30 November 2022

It was a quiet month. Not that I didn’t keep busy but for a change, outside demands did not overwhelm. The highlight for me was celebrating Remembrance Day outdoors at the cenotaph.

I’ve missed the mass gathering. As far as I can recall, prior to COVID Grant and I have not skipped any since we moved to New Westminster in 1996, except for the year we were on Vancouver Island visiting family and attended the Courtney commemorations. Two isolated years of dressing up and standing at attention in front of the television may have had the same intent but lacked a level of satisfaction. Like it was just too comfortable.

This year, the turnout was impressive in front of New Westminster’s City Hall (who knew there were so many beautiful dogs in this city!), the weather was sunny, and I’m happy we got to include our twin grand-babies and their mother in our ritual November 11th post-cenotaph lunch. This year, we went to Boathouse Restaurant at the quay.

Throughout the month, I did spend a fair bit of time planning my writing projects for 2023. The novel I birthed from my 2013 TWS experience begs for attention. Not one of my approximately 20 pitches to agents and editors failed. All but one asked me to submit a sample but none picked it up. That agent was intrigued and referred me to a colleague she felt would be more suited to it.  

So, I know two things: my topic is relevant, and I can prepare a convincing pitch.

I’ve left the novel incubating for a few years while I completed my memoir, a most illuminating process. In January, I plan to resurrect my fiction manuscript, implement feedback from the publishing industry and some insight I gained while writing non-fiction, and tweak the story. Give it the care it deserves.

Another writing project has nagged at me since long before my novel was even a twinkle in my eye: My great-grandmother’s story. Granny, (Agnes Rankin Watson) was a strong, resilient woman who died the year I was born. All my life, every anecdote I heard of her filled my imagination and once the box of her documents came into my possession, her story became an overfilled balloon ready to burst. Now, it’s time to act and all fall I’ve been wrestling with how to share the story of a woman I have never met.

Sharing her narrative should be fun rather than all consuming, so I’ve decided to try something different. In January, I will give her a page on this website and let her tell her own story in short snippets – or blog-posts. If she omits details, over exaggerates, or raises questions for readers, they can voice their concerns in the comment section and Granny (with my help) will do her best to alleviate them.

The format will be fluid and will adapt as we go. Wish me luck …

***Watch for an introductory post from Granny next month.



I’m happy to announce that my room of my own is now usable though I’ve not quite settled in. The door may not be hinged yet but I do have a table, stool, Granny’s comfy antique rocking chair, and lots of good lighting. I’m fine tuning as I go.

(Note the little flower pot on the windowsill – compliments of Grant)



I wanted to share this picture showing the front of our house on a main thoroughfare that had traffic creeping along well into the night. Sometime after 3:00 am it cleared. Trust me, I watched.


I hate to admit that I fell short in the sketch department this month. I did attempt one mid-month of a Blue Heron but the results were more than dismal. Instead, I’m sharing an old drawing, one that feels relevant right now.


I was aiming for four or five but only managed to complete three. (Pats self on back anyway).

Arthur Conan Doyle – The Hound of the Baskervilles (1902)

Betty Lambert – Crossings (1979)

Chelene Knight – Junie (2022)


August 31st. 2022

Summer is almost over … and to that I say “Yay”.

Despite seeming endless, this year’s season of oppressive heat has flown by and I can’t help wonder where it went. I don’t want to use my Multiple Sclerosis as an excuse for personal shortcomings so rarely discuss the disease but hot weather is not its friend – or mine. Twenty-six degrees Celsius and higher exhausts my energy tank, fills my veins with liquid lead, and complicates every effort to achieve what I consider an acceptable level of chores and tasks. So August frustrates me.

As far as my writing goes, I’m not currently generating anything new. Instead, re-purposing bits I’ve removed in the editing process of my memoir into short pieces, playing with both fiction and non-fiction, keeps me busy seeking possibilities. There was a reason I created them in the first place, so I just need to find them a home. And I remain optimistic as I continue submitting queries for my manuscript to publishers.

I am pretty pleased with myself for creating my very first Power Point Video. Mid-month, with a little help from my grandson, Brody, I compiled a series of photos of Grant and me from the last thirty years to provide background for our vow renewal celebration on the 19th.  “The Hunter” by Jennifer Warnes was the finishing touch and when you read my memoir “Behind the Wheel”, you’ll understand the song’s relevance.

On the 27th we met our two-year-old twin grand-babies for the first time. Now that their family has relocated to the Lower Mainland I look forward to fun times getting to know the sweet bundles of energy.

So, despite my heat-imposed sloth’s pace, I have kept busy and am grateful that August has flown.


The cat I drew is kind of okay and I was going to use it but came across a photo of my ninety-one-year old father-in-law’s birthday last June. The composition of him surrounded by his granddaughter and two of his great-grandchildren, all eager to see the colourful card in his hands, makes me very happy. So it won this time.

(Maybe I’ll stick to cat videos and stop trying to draw the poor animals.)


This ancient awning outside the front window of our 72 year old house is one of the tools we use to control the summer heat. That and strategic timing of open/closed windows and electric fan placement. We do what we can but I hope this is the last time in 2022 we will need to have the canopy open.


    … might look impressive but only because it includes July:

  • Jane Austen – Pride and Prejudiced (1813)
  • Jane Austen – Persuasion (1817)
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