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Poem: Seeking Beauty

The world lost a wonderful woman to a dreadful disease yesterday. When it threatened to overwhelm me I did what helps me the most: went outside seeking beauty. As always, it wasn't hard to find.  


Seeking Beauty


I set out seeking beauty today,

and found it in a splash of warm sunshine on my face,

in the curiosity of a toddler examining a flower,

and in a yellow butterfly who visited right after I received word.


I set out seeking beauty today,

and found it in a couple walking hand-in-hand over an arched footbridge,

in notes from friends and the collective strength of neighbours,

and in a shady graveyard where families are eventually reunited.


I set out seeking beauty today,

and found it back at home,

in the measured chaos of a family dinner,

and in the quiet company of a soft cat.



For now, forget grades and focus on learning

An open letter to my post-secondary students

Dear learners,

It’s finally arrived. The ‘real’ new year, when you head back to campus and trade summer jobs and weekends at the beach for classrooms and trips to the library.

Am I killing your buzz? (#SorryNotSorry) I love summer too and filled up this one with copious amounts of my favourite things: travel, outside play, art and culture, books, food and drink.

But I am now ready for fall. I look forward to getting back to class mainly because I love learning. And when I’m teaching I’m learning as much or more than my students.

That’s why I’m challenging you to tweak your thinking about back to school.

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What's Your Story? The joys and importance of memoir writing

Sharing is optional.

When teaching memoir writing, I challenge students to write without inhibition. The first draft is free-writing in response to a prompt. Writers shouldn’t worry about offending anybody or using proper grammar—those types of considerations are for the rewriting stages. The goal is merely to unblock and write the memory down. This can be intimidating to someone not in the habit of writing, who struggles with literacy, or who is insecure about whether their stories matter (they do).

Sometimes writers reveal private or unflattering things so I leave it up to them whether they want to read aloud or show their work to anyone. That’s why I was so delighted when I visited the OPtions Program at Saint Mary’s University this week.

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10 reasons to check out the Halifax Forum Farmers' Market This Saturday

This little piggy went to market. The Halifax Forum Farmers' Market to be precise. And I liked it there so much I've been back every Saturday since – first as a shopper, then as a vendor. Since May 2, 2015 the Halifax Forum Farmers' Market has been happening each Saturday from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. in Bingo Hall. And it's only getting better as more locally grown produce becomes available and the range of vendors grows. Here's why you should come:

1. Fruit and vegetables. The crisp asparagus and tangy rhubarb have been

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Scotia Sinker's Official Launch – or should I say plunge?

A wonderful group of book enthusiasts helped me officially launch my new children's chapter book Scotia Sinker at the beautiful Maritime Museum of the Atlantic this past Saturday, May 9, 2015.

Fans from age four to 88 (my dad; still a kid at heart) gathered in the Days of Sail room where illustrator Joel Duggan and I greeted them and signed books on request. Snacks include thematic gummy fish and sharks.

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