Desperately waiting for spring.

For now I immerse myself in doing colourful pictures for our next children’s book, the bright inks making a snow white-out day somewhat more tolerable. I try not to look out the window at the grey drab dress of the day. Instead, I’ve got a comical moose to paint to make little ones laugh.

The winter put a serious mood on me, so I fight back with my inks and colour pencils. The delight of my life is to create and give flesh to my friends inspired poetry.

As the days get longer my spirits lift, despite the fact winter does not want to go. This has been a long winter. Very long. The cloud of gloom is rising, and there I still am, underneath, happily writing and drawing, waiting to open a window and usher in green.

Being Nice

Us Canadians are often accused of excessive politeness, but I can see no harm in that whatsoever. If anything, the world could use a hefty dose of manners. There is so much mudslinging and rudeness today.

Being rude is a form of violence. People who use it as a weapon are the same ones who cannot tolerate being rudely treated themselves.

It is also highly infectious. If exposed to it too long, everyone is soon rude to everyone else.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could be polite and kind even when we must criticize? Even when we must correct anothers behaviour?

Rudeness is bullying. It definitely does not belong in places of power and authority. It does not belong anywhere in society. Rudeness is a reflection of a persons level of maturity, and a clear indicator of their lack of empathy, compassion and understanding.

We all have been treated rudely at some time in our lives, some of it deliberate, some of it not, and maybe even at times a result of our own bad manners. Did it improve the situation? I doubt it. But when you have been treated with respect, even kindness, how do situations turn out?

Being kind makes you feel good.

Being rude may make an immature bully feel powerful, but it greatly diminishes his stature in other peoples eyes.

I have been bullied by bosses, boyfriends, doctors, sales clerks. All made for memorable experiences, but never made me respect them.

I’ve also had kindness extended to me when I didn’t deserve it. Gratitude when I hadn’t done anything much to warrant it. Strangers who have helped me when I’ve been drowning in troubles.

True heroes are those who know that good wins. They are also likely to refuse your adulation, because being nice is just who they are.

One Problem Twenty Problems

Why is it some things go bad right from the beginning and the harder you try to fix them, the badder they get.

At work we call it the ‘One Problem Twenty Problems’ syndrome.

The more urgent and important the thing is, the more likely we will encounter problems. But definitely, if it starts wrong it tends to spiral into madness, and the original one problem quickly becomes twenty new ones.

Eventually all gets solved, but it sure leaves some scars, and some lessons learned.

Some things are predictable – we just know it is going to go badly. Even then we seem powerless to stop what we know is coming.

It is a very strange phenomena.

It has been one of those weeks.

Love Mentors

The most astonishing thing in the world is the human-animal bond.

It is incredible that all living things respond to love, even plants.

Utterly fantastic that creatures so unlike us in every way; their features, habits, behaviours, can so readily bond with us. They can recognize us as an individual, come when we call and they so willingly and without judgement, return our affections. We are able to befriend predators, the dangerous, and the unlikely as easily as a cat or a dog. It does not mean such animals cease to be who they are, and as such we need exercise a healthy and cautious regard for their base natures, which many people have forgotten to their peril, it just means they can respond to us on a level they do not typically have with other animals.

I marvel at this, because love is something felt and acted on and not easily explained. It has an energy, just like all emotions. And humans have it most of all. The capacity for love we take for granted, but if you think about it, is mind-blowing.

When I was young a chrysalis was found on a plant my mom had bought. I watched that every day and talked to it. This sounds surreal, but when that monarch butterfly finally emerged, it was bonded to me. It would fly and follow me and alight on me where ever I went! So I guess at a very early age I was astounded and intrigued by this ability of creatures to bond to a human. Since then I have experienced this same phenomena countless times with all manner of animals and plants.

Is it not truly also amazing that animals can learn love from us, and sometimes extend that love to other creatures? Just incredible.

I have read that in many instances, the ability to kill is a learned behaviour in predators as opposed to being a given instinct. Which causes me to ponder the scripture in the Bible ‘The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock…’

Perhaps our role on this earth is to teach love and compassion to our fellow creatures and bring to pass scripture that claims animals will lie down and feed together and a child shall lead them. The earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord (Love!)

Imagine if we could truly grasp what this means. If we could live this. Love is greater than we realize. I believe it not only encompasses the entire universe but is the reason why we are here, and things are as they are.

Scripture is Isaiah 65:25 and Isaiah 11:6-9


If I could have an acting role in a movie, I should like to be Q in a James Bond adventure.

This should make you laugh, because I am the farthest thing from a tech geek you can imagine! But the original Q was too, apparently.

It would be fun to tease Bond with tech wizardry, seduce him with the sexiness of it (oh, and that Aston Martin!!) and also save his ass with it. A good role in which you appear briefly, but can be many things waiting to be discovered and developed. Q had a secret life, made secret things and was probably a loner like me. He was the one you could never doubt his loyalty to Bond, MI5 and country.

What could be better than that?

And, it would be tremendous fun!

Highlight Reel

My generation grew up with black and white movies, and went through eras of westerns, gangsters, slapstick comedy and the like that defined the movie industry for years to come.

I was privileged to view films that were revolutionary, like Star Wars, E.T., Close Encounters of the Third Kind, etc. that changed the entire landscape of visual entertainment and ushered in sci-fi on a whole new level.

Many of the things once cartoonish, became human dramas, and vice versa.

All of these movies were fuel for my imagination, and influenced much of my writing and drawing in my early years.

I would have liked to have made movies myself, you know, the big dream of writing and directing and producing your own vision. It is a complicated business that you have to start young at and work your way through, and I am sure it is not as easy as it sounds. I find even putting a story in writing a very hard undertaking. But I am loathe to say hard work, as it is not. I love doing it and I get mad when fellow writers and artists insist on claiming it to be toil. I can tell you what toil really is – doing what you hate, day in and day out just to pay the rent and feed the cat. Disappearing into my imagination for hours at a time is not toil. It is escape.

What makes creative pursuits hard is putting them out into the world. They are your children, they are you.

If I could show my stories on the big screen this would be the culmination of all the art, writing and photography I could possibly make. There could be awesome scenery and beautiful places that words cannot adequately describe. Pages of emotion can be displayed on an actors face in only seconds. I think this fantastic. It gives me chills.

We usher in a new era of movies; animation and CGI (computer generated images) that are so lovely that I find myself holding my breath watching them. I was first introduced to modern animation with Howls Moving Castle, which left me spellbound. How To Train Your Dragon is mesmerizing. Both have stories to tell, not just dazzling animation.

In my mind, every story I write is a movie in my head and I am at once, all the characters, the plot, the scenery. It is the grandest of escapes, my only escape from the drudgery of the reality of my actual life.

There are movie reels and then there is my escape highlight reel in my head.