Category Archives: Blog

Dragons, Old Farts and Grief


BOOK: see for some more of my writing

I was trying to figure out the chemical composition of dragon’s breath (yeah I know it doesn’t come instantly to mind, does it). I think maybe sulphur?

LIFE: Old Fart, c’est moi

I am usually home with my 91 year old mom most days. I went to get bloodwork done on Wednesday. Sitting in the waiting room I noticed a little black girl with a wonderful hairdo that her mother obviously spent some time doing. I wanted to compliment the mom on her beautiful child, and then I thought, – what are you doing? Are you becoming like those old people you see who are so charming and talkative, likely because they haven’t been out of the house for some time and are thrilled to see people? They engage in conversation and talk to everyone. Kinda pathetic and I am way too young to do that. So I didn’t say anything. Held myself back.

Then I went in to give blood and there were some adorable bunnies on the Tech’s calendar and before you know it, I commented on the bunnies, asked too many questions about how they find a vein on an addict and mentioned the weather. I was kinda glad to get out of the house and was thrilled to see people…

Too late, I am one of those old Farts and that mom would have been happy to receive the compliment I’m sure. Maybe next time.

Link for oldie behavior much worse than I am

GRIEF: 106 Ways to Deal with Grief,

The idea behind the statement…

21. It is what it is.

Grief is very hard to go through and one real truth is that it is what it is. You can’t decide to feel differently, you feel what you feel and for as long as you feel it. You can’t do much but accept that you are going through an awful time and try to look after yourself and be patient.

Grief is not necessarily the same for others, so you have to be patient and non-judgmental with others. If you or someone else grieving do something weird, likely that is normal as well.


Book: Spelling, Life: Holes and humps, Grief: flowers


Remembering the names of characters in a fantasy is quite something. With all those imaginary names, spelling consistently can be a challenge, was that one e or two, y or i?

LIFE: Holes and Humps

Driving today was a challenge – dodging holes the size of babies and going up and down like a rollercoaster from all the frost heaves. We had a melt so all the deep potholes were deceiving. It pays to drive away from the edges, but sometimes hard to do.

My car is white with salt. Who thought salt on the roads was a good idea?

Driving in Calgary is exciting this time of year!

GRIEF: 106 Ways to Deal with Grief,

The idea behind the statement…

18. Plant bulbs from the flowers you were given.

I got a lot of tulips and daffodils from my daughter Shannon’s funeral in January and took all the flowers home. They filled the house. I love flowers. After they were finished, I saved the bulbs and planted them in the spring.

Now each year when spring comes, I see them blooming. It reminds me that even though winter is the small death, spring brings life again with it and reminds me of Shannon. Nothing nicer than those early spring blooms that promise summer is to come.

Daffodil that bloomed in December one year
Daffodil that bloomed in December one year  

Book, Life – Hunger Games Misname, Grief – Cry


The book signing on Nov. 9 at Chapters Crowfoot was slow. It was a horrible snowy day, but the other authors there were a pleasure to be with. I learned a lot from them and how they promote and sell their books, so the experience was valuable in the end.

LIFE:  Hunger Games Misname

Mom is still having a hard time adjusting to losing more words, but the ones she creates are very funny.

We were watching the first two Hunger Games so that we will remember where the story is when the third Hunger Games movie comes out Nov 21. Mom got caught up in the action and said “Mistress, watch out!” She meant Katniss of course. My sister and I had to choke back the laughter as we exchanged looks and my sister even had to drink to cover up her guffaws. That action hero is nobody’s mistress, that’s for sure.

GRIEF: 106 Ways to Deal with Grief,

The idea behind the statement…

15. Crying is good for you. Likely you’re going to do lots for a long time.

The minute the police told me Shannon was dead in her apartment (I wouldn’t go in); my eyes developed a life of their own. The tears just streamed down and didn’t stop for quite a while. It was like the waterworks were entirely out of my control. I had to close bank accounts, tell utility companies she was gone and discontinue the service and all of that with tears streaming. I realized a crying woman gets excellent service, just one of those odd things I noticed. My head had such pressure in it I had to get acupuncture to make the sinuses drain properly. I really cried up a storm and I didn’t care much that I did. At work I had to rein it in, but the minute I was in the parking lot on my way home, down came the tears. I had a lot to cry about apparently, so I did.

I cried pretty much regularly for the first two years, heavier the first, less the second. Year three, now and again and now that I am in year five, just sometimes. I was never a crier before and had difficulty crying when I needed to. No problem now. I cry at sad movies, when someone is in distress, when I think of what I have lost and just from time to time when I feel sad. Much healthier now. That dry awful feeling I used to get when I needed to cry and couldn’t is gone. I can cry and feel better afterwards, which is the purpose of crying I think – release.

