8 March

Stay Attached to the Tree

I met Iftikhar in one of my project management courses last year. He’s a policy “wonk,” with an honours degree from York University and a Master’s degree in Peace and Conflict Studies from a prestigious institute in Sweden. He speaks fluent, even eloquent English, Urdu, Arabic, among other languages, and like so many new Canadians, […]

16 February

New York Valentine

Posted in Books, Reflections

A year ago at this time, I was in New York for seven days. By mid-week I was hunting in earnest for an I HEART NY sticker, suddenly understanding the meaning of all those I HEART stickers from around the world, derived, I realized, from this Mother of all HEART stickers. New York is a […]

12 January


Posted in Reflections

 I went for a walk in the river valley this morning. I was thinking about aging and loss and death. I have several elderly friends and relatives in their 80s; most are struggling in some way. One friend wrote me in his most recent letter that “Mr. Alzheimer” is visiting him more often now. Another […]

2 January

The Layers

Posted in Books, Reflections

New Year’s Eve I was at a small party with friends in the neighbourhood. There was food and drink and fire: candles in the snow, candles in the windows, and a bonfire out the back porch. The bonfire was best of all. On small scraps of paper, we wrote down the things we wanted to […]

20 December

A Thousand and One Doors

A Thousand and One Doors

  Lately, I’ve been reading The Arabian Nights, or what has been traditionally called The Thousand and One Nights, translated by Husain Haddawy from a 14th century Syrian manuscript, the oldest there is. Haddawy grew up hearing the Nights around his grandmother’s hearth on long winter nights in Baghdad. The book could easily be called The Thousand and One Doors. Doors open: […]

29 November

Walking Night

Posted in Reflections

I love walking at night this time of year, especially when it’s mild. I can leave my hood down and listen and see and be touched. Maybe there’s laughter or music from a house party at the end of the block. I may run into a snowshoe hare or pass through light pouring out of […]

10 November

Writing Food

Posted in Books

I’ve recently discovered Ruth Reichl,  who some will call a food writer; I think she’s first and foremost a storyteller. She’s the author and editor of  several books, former restaurant critic for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Editor-in-Chief of Gourmet Magazine and other lauds.  I’ve just finished Comfort Me with Apples and For You, Mom, Finally.  Her books are about food (there […]

31 October

All Hallows-Martinmas 2013

Posted in Seasonal Messages

It is St. Martin’s Day, we’ll eat chestnuts, we’ll taste the wine. Traditional, Portugal+ This is the season of extremes. The land on fire and the land laid bare and all of it happens within a few short weeks, as if the earth blazes in glory before giving itself up to the quiet rest of […]

26 October

September Launch: Audreys Books

Posted in Photos

September 26, an exciting night: sixty-one people in attendance, an abundance of wine, stories and questions. Sixty books were in stock. Last week I couldn’t resist checking to see how many were left on the shelf: 4:)  Thanks to my niece, Alana Whitson, for the photos.

11 October

To Bind Together

Posted in Reflections

“You aren’t religious are you?” a co-worker asked me after she opened The Glorious Mysteries and saw the title of the first story in my collection, “The Baby Jesus.” “What do you mean by religious?” I asked her. “If you mean a strict follower of a particular religious doctrine, no,” I said. “But if you […]

1 October

Fact or Fiction and the Truth of It

Posted in Reflections

I had the privilege of travelling the province last month reading from The Glorious Mysteries. At Word on the Street, in Lethbridge, I had just finished reading “The Water Witcher,” one of the Alberta stories in my collection. There was an attentive crowd gathered, probably 30 to 35 people. It was an outdoor festival; we were under […]

8 September

London in the Kinnaird Ravine

Posted in Reflections
London in the Kinnaird Ravine

Sometimes a day’s weather reminds me of another time and place. This morning in the Kinnaird Ravine it felt to me like London, England in fall. The mingling of warmth and rain, the fragrance of rotting and growing things. The way the light is muted by the clouds and stands of old, old trees. The path […]

26 August

Word Witcher

Posted in Reflections

I have an artist friend who hasn’t been able to finish her website because of all the little decisions that have to be made: colours, text, logo, fonts, message... I understand. Take the business cards I’m trying to finalize for marketing my next book. A few words, a couple of colours, three weeks later and […]

1 August

Lughnasa, August 1, 2013

Posted in Seasonal Messages
Lughnasa, August 1, 2013

When I tell people that I live in Boyle Street, they often look a little surprised, even concerned. Yes, some pockets are rough, but some pockets are gold. Maybe it’s because many people here have next to nothing that they make the most of the little they have, why some boulevards, tiny porches and postage-stamp […]