Category Archives: Slice of Life

Confessions of a Creative Book Club Ghost

Way, way back in the mid-1990s (you know, before the turn of the century), I met a woman named Kathy in our local writers’ group.  I’m not sure which one of us stopped attending first, but we sort of lost touch for about ten years.

The city in which I live is not terribly large, though, and once you have met somebody with a similar interest as you, you tend to know what they are up to until meet them again.

Such was the case with me and Kathy.  And I am glad, because somewhere around the Autumn of 2010, she sent me an email out of the blue.  Kathy was forming a “book club for creative types,” beginning with Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, and would I be interested in joining?  I immediately said yes.

Since then, our Artists’ Circle has been studying two or three books together each year.  Well, the others have.  I have a tendency to join in with a great deal of enthusiasm.  But by Week 2, I am behind.  By Week 3, I stop sending my weekly check-ins in a misguided attempt to “catch up first”, and by Week 4 …  Let’s just say I have yet to complete one of our twelve-week book studies.

Well, Gentle Reader, it’s that time again.

This week, we are beginning to read The Hero is You (Kendra Levin) together.  This is the group’s second time working through the book, but my first, because … Well, you know. 😉

It’s a really neat book, with thought-provoking exercises and lines that make you think, and I enjoyed the idea behind it — likening the development of a writer to The Hero’s Journey.  But I can’t help but chuckle as I sit here reading the subtitle: “Sharpen Your Focus, Conquer Your Demons, and Become the Writer You Were Born to Be.”

(Can we just say I’m a late bloomer?  Second time lucky?)

So after I read some of my fellow Slicers’ posts in the next hour, I will settle in with the book and begin the journey again, side by side with my fellow creatives.

And now — thanks to making myself accountable to you, Gentle Reader — I am looking forward to finishing the journey this time.


This post was created as part of Two Writing Teachers’ Slice of Life Challenge

You can view other writers’ contributions via the comments here.

A Wintry Tuesday

(This post format is from The Simple Woman’s Daybook.  I thought it was a great way to “take a snapshot” of my life today.)

Looking out my window … I see a lot more snow than I did last Tuesday.

I am thinking … about the creative writing courses I will be offering online shortly.

I am thankful … that I received my weekly injection this morning, so hopefully I will feel better in the morning. 🙂

One of my favorite things … is Ben & Jerry’s Chubby Hubby ice cream, which I last had in 2019.  (Not available here in Canada. *pout*)

I am creating … some planner stickers this evening to fit my Passion Planners.

I am wearing… my pyjamas already.  Don’t judge. 😉

This week, I am

reading … Do the Work by Steven Pressfield.
watching … bobobrains’ Sims 2 streams  on Twitch
listening to… Duran Duran’s Big Thing and Liberty albums.

I am hoping… that my LottoMax ticket wins at least six figures in the draw tonight.  Then I can install a special Door Dash slot and dumbwaiter and not have to go out to buy groceries until Spring.

I am learning … about OBS and streaming on Twitch, and video editing of Zoom sessions.

In my kitchen… you will find three cats intently watching the bird feeder.

Board Room:  My “Well-Used Words” board on Pinterest.

Postscript: I fell in love with these amazing pottery dishes today.

Shared Quotation:

Write while the heat is in you. When the farmer burns a hole in his yoke, he carries the hot iron quickly from the fire to the wood, for every moment it is less effectual to penetrate it. It must be used instantly, or it is useless. The writer who postpones the recording of his thoughts uses an iron which has cooled to burn a hole with. He cannot inflame the minds of his audience.

—Henry David Thoreau, Journal, 10 February 1852

A moment from my day:  I spent some time up at Rockwood Park this morning with this handsome fellow.


Closing Notes: I quite enjoyed this format!  I think I will do it again sometime!

This post was created as part of Two Writing Teachers’ Slice of Life Challenge

You can view other writers’ contributions via the comments here.

Writing Resolutions for 2022

Tonight, in TeachWrite’s Time to Write Zoom gathering, it was announced that the January Challenge was to post our 2022 Writing Resolutions, and that caused me to really think.

You know, I have been putting words down on paper since I was eight years old (Thank you, Mrs. Reece, for the encouragement!), and I don’t think I have ever made resolutions about my writing.

It’s about time that I did.

