Tuesday, November 5, 2013

My cat, wearing tights

No tights were harmed...

Looks like he gave up half way through getting ready to go out.
His legs are so long!
America's Next Cat Model.

What's the diff?
Well, he's got gloves now.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

9/11 memorial, New York City

Ladder Co. 10, Engine Co. 10 was right next door to the Twin Towers.
Read a bit more here

Earlier this year, I went to New York City. One of the highlights of my trip was my visit to the 9/11 Memorial. 

The events of that day, 12 years ago now, are forever remembered by so many of us who witnessed it only on the television news channels. And there is always a lingering sense of being incomplete, of not having grieved properly, and of guilt.

Ladder Co. 10, Engine Co. 10 lost 6 men on that day.
A memorial on the wall of Ladder Co. 10, Engine Co. 10

So carrying these feelings, and a sense of stress and worry, I walked to the 9/11 memorial site from my hotel in Chelsea. It wasn't far. Nothing is far in New York City. And that was something that struck me, too. I tried to imagine being there on that day, on that perfect, beautiful, blue-skied morning. 

The images came back into my mind only so well. The airliners crashing into the towers, the people running, the falling debris, the collapsing buildings, the people helping each other and the survivors and heroes that we all remember. Because everything in the city is pretty much within walking distance, the memorial became that much more urgent and immediate. I must see it. I had to. 

Inside the memorial area, you will see two large fountains.

I was scared. What would I see? How would I feel?

There was the usual security precautions, winding lines of patient people, security staff checking packages, police officers, signs, walls and various checkpoints. But it was all very efficient and we were inside behind the plywood outside walls in no time. 

And the names of the dead are revealed.
Out of so many, here is one person:
Vernon Paul Cherry was a firefighter and a hero

I went there in early May of 2013--the park area is new, green and tranquil. 

The twin towers are gone, of course, and in their place are fountains, big square fountains with deep holes in the middle that seem to go into the very depth of the earth. Around the holes, are walls with the names of the people who died on that terrible day.

The Freedom Tower was completed during the week I was in New York City.
It is right next door to the 9/11 memorial.

I took some photos, but so emotional I wasn't really even aware of what I was taking pictures of. I'm sharing some of these photographs here today.

The Freedom Tower reflected in the broken window at
Ladder Co. 10, Engine Co. 10
The water splashes down and a fine mist floats up,
touching the passersby and making the loss seem so much more tangible.

Some people may think it's a trick of the water, camera and light,
but I like to think it's the souls of the departed, filled with light.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Welcome to HELL. The Hell's Gate Air Tram, that is.

First, of all, The Hell's Gate Air Tram is not the least bit hellish. 

Here, take a look:

You enter Hell's Gate Air Tram from the building on Hwy 97.
Then you descend, in a perfectly safe, Swiss-made air tram
over the terrifying Fraser Canyon, downward, where only
a few minutes later, you reach the other side of the river.

Here is a view from the suspension bridge. The buildings on the left include a museum,
a gift shop, ice cream and fudge, and a nice cafe.
Make sure you take a walk around and see the public art,
 including sculptures and murals.

Check out the Hell's Gate Air Tram website for rates, location, hours and tons of great info. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Wilds to Riches documentary

I'm doing editorial revisions on my manuscript for a book I'm writing about Jean Caux, also known as Cataline. He was a pack train operator who came to British Columbia in 1858, and worked at his profession until he retired in 1912. A long haul (pun intended)!

Because his career spanned such a long time, I've got files for each decade, and I'm working on the 1890s right now. A busy time in British Columbia, and culminating with the building of the Yukon Telegraph in 1899, which was a response to the Yukon Gold Rush. Government and industry wanted a way to keep in touch with the remote and somewhat mysterious Klondike.

Cataline also he packed for the miners and merchants of the 1862 Cariboo Gold Rush. So I was OK with sneaking a bit of time away from writing and editing this morning to look at the trailer of a CBC documentary that's showing on July 6th at 7 pm. "Wilds to Riches" is about the characters who have come  to the Cariboo country to seek gold--both past and present. Starting in 1862 and up until right this minute,the search for gold has been a draw, an entrancement and an addiction for many. Some strike it rich, but many more go home broke.

