Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Those Friends We Remember

We all have those special people we meet in life. They quickly enter our lives and then become great memories. Throughout my life, I've met many interesting people from all over the world. Some I met in youth hostels, train stations, planes, and then they invited me to visit them in their country. They came into my life for a short period of time but I will never forget them.

While living in Israel, I joined a young kibbutz which had only been in existence for a couple of years. A number of people working there were on an exchange program from the army. During basic training, they were given the choice to live on a kibbutz for a couple of weeks to experience kibbutz life.

At that time, I met this really great woman soldier. I was dying to know her well, but she only spoke in Hebrew and my ability with the language was quite poor. Every day, I attempted to improve my knowledge of the language so we could exchange information. This was a difficult feat since learning languages was never easy for me.

After two arduous weeks, the night before she was to return to the army base, she turned to me and said, "Enough of this Hebrew shit, let's talk in English." Her English was excellent and I was furious with her for making me work so hard to talk to her. She laughed and said, "How else are you going to learn Hebrew unless you work for it." She was so right and I have never forgotten her.

While at a youth hostel in Israel, I met this really cool Dutch woman. She and I became friends and she visited me at the kibbutz and then later at my home in Tel Aviv. She invited me to Holland and I stayed with her for a couple of months. She drove me all around Holland and I was able to study the country well. Being half Indonesian, she was a brilliant cook. She would spend hours in the kitchen preparing any number of Indonesian dishes which were absolutely delicious.

A friend I met at the Tel Aviv University became a very close friend. After we had completed our degree, she married a South African guy and moved to Johannesburg. I returned to Canada. I tried unsuccessfully for many years to find her. Then last Christmas, I received an email from her. She had googled me and found my website and email address. Now, after 30 years, we are friends again and chat regularly on Skype. My next travel destination is South Africa.

While waiting for a train in Holland, an announcement came over the speakers advising that the train would be arriving at another platform. Beside me stood the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. She had long beautiful blonde hair and the bluest eyes. Knowing I didn't understand the announcement, she offered to help me with my belongings and walked me to the correct platform. I don't know her name or anything about her but I will never forget her kindness.

While flying from Holland back to Canada, I sat beside a lovely Syrian woman my age and her younger brother. We talked the whole trip and became fast friends. She lived in Toronto and we met a number of times. She loved walking around the Eaton's Centre and chose clothing stores much too expensive for me. She came from a rich and well-educated family. We remained friends for a few years until she married and returned to Syria.

My novel That Truthful Place about ten children who develop telepathy is now available. You can buy it on or or

have fun,

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Looking for a Christmas book for a Child?

My third novel, That Truthful Place, is now available on Amazon. It is about ten 13 year old kids who develop telepathy and the course their lives take.

On the night of his thirteenth birthday, Alex Mitchell fell into a coma. Three days later he awoke, having suffered no ill effects, yet something was very different about him. Other people’s thoughts now wafted through his mind like radio waves.

With no clue as to why he was granted such a unique gift, Alex’s mind speaks into the darkness, calling out for any others like him. Kat Setterlee, another just-turned-thirteen telepath, answers.

As the "Coma Kids" increase in number, they begin to see that their differences are unique pieces being placed together to solve a much larger puzzle. As an arrogant doctor seeks to unmask their hidden abilities, the kids work to enhance their skills to protect themselves … and maybe even create a new society.

Still, despite their talents, the Coma Kids wonder: We were chosen, but why?

That Truthful Place seeks to tell a story of teamwork, friendship, growing up, new relationships, extraordinary abilities, and ultimately unity in the face of danger.
You can buy it on or or
have fun,

Saturday, 29 November 2014


With what's going on in Ferguson, Missouri, one can only review their own thoughts about prejudice. I don't know all the facts of the case except that Michael Brown had just robbed a convenience store before he was killed. He was unarmed, but did the police officer feel threatened? Why couldn't the cop shoot him in the leg? Why did he have to kill him?

The method of which many people in the USA behave doesn't help matters. Burning police vehicles and the personal businesses of people in their community is not the way to go about achieving their goals. Why do people feel the need to riot? Is that going to solve anything?

When I was fifteen, I begged my father for a ten speed bike. He told me to get a job and earn the money. So, I obtained employment as a cook in a restaurant. I don't know why they gave a kid the cooking job. I really didn't know what I was doing, but had a lot of fun and enjoyed working.

One Friday, my parents took off for the weekend leaving my brother and I alone in the house. Well of course I held a party. I invited everyone I knew especially the Manager and Assistant Manager of the restaurant because they were older and would bring booze. The party was a success and we all had a lot of fun.

My next workday was a Tuesday. The Manager ordered me into his office. Along with the Assistant Manager, they gave me a lecture about the fact that I don't need to work because I am Jewish and my parents have lots of money. It would be better that I relinquish the job to someone who needs the money.

Totally shocked by their attitude, I immediately left the restaurant never to return. I couldn't believe I had been fired because I was Jewish.

I wish that prejudice and racism would be eliminated on earth. I don't see the need to demean or hate someone just because they are a different religion, colour or sexual preference. I believe that everyone is equal. Only knowing more about someone would give you the right to dislike them. Otherwise, everyone has a right to live any which way they wish. No one should be allowed to take that away from them.

have fun,

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Stories from Australia

One day, while in Australia where I spent a year in 1993, I was sitting on a bench near Manly Beach,  Sydney. A man with a television camera and another with a microphone came up to me. The guy with the microphone said, "Would you sleep with Robert Redford for a million dollars?" The movie Indecent Proposal had just come out. I said, "Hell I'd sleep with him for nothing."

At that time, I was working in a south Sydney factory for six months. When I went to work the next day, everyone and I mean everyone came up to me and told me that I had been on the news. My fifteen seconds of fame.

While in Australia, I sailed for a month on a private yacht up the east coast from Sydney to Cairns. There was me as first mate, the captain and owner of the yacht Mick and Emily who was the cook. I  really liked Mick and told Emily. One night, Mick and I got together. I was so happy and I couldn't wait to tell Emily. The next morning, as I was about to tell her, she said, "I know. You guys rocked the boat so hard I fell off the bunk."

After the sailing trip was over, I did some touring. I arrived in Townsville to visit an Aboriginal village where you could learn how to throw a boomerang and see a production of Aboriginal stories. I planned to stay in this simple B & B. When I arrived, I asked for a private room. The owner said  there was a nice woman from Switzerland who was in a room alone. She worried that the woman was lonely and could use with some company. Would I share a room with her? I declined because I had just lived in close quarters on a yacht and wanted some privacy.

The woman pushed and pushed for me to share a room with Ruth. Finally, after much cajoling, I agreed. I met Ruth and we hit it off immediately. We spent the next two days discovering Townsville and had a wonderful time. She was one the nicest and sweetest women I had ever met. We kept in touch for years.

I had a fantastic time in Australia. I even bungy jumped. I was terrified on the first jump so didn't remember the experience. So I went up and jumped again which I enjoyed tremendously. I also spent two months scuba diving in Whitsundays and Cairns. The Great Barrier Reef is incredible. Working  in the factory paid for the touring.

Anyone who wants to party and have fun, I recommend Australia. There is so much to do there and the weather is amazing if you like it hot.

have fun,

Saturday, 15 November 2014

I'm So Sorry

I'm so sorry. I published Locker Rooms way too quickly. I should have spent more time with the novel. I received it back from the American company and have been reading it over. I'm finding numerous mistakes. Once completed, I will send it to my wonderful editor. Unfortunately, he is very busy so will take some time to get it back.

