Monday, April 30, 2012


Thanks to all the followers of this blog.

Visit me at my new website.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sundays for Writers

 This afternoon, I met with Cindy Carroll and several other members of the Guelph Write Now group for a poetry workshop.

We shared our poetry and discussed different techniques for writing and editing. Local poet, Matthew George provided many suggestions on how to improve our work.

Some of his tips...
  • After writing the first draft, go back and edit your work. Do not simply leave it. Some poems can require up ten or more edits before submitting to journals.
  • Matthew highly recommends Arc Poetry and Contemporary Verse 2. Other journals to consider are Antigonish Press and Fiddlehead. Read the poems in these journals before submitting your own work.
  • Consider entering the Annual Poetry Contest on April 14/15 sponsored by Contemporary Verse 2. The entry is $16 ($26 includes a one-year subscription). In this contest, you are given ten words and only 48 hours to write a poem that includes these words. 
  • Visit Guelph Spoken Word for information about local poetry events.

Saturday, March 10, 2012


My review of Kim Thuy's book, Ru, appears in today's Waterloo Record and Guelph Mercury.

Read the review.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Dinner with Writers Ink

Last night, seven of us gathered at Symposium Restaurant for our March dinner meeting. Most of the discussion centered around Dennis Fitter's upcoming novel--Mexico City: The Golden Years--which will be launched in 13,400 ebookstores tomorrow. Dennis reflected on his decision to take the epublishing route.

Lots of food for thought!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Hot WIPs Night

Yesterday evening, Susan Fish, writer and CEO of Storywell, held a Hot Works in Progress Night at the Raintree Cafe in downtown Waterloo.

Eight of us gathered to participate in a writers' version of speed dating. We paired up to deliver the pitches for our works in progress (mainly novels) and every six minutes rotated around the table.

I enjoyed the evening immensely and was exposed to different genres--contemporary women's fiction, Young Adult, fantasy, and cozy mysteries. Afterward, we shared our experiences and discovered that we had all revised and improved our scripts as we moved around the table.

Friday, February 24, 2012

A Poetry Workshop

I loved writing poetry during my high school years, but my writing went underground shortly afterward. When I heard about Melinda Burns' poetry workshop at the main branch of the Guelph Public Library, I decided to go and see if the muse was still there.

As I listened to Melinda read her own poem and those of Mary Oliver, Jane Kenyon and Jane Hirshfield, I felt new ideas stirring and the desire to write poetry rekindled. After a short interactive session, Melinda assigned three short exercises which many of us shared.

Food for further thought...
  • "Poetry is eating all my problems." (A little girl from the Poetry in School program in California)
  • Read Amy Bloom's article, "Why Poetry Can Save Your Life?" (Oprah, December 2006)
  • Poetry is a container for both strong and mixed feelings.
  • Poetry acknowledges the inconsolable while giving comfort.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Taking Up Scrapbooking

I just came back from a scrapbooking workshop with Gloria Nye at Eramosa Eden. I have been curious about this popular hobby for a while, and today I decided to try my hand at it.

I am hooked!

Right now, I am organizing my book reviews, but I have ideas for two travel scrapbooks. I appreciated Gloria's advice regarding layout and design and look forward to future sessions.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


My article, "Completing Your Educational Journey,"  appears on the Back to College website.

This site provides advice and other resources for adult re-entry students pursuing professional development or advanced degrees.

Read the article.

Monday, February 20, 2012

This Means War

Definitely far-fetched with lots of action, romance and humour, This Means War was a great choice for Family Day.

I enjoyed watching Reese Witherspoon play the part of single product tester Lauren, who is lured into the world of online dating by her best friend, Trish (Chelsea Handler). Chris Pine and Tom Hardy play CIA agents, FDR and Tuck, who have been demoted to desk jobs. FDR and Tuck compete for Lauren's affections.

Chelsea Handler provides most of the laughs with her irreverent comments and advice.

Watch the trailer.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sundays for Writers

This afternoon, I joined six other members of Guelph Write Now and Guelph Writers Ink at Lucie's Restaurant in south Guelph.

We shared and critiqued the first five pages of our respective manuscripts. I enjoyed reading the different genres, which included literary fiction, science fiction, fantasy, Young Adult, Regency Romance and a cozy.

Great stuff!!

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Art of Storytelling

Last evening, Sya VanGeest from the Guelph Storytellers Guild presented an entertaining workshop at the main branch of the Guelph Public Library.

