By definition

A section in the memoir writing course discusses structure; more specifically, whether or not adhering to a predetermined one assists or inhibits creativity and achieving the goals. Sticking to a plan can be beneficial for some while restrictive and static to others. At the same time abiding by a particular practice, like the writing ofContinue reading “By definition”

Good things come in threes

One of the exercises in my memoir writing course challenges participants to write a story using only three word sentences. There is no expectation to be grammatically correct; rather it is in an exercise in parsimony, being able to communicate your message without elaborate sentences. The exercise is part of a chapter on what toContinue reading “Good things come in threes”

Something New

Fall is the season for new releases and book awards. The Scotiabank Giller Prize announced it’s long list at the beginning of October (including two which had yet to be published) and just this morning, unveiled the shortlist of five finalists. A week ago, the newly named Atwood Gibson Writer’s Trust Fiction Prize (now thereContinue reading “Something New”

Take a chance on me

“Are you the couple getting married here later this afternoon.” The woman had wandered over to us sitting in the fifth row, left side, hand in hand, quietly watching the preparations. A number of people were scurrying about St. Peter’s Cathedral Basilica in London, ensuring the flowers were arranged just right, the candles were displayingContinue reading “Take a chance on me”

The Last Breath

I remember Mom’s last breath. It was more of a heave, a bursting of air, a quick exhalation preceded by days of shallow, open mouthed panting. We had sent Dad to our house, imploring him to get some decent rest. He had held vigil for the last five days, never leaving the hospital since heContinue reading “The Last Breath”

They look like big, good, strong hands

A focused memoir in 200 words. I wipe the dribble of gravy running down his chin through the three-day stubble, his head leaning to the left. Dad’s eyes pop a little wider to acknowledge the attention, probably feeling embarrassed. He does not want to blemish the new orange soccer sweatshirt emblazoned with the Dutch flag.Continue reading “They look like big, good, strong hands”

I want to go to Miami

Last week I began an on-line writing course with Memoir Writing Ink, thinking it would provide me tips and tools to improve my work. One of my intentions with retirement was to write more, and as you can see from the posts, the material is largely in the form of a memoir. Even though IContinue reading “I want to go to Miami”

Pick me! Pick me!

I have never voted for any Prime Minister of Canada or Premier of Ontario in any national or provincial election; yet I have never missed an election since I turned eighteen and became eligible to vote. In the last election, in fact, only 24,727 people voted for Justin Trudeau, representing 51.2% of the votes inContinue reading “Pick me! Pick me!”

Small is beautiful

I have a penchant for small books. Not measured in amount of pages, rather with respect to the physical size. Small books are more convenient to carry on a journey, fitting easily into the side pocket of my leather briefcase without bulging or distorting its shape. They are comfortably cradled with one hand, left orContinue reading “Small is beautiful”

How I spent my summer vacation

Summer brings up memories of driving and holiday excursions. Growing up, vacations normally meant visiting locations in Ontario, always involving a vehicle, and most of the time including relatives from the Netherlands. My parents owned a car for their entire life in Canada. A vehicle was a necessity living outside the city limits with veryContinue reading “How I spent my summer vacation”