Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Fall's the season to gather together. If you're a squirrel, you gather pine cones. If you're a goose, you gather goose friends.  And if you're a bookworm, you gather books. Let the season change. I'm ready (almost).

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


Camp Morton, 1920.  This former children’s ‘fresh air’
camp is now a provincially-run park with rustic log cabins in a beautiful setting by the lake. It was probably even more beautiful back in the twenties and thirties when the buildings were new and the stone walls, (built from shoreline rocks in Italian style), weren’t collapsing. But maybe not. There’s something compelling about ruins—something that evokes melancholy, and a sense of time and forgotten memories. Lake Winnipeg crashed then like now against the shoreline and silver moons lit night time highways over the brooding depths of this huge lake. (Lake Winnipeg is one of the largest lakes in the world.)

 
I’ve come back here every fall for more than twenty years.  It’s peaceful, it’s rustic, it’s ghostly, it’s magical.  Disadvantaged children from the Winnipeg area would come to this Catholic-run camp for the a week in the summer. Old steps lead down to a crumbling beach house. A few of the other old buildings still stand—the water tower, the former chapel, the arcade. The sunken garden still blooms.  


I’d like to think I can hear the sound of children laughing on the swings, but maybe that’s just some bird twittering.  And is that the sound of a homesick child crying on a windy night?  Probably just a drafty window.

Camp Morton is an hour and a bit north of Winnipeg on the west shore of Lake Winnipeg. It's now closed for the season...(for us regular folks, But who knows what memory does when left alone in an empty place?)





Wednesday, September 10, 2014


You know how a novel has several sub-plots—just to keep things interesting? A life is much the same. My meandering has led to a few unplanned detours with unexpected views. (Oh how I love metaphor!) I’m of the firm belief that no experience is bad, but some experiences are more challenging, more tiring, more confusing, than others.

I'm thrilled to share that I’m focused on my main trail again...that of exploring my roots. This has been a lifelong preoccupation of mine—to find the family that was crushed in another place and time. Always I’ve wanted to see the unseen, hear the unspoken, feel the untouched.

Things are never simply as they appear. There’s a story to everything...to the geese flying overhead, to the murder headlines in the paper, to the photos in my mother’s old photo album. I feel compelled to find story. The beauty of being a fiction writer is that I can make stuff up, I can embellish. I’m grateful for this gift of imagination. I’m not always able to transpose this into perfect words, but I’m working on the craft called writing and perhaps with practice I shall improve.

I’m over-the-moon grateful for the opportunity gifted to me by Rebelight Publishing. Not only are they publishing my sequel, East Prussian Princess, in the spring of 2015, but they’re simultaneously re-publishing The Kulak’s Daughter which went out of print soon after it was released due to the closure of its Texas-based publisher. And not only that, but there’s a third book in the works. More about that later.

It’s possible that this is all a dream, a made-up reality that my overly active imagination has invented. I’ll let you know.  On another path...this one now six months long and therefore truly real...my day job is done. No more walking through rain and wind and snow delivering mail. Finished. Over. I can finally claim to be a full time writer. Now I’ll just meander with my dear canine through rain and wind and snow. Walk on!  

I intend to continue sharing some of my story research on this blog.