When I finish with the editor's corrections, I will re-self-publish through Createspace. I will post the links to Amazon when its available. It will be a much better book, I promise.

At the moment, I have my poker tale finished and edited but it requires a lot of work. The premise is good but my writing needs some work. Since receiving that novel back from the editor, my writing has greatly improved. Blake is an excellent editor and I accept his corrections completely. So, one day, I will return to the poker book and finish it.

As you know, That Truthful Place, about ten children who develop telepathy and the course their lives take, has been published. I am waiting to receive my proof copy before I hand out the links. But that is coming out soon so I hope you'll look out for it.

I started and have almost finished my pirate book, The Discerning Heart, about a poor fisherman who steals a mermaid's fortune from a deserted island only to return to his village and take revenge on everyone who had wronged him. However, he ruins his life and returns to the mermaid having learnt that money doesn't buy happiness.

In addition, Devouring Time (previously known as the Package) is almost finished. Its about
an historic Canadian family, embroiled in the art world, who await the delivery of a mysterious package from their ancestor in England. This is my mystery novel. I know what I want to write. It's just a matter of writing it.

Finally, I have started about three other novels and I have ideas for two more. So, as you can see, I'm quite busy. I think I have enough work to last me the rest of my life. I don't understand how easy plots for novels come to me at this time of my life. Why didn't I think of them earlier? I have no answer for that, but I'm sure enjoying it now.

Check with me in a couple of weeks when I will be announcing the sale of That Truthful Place.

have fun,


Sunday, 9 November 2014

Big News

I have news.

I have been very unhappy working with my American publisher and I didn't know I could cancel my contract with them. My editor, Blake Atwood, is a fantastic guy. He seems to know everything so I asked him for advice.

I wrote him about my interest in ending it with iUniverse. He replied with an affirmative answer including a page from iUniverse's website advising the possibility of cancelling with them.

After publishing Shall We Chat? through Createspace (associated with Amazon), I had lots of trouble and the result wasn't that great. I was confused about the publishing aspect of the book business. Deciding I needed some help, I checked out a number of self-publishing companies. Most published for you in the $3,000 range. Well, that is way too much for me. iUniverse publishes for much cheaper so I decided to go with them for my next novel.

Unfortunately, I didn't realize the extent of their assistance. They don't review the whole book. They only read every few pages so they don't have a good knowledge of the book I'm publishing. They offer services like editing, book cover design, etc., but they are expensive. In addition, they do no marketing for you unless you pay them thousands of dollars.

My greatest concern with them dealt with selling my books at a signing, I bought the novel from iUniverse for almost cost. With the exchange rate and Chapter's 45% charge for every book I sold, I was losing money on every book I sold which, of course, bothered me to no end. I couldn't even break even this way. The people from iUniverse who I dealt with changed all the time and some I didn't like at all. I had to deal with a different person for every facet of my book.

With my third novel, That Truthful Place which will be available on Amazon next week, I self-published through Createspace. There are a number of steps you have to complete but they are basically easy and straight forward. I had no problems publishing that novel. In addition, the royalties are much much better than iUniverse and I can buy my books much cheaper so making a greater profit.

Tomorrow, I will be calling iUniverse to cancel my contract. I have noticed a few mistakes in Locker Rooms so I want to read it over. I will then have my editor go through the novel and correcting any problem areas. After I have corrected the mistakes in the manuscript, I will self-publish it on Amazon. This will take about a month but, as soon as it is ready for purchase, I will inform you.

I will blog about That Truthful Place as soon as Amazon informs me that the book is available.

have fun,

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Remembering the Day

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014 is Remembrance Day. The day we remember every fallen soldier and honour the ones still guarding our country.

After the useless murders of Nathan Cirillo and Patrice Vincent, the people of Ontario are coming forward in great numbers to support our armed forces. The sale of poppies has exploded. No one wants to be seen without wearing a poppy.

The Ontario government will probably make November 11th a holiday which is great. Of course, it really doesn't make any difference for me, but I think everyone should have the day off and hopefully attend a Remembrance Day celebration. That day should be honoured.

I am not a fan of war. I will watch a war movie once, but never again no matter how good. I listen to the news twice a day (CHCH at noon and CTV at 6:00). I like to keep informed about worldly events. I don't enjoy hearing about some of the atrocities being committed in many countries. I wish I could do something but I know I can't. I must just put my trust in the world's armed forces and hope none will be killed for their efforts.

In 1982, I was in Israel during the war between Lebanon and Israel. I was living on a kibbutz about a thirty minute drive to the border with Lebanon. We were ordered to clean out the bomb shelters. The children came home from school and every man from the age of 18 to 55 was gone. The women stationed themselves by the one telephone in the common area to hear any news about their men.

War is hell. I never want to experience that again. The only benefit is that I understand better the situations occurring all over the world and especially in the Middle East.

Kevin Peter of Moterwriter has written a Revew of Locker Rooms. He has also published an Interview questioning me about my novel and life as an author. I hope you will enjoy it. Please pass on any comments.

have fun,

Monday, 3 November 2014

The Famous Wallendas

Last night, Nik Wallenda completed yet another amazing feat giving him his eighth and ninth Guinness World Records. He walked a tightrope from the Marina City Complex tower to the Leo Burnett tower in Chicago. An unbelievable sight. Then, just to make things a little more difficult, he walked blindfolded across a wire between the two Marina City towers. Something no one has ever done and I doubt will be repeated.

On June 15, 2012, Nik traversed a wire across the Niagara Falls. A truly fantastic exploit. He had to battle so much which he did bravely and with precision. Not high or difficult enough, the next year on June 23, 2013, he walked across the Grand Canyon with all its dangers.

Nik is one incredible fellow. To have the strength, conditioning and brilliant mindset to complete these amazing adventures, one can have only great respect for him. He is doing something no one else in the world is capable of doing. You can only admire him for living his dream. Who else would consider walking across a wire over such dangerous natural sights?

Nik said that the reason he did such remarkable acts was "To inspire people around the world to follow their dreams and never give up."

Well, he inspires me.

Never giving up is something I truly believe in. Everyone must follow their dreams no matter what it entails. You don't have to walk a wire to have dreams. No matter what you dream, you must reach for it and never give up.

I've always followed my dreams. Everything I do is because of a dream. I dream to travel which I've done and will continue to do. I dreamed of writing novels. And now I dream that people will read them and enjoy my thoughts. I love dreaming, I think life is forever interesting when you dream.

have fun,

Friday, 24 October 2014

To Special Friends

When my mother studied at university, she met Carol and they became great friends. They travelled Europe together in 956. Amazing eh? After they had married and had children, the two couples decided to buy property on a lake upon north. Carol's sister summered at that lake for many years. Both families  stayed with Flora to get to know the lake.

A couple of years later, the families bought a large plot of land which they divided into two. They built similar cottages and would spend every summer and many winters there. Both families became close and many happy memories ensued.

But my greatest memories deal with Flora. We met in 1974 and we have been friends ever since. I would escape my parents and go visit her. She always enjoyed company even from a kid like myself. I would help her bake and I remember one wonderful Tomato Cake that was delicious.

Through the years, I made a point of spending time with Flora. I would paddle my canoe over to her place and spend a wonderful afternoon with her. We would talk of many things. She is a very interesting woman. Her alcoholic husband left her with four young children whom she supported as a guidance counsellor at an esteemed high school. She has also travelled the world.

Even though Flora is old enough to be my grandmother, I thought of her as a best friend and a confidant. I could talk with her about anything. Nothing was out of bounds. I told her things I would never tell anyone else. I felt so lucky and honoured to have a friend like her.