So get used to it and let it go or you will back up and back up until you find the dam breaking when you don’t want it to. You don’t have to hold back the tears, they want to get out. You need to express your grief.

What are the voices telling you to do? Book signing. Meaning behind the statement.

BOOK: MARK THE DATE – Support your Local Writers – Nov 9, 11-3 at Chapters Crowfoot. I will be doing a book signing along with John Gilchrist the restaurant critic who was on CBC talking about best places to eat, Shirlee Matheson who is well known for her excellent Y/A books and a few others. Each of us will take a few minutes to talk about our books. Good chance to get books for Xmas.

LIFE: What are the voices telling you to do?

I was going to bed at 1 a.m. (yeah, I know, I should go to bed earlier), getting ready in the bathroom when mom called out from her bedroom, “Kathy can you turn down the TV a little? It’s too loud.” I told her the TV was off.  How was she hearing voices?  She said, “Well, I hear them.” I asked if her radio was on. No. Then I paused for a moment then asked, “What are they telling you to do?”

I thought, if she’s flipped out, I can make it to the front door, nightie be damned. She’s an old woman.

She said, “Come here and listen, there are voices.” So I did. Might have been my last breath on earth. I entered the dark bedroom.

Mom said, “Here sit on the bed and listen.” I declined, but listened from where I was standing in the dark. Momma didn’t raise no fools.

She was right. She had somehow hit the switch on the radio and sure enough, people were talking softly and because Mom is so deaf, she could hear the sounds, but didn’t know where they were coming from. A flip of the switch and all was well.

Oh, mother, life is never dull.

GRIEF: 106 Ways to Deal with Grief,

The idea behind the statement…

12. Talk out loud to your loved one. (But maybe when others are not around, you don’t want to be institutionalized, it’s no fun.)

I talk to my daughter who died. I tell Shannon how much I miss her. Sometimes I tell her about something that happened in my day, or something that has happened to someone she knew. I say how I hope she is doing well on the other side and she is happy. I know she is. I do this in private. It’s nobody’s business what I do and sometimes I feel the need to actually speak out loud to her as I look at her picture on the bookcase.

Talking to your loved one relieves your mind, I think. I feel better if I talk to her now and then. It’s not crazy. You had a relationship for likely many years and you used to talk to them all the time. It helps you not miss them quite as much and I think is healing.


BOOKS:   I’m looking for a mean God, from Norse, or Olympian Greece, or Celtic history who would want to harm people. Someone nasty and mean who holds a grudge. Any ideas?

Are people crazy?  I was driving on 12 Ave. and stopped for the light at 14 St. SW, when an elderly woman with an equally elderly woman passenger, turned in the wrong way on the one way street. She was now facing traffic in the far lane.  I honked and waved at her.  She was nonplussed.  As she passed me going the wrong way, I  turned and looked behind me to see what she was doing and saw her swing across three lanes and turn herself in the right direction before the light changed.  Two grandmas almost didn’t make it home.

GRIEF: 106 Ways to Deal with Grief,

4. You can’t hide from grief – that does not good at all. You need to go through it so you can eventually start to heal. Otherwise, there you are 10 years later, still dealing with a crippling grief that will not go away. It is normal to avoid pain. I think that is what the numbness is when you first hear. Your mind and body are trying to give you a little anesthetic, a little numbness or blankness so you have a little time to adjust.

My mother said “It’s time to stop crying, we’ve cried enough.” This was after one day, so for some people all they want to do is get away. Unfortunately, there is no getting away, and if you deny and deny for too long, it waits for you and it will wait years. One woman said she didn’t start grieving until five years after her son was killed. Her life was very busy and she had other children, so it wasn’t until they all reached an age that she could look at what had happened. She had a very bad time for a while, as is normal.

You don’t want to be one of those people with unexplained ulcers, or a heart condition, or sleep disturbances that become permanent. Deal with it, go through it and you will come out the other side eventually.

You have to stare the monster in the face. That’s the only way you can deal with what has happened. That is the only way you can process your grief and eventually find a place to put it. It never leaves you, but just becomes dulled over time and your life can move on.

Books, Life, Grief


I find it amazing just how obsessed a person can become when writing to a deadline.  Thinking it, dreaming it 24×7.  I thought I was done, but then I always think I am done, until I leave it for a while and read it again.  Nope. Still needs more work.  Other writers will know what I am talking about and readers need to know how much we sweat for them, to get it just right.   There should be a Kiss a Writer’s Day.  How about that?


