Monster Monday: Kiyohime

Monster Monday: Kiyohime

I love Japanese folklore. They seem to have a monster for every occasion. With Valentine’s Day tomorrow, I thought I’d chat about Kiyohime, a dragon-woman who was transformed by unrequited love. Long ago, a young priest named Anchin visited a village, and was offered lodging in the mayor’s house. Anchin fell in love with the mayor’s daughter, the beguiling and beautiful Kiyohime, and promised to return to her after his journey to a nearby temple. However, after professing his heart…

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Monster Monday: Cadborosaurus

Monster Monday: Cadborosaurus

I grew up on the ocean, and spent a lot of time on the beach as a child, and strange remains would often wash ashore. I’d drag home these half-rotted corpses of aquatic beasts, and it was not uncommon for our property to be festooned with spines, fins, skulls, fleshy bits of things tossed up in winter storms… oh, my poor patient parents!  Thinking back, our yard probably smelled pretty bad. Most of what I found was so decomposed that…

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Hundred Thousand Billion Poems

Hundred Thousand Billion Poems

Where can one find Raymond Queneau’s Cent Mille Milliard des Poemes? Goodness, I must lay my hands upon it, even though I know I will never be able to read it! Created in such a way that one shuffles the poem lines to discover newer and richer poems with each combination, it has been designed to take more than a lifetime to digest. It’s an impossible book, and I can not possibly express how much that makes my heart sing! But where can I…

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Monster Monday: Grims

Monster Monday: Grims

There are some days (and I hope you have these sort of days, too) when I can’t believe how much I love my job, and I feel like wheeling around on an Austrian mountaintop, arms outstretched, singing at the top of my lungs like an idiot, proclaiming the hills to be alive. But not hills with eyes, of course; that’s a very different movie reference. Today is one of those days, because it’s Monday, and on Mondays, I research monsters,…

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Blustery Sunday

Blustery Sunday

It’s been stormy on the island lately, but the sun broke through the clouds on Sunday afternoon, which gave us just enough time to visit Goose Spit and run through the surf, filming the blue sky and the white waves. Goose Spit is a flexible sand spit, which means it shifts and changes as nearby Willemar Bluffs sheds its sandy interior. The spit is long and narrow like a crooked finger, and together with Gartley Point, marks the boundary of…

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Cumberland Mines

Cumberland Mines

“The main foyer of the mine was a long, broad hall carved from the seam. Thick timbers supported the roof, each one as big as my waist, but all around me I sensed the impending crush of weight – tons and tons of stone pressing down upon us. The hot, moist, dusty air smelt like sweat and vinegar, a pungent fragrance that caught in the back of my throat and made me strain for breath. Broken lamps hung from hooks…

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Queen Victoria’s Scarf

Queen Victoria’s Scarf

Sometimes, research takes you into new and unforeseen subjects, and when I started investigating the role of crochet in Victorian society, I was certainly NOT expecting stories of valour and heroism in the theatre of war. So the story goes, Queen Victoria was a great proponent of crochet. She was originally introduced to crochet by way of a gift of Irish crochet lace, and took up the hobby in the 1840s. As a fashion icon*, her interest in Irish lace…

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Immerse yourself in words!

Immerse yourself in words!

Do you love writing? Or reading? Or enjoying a creative afternoon where everyone is sharing and being inspired by new ideas? OF COURSE YOU DO! Come and join us at the 2018 North Island Writers Conference on Saturday, January 27 at NIC’s Comox Valley campus. Discuss storytelling, editing, play-writing, fiction, non-fiction… it’ll be lots of fun!  Sessions are $25 each, and students can attend free by contacting the organizers. For more information, have a look at the poster below, or…

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North Island Writers’ Conference

North Island Writers’ Conference

I’m excited to be a part of this year’s NI Writers Conference, held at the Courtenay campus of North Island College on January 27th! I’m part of a panel that will be discussing creative non-fiction*, and I look forward to sharing some researching tips, talking about adventures in museums, and reading from my historical mystery novels. For more information and to register, visit the CV Writers Society website. I look forward to seeing you there, and we can chat history,…

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Where to Find Agony of St. Alice

Where to Find Agony of St. Alice

I’ve had a few questions about where people can find copies of ‘The Agony of St. Alice’, and I’ll be honest, there aren’t many left. But fear not, there’s still hope! Last time I checked, there were a few copies at the Cumberland Museum, one copy at Rare Bird Books in Cumberland, and they’re available online if you follow THIS LINK RIGHT HERE. I hope that helps! I’ve been assured that it will be available through Amazon and Barnes &…

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