Recently, Flora's daughter moved her into a nursing home in Guelph which is an easy 40 minute drive from me. Finally, yesterday, I drove to visit her and it was great to see her looking so well. She is 91 now but still as clever as ever. No brain impairment at all even though her body has slowed down. She is hard of hearing and her legs cause her trouble. Her hip had been operated on and gives her problems yet she still manages to walk.

We all have that person in our lives who you consider a mentor. Flora is mine. She is a brave, intelligent, honest, caring, wonderful woman. I am so lucky to be able to call her my friend.

I have finished my third novel entitled That Truthful Place about ten children who develop telepathy and the course their lives take. I'm self-publishing through Createspace (Amazon) and it will be available soon. I will keep you posted.

have fun,

Friday, 10 October 2014

The Wonderful World of Sleep

For most of my life, I have been tired. Not the yawning once in a while tired, I mean exhausted. And no, I couldn't sleep during the day. It was hard enough trying to fall asleep at night. I never knew why. I constantly relayed this problem to my doctors, but all they did was just give me more and more sleeping pills which didn't work.

Finally, I begged my family doctor to send me to a sleep disorders clinic. A month later, I was involved in a sleep lab where I spent the night in the hospital with numerous electrodes all over my body. I was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea and prescribed a CPAC machine.

It has been a year since I was diagnosed and I'm sleeping better than ever. No longer am I tired when I wake up. I wake up alert, energized and excited for the day ahead. And I'm not tired all day. It is such a wonderful feeling. Really, it's a miracle.

Sleep apnea is cured by wearing a small mask over my nose all night. It consistently blows air into my nose. That's it and I'm cured. No side effects. The machine works silently. I would never go to bed again without wearing it. I have never felt better in my life.

In the past, I would fall asleep somewhere between 2:00 or 3:00 a.m. and would wake up around 11:30 to 12:30 p.m. Waste of a day. Now, I automatically fall asleep around 11 p.m. and wake up naturally at around 8:00 a.m. I feel so much better with this cycle.More normal eh? I'm so much more productive with that schedule. So wonderful.

As far as book signings go, I finished my last one on October 4th. I am now scheduling them for the spring. I hope to return to six of the stores. I won't do any signings during the winter because the weather is just so unpredictable. This winter has been forecasted to be as bad as last year. I don't want to take chances with the driving.

have fun,

Monday, 22 September 2014

The People I Meet at Signings

I've figured out that there are basically three types of people I meet at bookstores during a signing event. They are:

1) the buyers
2) the not interested
3) the too nice

The buyers are the people that come to my table, listen to my spiel, and buy the book. Some of these people buy it just to support a local author. I love people like that. Too kind. Another kind of buyer is the one who is generally interested. These are few but really appreciated.

The not interested people pass my table and say no thanks when I try to interest them in my books. Most are polite but many are rude. I don't respect this behaviour. We all have our jobs and this just happens to be mine. I sell my books for a living. Please be polite. Nothing wrong with not being interested but please don't make a snarky remark. Just say no thank you.

I've had a few fights with older religious women. They tell me I'm going to hell. I told them hell is probably a lot more fun than heaven. This shocks them. Apparently, what I have written is blasphemous.

The too nice people seem interested in my novel, but then decide not to buy it. Instead of saying, thanks but no thanks, they tell me they are going to look around, catch up with husband, or think about it. These people never return. No one has said that and then come back and bought the book. I wish people would not say that but instead just decline politely. I won't be hurt if you say that. I'm more hurt when they don't return.

At one store in Stoney Creek, one woman checked my website on her cell phone and read my reviews. She came right over and bought a copy. That was cool.

Amazingly enough, at some stores, some of my books are stolen. Yes, I have talked to the pilferers, signed their books and then they steal them. Please don't do this. We authors are poor and need every royalty.

At some stores, I sign a book for someone and they just leave it somewhere in the bookstore. These are returned to me, but it's not pleasant situation. I can't sell the book now because there is someone else's name in it. Yes. I can use white-out but it doesn't look professional. If you don't want the book, don't ask me to sign it with your name.

Any way, those are my comments and beefs about the people I meet when at a signing. Every job has its high and low points.

Saturday, October 4th, from 1-4 p.m., I will be signing books at the Chapter's, Erin Mills Power Centre. If you are close, come in and say hello.

Last Saturday, I was at the Chapter's store in Ancaster. Below is a picture from that day.

have fun,

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

A Day at the Garage

Do you know what it means to trust someone? It's a wonderful feeling because you can let yourself relax and not stress out. Since stress activates my Bipolar symptoms, I try and reduce stress from my life. I do this in many ways; such as, planning out everything, making lists, keeping myself organized and prepared for any possibility.

Normal things can cause stress like taking your car into the garage for an oil change and tune-up. One major problem with women is that some garage mechanics perform unnecessary acts on the car for which they overcharge. Or they do a poor job because they think they can get away with it because you are a woman.

I consider myself very lucky. I have been using the same garage for the last ten years. They are a local set-up. And I can trust them. Most of them have been working at the same garage all their lives so I know them well. Especially, the man at the counter. Rob is one of the kindest men I've ever met. He always has a ready smile for me and is patient with my many questions.

I never have to worry about Rob's garage. Whatever work is done on the car, I can trust that is what was needed. The car is always repaired well. Their fees are honest. I have never had a problem paying my bill with them.

So, it was a bit of a stress taking the car in. There is always the worry that something major will be found wrong. I'm just a poor author who would become a recluse without a car so I always worry the car will die. Its an old Ford Focus. Don't know the year. But its reliable and fun to drive. I don't want to lose it.

My first car was a manual and I drove it for many years. I loved driving manual and was terrified to be in an automatic. I had driven two automatics earlier in life and ended up in a car accident both time. Driving an automatic scared me.

When my poor car died, I had no choice but to learn to drive an automatic. After a few scary times, I picked it up quickly and soon learned to love it. And now, after two years driving it, I couldn't imagine ever driving a manual again.

On Saturday, September 20th, 2014, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. I will be attending a signing at the Chapters store, Meadowlands, Ancaster, Ontario. Hope to see you there!

have fun,

Sunday, 14 September 2014

A Toronto Signing

Yesterday, I attended a signing at the Indigo bookstore in the Eaton's Centre, Toronto. This was my first signing after the summer when I didn't hold any signings. The good weather and the fact that probably people preferred remaining outside and had no interest in going indoors to a bookstore.

Some trepidation existed during the last few days before the signing. I worried about the drive there which can be treacherous and exhausting. Toronto is 61 km or 38 miles from Hamilton. On a perfect day, it could take about 50 minutes to get there. However, there is lots of construction, trucks, and slowdowns due to the high volume of traffic.

So, travelling to Toronto these days is something that is rarely done. We have everything we need here so going to Toronto is no longer necessary. Toronto holds some interest for baseball, art galleries, museums and events, however, I have not driven to Toronto much in the last year. I have lived in Toronto three times in the past, but it is not a place I'd choose to live now.

Miriam (my next door neighbour and best friend) drove me to the signing in Toronto. She has driven me to every signing which counts as nine now. It started because I had a signing in Mississauga and I didn't want to drive on the highway so asked her if she wouldn't mind driving me. It has become a tradition now that she drives me to these signings. It is really so fantastic. Not only am I scared to drive on the highway, I'm also exhausted after a day selling myself so driving home on the highway would be terribly difficult for me.