This documentary interests me in two ways. First, because Jean Caux, the guy I'm writing about, packed for years into the Cariboo country. He and his pack train of mules and horses brought supplies up from Yale and later Ashcroft into this area to supply the local miners, merchants, farmers and everyone else. Unless you've ever lived or visited here, and travelled the back roads and trails, you can't imagine how hard these packers worked. Everyone worked hard in those days. The miners had it rough, too. Terrible living conditions, mud in the summer, insects, poor food, and bad liquor. In the winter, cold cold cold, and lots of snow. Many left during the winter for warmer places like Victoria, but some toughed it out and stayed through the coldest months.

And of course, the documentary interests me because I live in Quesnel, in the heart of the Cariboo country. The fabulous historical gold rush town of Barkerville is just down the road, bringing history to life. I have friends and relatives who have placer gold claims, and the signs of how important gold is to the economy are everywhere. Isn't it thrilling, in a way, to know that the shout of "gold" is just a mountain away?

The documentary looks great, and I'm marking the date on my calendar. Check out the trailer here:

Monday, June 17, 2013

Interview: The adventurous, reflective Rhea Rose

SSJ:Tell us about yourself. 
RR: I call myself a dual citizen. I work as a Language Arts and Fine Arts teacher in an alternate program, but I also have a full-time interest in writing. I write short stories, poetry, and lately, I’ve written a webisode series that I will turn into a novel series, too. I just completed the MFA (creative writing) program at UBC.

What are your newest works? 
This year (2013) I have three short stories coming out in three different anthologies. My first story, “Leaf Man” has appeared this spring, April, in Masked Mosaic Canadian Super Stories, published by Tyche Books (rhymes with Nike); the next anthology is called Dead North and it’s a collection of Zombie stories published by Exile Books. 

My story is called, “The Adventures of Dorea Tress,” and this collection will be out in October 2013. The last story, “The Wall” will appear in an anthology called Tesseracts 17, again in the late fall, published by Edge Press. So far, it’s been a good year for short stories.

What else is new with you? 
At the moment I’m on a personal crash course in marketing my writing online. Although I have always published through the traditional method, mail out, get rejected, mail again, most writers know the traditional publishing world has been knocked from its kingpin position by the onslaught of epublishing. This change of venue for writers requires us to become better marketers of our own work; she who knows how to blog, tweet, build a website, and crowd source, then write a good book, will do well.  

That being said, I am still earning to think differently about how I approach my own writing projects. I decided to graduate from UBC with a webisode, the writing of which was very much like writing a novel. I created a world and characters and dialogue, now I can finish the job by turning the stories into novels, or produce them as webisodes or do both. Although the project is ready “to go” in terms of writing (that’s done), the marketing is not in place yet.

What did you learn during the writing process? 
Can you give us any tips? 

One of the best things I’ve learned to do is write anywhere. If you have a laptop or something small like that and learn to take it with you, like you do your purse and make yourself write, you will end up with completed projects. I’ve also learned that if you write it “they will come,” for those of you that remember the movie Field of Dreams. Today more than ever that holds true. Writers have become suppliers of content. Don’t ever throw away an idea. I once wrote a vampire story that I couldn’t sell for ten years. Everywhere I sent it, they said, “OMG, a vampire story. We don’t do those.” Then with the rise of the Twilight series, my vampire story became the hottest thing since, well, you know.

Tell us about your previous projects. 
I tend to be a short story writer and most of my work has been published in Canada, but some of it has been published in the US. In the world of Canadian speculative writing, which includes Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Myth and anything in between, one of the writers’ awards is called the Aurora. I’ve been nominated for it, but have yet to win it.

What is it that you like about science fiction? 
Not just science fiction but the entire field of speculative fiction attracts me because it allows the adventurous side of me to explore realms that I can’t otherwise go to. There is much hullabaloo in the genre about the fact the Margaret Atwood insists that she doesn’t write science fiction, but it’s very clear to those of us that do, that she does also. That’s not to say that I don’t write literary fiction or don’t enjoy it, I do, and have published both short stories and poetry in more literary publications, but for now it’s not where I like to live most of the time.