She displayed her well-honed communication skills as she interspersed her PowerPoint presentation with folk tales. We all participated in one story and she listened as each of us told the stories behind our given names.

A few of her hints...
  • Get out of yourself when you tell a story. Realize that you are only the conduit of the story.
  • Stories are meant for the ear. Do not memorize the story before telling it.
  • You can find your stories in different places. Be alert to what you see, hear and read.
  • Throw your voice.
  • Practice your story by living and feeling it. Have it in your head and go over it many times...before falling asleep, while doing chores, while driving...
  • When telling your story, build on the positive energy of attentive audience members. Ignore the one or two audience members who may be sleeping or not paying attention. 
  • Trust your instincts. There is no one way to develop a personal style.
  • One of her suggested resources: New Tales for Old by Gail deVos and Anna Altman

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


My article, "Revisiting Mathematics,"  appears on the Back to College website.

This site provides advice and other resources for adult re-entry students pursuing professional development or advanced degrees.

Read the article.

Monday, February 13, 2012

At the Total Woman Show

Yesterday, I drove out to Kitchener for the Total Woman Show. The show featured more than 150 exhibitors, speakers, workshops and a fashion show showcasing the ten finalists in the Fabulous Women Over 40 Model Search. These extraordinary women have battled cancer, overcome abusive situations and faced other challenges in their lives. While emcee Audrey Wilson stressed that it's not just about looks, all the women looked radiant as they modelled fashions from local retailers.

Later, I  sat in on an interview with local Olympians, Amanda and Cindy Overland, and their father Ernie. What an extraordinary family! The two girls and their brother Kevin are Olympic athletes. Ernie has volunteered at the Cambridge Skating Club and run 16 marathons, five of which were the Boston marathon.

While it was tough and expensive on the single father, he managed to raise three gifted elite athletes. Amanda and Cindy stressed that they didn't make any sacrifices. Instead, they made choices to eat, exercise, rest and manage their stress. And they have faced many challenges. Cindy had mononucleosis, ruptured her appendix and broke her arm in four spots. Kevin was involved in a serious car accident. Amanda has experienced knee, back and groin pain. And Ernie faced a divorce from his wife.

When asked about their role models and mentors, they cited their parents and each other. Cindy included Terry Fox and her coaches, Lisa and Tom.

In their own words...

"There was  some kind of tough inside me and I was able to do it." (Amanda)

"Work hard and leave a mark on your kids." (Ernie)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Editing with Brian Henry

Yesterday, I joined seventeen other writers for an Editing workshop with Brian Henry at a local church here in Guelph. In the past, I have driven to Kitchener, Woodstock, Oakville, Mississauga and Burlington to hear Brian talk about the writing journey. I was thankful that I didn't have to drive too far yesterday.

I am now ready to edit and revise my manuscript and found the workshop extremely helpful.  I was also able to get some one-on-one time with Brian. He gave me some excellent tips on how to improve the first 1000 words--critical words that can make or break a manuscript. I have been told that many agents stop reading after the first page.

Brian has a good sense of humour and I often jot down his quips along with his practical suggestions...
  • If you revise the same page too many times,you are probably ignoring a major problem in your book.
  • The first step of revision involves adding and expanding, giving the manuscript its fullness and making the voice more distinctive.
  • Paring down is the last step.
  • We all have a tendency to fall in love with our writing. To make it better we must fall out of love with it.
  • When the characters start misbehaving, do not get rid of them. Go with the flow and make the appropriate changes.
  • Write with passion, revise at leisure.
  • Or...Puke it out, mop it up.
  • "Give yourself permission to write a crappy first draft." (Anne Lamont) It is easier to work with a crappy first draft than a blank page.
  • If the manuscript doesn't work, put it aside for a year.
  • Working with only professional editors is limiting. Find more readers.
  • Zen of revising--read like a reader. That is, read like you have never seen it before.
  • With a strong voice, you can make almost anything work.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Light Entertainment

Last evening, I enjoyed listening to a reading of Zumba in the Pool with Carlos at the main branch of the Guelph Public Library. Written by local playwright, Mary Mulholland, this play deals with the antics of seven ladies at a health club.