Luckily, Miriam likes to drive and she is a very good driver. I feel safe with her. However, she isn't good with directions and needs someone to tell her learn where to go. I'm great with maps and directions so we work well together. We have a great relationship. It's been a long time since I've had a friend I can count on. And to have someone to whom I can say all those things you have to say but can't say to just anyone. I am very lucky to have her as a friend.

Any way, the traffic was heavy and it was pouring rain when we left Hamilton yesterday to drive to Toronto. There were a number of slowdowns as well as a big one in Toronto because of construction. It took us an hour and a half to complete the drive. When we arrived in Toronto, Miriam left me off on the street in front of the Eaton's Centre. It was busy with cars and people causing a hectic atmosphere.

The Indigo was a busy store. Lots of people rushing about. As usual, I smiled a lot and stared at people hoping they would look my way so I could try and interest them in my books. I sold no copies of Shall We Chat? I'm learning that chatting online is not as popular as I thought.

I only sold five copies of Locker Rooms which equals about $50. I paid Miriam $50 for gas and parking so obviously no profit. I also spent $50 on getting my hair cut and styled for the event. I doubt I'll be doing any further signings in Toronto.

I hope everyone reading this would buy a copy of my novel. I guarantee you its a good read and that you will enjoy it. Check out my Reviews.

Next Saturday, September 20th, I have a signing at the Chapter's store, Meadowlands, Ancaster. I have another one in Erin Mills Power Centre on Saturday, October 4th.

have fun,

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Touched by Cancer

As they say, "Everyone knows someone who has been touched by cancer." Well, I've been very lucky. No one in my family has ever been inflicted with cancer. As far as friends go in my past, they were all free of cancer.

And then, my friend Yoko developed breast cancer. Last year she had her lymph nodes removed and we were hoping that she was cured.

However, last month, Yoko went for her yearly mammogram and the cancer had returned. A mastectomy was scheduled.

I have never been more worried than I have been for Yoko. She is a truly amazing person. Everyone who meets her wants to be her friend. She is sweet, highly intelligent, very kind, animal lover, etc etc. I could write a novel just on her qualities.

After her father died, her mother moved in with her. Now, her mother is a pill and not easy to live with. Yoko is so wonderful with her and is giving her the best possible life. However, if something happened to Yoko, her mother would have many difficulties trying to adjust to a different lifestyle. Because she's Japanese and basically only speaks Japanese and eats Japanese, she is not easy to place in a retirement home.

In addition, Yoko owns an absolutely beautiful, big, blonde yellow Lab. Lucy is a wonderful dog. She is very smart but she gets into everything. A very active dog, I worried what Yoko would do with her if something happened. Luckily she mentioned that a good neighbour had agreed to take her. I'm so happy. Lucy is a bit of a devil and difficult to control at times. Not an easy dog to place.

When Yoko told me the breast cancer had returned, I was so upset. This became my first contact with cancer. And I didn't like it. She is such a good person and would leave a big hole in many people's lives if something happened.

Well, the operation was a complete success and Yoko recovered quickly. She never felt much if any pain and she was out and about after a few days. She recuperated so fast. I am so happy for her. It is so fantastic that all is well and hopefully she will live a long life. She is so needed.

Have you ever heard the saying, "random acts of kindness"? You hear it on the news sometimes. Someone pays for your meal or your order at a drive through. It happened to my friend's husband. He had ordered a coffee from Tim's. When he reached the cashier, he was told that the guy in the car ahead of him had paid for it.

Isn't that a wonderful thing to do? I so love the concept. Hope everyone considers doing this at some point.

have fun,

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Robin Williams RIP

By now, I'm sure, you have all heard that Robin Williams committed suicide. It boggles the mind. Why did he feel he couldn't go on? Why did he think there was no way out? Wasn't he on medication? Why wasn't someone helping him with his depression? Why was he sleeping alone?

Why when "everybody" close to Williams said they knew he was depressed, why didn't they help him?

The answers to those questions may never be answered. I always had a feeling that Williams was bipolar. He could go from happy to sad in two seconds. That ease of manner is typical of a person with bipolar. No one can be that funny all the time and be normal.

I remember the first time I saw Williams at work. It was the late 1980s and he was on a talk show; probably Johnny Carson. My friends and I watched the TV peeing in our pants because we laughed so uncontrollably. He was brilliant. Never had I seen anyone that funny.

A short while later, Mork and Mindy aired. It became my favourite show at the time. Williams encapsulated an alien. He performed perfectly in the role which he played so naturally. Each week, he seemed to get funnier and funnier. Nothing he couldn't do.

The following years, I eagerly watched his career from his movies to his work with Billy Crystal and Whoopi Goldberg for Comic Relief. Those three were incredible together while they played off each other. Their benefits raised a lot of money and anyone who was anybody wanted to perform on Comic Relief.

So, I'm heartbroken with the loss of Robin Williams. A brilliant and exceptional man. I'm so sorry he suffered.

have fun and remember there is always tomorrow,

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Reality Shows

In the past, when I wanted some excitement, I would travel to distant lands. Now, when I need some excitement, I watch reality shows. I enjoy the thrill of never knowing what is going to happen which can be exciting in itself. People comment that some scenarios have been staged but, I believe, for the most part, it is realistic. I'm sure a lot of editing is involved, but I hope for the best.

My favourite shows are: Amazing Race, Masterchef, Hell's Kitchen, Survivor and, yes though I hate to admit it, the Bachelor/Bachelorette. These shows can cause expectation and excitement while waiting for every week's episode. It's nice to know that a conclusion is imminent. Some TV series go on forever which I find daunting since my attention span becomes difficult to hold over the years.

Masterchef and Hell's Kitchen make me hungry. It is fun to see the different foods that are prepared. I've been watching Survivor ever since the first show. Totally addicted to that series. The competitions are incredible on Amazing Race. It can be fascinating to watch people in excellent physical condition excel or fail in certain tasks.

I would love to run the Amazing Race with my brother. He competes in triathlons and is successful so he would make a good partner. He is also smart and well travelled. However, I couldn't go into the Race for a million reasons. Some dreams can't be realized.

The August 1st weekend was a long, holiday weekend in Canada, I travelled to my parents' cottage on a lake near the City of Huntsville, Muskoka. My friends and I had fantastic weather with peace and lots of relaxing. We read, swam, played backgammon, ate well off the barbeque, and had some great conversations. I was able to finish off another draft of one of my novels.

See below a few pictures I took at the cottage.

Have fun,

Look Right

                                                                       Look Centre

                                                                        Look Left

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Mad Pride

On Saturday, July 19th, I partook in a Mad Pride event which is the gathering of people who suffer from mental illness in the Hamilton area. Tables were set up so people could sell their wares; such as, me who made my books available, a woman selling homemade bracelets, a man selling framed pictures, another woman set out blocks of painted wood, etc.

In addition, the event held an open mic where people could read poetry, play music, and I read from Locker Rooms. A succession of 14 people made their way up to the mic to announce their appreciation for the Mad Pride event which allowed them to express themselves to people who understood their suffering.

"Mad Pride Hamilton is an annual madness arts, culture, and heritage celebration organized by Mad people for members of the local consumer/survivor/Mad community. We have a right to be proud of our survival, experiences, ideas, identities, creativity, accomplishments, contributions and communities."

Mad Pride began in England in the 1970s. Then continued in New York in the 1980s. It came to Toronto in the 1990s. Now its in Hamilton.

