, to speak, to sing, to love... to live. 

Some would say there is nothing new, everything has already been said, done or written and stories are just being recycled through different voices, tellings, and live. That the words may change, the characters and story lines, but in the end the result is the same. I can't help but think that in someway they are wrong, there may be similarities, but I believe that every story that breaths, and lives, is it's own being, just as there are no two beings on earth who are exactly the same, and every story I write has it's own life, it's own voice, and it's own message for those who read it. 

Announcing the Yukon Blog Carnival

Before last week, when my friend Amanda sent out an email organizing one, I had never heard of a blog carnival. A blog Carnival, to my new understanding, involves participating bloggers to all commit to blog during the same time and is designed to get people blogging and readers reading. There is usually a theme and the suggested theme for this particular festival is "Blogging in 2012."

As you can see, at the bottom of my page, and right below this paragraph, there is a web tag notifying readers I am a participant in this carnival. During the next 2 weeks I will attempt to blog at last once a week, probably on a Saturday, and hopefully more. I also look forward to seeing who all the other participants are and reading what they have to blog about.

Happy reading!!

PS If you would like to join us, participants are welcome to join at any time :) Have fun!! 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Projects and Story Beginnings

Stellars Jay in Skagway, Alaska.

The past winter has been so full school commitments I haven't had the time I wanted to blog or write. However, I am 2 courses closer to my degree and that's a good thing.

Now, with summer approaching, I have made it a goal to at least get more writing done despite the other projects I want to start: a garden, roller skate practice to become a roller derby ref, walks, family, volunteer work, my mandolin (which has been sorrily neglected too), etc. I admit, have always been more optimistic and had way more projects than can be finished at once.

So, this will be a summer of writing about life... new expansions, gardens, and the odd fiction story or two. It should be a good one, sunshine, clouds, rain showers and all round living.


PS. I have finally started my story with the Inukshuk...

The day the snowbirds came I followed the Inukshuk down, down into a starlit land. A land which hasn’t see the warm sun of day, nor the cold light of the moon. A land where distance becomes compressed, hours - minutes, miles - a few steps. A land where one can travel from winter to summer in the space of a few minutes...

What do you think??

Monday, April 23, 2012


Inukshuk stands,
Lone stones piled high on the horizon,
Marking my way home.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Writing Technology

I was reading my homework for the English class I am taking and I came across a whole section on fonts and font sizes when considering design. This got me thinking about my grandfather and how technology has impacted and changed writing.

When I was at the tail end of my childhood and the beginning of my teens my mother decided to write a book, not just any book, a book about my grandfather. My grandfather spent hours narrating his life story onto reel-to-reel for my mother to use as a resource when writing a novel about his boyhood. The book she finally self-published in 2010, Barefoot Through the Stubble, is the historically accurate account of my grandfather's years growing up on the Canadian Prairie in Saskatchewan in the early 1900's.

Growing up I was lucky enough to live one mile away from my Grandparents and so I developed a close relationship with them which, when we moved to the Yukon in 1991, took the form of written letters. My grandmother was usually the one to write and I can still see her distinctive long loopy script in my mind, but my grandfather, ever one for using technology sent type written ones.

In the late '90's my grandfather began the computer age. Someone gave him an older computer for writing and he spent many hours learning how to use it and problem solving small glitches. A person who loved gadgets and fiddling with things to make them better I think it really enriched his life and I know it enriched mine as it enabled me to receiving type written letters from him way past the time I would have had he continued to use the conventional typewriter due to his deteriorating eyesight. One of the advantages which made this possible was the ability to change the font size on the screen. A feature, I'm sure all of us who will be growing old in the age of email (or whatever comes next), our families, friends and grandchildren, will all enjoy as we continue to shorten distances and continue to make and maintain connections through writing.