Kitty Pope and six other local ladies treated us to a delightful evening filled with laughter.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Dinner with Writers Ink

Last night, six of us met at Symposium Restaurant for our monthly dinner. Lots of discussion and advice floated around the table as we discussed query letters, police procedures,  and submitting our work. I found the session after dinner very informative and inspiring.

Today, I'm up bright and early ready to write.

Monday, February 6, 2012

iPod, iPhone, iPad, iEverything!

Earlier today, I drove out to the Forest Heights Branch of the Waterloo Public Library to hear Bryan Dunham, the Coordinator of Information Technology talk about the latest Apple gadgets.

I finally learned what all the fuss is about. Curious at first, I became very animated about the iPad and I am looking forward to the launch of iPad3 in the spring. I am even considering buying one.

Bryan is also passionate about his iPad. He is convinced that it can virtually replace almost any computer. He  demonstrated the different features of all the gadgets, focusing mainly on the iPad.

Some of his tips...
  • You can use the Notes feature as a word processor. But be aware that it is a very rudimentary program with no formatting. Purchase Open Office for $15 to get formatting and other word processing features.
  • Add a Bluetooth keyboard if you want a larger keyboard than the one provided.
  • Expect to pay between $549 and $749 for an iPad. 
  • If you are considering a refurbished model, you will pay $100 less.
  • iPads are available at the Apple Store. You can try them out first.Take advantage of the full range of services offered, especially the Genius Bar at the back of the store. To avoid waiting in line, book an appointment online.
  • iPad is intuitive. You won't experience the steep curve you would with other systems.
  • Buy a smart cover ($49 to $69) and a case ($29) to protect your iPad. Get a screen collector.
  • Kobo and Kindle readers are built in.
  • Buy a screen cleaner ($5.99 at Radio Shack) and use a lint-free cloth. Do not use Windex on any LCD devices.
  • To get the music and applications, sign up for iTunes.
  • Charge the lithium battery every day.
  • The new features of the iPad3 include a high gloss screen and Suri,  the personal digital assistant.
  • One of the ladies in the audience recommended the following book: iPad for Seniors...Dummies version.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Workshop in Waterloo

Last evening, I drove out to the Waterloo Community Arts Centre on Regina Street for a workshop entitled, How to Get Published. Author Erin Bow talked about her writing journey and provided us with handouts and many good tips...
  • Read in the genre you wish to get published. Check out the latest publications at  your bookstore or library.
  • Read Quill & Quire and other writers magazines. Subscribe to free newsletters.
  • Participate in Internet-based writing communities such as RWA.
  • Social media can be very valuable, but Erin reminds us to participate only if we enjoy it.
  • Connect with your favourite authors by sending fan mail. You can make many interesting connections.
  • If you are interested in writing fiction, try to get your short stories published in literary magazines. Many of these journals will also accept essays, poems and book reviews. But read the magazine before you submit to it.
  • Do not query an incomplete novel.
  • In the first paragraph of your query letter, indicate why you think the agent would be a good fit.
Erin's match-making exercise for finding an agent...
  1. Locate the shelf of the bookstore where you want your book to live.
  2. Pick out ten to twelve books that appeal to you and resemble the storyline or theme of your book. 
  3. Read the books.
  4. Look in all the Acknowledgment sections and find the names of the agents and publishing houses. Alternatively, you could write and ask the author for the name of his/her agent.
  5. Rank these agents.
  6. Send out query letters to the agents.

Additional  comments...
  • You do not need an agent if you are looking to publish in a small or medium-sized publishing house.
  • An agent wants you to do well; a publisher wants your book to do well.
  • Do not self-publish if you want your book to end up with a large publisher. Note: Amanda Hocking is the exception to this rule.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

One for the Money

It has been a while since I read Janet Evanovich's  One for the Money,  but the storyline came back to me as I watched the film. Katherine Heigl delivered an excellent performance as Stephanie Plum. In a recent interview, the author admitted that she would be thinking of Katherine when she wrote her next novel. And I am certain that all her readers will have that same vision.

Debbie Reynolds and Sherri Shepherd were well cast as Grandma Mazur and Lula. Jason O'Mara played the part of sexy Joey Morelli who seduced and dumped Stephanie while in high school.

A quick summary of the storyline...

Desperate for cash, Stephanie Plum convinces Vinnie, her sleazy cousin, to give her a job as a recovery agent for his bail bonding company. Stephanie decides to take on Joey Morelli, his biggest bail-jumper. Lots of action and humorous moments at family dinners.