What books are you reading right now? 
I just finished the third book in the Game of Thrones series (George R.R. Martin) and a collection of short stories called, Objects of Worship by Claude Lalumiere. I am reading Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell, For One More Day by Mitch Albom and am about to start another short story collection called Push of the Sky by Camille Alexa, like most writer my reading list is infinite, eclectic and random. If someone puts a book in front of me and says read this I will, at some point.

Tell us about your next project.
I’d like to bring some of the writing projects I began in my UBC classes to completion and get them marketed. My next big love is poetry and did do some serious poetry writing in a class with Susan Musgrave. I love poetry. To me it’s the heart of all writing. I may do a poetry collection.

How can people buy your book? 
These are links that will take you to my work.


How can people find you on –line?
Ha, ha, I am on Facebook and I do have a blog called; The Essence of the Rose, but I am still very new at all this and to prove it if you look for me on Facebook you’ll soon see I have to different pages. This is because I didn’t know what I was doing in the beginning and created two, now that I know better, I rather like having two. Tweets and websites are being worked on. I’m on LinkedIn and Good Reads.

Thanks, Rhea! I look forward to reading more from you.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Interview: the energetic and informed Julie H. Ferguson

SSJ:Tell us about yourself.

JHF: A non-fiction writer for 42 years and an avid photographer, I am also a hybrid author of twenty-one books— including four commercially published about Canadian history, six self-pubbed for writers and teachers, and six photo portfolios. 

My articles and images have appeared in national and international markets, both print and online. I am also an addicted freelance travel writer and photographer.

My company, Beacon Literary Services, provides services to writers yearning to get either commercially or self-published, in book and magazine industries that are in constant upheaval. 

I am proud to be a member of The Travel Media Association of Canada, the International Travel Writers Alliance, the BC Association of Travel Writers, and the Federation of BC Writers, as well as a former member of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers.

What's your latest book?
My fourth traditionally published book is James Douglas: Father of British Columbia, a young adult biography (Dundurn 2009 – Quest Library series), which was voted one of the Best Nonfiction Books of 2010 for grades 7 to 12 by Resource Links Magazine for teachers. I’m also delighted to be able to say that JD has been enjoyed by as many adults as school students.
This creative nonfiction adventure is mostly set in pre-Confederation Canada from 1803 to the end of JD’s life in 1877. Part-Black and illegitimate, fifteen year-old James Douglas sailed alone from Scotland to join the fur trade and later became the governor of the Colonies of Vancouver Island and British Columbia. The story weaves through the heart of Canadian history when BC was a wild land, Vancouver did not exist, and Victoria was a muddy village. The foreword is by Stephen Hume. 

How did you get started writing this book?
Dundurn’s managing editor phoned me and asked me to write James Douglas for their biographical series for school libraries. I had not queried them nor did I have to write a book proposal because I had done two books with Dundurn before. This is one of the bonuses of being in a publisher’s stable of authors.
Dundurn gave me only four months to do the research, creative writing, and revision. Fortunately, I knew the period well and some of the characters from work on a previous book.
The work was brutally hard and all-consuming; I ate, slept, and dreamed of James Douglas. But I achieved the deadline and was satisfied with the manuscript.

What did you learn during the writing process? Can you give us any tips? 
To be honest, I would never undertake to research and write a book in such a short period again and, indeed, refused when Dundurn asked me to write another book in six months.
I’ve learned since 1984, when I began work on Periscope, to immerse myself in as many original sources as I can find, write without the research beside my keyboard, and ruthlessly revise to meet my book’s overarching theme and throughlines. (I use the material I cut for my articles, etc., that promote the future book.)
Also it is imperative to start getting articles pubbed on the nonfiction topic as soon as you can in markets that your book’s potential readers read; to create and activate your online presence years in advance of publication; and to speak on your subject whenever you can. Promotion needs to be relentless, both in person and online, well in advance of your book’s appearance and afterwards.

Tell us about your previous books.

I have written two books about the Canadian Submarine Service: Through a Canadian Periscope: The Story ofthe Canadian Submarine Service (1995) and its sequel, Deeply Canadian: New Submarines for a New Millennium (2000). My next book for Dundurn was Sing a New Song: Portraits of Canada’sCrusading Bishops (2006), that features biographies of four BC Anglican bishops who changed the world. (The first, George Hills, was a contemporary of James Douglas.) 
I self-publish (print and electronic) my books for writers and teachers as mini-guides, and my own photo portfolios (print and iBooks). My overall-bestselling book is Book Magic: Turning Writers intoPublished Authors, now in its third edition, which is also self-published.

