West Island Blog

West Island Blog

The following articles have been published in the West Island Blog at www.westislandblog.com 
My column is titled:   Keeping it Real

See Beyond the Sight

See Beyond the Sight

At the end of one of my creative writing workshops, a student got up from her chair, stretched and said, “Ahhhhhh! That felt like I was meditating!” Her comment took me by surprise!
Students say many things to me after a class or workshop. Mostly, they ask questions about the course materials and content. This was the first time a student compared a creative writing workshop to meditating.
I thought, I must have bored the student so much they went off into a meditative state.
In this regard, I suppose my class was terribly boring and drastically needing some excitement. I felt very concerned…

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Published on August 6, 2020
Published on September 27, 2018
Published on October 8, 2017

Being Perfectly Impurfect

Being Perfectly Impurfect

A very long time ago I made a bold decision to reduce some of the high expectations “I” had created in my life. Not all, just some to ease the stress. Some of the nonsense stuff that’s useless and irritating. This idea started when someone asked me how to spell my name. My given name is Suzanne. I have been called, Suzanne, Suzie, Sue, Suz, Susan, Susanna, Suzette, Suzannie, Susonna, Su, and even Steve. The list is very long.

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Published on June 26, 2020
Published on January 25, 2016
Published on May 9, 2014
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Published on June 10, 2020
Published on April 17, 2017
Published on February 2, 2016
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Published on June 1, 2020
Published on June 17, 2018
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Published on May 21, 2020

A Microscopic Moment

A Microscopic Moment

There is so much to see in the garden at any time of year. Actually, there is so much to see in anything, if you really take the time to look. When I finally get down to spending a few hours in the garden, I take a break from life as a human. I try to think of myself as a creature from the land. I disconnect my phone and my attachment to any technology. I escape into the micro damp soil.

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Published on May 7, 2020

There’s something to be said about Experience

There’s something to be said about Experience

Perhaps the more you know how to do something; the more reliable you are at doing it.
I suppose I must continue to run up the hill at a controlled pace in order to get to the very top without running out of breath. I will need to do this often enough to be able to maintain a successful pace too. I will continue to teach those newbies on the foothills to pace before venturing up, for investing in their success will help share the succession of the hill.

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Published on April 20, 2020
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Published on April 6, 2020

Every Little Bit Helps

Every Little Bit Helps

It takes so little encouragement to make such a huge difference in someone else’s life.
We could do this, one step, one text, one smile, one “good job”, at a time.
Even when you don’t know it, little bits of positivity and cheer helps.
Every season is the reason to go for that positive pat on the back.
Shout out to Eileen for your beautiful encouragement last night!

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Published on March 23, 2020

Humour Me

Humour Me

So this happened…I bumped into an old boyfriend. We dated way… over 30 years ago. He still looks pretty good. Me? Not so much. It’s best to keep my thick coat on! We got to talking about this and that. While he was talking about this and that, my mind was drifting and remembering when. When I was 20 something, young, dumb and stupid. I remembered hanging out with friends in bars, talking loud over the music and dancing.
I remembered when all my parts moved only when I moved. That’s not the case anymore.

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Published on March 9, 2020
Published on January 7, 2019

Gross Entitlement

Gross Entitlement

When he finally got back into his car, he sat in the front seat looking at his phone, without a care in the world that maybe someone who was handicapped needed the reserved parking spot.
May I mention during the time he had his fancy-schmancy car parked in the handicapped reserved spot, a little blue car driven by an elderly woman, with a handicap identification card clearly displayed in her front window, was looking for a parking spot close to the café!

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Published on February 24, 2020
Published on December 2, 2018

Mind Your Own Business

Mind Your Own Business

STOP!!!! I’m not answering any more questions! It almost feels as though I’ve been undressed. It’s bad enough when I travel sometimes my body is scanned at the security checkpoint. I feel that totally violates my body. This friend actually interrogates me. Maybe the FBI or the CIA or the RCMP or CSI anything needs her? It’s not about the actual questions; it’s more about the amount of questions.

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Published on January 28, 2020

Where has the romance gone?

Where has the romance gone?

On the weekends, he would drive to Montreal in his Golden Eagle Tra‎ns Am. When he didn’t come to Montreal, he would call me on the phone. If he couldn’t call me, he would write me a letter. Not just any ordinary letter, a love letter. I still have them. In one of his letters he wrote that he envisioned us “In a gold carriage being pulled by white horses into a sky destined for love”. I blushed from that line. It has stayed with me for over (gulp!) 35 years. That was romantic writing.

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Published on January 23, 2017
Published on February 29, 2016
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Published on January 11, 2016
Published on August 15, 2014

Mean What You Say

Mean What You Say

Suddenly, I heard the loud horn sound which announced the start of the relay race. I got so excited to receive the baton, but it was going to take quite a while until it got to me. It had to pass through around 100 hands. I waited with the Green team’s fastest girl. I didn’t talk to her even though she was my bunkmate. I knew I was going to beat her. I was thinking of all the things I was going to say to her when I ran passed her. I was reciting these lines in my head, “See ya later baby! Bye Bye Birdie! Catch ya later! Smell my wind! Eat my dust!”

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Published on December 16, 2019
Published on February 25, 2018

Expect the Unexpected

Expect the Unexpected

All the time, I had the classic picture of Lake Louise in my mind. The perfect blue sky with matching water along a still mirrored lake, cloudless, with endless skies. This calendar picture was a perfect still. And…no other people were within the view. As we drove into the mountain range, dark clouds billowed with moisture and so began our battle with nature.
Note to self: Weather in mountainous areas changes every 5 minutes! During the fall, it can be warm and sunny, and within 5 minutes it can be snowing and blowing. We didn’t expect what was next!

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Published on December 2, 2019
Published on October 7, 2018

It’s a Crazy Ride

It’s a Crazy Ride

Most of my time is fleeting. I don’t know why this is so. It’s noon and suddenly it’s 4 p.m. The passage of those 4 hours doesn’t add up. It’s Monday and then without much notice, it’s Friday. The seasons roll like that and the years too. I’m very aware of this quick passage of time. Although, when I was younger, I felt the passage of time was much slower. Sitting in a classroom watching the clock hands finally reach 3:15 p.m., was endless. However, the run out of school into the park with my friends was fleeting. All that time was magical, up until my Mother’s call-in for dinner.

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Published on November 18, 2019
Published on September 23, 2018
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Published on November 4, 2019
Published on September 9, 2018
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Published on October 22, 2019
Published on August 27, 2018

I’m Old(er)

I’m Old(er)

I used to run for fun. Always, for tirelessly very long lengths of time. Up and down hills and on all types of terrain. In rain, wind, sun, heat, snow, it didn’t matter. Now, I’m particular about the terrain, temperature, and distance. Why? Because my knees ache from the surface or the climate or the distance. Again, because I’m older and I’ve been running for over 30 years. My knees don’t like running, but my head and heart love it.

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Published on October 10, 2019
Published on August 12, 2018