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Monday, October 18, 2010

Just today signed a new book contract with Tradewind Books here in Vancouver! Details, and some teasers from the story, to follow in future entries. Stay tuned!

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Finding "Baby Octopus" is our absolute favourite summer memory. Who ever sees them this small? My older daughter found it in a tidepool on a beach on Denman Island. When I was her age (11) we would sometimes see them off the James Bay breakwater in Victoria, but they were full grown giants by then, sculling about. We let this little guy go into his tidepool shortly after the picture was taken, and when a tiny crab tried to pinch a tentacle, he shot away under a rock, feisty as a firecracker!

Wednesday, June 02, 2010


I've been thinking a lot lately about Nobody Particular while scanning the paper for the latest on the oil leak into the Gulf. Everyone's attention span these days is like a computer, with multiple windows open, one of them constantly fixed on a little window on that leaking pipe and whether or not they've fixed that gushing catastrophe. When the top kill operation failed, something very dark settled in my mind. And that is when a remembered Nobody Particular. Molly Bang's unique rendering of the story of Diane Wilson and her fight to protect the Texas bays from rampant chemical pollution. The story is often dark, and takes discouraging turns, which in real life must have been unimaginably difficult for Wilson. My 11-year-old daughter read our copy of Nobody Particular book after school this afternoon. When I asked her what she thought of Diane, she said, "I think she's strong". (I thought "brave", close enough!)

It will take many strong Dianes with acts great (calling the oil giants to task) and small (picking up pebbles of tar) to clean up this mess, and helping us all learn from it.

My daughter will travel in a month, as part of a Children's International Summer Village, to Jacksonville, Florida. It will be, I know (from being a CISV delegate more than 30 years ago) the beginning of some great international friendships. Sadly, it is also likely to be, given the location, the environmental lesson of a lifetime.

Monday, May 31, 2010

One of the things I love about accordion music is that it can go so many places in a single song. Musicians seem to travel with the notes, and where they start is not always where they wind up. It's not all neat and tidy, modern accordionists seem to want to take it everywhere it can possibly go. This conversation with Accordion Noir co-hosts Bruce and Rowan, started in the dark studio of Co-op Radio in the downtown Eastside, and then went a whole bunch of places, over to Strathcona, across the waters to James Bay in Victoria, Oak Bay Secondary (where I graduated high school), Kamloops, where the Candidos finally settled and where my Dad was raised... It was one of those talks that brings a lot of points on your life map together, I really enjoyed meeting the voices of Accordion Noir, and having the luxury of an hour's reflection. There's a special treat for those who listen right through to the end -- Rowan's hilarious takeoff of a Nine Inch Nails tune.

Sunday, April 04, 2010


The guidebooks all agreed: May and June are the best time of year to visit the Grand Canyon. So we went in March instead. View here the consequences, minus the skin-chapping, finger freezing feeling of standing in a storm at 6,000 feet. It was unimaginable to the four of us that we would arrive at the edge of the Grand Canyon, and still not be able to SEE it.

Every photograph I've ever looked at of the Grand Canyon has it bathed in the perpetual warm light. Over a mile deep in places and 277 miles long, it still seems unthinkable that weather can all but obliterate one of the world's most famous landscapes.

Never underestimate, dear reader, the visual obstruction of a good snow-plus-hailstorm. Weather trumps all.