What is it that you like about British Columbia history?
Almost forgotten, BC sat at the final frontier of the British Empire and was wild and unspoiled when the Europeans discovered it. Today, I can still see the same geography and nature they did—unchanged and beautiful. I often imagine what it must have been like to live then with no toilet paper, no running water, no medicines, no transportation but canoes and horses, and have to make journeys of five thousand plus miles each year to feed the fur trade. Every time I drive the highways in BC, I remember that am using those fur trade routes and seeing what they saw. It’s an amazing sensation that invigorates me to search out more about it and then write stories of the place and individuals in a way that lets our population discover their predecessors. Magic!

I feel exactly the same way about British Columbia, Julie!

What are you reading right now?
·       Above All Things by Tanis Rideout ( McClelland and Stewart 2012). A superb debut CNF biography of George Mallory who died on Everest in 1924.
·         Rough Passage to London by Robin Lloyd (Sheridan House, forthcoming). A fictional account of Ely Morgan, a famous trans-Atlantic packet (sailing ship) captain, who rose to master mariner from serving before the mast as a boy.

 Tell us about your next project.
I have just finished preparing my first book, Through a Canadian Periscope, for re-release in March 2014 to celebrate the centenary of the Canadian Submarine Service. It will be a trade paperback this time round with the images embedded in the text, a feature that pleases me. Technology has also meant that the old print images could be restored, which I did myself.
I have also finished the first in a mid-grade novel series set on one of the last great sailing ships.

Anything else you’d like to add?
Canadians who write well have a much better shot at getting published than Americans. We don’t need an agent to approach any Canadian publisher and our government extends grants to publishers, which assist those of us who write for small markets in keeping the Canadian voice not only alive, but loud.

How can people buy your book?
All my books can be accessed through links on my website:

How can people find you on-line?

Beacon Literary Services' online presence includes:
·          Website: www.beaconlit.com
·          BLS Facebook biz page: www.facebook.com/BeaconLiteraryServices
·          The Beacon Blog for Writers: http://beaconlit.blogspot.com
·          Twitter: @BLSJHFerguson
·          ​Google+: https://plus.google.com/115278493724561706262/posts
·          LinkedIn: http://ca.linkedin.com/in/juliehferguson

And Julie's includes:
·         Through a Canadian Periscope: www.CanadianPeriscope.ca (New - January 2013) and www.facebook.com/CanadianPeriscope
·          My travelog: Stamps in My Passport: http://stampsinmypassport.blogspot.com
·          My YA biography blog: James Douglas: Father of BC: http://jamesdouglasofBC.blogspot.com
·          My online photography portfolio: www.juliehferguson.crevado.com 
·          My travel videos and book trailers: www.youtube.com/user/beaconlit?feature=mhee

Saturday, June 1, 2013

An interview with the driven and dedicated Robert C. Belyk

SSJ: Give us a bit of background about you?
RCB: Before writing full-time, I worked in psychiatric facilities, drug treatment units, a maximum-security penitentiary and similar ”fun” work places. I have had the privilege of being involved in two riots at a penitentiary and one insurrection at the Riverside Forensic Treatment Facility. During much of this time I managed to complete dual degrees in Political Science and Sociology. Although I’ve never taken a history course, in graduate school, my thesis was in the area of early British Columbia’s 19th century socio-economic development.

Tell us about your previous books?
My first book was a collection of ghost stories that appeared in 1990 under the title, Ghosts: True Stories from British Columbia. John Tod: Rebel in the Ranks, the biography of a HBC chief trader appeared in 1995. Great Shipwrecks of the Pacific Coast was published in 2001. My last collection of ghost stories was published in 2006. Between authoring books, I write articles on 19th and early 20th century history for Canadian and American publications.  