It was a wonderful affair where everyone felt at home. It was a very happy and relaxed atmosphere. I was able to talk to many people about my books and just generally about living with mental illness. It was fantastic to be able to talk about things most people don't want to hear and share similarities. I was so glad I participated and can't wait until next year's event.

Finally, I have completed my third novel, The Nuts. Its a thriller about five poker buddies who uncover a conspiracy. It has been sent off to the editor who will require approximately three weeks to complete his administrations. Once novel is returned, I will need some time to make the corrections. After which, it will be published on Amazon and will be made available to everyone.

Hope you are enjoying this wonderful summer.

Have fun,

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

The Exciting World Cup

How exciting is the World Cup?? As you know, I love sports but haven't watched much soccer in years. But it's on and decided to give it a try. The Toronto CBC is telecasting the whole World Cup without commercials. Well, now I'm hooked and watching every match. I find it exhilarating. I'm on the edge of my seat watching these extraordinary men. You know, they run about 7-8 kilometres in each match?

Of course, all those handsome, physically fit men are running around with sweat soaked shirts resembling contestants in a wet t-shirt contest. Lovely to watch!

No, I have no favourite team. I just enjoy watching each match hoping that the best team wins. I hope for a good, fair game where everyone plays their best. Goals are few so they are always exciting when they come about.

The only thing I hate about soccer is the way the players fall to the ground writhing in pain hoping for a penalty. After the referee has made his decision, the player gets up and runs around showing no sign of pain. These types of falls are really silly and detracts from the game but I guess it is part of the game. But then look at football where the players bash each other so hard yet they all get up and carry on playing without complaint.

So, enjoy the World Cup as it only takes place only once every four years. That length of time assists in the pleasure of the game.

The best part of any world competition is the peaceful and safe experience players from every country in the world feel. The teams may not speak the same language but they all know soccer. It's wonderful to see that the world can come together in peace. If only wars could become a sport's competition and settle it that way.

Please come and attend my signing at the Indigo at Bay and Bloor on Saturday, July 5, 2014, from 1 to 4 p.m.


Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Provincial Elections

This present season is not just spring but elections in the Province of Ontario. I voted today in the advance polls because that polling station is close, no line-ups, ease, and I know for whom I am voting. The nearby church was is a nice walk from my home which Kira enjoyed of course. The weather was fantastic. I love this time of year.

The Provincial Debate was held last night. I won't bore you with what they said but what drove me nuts was what they didn't say. A few members of the public offered choice questions for the politicians. What I found frustrating occurred after the question was declared. The politicians did not respond directly to the question but returned to whatever topic of conversation they believed was more important.

Politics is a language all unto its own and I must admit to not understanding it well. But I believe in my right to vote and I think it's important for everyone to vote. We are lucky to have the freedom to vote so there should be no reason not to vote. I've noticed that the amount of people who vote goes down every time. Such a shame. They shouldn't be allowed to complain about the government.

The elections are being held Thursday, June 12th. I will be watching the newscast that night in excitement to learn which party will be running the government. Let's just hope that whichever party wins, things will be better in Ontario. Like anywhere, we have lots of problems needing to be resolved. That's all that's really important.

My website has been updated. Check out my Appearances tab and all the new pictures. Will be changing some of the notations but you will get the idea. I hope you will attend one of the events. I would love to sign a copy of Locker Rooms for you.

have fun,

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Signings Cont'd

Having been approached about my Signing blog requires me to add a few more thoughts. Chapters-Indigo bookstores take 45% of each book you sell. That means, of course, you get 55% of the book's price. Some stores take less but each store does take a percentage. It is not the best deal but you have to start somewhere and it gets you out into the world.

Once you have held a signing, the store will advise you how many copies were sold. You then prepare an invoice which they will send to the head office who ultimately sends you a cheque. This may take a couple of weeks or months.

I love to hear it when someone says that they are buying my book in order to support a local author. That is so generous to hear and I appreciate it so much. Some people even shook my hand congratulating me on my success at publishing a book. Some people are often in shock to learn that I am the author and the smile that appears on their faces is priceless. Makes me feel so proud.

Two Chapters stores: Meadowlands, Ancaster, and Erin Mills Power Centre, have invited me back to sign more copies of my books. Already my September is fully booked.

I have a signing scheduled for Saturday, May 31st, 2014, from 1 to 4 pm at the Chapters store in Burlington on Fairview. I hope if you live close by, you will drop in.

have fun,

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Bookstore Signings

I've really noticed a great difference between bookstores who host signings for my books. They have all been Chapters-Indigo stores in the area. I have completed five book signings to date (Ancaster, Oakville, Mississauga, Burlington and Erin Mills) and I am coming to a few conclusions. Just because the store is busy, doesn't guarantee sales. Sometimes having a slower store offers better opportunities to chat with people which is always advantageous especially if they have connections allowing further sales.

Achieving the opportunity to attend a signing at a bookstore is really quite easy. All I did was contact the store and find out who handles the signing events and consignment orders. After quickly speaking with that person, I receive their email in which I send them a short description of Locker Rooms along with a media release and photo of the novel.

After a short period of time, I receive an email in return with choice dates for the signing. I approve a date and then send them the information required for a consignment order. Some stores take books on consignment after the signing but not all stores. One store took 20 copies on consignment two weeks before the date of the signing which she will place in a special bookcase reserved for local authors. So my books will be on display for two weeks.

Except for one store, all the staff have been fantastic. They were polite, friendly, smiling, lovely people. All were very helpful and ready for me when I arrived. One store was not prepared at all for my signing which left a bad taste in my mouth. At that store too, the staff were almost rude. I did not enjoy my time there and so I will never return to that store.

I have four more signings scheduled. Please check my Appearances tab at my website for dates and locations which are Chapters Burlington, May 31; Stoney Creek, June 22, Toronto Bay and Bloor, July 5, and Toronto Eaton's Centre, September 13.

I hope you will join me at one of those signings.

Check out the photo below which was taken at my signing today in Erin Mills.

have fun,

Friday, 16 May 2014


How did you adopt your dog? That's a burning question every dog owner loves to answer. Everyone has a story about how they met their new buddies: at the SPCA, at a kennel, from the newspaper, a stray, from a friend, or your child who couldn't look after him any further. No matter how you were lucky enough to come across your new pet, they quickly become part of our lives.

After I had rented a house in Hamilton, I decided it was time to adopt a dog. I had been living in a variety of apartment buildings all my life but, as soon as I had a backyard, a dog was in order. After checking out the SPCA for several weeks, I turned to the newspaper one day while on my lunch break from work.

In one ad, the newspaper announced a puppy for free. As soon as I returned to work, I called the number associated with that ad. Amazingly enough, the puppy was still available. Usually, an ad for a free puppy went at 8:00 a.m.  I couldn't believe my luck. I agreed to meet with the owner after work.

When I arrived at the owner's house, I had to turn my car around to park in front of her house where she was sitting with the free puppy. I was driving a Honda Civic manual and I stalled the car a few times as I turned around causing fear to appear on the face of the dog's owner. But I was in shock by the sweetness of the puppy. It was love at first sight.

The owner knew nothing about dogs. She said Kira (the woman had named her Sheeba but I quickly changed it to Kira who soon learned her new name) was a cross between a poodle and a lab. I was so surprised. She has some lab like qualities in the colour of her fur and its thickness around the neck, but there was no poodle in her. She had a curly tail and a terrier face. She was obviously a mixture of many breeds.

As I approached the woman, the adorable puppy scampered over to greet me warmly. She was a sweet, lovely puppy but on a long, old rope. Again I was surprised when the woman wouldn't allow Kira to approach another dog who was passing by. Then the woman gave Kira a dog cookie made for a much bigger dog. All Kira did was bury it.

