Words tell a story, paint a picture, send a message. Words have always been a part of my life. And the telling of story goes back as far as I can remember.
My earliest memories are of stories, stories that my grandfather told me on our walks in the mountains. He told me about his childhood growing up in Vancouver: getting the strap on his first day of grade one after being accused of kicking a girl in the cloakroom and responding to his teacher with, “You’ll rue this day.” His days spent hunting pheasants with a slingshot (for his mother’s stew pot) in the forest along False Creek. And his pet screech owls: Morley, Fezzywig and Scrooge. There were other stories too, and it seems to me that these stories somehow shaped me into who I am and who I want to be.
I won my first writing competition when I was sixteen: Access Radio’s Alberta High School Storytellers. My story, “The Christmas Gift,” was produced as a radio play, I was interviewed on air, and I was paid $150 — an enormous sum for one who had an $8/month allowance. I socked that money away and used it to buy my fiancé his wedding ring. The marriage stuck for 32 years, so I suppose I got a good return on investment. Kidding aside, life is a web of connections, and that early recognition gave me the confidence I needed to pursue my writing.
Over the years, I’ve written for textbooks, periodicals, weeklies, online publications, and anthologies. For a partial listing, see my Bibliography. In 2013 I completed my MA in Environmental Education and Communication through Royal Roads University, and I now teach in the Bachelor of Communication Studies program at MacEwan University in Edmonton. My book, Weaving a Malawian Sunrise: A Woman, A School, A People, was released by the University of Alberta Press in November 2015.
I continue to believe in the power of story. I love to read, and I love to write. Through my website and through my writing, I hope to share my passion with you.
* * *
* * *
Here are a few links to presentations and interviews I’ve given and articles written about my work:
Breaking down barriers to better climate change discussions — MacEwan University
Let’s NOT Talk: Silencing the Climate — Climate Change: Views from the Humanities (A Nearly Carbon-neutral Conference)
Blacklock’s Reporter Review — One Day at the Rotary Club
Weaving a Malawi Sunrise Review — Dean Wood’s review for the Rotary District 5370 Newsletter (2015)
Pipelines from the Oil Sands to the World — the text to a portion of the presentation I gave at the panel discussion presented by the University of Alberta’s Oil Sands Delegation (2015)
CJSR Interview: Framing Ethical Oil — not entirely humiliating — thankfully (2013)
The Framing of Evidence and Argument — my presentation at the 14th Annual Parkland Institute Conference (2013)
SSHRC Storytellers — my proposal to SSHRC Storytellers, which gave me the opportunity to present at Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences 2013
Exploring the Ethical Oil Debate — on my thesis research (2013)
Local Publishing House Travels to Malawi for Rat Roasting Stories — cleverly titled local commentary on Prairie Dog Publishing’s anthology, In Their Own Words: The Girls of Atsikana Pa Ulendo Tell Their Stories (2009)