Category Archives: Creative Content

Nanaimo’s Youth Newspaper: The Mind’s Eye

I discovered the most amazing little newspaper recently. I’m not even sure how I missed it before. While sharing  my husband’s birthday lunch at Delicados I discovered “the Mind’s Eye”. It’s a newspaper written by and for youth (ages 13 to 25). It has a super positive vibe and it is full of interviews with artists. It also has a healthy dose of witty opinion columns, and a rolling list of local events that I would actually attend! (Underground all-ages shows).

It kind of rejuvenated my hope for the future of our writing youth. Maybe the digital generation won’t turn out as literally obtuse as my dark dreams have occasionally imagined. 🙂 Thank you to the Nanaimo Daily News for backing this publication and to all the youth who contribute!

Here is their facebook page.

You can pick up a copy of the Mind’s Eye at your high school, the Avalon, Van Isle Video, The Aquatic Centre, Oliver Woods Community Centre, Nanaimo Ice Centre, Harbourfront Library, Fascinating Rhythm, Lucid, House of Indigo, the Thirsty Camel, Pirate Chips and other local businesses.


My Very First Book Signing!

My very first book signing!

Where: Alberni Outpost in Country Club Mall

8-3200 North Island Hwy. Nanaimo, BC

When: 1-3:30pm

Come out and meet me! Pick up your copy of Shadowlands: The Guardian and get it signed.

Tell me your stories and I’ll tell you mine. See you there 🙂 🙂

And the Winners are…

Creative Content’s very first photo contest is officially over!  I had a hard time deciding between many of them, so I recruited my husband J to help me pick. Even if you didn’t take first or second prize, I may still be contacting you in order to paint your picture! The theme of the photo contest was ‘wonder close to home’. Here’s what we picked and why:

2nd place…

I loved the symmetry of this piece as well as the contrasting textures. I enjoyed how Cynthia Isaak turned a common city scene into something that almost feels whimsical. I think I can have quite a lot of fun playing with these elements as I paint it, and I also think it fits nicely into the theme of this contest.

First prize is… (drum roll)

You don’t get it? Don’t worry neither did I at first. My husband actually went to bat for this one and in the end I had to agree with him. Here’s why.

It begins with the colour and arrangements of the elements. Somehow everything works together in a way that I find stunningly beautiful. I know that it will be a struggle to to paint this piece in a way that anyone will understand (one of the reasons I almost passed over it), 🙂 but I think it will be worth it in the end. I also feel that it fits perfectly with my theme. I love how Jordan Oram took something common and even mundane and created wonder.

So that’s it! I’d have an honourable mention section but that would probably include 90% of everything else. I’m not kidding when I say the race was close, and I do hope to be painting more that just the two pictures shown here. Many many thanks to everyone who submitted their work!


Photo Contest Entries

Here’s a sample of some of the pictures already coming in for the Creative Content photo contest. The theme is “wonder close to home”. Contest closes on Nov. 12th. For details click here .

More wonder to come!

Creative Content Photo Contest!

I’ve got a paintbrush in hand and a large white canvas, now all I need is a little inspiration.

In the interests of bringing artists together, and rousing my own inner muse, I’ve decided to kick off Creative Content with a photo contest.

The theme is “wonder close to home”. If I love it, I’ll paint it. If I end up selling the painting, or any prints of it, a portion of the sales will go back to the photographer.

First prize is a signed preview copy of my new book.

Second prize is a $25 Starbucks gift card.

Contest closes on November 12th.

Submissions can be emailed to me at Expect to see your work posted on my website. Please no explicit content!

Get clicking!!

Photo Contest!

Don’t miss it! 🙂 Creative Content Photo Contest

The Evil Mountain Cat!

oook. I don’t write a lot of poetry but sometimes it just comes out. This one’s about a hero, a trembling maiden and an evil mountain cat! Enjoy… and let me know what you think!

