Monthly Archives: June 2008

A Reminder of What is Really Important in Life

We get busy. We race to meet deadlines. We worry about money or jobs or what someone said, or didn’t say or should have said.

We think about what we have to do, where we have to go, and what’s going on the next minute or the next hour, or the next day, month and year.

We run out of time — no time to see friends, no time to visit family, no time to open a book or hang at the beach. No time to sit and stare into space or lie on the grass and watch clouds go by.

We move aimlessly through time — never fast enough to stop it, or slow enough to enjoy it.

But every so often, something happens that jolts us into the present — and that is where I am today. And you know what is really important — my friends, my family, my cat… So, if you are reading this, and I haven’t seen you lately, I just want to say that I am grateful to have wonderful people in my life.

I want to acknowledge each and everyone of you and thank you.


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Check out my Interview with Mignon Fogarty

June 26, 2008 01:01 PM Eastern Daylight Time
Celebrated ”Grammar Girl” Mignon Fogarty Offers Quick and Dirty Tips for Writers on

VANCOUVER, British Columbia–(BUSINESS WIRE)–, the general-interest online magazine with over eight million monthly visitors, features award-winning podcaster and author Mignon Fogarty as the latest Celebrity Writer.

Fogarty, aka Grammar Girl, is best known for her weekly podcasts tackling common writing and punctuation challenges. These popular podcasts have reached #2 on iTunes and were the inspiration for her book, Quick & Dirty Tips for Better Writing, published by Macmillan.

“Grammar Girl is a refreshing champion for language-lovers everywhere. Her trademark humour gives writers and readers the straight goods when it comes to crossing ‘T’s and dotting ‘I’s,” said Suite101’s Editor-in-chief, Joy Gugeler. “With a welcome lack of snobbery she explains grammatical principles and provides memorable examples. Every writer needs a quick refresher when language is always evolving.”

In a Web-exclusive excerpt on Fogarty tackles the subject of how to use “however” in a sentence and challenges the advice given by esteemed grammarians Strunk and White. She also talks with Suite101’s Writing & Publishing Editor Julie Burtinshaw in an exclusive interview about writing techniques and her most preferred punctuation mark: “The interobang. It’s a combination of both the exclamation mark and the question mark. It looks like a ‘P’ with dot at the bottom. It’s not universally accepted, but it’s my favourite.”

Suite101 features Celebrity Writers each month who publish original articles on burning questions in their field and take part in interviews offering candid advice to freelance writers.

About Media Media Inc. is a Canadian company based in Vancouver, British Columbia with an office in Berlin. It has been a successful consumer internet venture for over 10 years and has an international full-time staff of 15. Suite101 Media Inc operates and, two general interest online magazines. For curious readers these sites offer authoritative articles, reviews, and expert commentary written by professional writers. For freelance writers they provide a new publishing venue delivering an audience of eight million visitors a month.

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Five Seventeen — Book Designer and Compositor Extroidinaire

A book is a collaboration between the writer, the editor and the publisher. Too often, in my opinion, we forget to mention the designer, which is why I want to send a big shout out to Five Seventeen. We’ve never met, but that doesn’t matter. He is responsible for the stunning cover and design of The Perfect Cut — now in bookstores all over.

I don’t know what his process is — artists are a mystery to me — I can barely draw a stick person — but Five Seventeen (visit his website for an explanation of his name), somehow managed to capture the tone and sense of Bryan’s story and create a unique and vivid portrait of my main character, that oddly looked exactly as he did in my imagination.

This is huge. I mean, imagine if he’d got it all wrong! I have to live with this cover for unforeseeable years down the road — and I will — with pride and a sense of relief.

So often, the illustrator/cover designer is not acknowledged the way he/she should be, but I want to change all that by saying “thank-you,” and by encouraging anyone who needs some creative talent to visit Five Seventeen’s website.