Tell us about your latest book?
I have recently completed my third collection of ghost stories. This work includes stories from the Prairie Provinces as well as British Columbia. Like my other ghost collections, the book is intended to be for readers who are interested in more than the quick, “fright rollercoaster” type of stories. Wherever possible I have researched the history of the haunting and attempted to draw the readers a dramatic picture of events leading up to, and surrounding the haunting.

What did you learn during the writing process? Can you give us any tips?
One of my interests has been collecting Canadian ghostlore. We sometimes hear a person tell us about their haunted house but the stories are never recorded and they are eventually lost in the ether. My purpose is to collect these accounts and present them in an interesting form. This latest book is my most ambitious ghost project. My wife and I spent more than a month on the road recording interviews across the four western provinces.
My advice to a beginning writer is to be prepared to spend many long hours researching your subject. Many old newspapers, for example, are now available online, but depending on the subject, one has to be prepared to make many trips to various archives to complete a major project.

What is it that you like about British Columbia history?
British Columbia has always been a “get-rich-quick” province. Entrepreneurs have come with the idea of making a fast dollar from our resources and then spending it somewhere else, rather than reinvesting it here. That is why this province lacks a secondary industrial base.
During boom periods, employers have relied on importing labour to keep wages down. In the long-term, the result has been to produce a culturally variant society divided along not only racial, but class and geographical lines. All this is the foundation of our interesting, colourful and conflicted past that puts the lie to any idea that Canadian history is boring.

SSJ: You're a dedicated researcher and writer, Robert.
RCB: Once I begin a project, not only am I committed to it, but also I’m its slave. Working on a book is more than a full time job. Much of my time is spent not only in writing, but also in thinking about the project. I am particularly fortunate in that my wife, Diane, has been supportive over the years.

I simply like to play with words. Not as in Scrabble where no one cares much about what the words mean, but the broader dimensions of the words themselves. Some words I think are beautiful, like “meander,” others seem to be ugly, like, “grizzle.” Interestingly, word meanings can be subtly altered simply in the way they are strung together in a sentence. I can remember a line from the classic film, Network—a writer was harassed by a couple of semi-literate bullies. He had the perfect retort when he turned to them and said, “You’ll never know the joy of writing a perfect sentence!”  (I’ve forgotten the movie’s plot, but not that line.)

That's a great quote. What are you reading now?
Thomas Hardy’s, The Woodlanders. I enjoy 19th century fiction, for it offers a portal into a time I find singularly fascinating.

Tell us about your next project.
A: My latest book, Spirits of the West, will be out in the spring of 2014. I haven’t given much thought to what I will write next.

How can people buy your books?
All my books are available by searching “Robert C. Belyk” at www.amazon.ca

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Behind Bars: prisoner artwork and works of art and literature on the topic of the BC Penitentiary

Because of my research into various historical crimes in British Columbia, I have become  interested the history in prisons and prisoners in our province. So, when I was in Kamloops a few weeks ago for the British Columbia Historical Federation Conference, and I heard about a new exhibit at Arnica Artist Run Centre, I had to take a look.

The art exhibit Behind Bars: (Prisoner Artwork and Works of Art and Literature on the Topic of the BC Penitentiary) is a mixture of items and artworks made within the penitentiary and work by contemporary artists and writers about BC Penitentiary

Prisoners made various types of art including cartoons, paintings and more. It is moving and chilling to realize the isolation and effort of the prisoners, and yet who still were able to produce art under these circumstances. The prisoner art was collected by former correctional officer Anthony Martin

Another part of the Behind Bars exhibit is by contemporary artists who, reflecting on archival items from the Anthony Martin collection from the BC Penitentiary, used various media to explain or understand the items. 

You can see mugshots of prisoners from the 1940s and 1950s, interpreted by artist Erin Busswood. The prisoners' black and white photographs are emphasized by the addition of coloured leaves and foliage. 

In a similar reflection, artist Kristina Bradshaw discovered and took photographs of numbered graves. Bradshaw found the forgotten graveyard hidden in a residential area in new Westminster covered in weeds and grass. The graves are now uncovered, and presented in a stark series of digital photos. This was, to me, a memorable way of stating just how anonymous the men were. Not only were their graves unnamed, they had been formerly lost to time.

