We Remember

Remembrance Day is an emotional celebration. In the days and weeks leading up to Remembrance Day, we look to the past and the people who have fought for our freedom. We are blessed to live in Canada, a nation that welcomes those from war-torn nations around the world. We send troops to their lands to do what we can to reestablish peace for countries torn apart by conflict. Our soldiers have marched the globe and not all of them have come back.

Today, I was privileged to attend a Remembrance Day service at my children’s school. Their gymnasium was filled with images of peace, hope and remembrance of the sacrifices our soldiers make. Both of my children were given the solemn task to lay wreaths for their classes on the cross erected for the service. Voices were raised in song and poem to commemorate the sacrifices. I am proud of all of the students who respectfully bowed their heads and added their two minutes of silence in the name of our freedom.

May they not have to make the same sacrifices. But if they choose to stand up and fight for our rights, beliefs and freedoms, may they do so with pride.

Thank you to all the brave soldiers who have fought in the name of Canada. The children at Woodland Heights saluted you today. And so do I.

#RememberThem #LestWeForget

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The History of Wars by the Numbers, Countries and Individual Faces Touched
Silhouettes
Silhouettes in Memory
peace doves
Peace Doves

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IMG_7799

In Flanders Fields poem
In Flanders Fields
poppies
A Wall of Poppies
poppy message
Messages of Peace, Remembrance, Hope and more
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Exercising my Rights: Time to Vote

election results
Canada Votes October 19th

Today is election day in Canada.

I had a knock on the door a few minutes ago from a representative of one of the major political parties checking to see if I had voted yet. How is that for keen? I suppose they wanted to make sure I hadn’t forgotten that today is election day. Like anyone could avoid all of the commercials, radio ads, political signs and news articles that have been circulating for the last three months about the election. It all culminates today; October 19th.

Finally, it’s time to vote today!

So as I told him, I haven’t been out to vote just yet today, but it is on my list of things-to-do. As politics is just one of the many conversations that my children and I have around our dinner table, they would like to be a part of my vote. They always come with me on election day and like to be part of the process. They want to know who is running, what their platforms are, and why I plan to vote for one party over another. Of that, I am proud.

My girls are both still several years from being able to vote themselves, but I love that they are curious about our election process and how our country is run. Imbuing them with the knowledge that they can make a difference is powerful. In Canada, everyone is given the right to vote, which isn’t always the case around the world. And they know that.

My vote may or may not be enough to bring change to my country, but knowing that I am a part of the process to select the people who will run it is enough. I hope to see as many Canadians as possible exercise their rights to vote today. Knowledge is power and together our voices wield a power that can change our world. Get out and be part of the change.

VOTE!

Will you be following the election results along with me this evening?

Remembrance Day: The Stories that we Need to Hear – via Veterans Affairs Canada

Today is a day to Remember. Too many have lost their lives to keep Canada strong and free. They paid the ultimate sacrifice and we can never forget that. Their stories need to be shared. And the best way I can think of to do that is to listen.

For my part, I silently stood at the Cenotaph in London, Ontario today. Thousands lined the streets to honour the noble men and women whom have served this country and the many others that continue to do so. Tears streaked my face as I paid my respects and pinned my poppy to a wreath at the foot of the Cenotaph after the last soldiers left.

It is for them that I share a link to their stories…

Video Gallery – Remembrance Day – Veterans Affairs Canada.

A New Day: What’s Not Okay

I wanted to share this post here. I originally wrote it on my creative blog, but it is a topic which is on many people’s minds at the moment – abuse.

The story touches all Canadians. It also touches all women. Ultimately it should touch everyone and we should stand united on how we treat people; with respect, understanding, fairness and more than a little compassion. I hope you do not find it offensive. My hope is that by giving voice to it, we can build stronger people, communities and lives. Peace to anyone who knows far too well the full extent of these words…

A New Day: What’s Not Okay

Stepping Out

Autumn's Sign

Freelance writing can be a lonely career choice. It is a solitary occupation, often done at home, minus co-workers. There is no conversation over the water cooler. There are no chats about your weekend during smoke breaks (not that I smoke or ever have). You certainly interact with people; clients, publishers, editors or other writers, but not necessarily every day. Sometimes not even every week.

I have been spending a little more time on my own as of late. It is good, as I have had more time dedicated to writing and have burned through many more books on my to-be-read pile. But social interaction is a good thing too. And as the days quickly get shorter I am all too aware that this will curtail time spent outside and potentially amongst others. I may be a sturdy Canadian lass, but when the mercury drops below 0°C, I hightail it back to my slippers and vitamin D supplements.

So after popping my first vitamin D of the season and checking prices on light therapy lamps, my next stop was looking into workshops and events for writers in my neck of the woods. Wouldn’t you know, but there are a few exciting things for writers in London, Ontario.

For starters, the London Public Library and Western University recently announced that they have a writer-in-residence this year. Gary Barwin is a writer, poet, composer, multimedia artist, educator and the first writer-in-residence that London has seen since 2008. Pretty cool in my books. And also very encouraging. He has office hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Central library from 4-7 pm and at Western University from 10 am – 2pm. In addition to that, he will be also be leading several workshops throughout the year. One caught my eye entitled “Getting it Out There”.

I think it might be time to get me out there and attend.

Another way to get out there might be to take my courage in hand and sneak in the door at one of the London Writers Society monthly meetings. They are held the third Thursday of every month.  And No, I haven’t been there yet, for those of you who are shaking your heads in disbelief. They were established in 2007 according to their website and meet at Landon Library. With Landon a hop and skip from me, you would think it would be easy, but I guess life gets in the way of life sometimes.

Perhaps it is time to contact my babysitter and check her schedule.

I have also come across another event that sounds terribly exciting for literary folk. London will play host to WORDS: The Literary and Creative Arts Festival, an inaugural festival for writers, poets and other creative thinkers from October 24th – 26th, 2014. It sounds like a fabulous weekend event suitable for any creative types. There will be sessions with local artists like Paul Cavanagh ( I just finished reading his book “After Helen” this weekend), Guy Vanderhaege (won 2 Governor General awards, Canada Reads Award, a Canadian Author Award, a Faber Award, and he is an Officer of the Order of Canada, amongst many other accolades), Joan Barfoot, Diana Tamblyn, Gary Barwin (makes sense knowing he was just elected London’s writer-in-residence), Mark Kingwell, Joe Sacco, and plenty more. There will be something for anyone that fiddles with words and I want to be at every session and every location!

My biggest problem is how to fit it all in and celebrate my daughter’s 8th birthday at the same time. Ugh. Timing is going to be tricky. I might just have to make it happen though.

I think it is high time I step out and expand my networking and support circles. How do you keep in the loop?