Watch the trailer.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

All About Astrology

Yesterday, I drove out to the Forest Heights branch of the Kitchener Public Library to hear Bryan Trussler discuss the art and science of astrology.

A professional astrologer for about twenty years, Brian has bachelor's and master's degrees in religious studies. He started by discussing some of the problems with horoscopes that appear in newspapers and magazines. It is very difficult for an astrologer to distill the necessary information into a handful of sentences.

Interesting comments...
  • Carl Jung referred to astrology when counselling his patients.
  • To produce an accurate chart, an astrologer needs to know your day, time and place of birth.
  • It is possible to predict death from a chart, but astrologers do not share this information with their clients.
  •  Astrologers had predicted problems with the marriage of Princess Diana and Prince Charles. While their signs, Cancer and Scorpio, are compatible, they are in each other's 12th house. The 12th house deals with hidden enemies.
  • The expression, "Men are from Mars, women are from Venus" makes sense astrologically. The male and female gender identification signs correspond to Mars and Venus.
  • We often hear the expression: "Mercury has gone retrograde." Mercury rules communication, mental acuity, and speed of thought. The expression is appropriate when cell phones or BlackBerrys don't work, Internet is slow, and there are misprints in the newspapers.
When one of the audience members challenged Bryan, he commented: "The stars impel, but they do not compel."

Monday, January 30, 2012

Impressed by Dave Farrow

Dave appeared on today's Dr. Oz show. This memory expert is known internationally for his ability to retain large stores of information. In 1996, he set a new Guiness record when he memorized the order of 52 decks of playing cards (2704 cards), randomly shuffled together and recalled them correctly.

A bit of his background...

In high school, he was diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia. He was told that he would never excel academically and was advised to pursue a blue-collar job. Dave decided to prove the experts wrong. He started reading everything he could find on the topic of memory. He mastered all the known memory techniques and invented a few of his own.

On today's show, he talked about three super foods for memory...
  • Beets lower blood pressure and increase blood flow to the brain.
  • Cashew nuts and butter are a good source of thiamine, a B complex vitamin that boosts brain function.
  • Avocados are good sources of Vitamins E, K and folate. Dave likes to substitute crushed avocado for mayonnaise in his tuna sandwich.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Iron Lady

 Meryl Streep delivered an outstanding performance as Margaret Thatcher in the film, The Iron Lady. She captured all the nuances of the former British prime minister, including her accent. I wouldn't be surprised if she received the Oscar for Best Actress.

But I was disappointed in the film. It focuses, too much I believe, on Lady Thatcher's continuing battle with dementia. Based around a series of imagined conversations with her dead husband, she appears as a frail, confused woman. I would have liked to have seen more footage of her rise to power, in particular the early days of her career.

I can understand why the film was criticized in Britain. Her family, friends and supporters would find it very difficult to sit through many of the scenes in this film.

Watch the trailer.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life

Earlier this evening, a group of us gathered at the East Side branch of the Guelph Public Library to talk about Karen Armstrong's book, Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life.

We all agreed that it was a challenging read. The book is well-researched with many historical references. Truthfully, I would have preferred less historical content and more of Karen Armstrong's personal experiences.

Last January, I heard Karen speak at St. George's Church's in downtown Guelph and was impressed by her eloquence. She is a former Roman Catholic nun who has written more than 20 books on faith and the major religions. I enjoyed reading her memoir, The Spiral Staircase, and looked forward to reading Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life.

At the book club, I admitted to skimming over the history and reading the anecdotes, especially those in the Empathy and Action chapters. A few of the other members admitted to reading only a few pages out of each chapter. Much discussion was generated about the need for empathy and forgiveness in our society.

Monday, January 23, 2012


 My article, "How to Get Job Fair Call Backs," appears in today's edition of The Dollar Stretcher.

The Dollar Stretcher is a group of publications dedicated to helping readers save time and money.

Read the article.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

You...In Six Words

In November 2006, writer and editor of the Web publication, SMITH magazine, asked his fans to describe their lives in exactly six words. Since that time, he has received more than half a million responses.

A few of these mini-memoirs appear in the February issue of Oprah.

Seeking the fullest expression of self. Oprah Winfrey
I am definitely in my zone. Gayle King
Might as well eat that cookie. Paula Deen
Stumbling into everything, falling into grace. Martha Beck
Write, mother, sleep. Repeat as needed. Shonda Rhimes (creator of Grey's Anatomy)

When I decided to write my own six-word memoir, I discovered just how challenging that can be.