In keeping with the theme, pages from the book Sentences and Paroles: A Prison Reader are displayed and discussed. The book, edited by P.J. Murphy and Jennifer Murphy is a riveting collection that allows the reader a look into a maximum security penitentiary. The book features contributions from  Stephen Reid, Evelyn Lau, Brian Fawcett, Sharon Pollock, Andreas Schroeder, Susan Musgrave, J. Michael Yates, Claire Culhane, and many others, including past and present prisoners and their keepers at the British Columbia Penitentiary, BC'’s notorious "Pen".

The show Behind Bars is running at Arnica until  is running June 15th.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Celebration of British Columbia's History in Books

British Columbia Historical Federation Author's Gathering and Book Display

Please join us on Friday, May 10th from 3:00 to 6:00 pm and on Saturday, May 11th, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm as the British Columbia Historical Federation celebrates British Columbia's history in books. A book display and author's gathering will be held as part of the Federation's annual conference in the Ida Room at The Coast Kamloops Hotel & Convention Centre, 1250 Rogers Way.  Mingle with authors.  Talk about books.  Support the creation of new knowledge about BC's past.

A wide range of books about BC history will be included in this author's gathering and book sale.  Local topics such as Marie Laroche's reminiscences of educators of the Kamloops area, called A Passion for Sharing and A Passion for Teaching will be represented, as will Andrew Yarmie's Women Caring for Kamloops, 1890- 1975. Trelle Morrow's book, Cataline: Packer Extraordinaire, and Susan Smith Josephy ‘s Lillian Alling: The Journey Home. Morrow's biography of Cataline, the famed master of the horse pack train tells of a man born in France of Spanish and Mexican descent who left his name throughout central BC during a long and colourful career.  Lillian Alling walked from New York to Dawson City, Yukon crossing the North American continent on foot enduring the hardships encountered through the rugged Rocky Mountains and the wilderness of British Columbia.  Lynne Bowen will also be on hand to discuss her work on British Columbia's Italian communities called Whoever Gives Us Bread: the Story of Italians in British Columbia.  And for those history buffs interested in the Brigade Trails, Nancy M. Anderson’s book The Pathfinder: A.C. Anderson’s Journey in the West, all about the fur trade trails forged through the Okanagan and Thompson Plateau, will also be available.

The Kamloops Museum will showcase its history books, including Kamloops: Trading Post to Tournament Capital.  The book spans the pre-Contact years to the present age with each chapter covering specific historical periods and the significant events that impelled history ever forward.  The North Shuswap Historical Society will have their 9 Volumes of The Shuswap Chronicles available and a representative of Friesens press will be on hand to answer questions about printing and book production.

Other BC writers participating in the celebration and book display will be, Lynne Stonier-Newman, Elenore Hancock, Danda Humphreys, Dave Young, Anne Switzer, Jay Sherwood, Frances Wellwood, Ron Hyde, and Neils for Mona Saemerow.

We look forward to seeing you there.

If you would like more information about this display, or to schedule an interview, contact Mary Campone at 250-374-1509.  For more information about events that are part of this year's BCHF conference, Historic Grasslands, see www.bchistory.ca .

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Calling all British Columbia history lovers

Just a few more sleeps! I'm very excited because on May 9 I'm heading down to Kamloops for the British Columbia Historical Federation 91st provincial conference. This year's conference title is "Historical Grasslands."

I'm especially interested in this year's guest speaker, local rancher and recently appointed Lieutenant Governor, The Honourable Judith Guichon who will be speaking on  “History of Ranching in BC.”  

Other speakers include: Dr. Wendy Gardner on the “History of the Changing Grasslands,” Ken Favrholdt on “The Brigade Trails,” Andrew Yarmie on “Women Caring for Kamloops” as well as Dr. Ron Ignace and Ms. Elisabeth Duckworth providing opening remarks at the Opening Reception.  

The conference will also include tours of the Lac de Bois area, the Secwepemc Museum and Heritage Park, and a sightseeing trip to Tranquille on the Lake, the site of the old Tranquille Sanatorium.  Informative workshop presentations during the first day of the conference include:  Land Titles Office Tour, From B to W: Blogs and Wikis - Writing History in the Digital Age, Copyright for Print and Digital and Developing a Tour Guide Program.

