Smashwords Summer/Winter sale!!

Four of five of my books are enrolled in Smashwords‘ Summer Winter promotion, which runs for the month of July. “Travis” and “Just a Canadian Girl” remain free as they always are, but “She Wasn’t Allowed to Giggle” and “Wildflowers Scattered, Estranged: Memoirs of a Small Town Girl” are 50 per cent off for the month of July!

Use the coupon codes to get your discount- for both books the coupon is SSW50. “Spellbound by Fire” will be enrolled after it is through being revamped and retitled “Legend of Kawilara: Part 1: Fire.”

So get copies of the books while they are one sale and keep an eye out for the announcement of the release of “Kawilara”. Happy summer reading! Find all my books at Smashwords:

Gypsy’s Storm

Thunder bellows
and this gypsy heart races
across the prairie.
Too many years
standing still.
Too many faces
become obsolete.
None of you
matter  to me.

To take a step
out of this town…
Seems it always
drags you back,
drive so far 
to get turned around
and her spirit dies
a little more each day.

Stand beneath blue clouds
darkening to black.
Gypsy of the dark-hearted
nomads, eyes watching skies,
gusts howling, I am yearning
for them to take me away
like wildflower petals
caught in the storm;
awaken me somewhere
no one knows my name.
I will run until
you never know of me…

And when it’s over,
when rains drizzle off,
trickle down city drains,
when thunder is a low mumble
somewhere above traffic lights
and lightening is a far off
striking memory
this gypsy heart will be
everything you’ve never seen… 

Patchwork colours;
imperfect beauty.
Ripped up denim;

roughed up freedom.
Wild hair;

not giving a care.

As fast as the storm blows in,
gusting through a life
you walked out on
the night you walked out on me,
like resilient daisies I will
still stand,
stand still. 

As drenched as you get
out in the rain
on a street somewhere
wishing for me,
I am walking ahead
reminding you why
storms are named
as they are
but you put yourself there.

You don’t even
matter to me. 

Photo by Lavinia Thompson

Photo by Lavinia Thompson

New poem ~ Restless

Rainy night;
drowning this town
once more.
The world is changing
but it all stays the same

And I stand
out where wildflowers blow
on a hill overlooking
the highway leading away
from this place;
counting years,
suppressing fears.

Dreams trickling down windows;
reflections of another time,
orange specks through 
street lights,
another fight
with this gypsy soul.
Does she stay or
does she go?



Ramblings of a Gypsy

This town. It sucks a certain life from you. It keeps you in the same monotone motions of everyday living, where while nothing is wrong, everything seems unaligned, the soul displaced and then restlessness takes over. It’s overwhelming and you only want to be anywhere but here. By day, the Bible belt town is ridden with religious families who stick up their noses at anything out of the norm. Picture perfect families, who have grown up here, raised their kids and will set them free just for them to do the same thing. By night, prostitutes and drug dealers, gangsters and college and university students take to the downtown streets for wild nights and raging drinking fests, taking any drug they can get their hands on in between bar hopping.

Chasing the highway wind is the only thing that’s really been on my mind lately. It has been for the last year since my front door closed on an old love that had withered to nothing, much like the roses die and brown and become floral scented dust. Like how ribbon frays and falls to the floor, not even cared about anymore. There’s a tragic beauty when it dies. Bittersweet and hostile and freeing all at the same time…and yet, love was something he knew nothing of.

And although there has been healing in moving on and being freed from a relationship so toxic to my soul, that soul still feels poisoned by this town. Every rumour, every backstabber and every friend who becomes another two-faced mask, unrecognizable from who they once were….it gets old so fast. Suddenly every intersection lit alive by traffic lights, every 24-hour Tim Horton’s where nights were wasted on coffee, every time absolutely nothing changes, just feels like one more battle lost in the middle of the vacancy in my mind. There is a certain freedom to the open road that just can’t be captured in words and it is that something certain I have been craving since spring blossomed. It’s like watching the gypsies poke their heads out from the hotel windows where they’ve been hiding all dreadful winter. They know it’s time to move on, find somewhere new and warmer and more exciting.

Certain things just died for me here. Faith in humanity, the belief that there is an end to the gypsy’s highway, and the yearning to settle, because once again, the wildflowers are coming out of hibernation and the butterflies are free to fly away somewhere unknown and beautiful.

