Monday, 30 November 2015

Devastating Death

How would you manage after losing your children to an accident? How would you survive the death of your children? One minute, you are a family of five and now its just you and your spouse.

In Red Deer, Alberta, sisters Catriona (Catie) Janine Bott, 13, Jana Nicole Bott, 11, and Dara Janisse Bott, 11, suffocated after they were buried in canola seed inside a truck on October 13, 2015.

Those parents lost their 3 daughters at one moment. I could never imagine how they feel.

Or for the couple who lost their 3 children and father in a car accident in Vaughan on Sunday, September 27 with a drunk driver. The children were nine-year-old Daniel Neville-Lake, his younger brother Harry, 5, and two-year-old sister Milly.

“So far it’s been like a dream – very surreal, as if you can catch glimpses of the children out of the corner of your eye, or you hear them,” Jennifer Neville-Lake said in an interview with CP24.

I can't imagine that loss. Smack and your life is upside down. Your whole life changes. Everything you originally thought is destroyed. Every plan you made, every decision, every hope for the future is derailed. I just shake my head wondering how those parents will manage.

I've been pretty lucky in life when dealing with death. A friend in high school was hit by a train and that affected everyone in grade 11. I had a boyfriend in Australia die from a grand mal seizure. I wasn't with him at the time and I've always felt guilty about that. And I remember holding my grandfather's hand as he died.

I truly believed that if anyone could return from the dead it would be Houdini. If anyone could trick death, I thought he could. But he didn't come back. I guess I'll just have to die to find out what's next, but that will hopefully occur far down the road.

What are your thoughts on death?

have fun,

Monday, 23 November 2015

What's your Favourite Meal?

Ever since watching The Green Mile as John Coffey was offered anything he wanted to eat for his last meal, I've often wondered what I'd have for a last meal. It's a question I've often put to people. I'm usually informed that steak is their favourite. Many say some kind of seafood. Lots say pasta. What about you? What's your favourite meal?

Mine is my mother's roast beef with roast potatoes and onions usually with steamed green beans. It's a wonderful meal and luckily mom makes it often during the colder months. (She doesn't like to turn the oven on in summer.)

My next favourite meal is steak. I prefer it cooked medium with mashed or baked potato. Actually, I'll eat potatoes any way, except raw. I love potatoes and can eat them all the time. My next favourite meal is anything ethnic. I love Japanese, Korean, Greek, Middle Eastern, Vietnamese, Thai, etc. Unfortunately, I'm not a big fan of Italian and pasta though it seems many people enjoy it the most.

It's worth travelling if even just for the food. I would love to travel to Greece or India and eat Greek and Indian food all the time. That would be great. When I lived in Israel, I ate many different kinds of foods coming from all over the Middle East. My favourite was a Yemenite place that served this huge pancake called Melawa (I think) and a special tomato dipping sauce. It was fantastic. Haven't had it since 1985.

In my first year of high school, my best friend was Chinese. After school, I was often invited to her house to do homework. And after homework was dinner and I was welcomed to partake. They had no cutlery so I had to learn how to use chopsticks which I learned fast because the food was so good. Sally's parents owned a restaurant but the food they made at home was nothing like the "restaurant" food. Very fond memories. I also learned a bit of Mandarin because Sally's grandparents didn't speak any English.

Different foods or meals bring lots of memories which I'm sure happens with you too. Do you have any food memories?

have fun,

Monday, 16 November 2015

Swearing In

I've been told many times to write my blog regularly. I have been a bit sporadic but, from now on, I will write a blog every Monday.

On Wednesday, December 2nd, I'll be travelling to Ottawa via hired bus to watch Filomena Tassi (the winning Liberal candidate for my riding) swear in as a member of parliament. This is a memorable and exciting event and I'm so lucky and pleased that I've been given a chance to be involved. She has invited everyone who volunteered during her successful campaign.

Seeing Justin Trudeau being sworn in on TV was spectacular. We want to believe in him and trust him to be the best prime minister ever. Maybe even greater than his father? He picked a wonderful cabinet made up of 15 men and 15 women, and people from all walks of life and backgrounds. It is a promising and positive government. So far, Justin is doing great and everyone is happy.

Going to Ottawa for Filomena's swearing in will take all day. We are to meet at 6:45 am to catch the bus. We arrive in Ottawa at noon. The spectacular event takes place at 3:30 pm. Then we all go out to dinner to celebrate. We arrive home by midnight. One long but very thrilling day.

I'm so proud that I volunteered and voted for Filomena. She is truly a brilliant and wonderful person. Her office is next door to my vet. My mom bumped into her when she took Kira to the vet after she had been attacked. Mom got to know Filomena and told me about her. I met Filomena after numerous visits to the vet. (Kira is my dog but stayed at my parents for a couple of days last March and was attacked by their neighbour's dog. She had 3 operations but doing great now.)

So I got to know Filomena as a person first. Her warm and generous personality oozes from every pore. Her great intelligence is immediately obvious and she treats everyone as an equal. She has a beautiful golden retriever named Ella and has always been concerned about Kira. She greeted her so warmly the other day and was pleased she had healed so well.

My stomach is twisting and churning in excitement for Canada. These are thrilling times. Even though I travelled around the world and lived in many places, I have always been Canadian first. I was always proud to divulge my citizenship and because of same was well treated by the natives. With Justin as Prime Minister and someone as wonderful as Filomena in government, there is nothing but optimism.

My 4th novel A Discerning Heart is now available on Amazon. Its part romance, part fantasy, part cautionary tale. A rollicking story of an Old World fisherman who looked for love and acceptance but settled for power and wealth. Throw in a mysterious island and even more mysterious mermaid and an enchanting story emerges. Sex, lies and a long missing pirate’s identity are all major plot points in this fantastical adventure.

have fun,

Monday, 9 November 2015

Who's Your Editor?

I always find it difficult to find topics to write in blogs. I want to find something interesting and positive. I hope you're interested in my subjects and find a reason to continue reading my blog and then hopefully buy my books. If you'd like me to write about something, please let me know.

I often like to write about people in my life who have influenced me. Here's another.

Andi was recommended to me through another editor. I thought I could write a book then publish it. I knew I needed an editor but just for proofreading. He suggested I hire a developmental editor to help with the novel. I was sceptical but followed up and got in contact with Andi. I sent her a few chapters of A Discerning Heart and loved her suggestions. I felt she was spot on and when I corrected the novel, it definitely improved.

With a virtual handshake, Andi became my primary editor. I send her a chapter at a time. She reads through it and makes comments and suggestions. I make the corrections and return it to her for review along with the next chapter. We proceed this way all through the whole finished novel.

When I first receive back my edited chapters, I read through what Andi has written. I fret and fume over the changes. Then I start at page one and along with my novel make the corrections. Andi's words make me think and write better. I love the edits I've made and am prouder of the finished product.

Since A Discerning Heart, Andi and I have worked through That Truthful Place as well as my next and upcoming novel The Perfect Hand (about 5 poker buddies who uncover a conspiracy) which will be published in a month or two.

Through Andi's edits, I've learned so much about writing. She has helped me with Point of View which can be difficult at times. Sometimes I repeat myself or not describe the scene well enough. She reminds me to add action or a pause in the dialogue.

Not only does she help me improve, she is very inspiring. Once in a while, we chat over Skype. She is always positive and enthusiastic. After we hang up, I'm always encouraged to write and work on my books. She has often sent inspiring emails that seem to come at the most needed time.

I would never publish another novel without going through Andi. She is very special and I feel lucky and honoured to work with her. If you're looking for an editor, please check out her site:

have fun,