Enjoying the process of reinventing myself. Joanne Guidoccio

Any other six-word memoirs out there?

Saturday, January 21, 2012


My book review of Karin Altenberg's novel, Island of Wings appears in today's Waterloo Record and Guelph Mercury.

Read the review.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Preventing Alzheimer's

While I missed the first part of today's Dr. Oz program, I was just in time to catch a few of Dr. Gary Small's tips for preventing Alzheimer's. His book, The Alzheimer's Prevention Program, will be released this coming Monday.
  • Have two servings of salmon, halibut or anchovies twice a week. Bake or grill. DO NOT FRY.
  • Consider having baked russet potatoes. They are high in antioxidants.
  • Include colorful fruits and vegetables and garlic in your daily diet.
  • Eat foods high in curcumin which is found in curry powder. In India, the rate of Alzheimer's is lower than that in North America. Researchers also discovered that students who ate Indian food performed better on tests.
  • Spices such as vanilla bean and oregano are also high in antioxidants.
  • Coffee in moderation--one to two cups a day-- protects the brain and reduces the incidence of Alzheimer's.
  • Alternate between different types of brain activities--crossword puzzles, learning a new language, video games.
Dr. Oz also referred to the following research finding: diabetes and high cholesterol can raise your risk of Alzheimer's. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Hope for Aspiring Writers

 I enjoyed listening to Amanda Hocking on today's Anderson. Her writing journey is an inspiring one for all writers struggling to publish that first book.

Amanda received more than one hundred rejections when she tried to get an agent or publishing house interested in her first novel. But that did not deter her. She continued to write six other books and send them out. In total, she received about one thousand rejections.

She was determined to be a published writer by the age of 26, the same age that Stephen King was first published. So, she decided to self-publish her books. At first, she sold only a couple of copies a day, but soon was selling thousands of books each month. In the past eighteen months, she has sold 1.5 million books.
And St. Martin's, a traditional publishing office, offered her a contract for her trilogy.

Her genre--young adult/paranormal romance.

Words of Wisdom from Amanda Hocking and Anderson Cooper...
  • When no one gives you a break, create your own opportunity.
  • Believe in yourself enough to put yourself out there.

Monday, January 16, 2012


 My article, "Complaining Effectively," appears in today's edition of The Dollar Stretcher.

The Dollar Stretcher is a group of publications dedicated to helping readers save time and money.

 Read the article.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Inspired by Ofelia de LaValette

In last month's Psychology Today magazine, I read about an amazing woman who reinvented herself in her late thirties.

Born to struggling Cuban immigrants, Ofelia de LaValette dreamed of becoming a dancer, but her family couldn't afford the expensive lessons. Ofelia married young and built a successful career as an insurance agent. At age thirty-four, she wanted to get rid of some stubborn baby weight and decided to take her first dance class. She enjoyed the classes and threw herself into training during the evenings and weekends. At one point, she was taking a dozen dance classes per week.

In her forties, she decided to close down the insurance agency and began teaching professionally. At age forty-seven, she opened her own studio, Dance 101, which is geared toward adults.

Inspiring quote

I wanted to teach people that it's never too late to discover a new passion in your life. The age you start is just that: a starting point.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

An Evening with Alison Pick

Last evening, the Friends of the Guelph Public Library presented a reading and discussion with award winning author, Alison Pick. This young Canadian author, who graduated from the University of Guelph, won the Jewish Award for Fiction and was long-listed for the man Booker Prize.

While I have not read any of her four books, I was very impressed by the back story behind Far to Go. The book has echoes of her own family history and alternates between 1939 and the present. The historical novel follows a Czechoslovakian family as they send their children to safety in a rescue mission known as the Kindertransport.

When asked about her writing journey, Pick told us she loves writing and experiences it as a pleasure not a discipline. She writes the first draft longhand and then transcribes to the computer. She did extensive research before writing Far to Go and, according to many audience members, she did an excellent job of weaving the research seamlessly into the plot.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

All About Vitamin B12

I paid special attention to today's episode on Dr. Oz.. Along with two other specialists, Dr. Oz talked about potential problems with Vitamin B12 deficiencies.

A few years ago, I learned that I was on the bottom end of the acceptable range and took a supplement for three months. My levels are now closer to the higher end and I am determined to keep them up there.