3. Eat a loved one’s favorite food.  After my nephew, Ben, died, I happened to be eating a doughnut, you know, those doughnut croissants from Safeway covered with icing and then with a drizzle of chocolate?  Very nice and I have always liked them.  I wondered why it was especially delicious and why it made me feel so good, when I realized this was also Ben’s favorite.  Because he loved them so much, it was like a reminder of  him, which made me feel good.  Try it.  Have that favorite food of your loved one’s and test my theory. I’ll bet you’ll see what I mean.


Sorry, Lady.

I was in Co-op doing a quick shop because mom was home alone and as I sped down the aisles, I could hear a rather loud woman talking to her daughter, who looked about four or five.  She kept talking to her and calling her “Princess”.  The little girl was dressed all in pink as well.

I thought back to all those discussions we used to have about women’s rights. We still are not making the same wage a man is for the same job. The stats haven’t changed in 35 years.  A lot of women are still caught in fantasy which doesn’t help them make their mark in the world and stand up for themselves.

Then I thought about  what all this princess and all this wearing of pink  is doing to our youngest generation.  What? Are all the little girls thinking they are princesses and are they all waiting to be saved by a knight in shining armor instead of being the hero they are looking for and taking their rightful place in the world?  Too much pink, too much princess thinking.  I fear for my grandaughter (who at four likes trucks much more, thank goodness) and I fear for her generation, so I spoke up after I came across them again for the third time.

“Do  you really want to be calling her Princess? Is that the message you want to give to your daughter?”  I wasn’t pushy, just concerned, I thought.

She immediately saw red.  “She’s autistic and only understands about 20 words.  Thanks for  your judgment.” and she stomped off in a huff.

I wasn’t commenting on your cute little autistic daughter, lady.  I was only concerned about her.  Even autistic kids are expected to be princesses with pink and live in a fake world filled with castles and princes?  That’s not fair.  You’ve wasted two of the 20 words she knows on bad advice. She’s only little, why do that to her?

If I offended you lady, then sorry.  I didn’t intend to hurt you.


Books, Mediumship, Art, Caregiving

Hello, all.  I am going to blog at least once a week on one of the below categories.

Hopefully, I won’t just be blowing wind up my … and people out there will find what I have to say captivating, engaging, witty, and undeniably entertaining.   At least that’s the hope.

BOOKS:  I’ll talk about my book, “106 Ways to Deal with Grief”, that I wrote after my daughter, Shannon died by suicide in 2009.  I will give details on the background and ideas behind each 106 ways.  As well, I am working on a few other books, an adult/YA fantasy, a trilogy of children’s books for ages 8-11 and a few other projects.

TALKING to the DEAD:  For my mediumship, I will let you know what I have been experiencing and talk about some of the people from beyond who have reached out to me.

ART:  The Art is of course my daughter, Shannon’s art.

CAREGIVING: The caregiving refers to my caring for my 91 year old mom who I took in about two years ago.  She’s quite entertaining, that Violet.  Imagine saying she’ll eat her teenager later when I got her a Teen Burger.  I think that’s against the law mom, though I know a few that should be eaten…

There is something for everyone, so you can check out the area you find of interest and see what I have to say about that.

Here’s the first one, a combination of two categories:

BOOKS:  Help a writer:  First, how about helping me?  I’ll state the problem, you answer with your suggested solution. I would very much appreciate your assistance.

Question:  Since Avatar came out with all the blue people, my tribes on a galaxy far, far away who were blue, will have to change, so what’s suitable skin colours for say 3 different coloured tribes living on the same planet if blue won’t do for one of them?

Question:  One of my characters in another book is a DWELF, half dwarf, half elf.  What the heck would he look like?

BOOKS:  “106 Ways to Deal with Grief” Thoughts behind the book.

1.  Everyone dies and unless you are the first to go, everyone grieves.  Sounds trite at first. We all know we don’t get out of life alive. It’s a terminal, fatal condition, but even though we have some intellectual awareness and we know this is true, reality is totally different.  I don’t know how we got that way, but I think we honestly believe death is something that happens to other people, not to me! Someone died, no, it can’t be true!  It’s like we take it all personally and the horrible grief is ours alone. We have forgotten death is a universal condition and virtually everyone on the planet will go through something like we are going through. Realizing doesn’t make it easier, but at least you know, it’s not just you or them, it’s the end of a life and therefore, death.