A pink sunset doused the prairie in a disillusioned beauty tonight, framed by wisps of whimsical purple clouds just hovering over the flat horizon. I keep staring down that horizon while counting up the years I am wasting here. I keep watching that open highway, waiting for the perfect moment to just go.

But if the past has taught me anything, there is no such thing as the perfect moment. There is either a plan for the future or there is right now. The choice is there. The time has come.

“I hear the birds on a summer breeze I drive fast I am alone in my mind Been trying hard not to get into trouble but I’ve got a war on my mind So I just ride I’m tired of feeling like I’m fucking crazy I’m tired of driving til I see stars in my eyes…” ~ Lana Del Ray

A pink sunlight settles behind a tree on Mayor McGrath Sept. 26.

New poem ~ Patchwork


Wildflowers grow
in yellow patches.
Drive me wild;
make me crazy,
I’m in deep,
deep as summertime’s light.

Orange dusted sunset
settles within.
Sweep me off my feet,
take me away.
You don’t even know
what you do to me.

Grass slithers
above the knees.
Lay me down out there,
soak us up sweetly,
falling way too deep,
deeper than a moon’s silver bath.

Summer is a patchwork
of leather, denim and passion.
Drink it up with me,
breathe into me.
You brought me back
from a hopeless place.

Wildflowers grow
multi-coloured patches.
Drive me wild,
make me crazy.
I’m in deep
deep as summertime’s light.


This is Family

National Siblings Day: the older you get, the more certain things mean to you


It is a rarity for me to pay attention to things like National “days.” You know, “National Donut Day” or “National Hug Day” or whatever. But today, it was “National Siblings Day” trending on Twitter that caught my eye.

I am the middle child between an older brother and a younger sister. This “Day” likely captured my attention because this year, we all officially became adults. My sister turned 18 a few months ago. It was a real trip, coming to grips with the bizarre reality that my baby sister is now an adult, complete with a job, a cell phone, a driver’s license, car and a mere month away from a high school diploma. Mind blowing, really. To me, she is still an innocent little five-year old and my brother is a typical 16 year old teenage boy, leaving me lingering somewhere between not quite grown up but not so young either, though I turn 25 next month, striking close to a quarter life crisis of sorts. As of her turning 18, all three of us “kids” became grown-ups (though some days far from growing up.).

The real trip was something that happened to my brother a few months back. On a night when I had too much drink and went to bed early, passing out drunk and peaceful, he was the victim of a horrific hit and run in which he was run over by a truck.

I never woke up so fast with a hangover when my alarm went off at six and I found messages and missed phone calls from my mother at two or three in the morning. The only time she ever calls that time of night is for an emergency. I remember sitting straight up in bed, breathless, when she said “Your brother got ran over last night.” I couldn’t bring myself to say the word “dead” when I asked “Is he…is he…did he….survive?”

He did survive, though it left his pelvic bone broken in five places, alone with a fractured leg and ankles. He was unable to walk and at one terrifying point the doctor told him he might never walk again. The doctor also said he was lucky to be alive.

That first week was a dark one. Difficult to believe a person would do this to someone. I knew the first time going into the hospital to visit would be devastating. My brother is one of those people who I always thought was invincible. He can do anything, from fixing vehicles to building stuff to fighting people. Back when my ex was stalking me and followed me home one day, my brother tracked him down and punched him a couple times. He stands up for his family and even throughout our childhood dealing with Mom’s ex, my brother always stood up for his little sisters and our mother. He’s the man of the family.

I’ve only ever seen him cry once or twice in my lifetime. That day, with the nurse and my mother holding him down to give him a needle of some sort, he was crying and it nearly tore my heart out. I remember standing there trying not to cry at how suddenly vulnerable someone can be. It’s only the moment it takes to step on the gas pedal and go. I remember being terrified of the cast on his leg, thinking just how much was going to change if he really was wheelchair-bound for the rest of his life. It was a disturbing thought that made me sick to my stomach.

But it only took him maybe a month before he was back on his feet, able to stand. What truly convinced me that my big brother is indeed invincible was the first time seeing him upon being discharged from the hospital after five weeks and was walking.