I informed the woman that I wished to take Kira for a walk to see what she is like. The woman was surprised. She had never taken Kira for a walk although she was a year old. It seems that Kira was kept tied up in the backyard. She wasn't even housebroken. It took me two days to housebreak her.

Obviously Kira enjoyed going for a walk and smelling new smells. I knew immediately that I couldn't leave Kira with this woman and I had to take her home with me. Kira was terrified after being put in the car, but she soon learned to love it.

Two days after the adoption, I took Kira for an off leash walk in a beautiful wooded area known as Churchill Park in a lovely residential area which leads to the university. The path winds its way around through two towering hills on either side. Perfect place for Kira's first real walk. The poor thing thought she had died and gone to heaven after being allowed to wander around free. The rope that had been around her neck was fitted ever so tightly and it required hard work with scissors to free her of it. She much prefers her new collar.

Kira is now 14 years old and below are a couple of pictures. She lives a very good life. She loves to go for walks and rides in the car. I'm home most of the time and I usually take her with me when I go out. She is loved and has blossomed into a wonderful pet.

have fun,

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Seat Belts

I took part in a telephone survey today conducted by the health department. One question the questioner asked which is reverberating in my head was the discussion over seat belts. Of course, while driving, I always wear my seat belt. And, of course, I always wear my seat belt in the passenger seat. However, I was asked, "Do you wear a seat belt in a taxi?" Amazingly, I answered, "Never."

Do you wear a seat belt while taking a taxi? I took many taxis during my trip in New York City and I remembered being terrified most times as those cab drivers swerved in and out of the traffic and sometimes at such high speeds that I commented to one cabbie who had asked how long was the flight from Toronto to New York and that he would make it faster by car.

And I never wore a seat belt. If we had been in an accident in New York City, I would be dead. I don't take many taxis in my city. Once in a blue moon and one such time occurred a couple of months ago when I had an appointment with a doctor at the downtown hospital. As discussed in an earlier blog (Hospitals), parking is dear and I knew my appointment would be brief. My mother kindly drove me to the appointment and I took a cab home. And no, I didn't wear a seat belt.

After seeing so many horrendous motor vehicle accidents showcased on TV where the occupants refrained from buckling their seat belts. There is proof that you have more of a chance to survive an accident if you are belted in. I will have to rethink that issue of seat belts in taxis.

My book signings have been going well. Last week, I was in the Indigo Burlington store on Brant Street. Really nice store and I had a successful signing. Next week, I will be in Chapters Erin Mills. Check the link for the address. I hope you will come out. I'd love to sign a copy of Locker Rooms for you.

have fun,

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

New York City Photos

On Friday, April 11th, at 6:30 am, I quickly and easily located a taxi to take me to the Port Authority where I would catch the airport bus. Since there wasn't much traffic, we quickly arrived at my destination. Luckily, I only waited for maybe five minutes and that bus arrived driving us to JFK. The airport was basically empty at that hour (7:30 am). Without a problem, I made my way through the ticket counter, security and to the gate where I would catch my plane back to Toronto. A short flight of almost an hour and I was back in Canada. It felt so good to be back.

For my trip, I took both my 35 mm Minolta camera and a digital one. I still prefer using film. Sure I take way too many pictures but I love the results. Below are a few pictures from that camera which I had developed on a disk. Enjoy!

My cousin's apartment building:

Selected pictures of Central Park:

Ferry to Statue of Liberty:

Views from the ferry of New York City skyline:

Time's Square:

Friday, 25 April 2014

New York City cont'd 4 - Empire State Building

My last day in New York City was Thursday, April 10th, and I spent the day going up the Empire State Building and then I walked to Time's Square.

I ordered a taxi to the Empire State Building because it was a little difficult to get there. Once inside,  I waited in line to get through security, waited to get my ticket, waited to get into the first elevator and then waited to get into the second elevator which lead out to the observation desk. I was glad to get outside which released all the tension in the cool fresh air.

The observation deck looked nothing like it is shown in the movie Sleepless in Seattle. I was so disappointed. But, I was able to walk around quite easily. I would have hated being there during the busy tourist season. The place was busy but not suffocating.

Leaving the Empire State building, I walked up Broadway to reach Time's Square. I was told to go there at night because the lights are amazing, but I did so during the day. It was still impressive and chairs were laid around. I sat down on one and watched the people for a while.

Hope I'll see you tomorrow at my signing at Chapters Square One Mississauga from 1 to 4 p.m.

Below are a few pictures from the Empire State observation deck.

have fun,


Wednesday, 16 April 2014

New York City con't 3 - Central Park

Wednesday, April 9th began poorly. I had trouble sleeping Tuesday night; didn't fall asleep until 2:30 a.m. I did sleep in a bit and awoke at 9:30 a.m. I was tired and didn't feel like jostling in crowds or dealing with the City so decided to just spend the day walking around Central Park.

Luckily and amazingly, my cousin lives right across the busy street from Central Park so it was just a quick walk across the street to reach the paths around Central Park.

The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir faced me immediately as I entered the Park. It is a large round lake with a nice cement path all the way around where many joggers, dog walkers and women with strollers can be found. A spurting fountain is centered near one end. Many ducks and geese can be found floating in the water. It is a pleasant, peaceful area.

My goal was to stroll around the Park heading to the south end to reach the Central Park Zoo. I was basically in the middle of the Park and so had to head south. The paths were a little confusing. Many choices were available. I asked a couple of people and followed their directions. The Park is so beautiful with flowing grassy areas and lovely trees just beginning to bud. A few flowers could be seen sprouting up.

As I reached further south, the Park became busier with people walking, biking, eating their lunch, or relaxing in the wonderful areas. I passed many interesting places; such as, the rollercoaster seen in Now Can You See Me, the place to play chess as seen in Independence Day, and the ice rink shown in Serendipity.

Finally, after a couple of hours of walking, I reached the little Zoo. I love zoos. First to be seen were seals being fed and asked to do tricks when they were rewarded with fish. There was a nice crowd of parents with children (I was the only one alone). I could imagine how this small, simple place could become so crowded but now it was just pleasantly packed. I was able to move easily around the Zoo viewing a variety of animals.

I was most excited to see the penguins behind the glass allowing you to view them on the rocks or in the water as shown in the movie: Maid in Manhattan. I enjoy this movie from time to time and part of the movie is shot in Central Park so it was fun seeing these areas for real.

Central Park is magnificent but much larger than I ever imagined. It is one place I would like to return to and spend more time.

Check out my next installment when I go to the Empire State Building and Time's Square.

have fun,

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

New York City cont'd 2 - Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island

The plans for Tuesday, April 8th, were to meet Roni, her husband Andy and two of their three sons: Joe and Nathan. Now I don't mind divulging any information about this family because they are very very Facebook conscious. They post so much about their lives. Roni keeps telling me to read her Facebook page to know what is happening in her life. I'm not a Facebook fanatic so Roni complains about informing me the old fashioned way when I speak to her during our monthly telephone calls.

Any way, the plans were to meet by the ferry in Battery Park. This ferry would take us to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Luckily, we ran into each other easily and boarded the ferry. We found seats on the top of the boat; however, people crowded on and stood at the sides so we couldn't see much. We regretted our decision to sit. However, on the way home, the ferry was basically empty and we moved all over the ferry easily.