(Of course, when I went to load the photo, I noticed that I was so excited to write my “h’ — my favourite fauxligraphy letter — that I spelled “Twitch” wrong.  But one of my other resolutions is to cut back on my perfectionism, so — even though it KILLS me — I’m not redoing it!)

This year I am going to concentrate on my development as a professional writer, so a set of resolutions not only makes sense, but is practically a necessity.  I am glad that someone poked me to do it.

What about you?  What are your writing resolutions for 2022?



This post was created as part of Two Writing Teachers’ Slice of Life Challenge

You can view other writers’ contributions via the comments here.

In Memoriam: For My Mother

CROUSE, Susan Anne (Adams)
October 28, 1948 – December 13, 2021

After a period of declining health, Susan Anne (Adams) Crouse passed away peacefully in hospital in Halifax, Nova Scotia on December 13, 2021.  First child and only daughter of Walter Richard Adams (originally of Montreal, QC) and his wife Emily (Bishop) Adams of Kentville, NS, Susan was born in her mother’s hometown on October 28, 1948.

Predeceased by her parents and her husband, Laurie K. Crouse, Susan is survived by her brother Neil (Mary Ellen) Adams of Almonte, ON; daughters Karen (Doug) McLean of Saint John, and Krista (John) Alford of Beaver Bank, NS; cherished granddaughter Emily Alford of Beaver Bank, NS; special cousin Juanita Bezanson of Port Williams, NS; and numerous relatives.

In her early life, Susan lived in several communities in the Maritimes, including Kentville, Fredericton, Rothesay, and Saint John.  She graduated from Netherwood School in the mid-1960s, and in 1980 made the Halifax area her permanent home.  Originally a legal secretary, she grew her professional skills and spent 20 years as a bookkeeper for businesses large and small.

A strong and resourceful single mom, Susan raised her two daughters while knitting them sweaters and mittens, canning pickles, creating handmade chocolates, and serving as a Brownie and Girl Guide leader.  But it was in her role as “Meema” to Emily that Susan really shone.  For Susan, there was no brighter light in the world than that of her granddaughter’s smile; Emily was someone of whom Susan was deeply proud and for whom she had an endless supply of unconditional love.

In her post-retirement years, Susan became increasingly reliant on her daughter Krista and her son-in-law John, who ensured that Susan had everything she needed.  Indeed, Susan’s apartment in Lower Sackville was an extension of the Alford home in Beaver Bank, with holiday gatherings and near-daily visits keeping Susan at the heart of their family.    She is very much missed by those whose lives she touched.


This post was created as part of Two Writing Teachers’ Slice of Life Challenge

You can view other writers’ contributions via the comments here.

And now it is December…

Confession: Despite my enthusiasm for all things Henry David Thoreau, he and I differ in our philosophies when it comes to the seasons (and especially those containing snow).

Live in each season as it passes—breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, & resign yourself to the influence of each.

—Henry David Thoreau, Journal, 23 August 1853

102 days, fifteen hours, 29 minutes until Spring!

—Karen J. McLean, The Write Kind of Life, 7 December 2021

We are expecting some snow this evening, but it is not supposed to amount to much: just 5-10 cm (roughly 2″-4″).  If it’s less than 15 cm (6″), it doesn’t really count as a snowfall, in my humble opinion, and it really doesn’t count as a “snowstorm” unless we are talking 25 cm (10″).  These are not definitions from Environment Canada, you understand.  This is just me. 🙂

I find Winter to be a most claustrophobic season.  It starts with the darkness.  At this latitude (45ºN), the sun came up at 7:52 AM, and it set at 4:43 PM.  It is lovely to see all the holiday lights against this background, but once they are turned out for the season …  Yeah.

And yet … There is still a coziness to it all, somehow.  Curling up with a book, a cup of tea, and one of the four cats and the dog is a very pleasant way to spend a day as Nature does her best to make time stand still.  The fresh snow absorbs sound (scientific fact), and so there is a certain hush, broken only by the sounds of the chains on the tires of snowploughs as they rumble down the roads.

The very best thing about Winter, though, is how much it makes this Canadian appreciate the Spring.

This post was created as part of Two Writing Teachers’ Slice of Life Challenge

You can view other writers’ contributions via the comments here.