Downtown Alleys

In my current story Unfinished Business, a critical scene unfolds in a Vancouver back alley just like this photo. Unappealing, dingy and downright scary. Wikipedia describes an alley as a narrow lane, path or passageway, often reserved for pedestrians and usually running between or behind buildings. Because of geography, stairs are often a feature. Many… Continue reading Downtown Alleys

Beware the Heat Wave

A heat wave signals more than hot temperatures.  It means a surge in violent crime. Rising temperatures increase the rates of homicides, sexual offences and assaults. Riots and uprisings also tend to take place during summer.  This is borne out by research conducted in a number of countries.  Twitter online hate speech also increases during… Continue reading Beware the Heat Wave


A yellow dandelion flower with green leaves growing from a crack in concrete, cement. A concept of growth, overcoming difficulties, strength, hope, beginning, rebirth. Nature power. Cinematic filter.

The sunny flower we love to hate “I have lost my smile, but don’t worry. The dandelion has it.”- Nhat Hanh We should leave them for the bees but still…. They take over.  We feel obliged to dig them out! Poison them!  Pour hot water or vinegar on them! But they’re so much more than… Continue reading Dandelions

Memories Lost… and Found

How does it feel to wake up injured and needing help, but you can’t remember who you are or how you got there? It happens more often than you might think, though the stories don’t usually make international headlines. A recent case intrigued me.  A woman was found, bloodied and injured on an island in… Continue reading Memories Lost… and Found


Living on Vancouver Island or the ‘Wet Coast’ as I do, it’s no surprise that rain features in my stories.  People who read my upcoming books are going to notice a common thread – a lot of bad weather.  A critique group partner once said, shivering, “Gawd, can you write rain.  I feel like I’m… Continue reading Rain

The Creative Cauldron

“I wish I could write as mysterious as a cat.” – Edward Allan Poe I’ve been on hiatus from my current completed manuscript.  In my little world, this is necessary.  I need to take a complete break from it and get busy with something else.  So busy that I stop thinking about my characters and… Continue reading The Creative Cauldron

Midsummer in Latvia – Līgo

Līgo All over Europe, the ancient pagan midsummer celebrations continue to take place.  In Latvia, St. John’s Day (Jāņi), or Līgo may be the most important celebration of the year.  It runs overnight from June 23rd to the 24th. If they can, Latvians take to the woods, fields and beaches to celebrate by staying up… Continue reading Midsummer in Latvia – Līgo

Creative, tough, tenacious – Freya Stark

Freya Stark

Zest for life I might never have learned about Freya but for a book sale where I stumbled on her autobiography, Traveller’s Prelude 1893-1927.  It’s an astonishing document of her experiences up to her mid thirties. Freya Stark had a fascinating life. She was an explorer and wrote more than two dozen travel books about… Continue reading Creative, tough, tenacious – Freya Stark

The Creative Journey

rock paintings of ancient people, showing a hunt for wild animals

My last post about Mary Delany has made me think about creativity in general and creative block in particular. It appears that Mary, during the dark years of her first marriage, didn’t completely abandon her creativity.  When she was forced to nurse and read to her ailing husband, she continued to sew and paint, if… Continue reading The Creative Journey

Art meets craft meets science ca. 1770’s – Meet Mary Delany

Life can be hard Transport yourself back to England, early 1700’s.  You’re growing up in a fairly well-off family and getting an education, which was huge then.  You’re bright – a natural with needlework, scissor work and painting.  There’s an expectation that you will become a ‘maid of honour’ in the royal household…. but the… Continue reading Art meets craft meets science ca. 1770’s – Meet Mary Delany