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LeapFrog Launches Literacy Campaign and New Reading System

Literacy is becoming a luxury item in Canada and according to a new Canadian study, children who don’t engage in reading-related activities over the summer months often experience significant learning loss.* In fact, many educators believe that children can lose up to 60% of their learned skills during summer vacation. On Tuesday, June 24th at Indigo Bay & Bloor (55 Bloor Street West, Toronto, Ontario, M4W 1A5) from 10:30 AM-11:30 PM EST LeapFrog Canada will launch a solution that will look to keep kids on track.

Come out and join the 100 young readers from local elementary schools who will be part of the literacy campaign kick off and showcase the new LeapFrog reading system.

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Spring Book Hatching 2008

Children’s Writers and Illustrators of BC (CWILL BC) is pleased to announce the second annual Spring Book Hatching, a special event to celebrate the release of the latest books by local authors and artists.

June 14, 2008, 1-3 pm
Where: The Peter Kaye room and lower level at the Vancouver Public Library

This is a free event!

I’ll be there with my new book: The Perfect Cut, as will many of my colleagues — YA and children’s writers from all across British Columbia.

As well, there will be:

    live presentations

free autographs

    door prizes and much more.

    Blackberry Books will be selling books, so come on out and meet BC authors and illustrators.

    See you there!


    Picture 40

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Grad 2008 Kitsilano High School

This morning I attended my son’s grad ceremony from Kitsilano High School, French Immersion Program. Just over a hundred students — many of whom we have known since kindergarten, received their diplomas. I am so proud of myself for not crying — saving that for the main ceremony next week!

The ceremony was conducted entirely in French and I felt so proud of my bilingual son and his classmates — not only because they have been successful in their school careers, but because they have managed to do this in a language other than their own. We could all feel the exuberance in the auditorium as one by one they crossed the stage to receive their diplomas — all so full of hope and excitement for what lies ahead.
Funny thing is that while they all look forward, all of us (the parents) couldn’t help but to look back to their first days of school and wonder where all of that time went! We have an amazing group of teens and for that I am thankful.

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Save Minke Whales from Slaughter

Since I will be spending some time in Iceland, I thought I should get involved in their politics beforehand! So, Tell Iceland: Stop whaling for good!

Save minke whales from slaughter, by going to the link above and forwarding your protest to the right people. Ask Iceland to stop whaling once and for all.

On May 20, Iceland announced that it would allow 40 minke whales to be killed over the next six months. This is in open defiance of the commercial whaling ban that the International Whaling Commission implemented in 1986, and a reversal of the country’s decision in 2007 to halt this brutal practice.

Today Reuters reported that Iceland has sent 80 tons of fin whale meat to Japan. This meat is from whales caught in 2006. Reportedly, the meat could not sell domestically so it either rotted or sat frozen until a buyer could be found.

Iceland’s highest officials are split on the matter: Foreign affairs minister Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir warned that whaling would hurt Iceland’s “long-term interests,” while fisheries minister Einar Kristinn Guðfinnsson claims that whale hunting is “part of the culture.”

Today, when whales face so many other threats -– global warming, pollution and ship strikes -– and whale meat is no longer even in demand, there is simply no justification for any country to continue hunting whales. People around the world know that Iceland, Norway and Japan are the “whaling nations”; this identification is a black mark against Iceland and Norway’s “green” reputations and makes an otherwise ultra-modern Japan look backward.

The killing has already begun, with at least one minke confirmed dead in the first week. Please write to Iceland’s fisheries minister, Einar Kristinn Guðfinnsson, and tell him to end Iceland’s whale hunt once and for all. Instead, Iceland should concentrate on promoting whale watching as a humane and eco-friendly alternative to killing whales. Environmentally, Iceland is a world leader on the renewable energy front; this, in contrast to its continued destruction of wildlife, makes no sense.

Please remember to tell your friends and family how they can help, too. We need to send a message to the Icelandic government that the people of the world are against whaling and will not stand by while more whales are killed and left to rot in freezers.

Thank you for all that you do to help animals.


Andrew Rowan
Chief Executive Officer
Humane Society International

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