Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

2nd Annual Mind’s Eye Writers Retreat

February 25, 2018


Photo: Workshop leaders Rob Ritchie and John Brownlow with the Mind’s Eye Writers’ Retreat participants.

I just returned from a weekend of learning, fun, writing, creativity, scotch and great food with old friends and new. When my friend Lori and I reached Purple Valley, we were greeted by the McIvor House hosts, Jeremy and Tonya Miller. I had my first taste of scotch from a quaich, very cool!

The sessions presented by Rob Ritchie and John Brownlow were detailed and enlightening. Both are very knowledgeable about the writing industry and their own genres. We learned a lot,

it was rewarding to spend time with other writers. The goodwill, humour, shared interests and support from everyone made the weekend fun and invigorating, I left the retreat rested, restored, reflective and ready to write, I seemed to have contracted a mild case of alliteration.

Hosts Jeremy and Tonya Miller of McIvor House outdid themselves. Wonderful meals all day! The food will be remembered and raved about forever. Tutterbarts for everyone!

Let us gather the last weekend of February next year and do it all again. Keep February 22-24 open for the 3rd annual Mind’s Eye Writers’ Retreat.

San Cristobal de las Casas

February 12, 2018


At the end of the month, I will be heading to Mexico for two weeks. I am looking forward to the adventure, though as always, I am a tad nervous. I will be staying with my friends Bill and Miki in San Cristobal de las Casas in Chiapas Mexico.

If you are curious,óbal_de_las_Casas is the wikipedia entry for San Cristobal. is a list of fifteen things to do in San Cristobal. Many are possibilities for me. I will, of course, be trying Pox. The word Pox comes from the Mayan language Tzotzil and means medicine.

I plan to spend the time soaking up the sun, the culture and the good times with friends. I am looking forward to reading, writing and studying magic. It promises to be a fun filled two weeks.


Kreegah! Ben-ze Rota

January 29, 2018


When I was a preteen, my Uncle Carl passed on the Tarzan comics that he and my Uncle Clark had collected. I devoured them and went onto read some of the books by Edgar Rice Burroughs too. I know that some people are offended by the racism and colonialism prevalent in the work of Burroughs, but the comics and books have a special place for me because Burroughs crafted worlds of fantasy where I could escape.

I read and reread the comics and I discovered the ape-language of the Mangani, the special breed / tribe of great apes in the Burroughs’ stories. Some of the comics would have a dictionary page that translated a few ape-language words into English. I wrote them out onto 3-ring pages and scanned the comics for other ape-language words and deciphered them by context until I had assembled a comprehensive ape-english dictionary. [My efforts pale in comparison to the well-researched materials at the ERBzine website The many links on the page are amazing!]

The phrase, Kreegah, Bundolo (Beware, I Kill) can be found in popular culture. It even has a wikipedia entry. When writing my short story Kismet’s Kaleidoscope, I used the ape-language as one of the ways to introduce both danger and recollection to the story.


Tarzan read the scratchings on the leaves. This image is from Joe Kubert’s 2nd DC issue of Tarzan which was dated May 1972.

The title of this blog post translates as “Beware. Great Entertainment.” If you want to read more about the Tarzan comics:


Retreating to Write – Feb. 23rd – Join Me

January 17, 2018

McIvor House Retreat

The Mind’s Eye Writer’s Retreat is one of the best ways for writers to rediscover the inner motivation to push on, to write regularly. Spending the weekend with skilled, knowledgeable and successful writing coaches and other writers was the best tonic for me to resume my writing goals.

The daily activities were fun and inspiring. Workshop facilitator, Rob Ritchie, brings humour, knowledge and optimism to every discussion, while skillfully guiding writers through the challenging world of the writing industry. Multi-talented and successful in a variety of creative pursuits, Rob provides “down to earth”, truthful guidance and encouragement that leaves the writer motivated to chase words and describe situations.

