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Taking the plunge with Scotia Sinker

Drum roll please . . . I am publishing a new book this spring! And I've started a publishing label (more on that in a minute).

Scotia Sinker, for readers ages six to 10ish, is the sequel to my 2012 children's chapter book Lunar Lifter.


"Cameron and Erin take a new adventure in their cardboard box — this time, to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean!

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The power of community

At 25th Anniversary Women of Excellence Awards last week, sponsored by the Canadian Progress Club Halifax Cornwallis, I was one of three honorees who received a Women of Excellence Award in the Communications and Public Affairs category. [Thanks to CBC Nova Scotia for allowing me to use this photo.]

This charitable foundation is a committed group of volunteer women giving their time and talent to help those in need in the community since 1988. To date, it has raised more than $1 million for Phoenix Youth, servicesto help at-risk youth break the cycle of poverty and homelessness.

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When nice is not pleasant

Revelations of the past two weeks, as painful and difficult as they have been to disclose and discuss, have encouraged an openness around the mistreatment of women unlike no other period I've lived through. I'd venture to say most if not all women have their own story(ies) of times they were touched, spoken to or otherwise treated in a way that made them feel threatened, or even hurt them badly. I'm no different. I wrote this a week ago and have hesitated posting it out of concern that I'm over-sharing, or ranking my situation against those who have been much more deeply traumatized. In the end I've decided to post it anyway, having learned and considered so much already through what's already been shared. Talking helps. Silence hurts.

The stranger's hand was around my neck. His index and middle fingers crawled up my chin, and when my jaw dropped in shock they slid over my bottom lip and across my tongue. I did not scream. I did not bite. I froze.

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This Year's Thanksgiving? Turkey & Kimchi

We celebrated Thanksgiving a bit differently this year by signing up for Share Thanksgiving through Engage Nova Scotia. The program matches host families with new Canadians, who then connect and coordinate the details around getting together for a meal.

I was matched with Ok Jo, who moved to Halifax 10 months ago from South Korea with her two teenaged daughters, Yoojeong and Yoojin. Though her family sounded like a good demographic fit with my family (our children being approximately the same age), I felt nervous nonetheless. What if we had trouble understanding one another? What if Ok Jo and her girls didn't enjoy turkey dinner? Would we find enough common ground with this family of new Canadians to relax and connect? I mulled it over but decided this was our chance to extend ourselves a bit, share our many blessings, and hopefully learn from one family what made them leave their home and move to our province.

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Becoming Fierce: Teen Stories IRL

Exciting news! Last year I wrote a creative nonfiction story called Some of My Parts for the Fierce Shorts series by Fierce Ink Press. It was released as a digital download. Well now my enterprising publisher has packaged it and nine other Fierce Shorts into an actual printed and bound book called Becoming Fierce: Teen Stories IRL. (For the acronym-challenged, IRL stands for In Real Life as these are all loosely based on our lived experiences).

I've read and was affected by each story differently. They are alternately relatable, gritty, hopeful and powerful, with the overlying theme being that while the teen years can be tough, you can emerge from them stronger and healthier. Topics include teen suicide, drug abuse, body image, cultural displacement, losing a parent, romantic relationships and friendships.

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