Our first stop was the Statue of Liberty. Having to go through what is almost worse than airport security, we made it onto the Statue's property. Along with everyone else, we marched up 240 stairs (well Roni and I took the elevator up but walked down) to reach that area jutting out near the bottom of that picture above. It was very cramped and difficult to move around with all the people. We were able to walk around the circumference but the view was not much better from the ground. We were all surprised to realize how small is the Statue of Liberty.

After lunch at a large cafeteria, Roni and I parted with her husband and sons who took the ferry back to the City; whereas, Roni and I continued on the Ellis Island. The visit to the Island involves travelling through three large rooms. In the first room, you can receive an audio tour handset which allowed you to hear the first hand stories of people who have passed through this incredible building. You also received a detailed history of Ellis Island.

The Registry Room was magnificent with its beautiful hardwood flooring and high vaulted ceilings made a small bricks. The stories about families who had been processed by officials in this large room was very interesting. The history here is long and enduring. The difficulties existing in this place was truly incredible. Some people were required to complete so much just to enter the USA. Many people were denied entry because of disease and illness.

After a coffee at Starbucks near Battery Park, Roni and I parted ways. The subway she required to return to her hotel was at a different entrance where I had to go to get the subway back to Kathy's place. It was great as always to see her and spend some time with her. Unfortunately, it was short. I look forward to visiting her in England.

As soon as I receive the CDs of my pictures, I will continue the blog and provide more photos of the rest of my trip.

have fun,

Saturday, 12 April 2014

New York City cont'd

I arrived into NYC in heavy rain on Monday, April 7th. It was pouring hard during the whole bus ride from JFK to the City. Thanks to the internet, I learned that the airport has a specialty busy for the price of $29.00 round trip, I was given a ride from the airport to the Port Authority which is 10 minute drive by taxi to my cousin's home where I had planned to stay during my visit.

Since it was getting dark (I had arrived into the City at 6:30 pm) and because of the unpleasant rain, I didn't get a good picture of the New York. I was tired and a little shell shocked. I just wanted to get to my cousin's place as quickly as possible. My cousin, Kathy, who was at work, left an envelope with the doorman with instructions and the keys to her apartment. With some difficulty, I finally succeeded in working the locks and entered Kathy's gorgeous place. I was told to make myself at home which I did happily prepared to begin my holiday.

Kathy's father was my grandmother's brother. We have not seen each other for many years. Her mother, when she was alive, would come regularly to Canada to visit with her sisters-in-law after her husband died. After my grandmother died, Kathy's mother continued to visit with Helen, my great aunt, who lived to the ripe old age of 102. Kathy's mother was wonderful to Helen who appreciated her warmth and kindness. Kathy accompanied her mother several times; however, I am speaking about a time long gone by. And, unfortunately, I wasn't around for most of those visits and the last time Kathy was here, I wasn't well so didn't really get a chance to know her.

Well, I got to know her well this trip after staying with her for five days. I feel so honoured and lucky to have her as a relative. She is such a wonderful person. Her parents were fantastic people which is obviously hereditary. She gave me free reign while visiting which was great because I felt very much at home which only added to the perfection of the trip.

I did take a picture of Kathy but I'm sure she wouldn't want me to post it here. So I will finish off Monday by saying I arrived safely without any difficulties and I easily fell asleep excited for Tuesday which was the date I was meeting my friend Roni from England who was in NYC at that time too.

Check my blog tomorrow for the next installment of my trip.

have fun,

Friday, 11 April 2014

New York City

So much for writing a blog every day during my trip to New York City. Sorry guys but I was just too exhausted. You have to understand that I've been basically hibernating through winter. Not often did the dog get a walk because I didn't want to trudge through that deep snow. And it was so cold outside which is my second excuse for not walking.

Well, I'm so stiff now and my feet hurt. I did a lot of walking this past week. New York is great to walk around. There is so much to see. Everything is there. So much to do but so little time to do it all.  Now that I have returned home, I'm tired but energized. I was hoping this trip would refresh me and it definitely has.

You don't really appreciate what you have until you have been away from it for a while. Even just a few days to experience another city which is completely the opposite way of life. That was it for me while in New York City. I stayed with a cousin who lived on Central Park. Yes, right across from that famous park. And what a park! I spent a day walking around half of it which I will tell you about another time.

I live on a very quiet street in a very quiet neighbourhood. If I ever hear anything, it's a dog barking (lots of dogs in the neighbourhood) or the children playing in the park across from my front door. Neither noises are a bother. However, my cousin in NYC lives on a main street and there is lots of noise from the street as well as from the other condos. That was an experience in itself. I appreciate the silence now that I'm home.

New York City is an absolutely amazing city with so many fascinating places to visit. I couldn't go to them all but I will write my adventures while in NYC. I have taken some pictures which I plan to share. Hope you enjoy the stories.

My backdoor is wide open. My windows have all been opened. Fresh air. My cousin's windows were all kept closed and when I looked out the front windows, they were black even though the view was magnificent. Other windows were kept covered. I missed the fresh air. Not much of that in New York.

So I will relate my trip over the next few days. I will attempt to write every day for the next little while. I would love to recount my holiday. Hope you will enjoy it too.

have fun,

Just a taste. A shot of a path alongside the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir in Central Park.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Hamilton Speaks Out

Last night, a good filling crowd gathered at the well situated Artword Artbar, in downtown Hamilton, Ontario, to hear writers and musicians perform. The Artword Artbar is a delightful, quaint bar hosting a grand stage where people can show off. A number of artists revealed off their special abilities. Six people offered poems, three guitar wielding men played a few songs and four of us read from our novels.

Even though I'm not a great fan of poetry, I was immensely impressed with the quality of work crafted by these poets. One older gentleman read a hilarious poem about things which disclose your sexuality. At first, the man appeared to be a cross, sullen, stone-faced person. However, when he spoke, he transformed into a brilliant orator allowing us to enjoy his written words.

An enthusiastic, middle aged man played original songs on his guitar. He played well and his songs were enjoyable. Another act was two brothers playing guitar and bass guitar. They were terrible. One brother announced that they had a recording contacts and how famous they were. Well, it turned out that he couldn't sing at all and was always off pitch. I cringed and closed my ears.

As soon as this arrogant, distinguished gentleman arrived, he demanded attention. He required a table upon which to show off all of his books. When the organizer advised that it wasn't possible, he marched off in anger and took over one of the coffee tables. Thinking I was bored, he handed me a two long page catalogue of his work. None of his books interested me nor anyone else at the Artword Artbar. He had his own publishing company and he self-publishes all of his books. When one young man showed an interest, this man was very rude to him which turned everyone off.

I read from Locker Rooms and was told I did well. I wasn't as nervous as I thought since I had seen several people read from shaking papers or books as their hands quivered. I felt quite comfortable on the stage even though I couldn't really see the audience because of the lights. It was fun and a good experience.

On my way home, I was stopped by a police ride check. I freaked out. No, I hadn't been drinking but no one likes to be stopped by the police. I worried they would find a reason to charge me with something. I always feel guilty that I have done something wrong. The cop laughed with me about my fear after I had assured him that I don't drink.

Four more days until Monday when I leave for New York City. Can't wait.

have fun,

Monday, 31 March 2014

The Junos

Did you watch the Junos last night? What a difference from a Hollywood affair and the Grammys! Everyone was dressed so comfortably and casually. No fancy expensive ball gowns here. Only the Olympic gold medal winning women's curling team was dressed up. They received a well-deserved standing ovation since they reside in Winnipeg where the Junos were held last night.