A few interesting facts from the show...
  • Almost 47 million Americans are deficient in this super vitamin. I suspect the Canadian percentages are similar.
  • In Japan, the average Vitamin B12 levels are higher.
  • Left unchecked, Vitamin B12 deficiencies can lead to irreversible nerve damage and dementia.
  • Up to 30 percent of people over the age of 50 do not secrete enough stomach acid to absorb adequate amounts of B12.
  • There is no upper limit of safety with this vitamin. We do not have to worry about having too much in our system.
Kate Geagan, the nutritionist on the show, recommended 1000 mcg of B12 a day if you are deficient. She recommended sublingual B12 which can be obtained without a prescription. Dr. Oz suggested that older adults or anyone with stomach acid problems may wish to consider B12 shots. These offer a quick boost of energy and bypass any problems with stomach absorption.

I was interested in the three recipes Kate presented on the show: B12 Boosting Parfait, Bason Slides and Clam Pasta. She strongly believes that bison is the "meat to eat" and recommends that we buy 100% grass fed bison or 99% extra lean grass-fed beef. In addition to clams, she also recommended sardines, trout and salmon.

Check out the Recipes section on the Dr. Oz website.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

This Cake is for the Party

Last night, I met with with The Bookshelf Book Club to discuss Sara Selecky's debut fiction collection, This Cake is for the Party. Selecky was one of the 2010 Giller Prize nominees.

Selecky catches her characters in the midst of acute crises--adultery, alcoholism, loneliness, death, religious fanaticism--and reveals the back stories. Many of us agreed that "Where Are You Coming From, Sweetheart?" is the most compelling piece in the collection. A fourteen-year old Christine is coming home to Sudbury after spending the weekend with her aunt and cousin in Mississauga. While plotting to escape from her overbearing, religious fanatic father, she learns that he has died.

Monday, January 9, 2012

A Message of Hope

Listen to the sermon Joel Osteen delivered when Oprah and Tyler Perry attended one of his Sunday services at Lakewood Church.

Theme--Staying Positive About Life

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Inspired by Grace Massa-Langlois

Yesterday, I read an article in the Waterloo Record about an amazing woman who successfully reinvented herself in London, Ontario.

In 2003, Grace Massa-Langlois faced a debilitating medical condition that forced her to leave a successful career as a financial services manager. The following year, her husband died, leaving her with two young children to raise on her own. After spending several years in a  fog, she started watching television food programs. She became interested in Italian cooking and invested in cookbooks, gourmet magazines and the latest kitchen gadgets. She also did extensive online research and experimented with different Italian desserts.

In April 2010, she started blogging about her Italian cooking adventures on a website called La Mia Vita Dolce. The following spring, she received an email from Ulysses Press, a publisher in California, asking if she was interested in writing a cookbook on Italian desserts. Her book, Grace's Sweet Life, will be in bookstores soon.

Check out her blog.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Dinner with Writers Ink

Last night, three of us met at Symposium Restaurant for our monthly dinner meeting. While the cold temperatures and other commitments kept some of our regular members away, the conversation was a lively one as we discussed the latest movies, books and our respective writing journeys.

As always, I leave inspired to continue writing and submitting my work.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Great Coffee News

In yesterday's column, Dr. Oz proclaimed coffee to be one of of the most beneficial weapons in the war against cancer.

I love reading these statistics about heavy coffee drinkers...
  • They are less likely to develop endometrial cancer than those who have less than one cup a day.
  • They run a 20 to 50 percent lower risk of getting breast cancer after menopause, versus women who sip less than a cup.
And equally important...

In 2011, coffee was confirmed to ward off Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases and Type 2 diabetes.

While I don't consider myself to be a heavy coffee drinker, I do enjoy my three cups every morning.

Monday, January 2, 2012


Two of my articles appear in today's edition of The Dollar Stretcher.

The Dollar Stretcher is a group of publications dedicated to helping readers save time and money.

Read Frugal Fitness and Internet Time Wasters.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

We Bought a Zoo

This is a great family movie for the holidays.

Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson star in this movie based on Benjamin Mee's experience of buying the dilapidated Dartmoor Zoological Park in Plymouth, England. Director Cameron Crowe decided to move the story to California.

Favourite line from the movie....All you need is twenty seconds of insane courage and I promise you something great will happen.

Watch the trailer.