Friday, March 16, 2018

The Spring Issue Has Bloomed

Although my Field Notes column, and thus my first book, got its start in a newspaper, there's something about a magazine. Even in these e-reader, online publishing times, there's something about a magazine. And I'm delighted to be back as a magazine columnist, particularly in At Home On the North Shore, which features writers, photographers, homeowners and artisans of the north shore of Nova Scotia.

One of the newspaper columns I never got around to writing was called "The Lost Art of Browsing" and perhaps I will devote a future AH Field Notes column to that idea. I just don't understand how online shopping can be more fulfilling than shopping in person; more convenient and cheaper, maybe, but what is lost when everything that comes to us comes via a screen and a click?

I thought of this last night while watching a news story about Toys R Us stores closing in the United States. The story ran with video of children in the store picking out toys.
Hello? Did anyone else catch what that means? I LOVED going to the local toy store or the toy department at our local (yet relatively small) department store when I was a kid and looking at all the toys before choosing the one toy I could take home with me. 
Sadly, a Dollarama toy run isn't the same as spending an hour in The Toy Shoppe.

Which is not a digression, as much as it appears to be! I can hold the spring issue of the magazine in my hands. I can send a copy to my best friend in Ontario. I can leave it lying on the coffee table. It will last forever. We can go to the farmers' market and meet the growers and bakers and creators. We can talk with the woman who owns the clothing store or the bookstore or the shoe store; we can be remembered when we show up the next time. Humans are a tactile, face-to-face species; we are denying ourselves so much essential interaction by limiting ourselves to computers.
People says, "Everything lasts forever on the internet," but that's not true. Things get lost on the internet, things get forgotten. A book, a magazine, a toy lasts forever -- but more importantly, so does the memory of the experience.
Like the memory of my father coming home with two stuffed animals for his two daughters -- an unexpected treat when money was tight -- that he chose himself while standing in a toy store and walked home with one under each arm.

To subscribe, call Lorraine at 902-485-1990, Ext. 1435 (Advocate Media)

Monday, March 12, 2018

Writing Workshop in May

Click on the picture to enlarge it and be able to read the words.

I'm delighted to be co-presenting this writing workshop with Marjorie Simmins, an accomplished writer and teacher. This one-day workshop at the Thinkers Lodge in Pugwash has become an annual event for her, and this year, she's invited me to share my experience with and my advice for facing fears and making space for truth and joy.

Having participated in Marjorie's 2015 workshop, I highly recommend this day. I came away with not one but TWO breakthroughs -- one of which I'll be sharing during the workshop. If you want to become inspired and motivated and encouraged -- empowered! -- this is the place to be. 

The workshop takes place on Saturday, May 26 beginning at 10 am in Pugwash, Nova Scotia.
The cost is $150, all in, and that includes the opportunity for either Marjorie or me to read 10 pages of a manuscript prior to the workshop (consider that a professional editor - like Marjorie - would charge $150 for that task so great deal!).

There are accomodations available in Pugwash (at the Thinkers Lodge and at a B&B) if you want to come up the night before, and I can't help myself: I'll be bringing my famous heart-shaped oatcakes for tea/coffee breaks!
For more information, contact Marjorie at mls @
Please register early because we are only offering 12 spaces.

Thursday, March 08, 2018

International Women's Day 2018

This is the fifth year for the International Women's Day event in Oxford, NS, so we're making it a celebration (if only the weather cooperates!). While I'm the planning committee, I also participate in the event by having a conversation with a local woman with an inspiring story to tell.
Here's a look back...

2014: Alia Kamarreddine shared her experience of coming to Canada as a 19 year old newlywed unable to speak any English. She talked about being a female business owner in the area. She now plays a key role in helping new immigrants (arriving through  the refugee program) settle into our community.

2015: Rosemary Donkin spoke of the challenges of raising a family and working when she went back to school to become a nurse. I remember best her story about doing her homework during hockey practices and 4H events!

2016: Trish Stewart shared her experience as the first female mayor of Oxford. Afterwards, we realized we didn't talk about the scrutiny women's clothes and hair get, and the pressure to wear new outfits all the time.

2017: This was a panel on women's friendships featuring lifelong friends Marilyn Williams and Janice Varner, and mother-daughter duo Haillie and Janelle Tattrie. This fabulous photograph is courtesy of Dave Matheson at the Citizen-Record newspaper.

2018: This year, I'm "in conversation with" Estella Rushton, who is 93 years young, and she'll be sharing an "equal pay for equal work" experience and as well as a few tips to staying young at heart.

(Estella loves to read, and I noticed Field Notes on the bookshelf but I was so caught up our pre-event interview, I forgot to take her picture holding my book!)