What can seem like a smaller bump in the road to others changed my entire perception on what matters most in life. There are some things you have that you can never get back when lost; family members, close friends, and in some cases, mobility or senses. There are times when it seems like the walls are collapsing into pieces and there is no way to salvage them. There are times in your life when you just let go of old grudges and things that used to get under your skin like a poisonous thorn.




Rebuilding is something this family has done a lot of in the last decade since the house burned down in 2004. While my brother and I have not always gotten along and we have had some nasty fights throughout the years, family is something I have come to cherish more than anything. I almost lost my mother back in 2011 and this year, I almost lost my brother. The doctors were shocked he lived through the ordeal to begin with, let alone seeing him walk so soon. While he is by no means perfect (and nobody is) I have been re-inspired into believing that he can do anything.

So, on this “National Siblings Day” I celebrate not only how proud I am of my sister for her accomplishments and for her graduating, I also celebrate family and what it has come to mean to me. Family is not picture perfect. Family is not always blood, but when it is, it’s a powerful force to reckon with.

One of my favourite lyrics from a LeAnn Rimes song says it all:

“We’re best of friends and worst enemies
We’re all to blame
We’re all the same
This is my family.”



Resurrecting Talk: Victims’ Bill of Rights in Canada

Within the last year or so, there has been talk about a Victims’ Bill of Rights to be put through Parliament in Canada. I recall touching on this a while back. Now it has returned to the news.

“As we have stated countless times, we are committed to introducing a comprehensive package of legislative reforms never before seen in our country’s history,” says Justice Minister Peter McKay in a letter the Canadian Press has gotten its journalistic hands on. He continues by adding: “Victims of crime deserve to be treated with courtesy, compassion, inclusion and respect.”

There has been discussion about this Bill, though nothing concrete has been set yet. McKay stated last fall in an interview that victims should be involved in the justice process “from the time of the offence to the final disposition of the sentence.”  This Bill will supposedly give victims a voice in the system instead of being treated like a witness.

Ombudsman Sue O’ Sullivan was quoted by CBC: “We have an opportunity with the upcoming bill of rights to rebalance the system for victims of crime in Canada.”

And she is right. Such reforms, if done correctly, could go a long ways in properly prosecuting criminals. Especially if there is a focus put on domestic violence and child abuse victims. To give them a voice would change so much in a justice system where currently a pothead will go to jail for longer than a child molester.

The likes of the John Howard society have claimed this Bill is a return to “medieval” justice. But what is so wrong with a justice system that actually focusses on victims? We have seen time and time again under our current system that victims often do not get justice served. When the likes of Graham James only gets measly two year sentences for the amount of damage and terror he inflicted, and yet someone who only smokes pot will go to jail for seven years, where is the justice? While drugs are certainly an issue that needs to be addressed, it’s not the only issue our justice system should be focussing on.

As many of you know, in the last year I went through a rather hostile break up with a guy who essentially stalked me after he made the decision to leave me. I got the cops involved as I wasn’t sure what his intentions were. After watching what my mother went through, I wasn’t willing to take my chances on how it might turn out.

But I learned something from the experience. I was reminded of how much it helps to know what a woman on her own can do to protect herself from even potentially threatening situations. Know your rights. Know the laws. Educate yourselves, ladies, because while you might never find yourself in my mother’s shoes, you could very well find yourselves in mine. And if you aren’t aware of how you can fight back to someone who wants to play games, then what will you do?

I had a no-contact order put on my ex. It means if he comes near me, my workplace or my home and I feel threatened, I could call the cops and he would get arrested and charged. I didn’t stay anywhere on my own because I had my suspicions. But I got angry. I’d had enough of the games and the immaturity. 

I am posting the link to the Government of Canada website under their Family Violence law section. I advise everyone, really, to read up on this and know the laws. They are there to use. They are there for you. Educating yourself is so important so that if something is to happen, you know what you can do. And remember, even if it is just a no-contact order or a restraining order, it records any time he does something and it proves later on that he has a history of certain behaviour towards you. It was how my mother eventually got out of her terrible situation and it is how I avoided something that might have escalated. It might seems small and pointless now, but down the road if a case gets taken to court, it is there as evidence to back you up. You’ve got to have your own back because there are times no one else can or will. Stand your ground. Be fearless.

“We should be celebrated every day. We can be the most powerful army, if we support each other. If we believe in ourselves respect all the others….” ~Cristina Scabbia, Lacuna Coil