This year's conference will be held from May 9 to 12 at the at Coast Kamloops Convention Centre.  The public is welcome to register for the conference.  Full day and half day options have been made available to encourage local participation.  

A Book Display, providing local authors the opportunity to display/sell their books is also planned. YES! I will be there selling my book, "Lillian Alling: the journey home."

For more information about the conference or projects of the Federation, visit www.bchistory.ca or contact the Chair of the Kamloops Planning Committee, Mary Campone at 250-374-1509 or by email at director1@bchistory.ca
It is not too late to take advantage of the opportunity to take part in the Conference.  Registrations close on April 28th, 2013.  You may register on line at www.bchistory.ca

The BCHF was founded in 1922 and is a charitable organization representing almost 27,000 individuals through the many historical societies and museums across the Province.  The simple purpose of the society is to stimulate interest in the study of British Columbia history.  The BCHF publishes “British Columbia History” quarterly, presents the Lieutenant Governor’s Medal for Historical Writing Award each year and maintains two scholarships for studies in BC history.

Hope to see you there!

Monday, April 22, 2013

A posting on behalf of my Twitter friend, Anna Meade

iStock photo

Author: Susan Smith-Josephy
Title: Trotting Toward a Life of Happiness
Ebook? YES!

The meadow was dotted with wildflowers. A gnarled fence in the background opened into a gate, and above the gate was a trellis crawling with red roses.

White tablecloths were spread out, a picnic ready for the hundreds of guests that had arrived for the wedding of Anemone and Mykonos.

Colored flags flapped in the summer breeze, and yellow butterflies and bluebirds flitted.

It was quiet, only the buzzing of a few bees and chattering of naughty squirrels could be heard.  The guests were keeping as quiet as possible, awaiting the bride and groom.

“I hear something.”

“They’re almost here.”


Clip clop, clip clop went their hooves on the dry earth path, kicking up dust. The bride looked down at the hem of her veil. Was it dusty? She’d chosen a traditional one-shoulder silken wrap for her covering. Mykonos was bare-chested, of course. He’d been freshly waxed for the occasion.

Mykonos cleared his throat, did some deep breathing and flicked his tail a few times.

The couple approached the gate, stopped. Camera’s flashed, clicked and whirred. Anemone turned to smile at Mykonos.

“Kiss! Kiss!” shouted the guests.

“Were not married yet,” said Mykonos, with great seriousness.

“Well, let’s get on with it then,” said Anemone.

The minister, resplendent in a purple robe which enhanced his glossy black coat, beckoned them on.

Mykonos and Anemone shared their vows, thus pledging themselves together forever.

The guests thundered their hooves in appreciation. Kentauroi always do love a romantic wedding.

"I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride."

Anemone leaned in towards Mykonos, he pulled back her lacy veil, and they kissed. Long and hard.

The minister nodded his approval, his shiny black tail whisking back and forth.

Kentauroi were getting restless, they wanted snacks and dancing, and at a centaur wedding these things happened simultaneously.

Champagne was served, plates passed around, and the band started up.

"I hope they play Gangnam style," one adolescent girl whispered to another.

"Save a horse, ride a cowboy."

"His flanks are glistening, aren't they?"

The centaurs made a wide circle, the bride and groom would need a lot of room for their first dance.

Anemone and her gorgeous bridegroom clasped hands, and swayed to the music, tails sashaying in unison. Then, they bowed their heads, took three steps back, and waved for guests to join in.

I'd like to say it was a beautifully coordinated folk dance. But, to be honest, it was an awkward, muddy free-for-all. The hooves trampled the wildflowers, the tails swished the hors d'oeuvres, and Uncle Ralphus had to much mead and kicked a hole right through the bass drum.

As dusk settled in, and the fairy lights twinkled, the raucous partying continued, and Mykonos and his beautiful bride Anemone bad everyone a fare well, the moon slid north to light their way.

Breaking into a slow canter, the newlyweds, their shiny tails flowing out behind them, took their first steps as a married couple.

Godspeed, my friends.


Hey readers! Confused? Don't be. This blog post is in honour of Anna Meade's wedding.

For ALL the info, click here or here

Toast. Let us raise a glass to Anna and Michael, wishing all the best on this day and on all days forward.