Night comes like a soft-pawed cat,
Silent, strong, mighty, swift.
It draws long hour in maiden’s bower,
As through the forest shimmering
She lights one flame, glimmering-
Trembling like a lily flower.

Swiftly upon a long-legged roan,
A red sash pinned across his breast,
One brave man must ride alone.
And walk the path of his foe.

In the trees, there creeps the beast,
Sly mountain cat through needled leaves-
Lolling tongue, pointed teeth,
Comes softly like the summer breeze…

…That blows across her windowsill.
Down, down, down, falls her hair unbound,
Her fingers move across her gown-
Oh! How flows her hair unbound!
Sighing, from the sill she leans,
In distress, she begs the trees,
“Know you where my love is found?”

The mountain cat black as death,
Stalks in menace above hero’s head.

“I’ll spare his horse a pint of blood
to bleed upon the rocky ground,
and scream my song in anguished sound,
to be heard upon the way to town.
But the man himself,
With his bold red sash,
Yes, the man himself,
With his long bright knife,
The man himself is dead,” he said.

Her neck is long and white,
Her eyes and cheeks flush fever bright,
Her knuckled hand grasps a knife-
By the flame burning bright
Trembling like a lily flower,
A lonely lily white.

“Oh come quick my love, back to my bower!
The trees have told a violent sound.
Yes, the breezes scream a violent sound,
I fear your blood upon the ground!”

Sly cat falls with hungry jaws, from the scented trees.
His horse, his side, his hands, his head,
Bleed dark upon the rocks.
A flash of light, a long red knife, flesh and bone cleaves through
His foe is cut right through the throat,
And jealous stands he true.

“Have you seen my love?” she says. “With his sash of red?
They speak often of him,
all the maidens love him, for:
The war is won!
The dawn is come!
The sly mountain cat is dead!
They’ve marked the spot upon the rock,
Where my lover’s blood ran red,

Then tell of how he lived instead.”

She meets him deep within her bower
By hungry flame and scented flower,
And lets her hair tumble down.
Down, down, down,
Her soft white gown
Their love unbound-

And jealous stands he true.

I Gotta Feeling (Writers Mix Spoof)

Thanks to Elle Strauss for pointing this girl out to me! If you’re a writer, you’ll get it. She really covers all the points of writing! Gonna go get some coffee now…

Writing in 1907

My grandma gave me the craziest most wonderful birthday gift ever. She gave me the originals of letters written by Nellie McClung and Lucy Maud Montgomery to my great great grandmother, written around 1910.

My great great grandma Florence Carmichael was an aspiring author and she wrote these ladies asking for advice on how to get published in a time when it was still difficult for women to write in the industry. Nellie McClung in particular wrote a rather firey letter back. She said:

“…I will always make time to help people who are trying to win the ear of the stony hearted publisher, for I have been all through it and it is purely a thorny path. Publishers, as a class, are absolutely lacking in literary taste. They have only one point of view and that is the financial.”


I don’t believe my great great grandma ever did get her book published (she did publish some poetry) but my grandma says she still has the original manuscript… all hand-written one-hundred years ago in pencil. It makes my eyes hurt just thinking about it, but I have to say, I can hardly wait to read it!

Catching Fireflies

And I’m off again.

I work a job that requires me to travel quite a bit this time of year. I have written… very. little. these last few weeks and the need to write makes my arms and hands feel itchy and hot (or maybe that’s sunburn).

The only thing that`s keeping me sane is a little black notebook I carry about with me. As I wait for the ferry to dock, the bus to come, to board the plane, to catch another train… I write little snippets of things that describe what I see about me. I have the idea that someday they`ll make a brilliant line in a book…

here`s what I`ve seen lately:

Old mountains like crumpled tissue paper piled against the sea
Little girls in bright dresses flitting like butterflies across the lawn
A brass chandelier hung from the ceiling like a curled dead spider
Stained glass saints: bold, grand and precariously fragile

little scrawled lines… here there and everywhere across the paper…  they mean everything and nothing at the same time.

How about you? Tell me… What do you see?