The opportunity to write regularly and workshop with other talented authors was very useful. The weekend was filled with positive, encouraging and supportive moments, but I also appreciated the opportunity to examine my own work and scaffold new story ideas. The camaraderie and fellowship was a powerful encouragement to put pen to paper.

I haven’t mentioned the beautiful surroundings of the McIvor House Bed and Breakfast or the tasty meals provided. (Now you know… worth the trip itself.) Tonya and Jeremy Miller are wonderful hosts!

I’m heading back on February 23rd. Come join us. There’s room for you and your stories too.

The Die Is Cast

August 23, 2017

THE DIE IS CASTSome people have expressed interest in reading one of my 3 Day Novels. If you are so inclined, I have loaded my first story on Wattpad…

I hope that you find it enjoyable

If you would like to help me participate in this year’s Writing Marathon, please consider making a pledge at

Thank you!

2017 Grey Bruce Writing Marathon

August 23, 2017


This year has just raised ahead. It is hard to believe that it is already late August. This is my first post since January. Yikes.

It is that time again – The Grey Bruce Writing Marathon begins on Thursday.

Destination: The Predestination Portal

This year I will be writing about a topic that has interested me for many years… time travel. There will be humorous hijinks and hilarious happenings. Because it is a story about time travel, some of the events have already happened.

Your pledge would be greatly appreciated. It would help me through those long hours of staring at my computer screen, typing endlessly. (Yes, I know it is only three days, but writers are allowed to exaggerate.) Knowing you responded to this request with some gentle words and a financial contribution for the Adult Learning Centre would help me battle the writing demons, vanquish writer’s block and prevail.

Interested in making a pledge…

Thank you!

Thank You

September 9, 2016


It has been a very busy week. I wanted to take a moment and thank everyone for supporting the 2016 Grey Bruce Writing Marathon.

Special thanks to Aly Boltman, Mike Merritt, Miranda Miller, Kait O’Neill, Richard Thomas and Lori Twining. You were a wonderful group to relaunch the Writing Marathon. You made the weekend fun for all of us. I appreciate your kindness, generosity and camaraderie. Thank you for sharing your creative energies and raising all those dollars for the Adult Learning Centre! Please thank everyone that pledged and supported you! 

We are starting to plan next year’s Grey Bruce Writing Marathon. Stay tuned for more infomration. if you are interested in writing, please let me know.

Trucking through the Night

September 3, 2016


I have been attempting this year’s contribution to the 2016 Grey Bruce Writing Marathon. We changed the name a wee bit. Seven us are undertaking this fundraiser for the Library’s Adult Learning Centre. Thanks to everyone that made pledges. You have been very generous!

I have been playing some scat music while writing, but now I am listening to truck driving related songs and movie and television themes. It is related to part of my novel and it also a lookback at part of my recent hitchhiking trip.

Here is the playlist if you are interested in singing along:


White Line Fever

Eastbound & Down (Song starts at 1:17)

Phantom 309

BJ and the Bear

Movin’ On

24 Hours from Tulsa

Road Hammer




No Stone Unturned

August 23, 2016


A night of firsts: the first time the Rolling Stones visit Toronto, first job, first date, first kiss and so much more. Flashback to the 60s as circumstances and coincidences contrive to continue to cause calamities today. Perhaps it will all work out, but only if no stone is left unturned. This novel got away from me. It is one that I will return to eventually.

This is a previous Novel Marathon creation of mine. If you are interested in this year’s fundraiser for the Adult Learning Centres: Grey Bruce Georgian, please visit

MS Gumshoe: The Case of the Too Tall Counter

August 21, 2016


Mark Sexton is Oswald Fathom’s health and safety officer. At night, under the soothing light of his computer screen, he returns to school. Mark’s holy grail, his quest, is to hone his deductive powers. But, alas, Mark’s ambitions of being a detective are hampered by his real life job and family responsibilities which include teaching his sixteen year old daughter to drive and spending time with his five year old son.

This is a previous Novel Marathon creation of mine. If you are interested in this year’s fundraiser for the Adult Learning Centres: Grey Bruce Georgian, please visit