The people of Winnipeg put on a good show. I only listen to a classic rock radio program while driving in the car so I didn't know most of the entertainers. We have some great musical talent here in Canada and I should be paying more attention. Some of the popular songs, which I've heard over the last year, are by Canadian bands. I didn't know that and was very proud of them.

One big absence from the Junos was anyone thanking God for their win. I am so tired of hearing American winners thanking God for their award. I'm sure, if there is a God, he/she wouldn't care if they won an award. Canadians are very different from Americans and it shows brightly on Canadian shows like the Junos.

 A week today, I will be in New York City. I will be spending five days there and I hope to account for my time with a blog every night. Would be fun to share my excursions with you. I am very lucky and will be staying with my cousin who lives across from Central Park. Yes, she has a good job and does well for herself I'm sure. Looking forward to seeing her place.

My main reason for travelling to NYC is that my best friend from England will be there at that time and I will meet up with her. We met at the Tel Aviv University in Israel. She was studying music and I was an English Literature major. From the day we met, we became fast friends. With her parents' assistance, she bought an apartment and I moved in with her while studying. Eventually, I left Israel and she moved to England where she married a Brit. We have kept in touch over the years. I have flown to England many times and stayed with her while there. I also try and call her once a month to catch up.

I really need to get away. It has been five years since I have travelled anywhere which is an eternity for me. When I had money, I would visit two to four new places a year. And, I can't write. I just can't concentrate creatively when I'm feeling so out of sorts. A trip will solve that problem and I hope to come away rejuvenated.

have fun,

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Assorted Thoughts

Thank you, everyone, for your concern about my father. Yesterday, he was discharged from the hospital and is now at home. He had his first good sleep in two weeks. So wonderful to have him out of the hospital. No one likes to be in hospital and always around sick people.

Luckily, had a successful signing at the Oakville Chapters bookstore on Saturday, March 22, 2014. See the photo below. It was a very slow store and so, unfortunately, not many patrons entered. My table was situated right in front of the store's entry so I could accost everyone. Met some lovely people who bought Locker Rooms either because they were very interested or because they wanted to support a local author.

My next signing will be at the Mississauga Chapters store on Saturday, April 19, 2014, starting at 1:00 pm. I hope you will attend and have me autograph my novel for you.

Locker Rooms has received another wonderful review by Christopher Reeves (no not Superman).

I have such bad cabin fever. A trip to New York City has been planned for April 7th to 11th. I can't wait to get away from every form of responsibility. I will be staying with my cousin and visiting with my best friend from England. She will be in New York at the same time which is the main reason why I am going. Am so looking forward to seeing new things, feeling new things, smelling new things and hearing new things.

It is beginning to look more like spring. The temperatures are still too low for spring but it is supposed to warm up this weekend. I'll believe it when I feel it. Everything is still brown and I see no flowers yet but hopefully they will be along soon. Can't wait to see green everywhere which is my second favourite colour. My favourite colour is blue of every shade and tint.

have fun,

Thursday, 20 March 2014


Unfortunately, my father has been in the hospital for the last couple of weeks due to pneumonia and the poor amount of oxygen in his blood which causes him to become very tried. He is on oxygen now and will probably have to return home with it. He is not a young man so, of course, every illness is much more difficult and takes longer to become cured. He is improving well and we hope he will be able to come home soon.

Funnily enough, I pass by two hospitals on the way to where my father is hold up. It is across the city and up onto the mountain (or escarpment). It's an easy drive and luckily a friend lives near the hospital. I can park in her driveway while I visit my father. I don't know why, but there is never any parking available near a hospital. I wonder why there isn't more available places to park while attending at the hospital. Sure there is a parking garage but it costs a fortune to park there. Crazy eh?

Luckily, I have never had an illness requiring me to remain in hospital for long. And I have no idea how I would stand it if I had to stay in hospital. Today, I couldn't wait to leave when my father excused me. I had to get out. I was feeling claustrophobic and all that ill health made me sick. Felt so much better when I reached the cold spring air.

Well, its spring but it sure doesn't feel like it. We had spotted flurries today which didn't amount to anything, but it's still cold. I am now wearing my spring jacket in protest. Winter is over and I won't put on my winter coat again. It is spring so I will just sport a jacket from now on.

On Saturday, March 22nd, 2014, Chapters Oakville is hosting a signing for me. I hope anyone who lives in the area would attend and I would be happy to sign Locker Rooms for you.

have fun

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Never Ending Winter

Is this winter ever going to end? Last night, it started snowing again and it hasn't stopped all day. At least a foot by now. Yes, it is very pretty all fluffy and white covering everything in sight, but then you have to shovel it. Well, I should be honest and say that I don't have to shovel because I live in a townhouse complex and our shovelling is done for us by a company we've hired. And luckily, I can put my Ford Focus in the empty garage to save it from being drowned in snow.

Everyone you talk to will admit that they are sick of winter. It began rather early for us this year with a snow dump in November. Usually, we have a thaw before Christmas, but this year we didn't so everyone was happy to have a white Christmas. But, it didn't stop there. We had many snow days and freezing temperatures all during January and February and now March. Unfortunately, no thaw or reasonable temperatures arrived and we received no respite from this harsh winter.

Now if you snowmobile or ski, you will love this winter. The snow base on mountains in the area is deep at around 80 cm. Great for skiing. But I don't ski anymore nor do I have a snowmobile. Therefore, all I can do in winter is hibernate. It makes for many great days to stay inside and just write. Days like this, I get a lot of work done. Finished a short story which I will soon post on my website. I hope you will enjoy it.

Have you been to my website recently? There are a couple of new sections; such as, Patty's Appearances and Reviews. At the moment, four signings have been scheduled for Chapters' bookstores in the area. Check it out and come and meet me. I'll even autograph a book for you.

Also, a few reviews have been posted about Locker Rooms. They are all great and I hope they encourage you to buy my novel.

have fun,

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Olympics are Over

Has the last 17 days ever flew by so fast. It was just yesterday that I was preparing myself to watch lots of TV and, thereby, the Olympics. I love sports; always have. It helped having a Phys. Ed. teacher for a mother and an avid sport follower for a father. While growing up, if there was a baseball, football or hockey game on TV, that is what we watched. My mother got us out at an early age learning every sport that she could teach my brother and I. We swam, we skied, we hiked, we canoed and anything else that came our way. Both my brother and I were avid athletes in high school.

Back to the Olympics. It was sure great that no one was blown up as we all thought might be possible before the games began. It was a very uneventful Olympics as far as security is concerned. So glad the Olympics went off without a hitch in that regard. We were informed about the extreme security rules in force. It was obvious that no bad person could get through that.

Well congratulations Russia. You put on a good show. And thanks to all the athletes who succeeded to the Olympics. Canada did really well. 25 medals and 10 gold. In total, about 75 Canadians, who went to the Olympics, come home with a medal because of all the team sport wins such as curling and hockey. Not bad eh? Was sure great getting up at 7:00 a.m. this morning to watch the gold medal hockey game between Canada and Sweden. It was a great game especially since we won 3-0. Canada played their best which is always important in any challenge. I wish the whole Canadian hockey team played for the Toronto Maple Leafs. We would win the Stanley Cup every year.

Well, it's sad that the Olympics are over. They were so much fun. Everyone participated honestly and respectful of other athletes. Did you hear about that Canadian coach who gave a Russian cross country skier a new ski after he had broken his and the athlete was able to finish the race? Or that Canadian short track skater who gave up his spot in the finals to a teammate who fell in his heat and then won silver? That is the true Olympics.

It's wonderful isn't it that there is something as momentous as the Olympics which can bring people from all over the world together in peace.

have fun,