Monthly Archives: June 2010

Off to Berlin

One of our best friends is getting married in two days – in Berlin! We are flying there tonight and I am really excited. I’ve never been to Germany – not really unless you count skipping across the border on a Moped for a few hours an eon ago. We will only be on the ground for four days, but with two travel days, it’s basically a six day trip.

It will be a break from cooking and stuff, but I plan to leave a full fridge so I return home to happy campers, instead of hungry maniacs!!

Of course, I will take my computer but just for work and blogging – I am going to take a full-on writing break – something I don’t often do – at least not purposefully, but when I do, the results are usually good. It’s a time to reflect and let ideas come to me.

My next book, originally planned for the fall has been delayed until January, so that means I have time to really get my teeth into another novel. The problem is – and it’s a good one – I’ve got too many ideas and I need to narrow it down to only one. That is what I will be thinking about on my trip.

I hope to take loads of great photos to post. It’s really hot in Germany – on the website I looked at, it said 90 degrees F!! Which is like, 32 C…and that is heat, like I am not used to.

More later…

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Deepwater Horizon Spew Update/Where to Report Bird Sightings

Please, with time passing and everything going on in the world, don’t forget about the oil spill. There is still lots you can do to help. Check for your updates here….

Nearly 70 days since the Deepwater Horizon sank, oil continues to spew into the Gulf of Mexico. This week it reached Pensacola, Florida, prompting beach closures and as this update is drafted, there are concerns that a weather disturbance south of Cuba may develop into a tropical storm in the Gulf where it could delay response efforts and spread the oil further. Impacts on birds, other wildlife and coastal communities continue to grow.

Gulf Volunteers in Action

Audubon volunteers continued to play a vital role in the response effort this week, supporting the U.S. and state Fish and Wildlife Service bird rescue and rehabilitation work in a myriad of ways, from assisting in the transport of oiled birds to rehabilitation facilities to building and cleaning cages and constructing retaining fences to house cleaned birds, to helping process daily wildlife reports in Mobile, Alabama.

Others took part in the Audubon’s Coastal Bird Survey, providing information about bird populations that will be essential to assess the spill’s impacts and plan for the recovery. Volunteers on beach The citizen science initiative is now underway in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi. We’ve trained hundreds of volunteers to help and this effort will continue for quite some time along the coast.

Even birders who are not in the coastal states can help by registering bird sightings at We’re putting together a list of the top 25 birds we need to keep an eye on; look for that in next week’s update.

To report injured or dead wildlife in the impact area call:  1‐866‐557‐1401

Donate Supplies: Here are two organizations that are taking specific items. We suggest you check first to be sure they still are accepting the supplies you are collecting.

Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Volunteer program
Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge Resources

How to Donate: Your support will help fund Audubon’s work to aid birds already suffering the oil’s deadly effects and to protect now-unharmed wildlife and habitat in the path of the spill, our work to support sound public policy, and to meet the long-term challenge of restoring a devastated Gulf of Mexico ecosystem.

Bird Impacts: To report oiled birds, call the hotline at 866-557-1401. If you don’t reach a live person, messages are checked every hour.

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My Other Blog – Building a Lane House

Friends, I need some followers on my other blog…check it out at Building a Lane House in Vancouver

The little “follow” icon is on the left bottom. Just click and it’s done in your readers or email. Besides, you never know, my friend Colin thinks it could be entertaining, and it’s my guess he will be right.


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Joyce Murray’s Stand on Off Shore Drilling

More about the BP Oil Gush.

This is the email I received from my Member of Parliament, Joyce Murray after contacting her re: Offshore Drilling in Canada:
I am recording this here in case the Liberals ever get back in power (I would like that), so that we can hold them to their word. I do have friends who know this MP and they tell me she is quite sincere, which is a good thing in a politician!

To Ms. Burtinshaw,

Thank you for writing to me about the urgent need for a ban on crude oil tankers along BC’s Pacific North Coast waterways. I share your concern about the vulnerability of our coasts and ocean if the moratorium on crude oil tanker traffic is lifted by the Conservative government, and am happy to report that on Monday, the 21st of June, Michael Ignatieff has announced formalization of the existing BC crude oil tanker moratorium.

In May, I traveled to New Orleans to see firsthand the ecological tragedy currently unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico. The world has now seen how vulnerable our coasts and oceans are to offshore oil spills. Seeing the risk to BC ‘s marine ecosystems, I have been actively campaigning in the House of Commons for Stephen Harper’s Conservative government to respect the moratorium banning oil tanker traffic from B.C’s Pacific north coast, instituted in 1972 by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. The Conservative party refuses to give a clear answer on whether they will help prevent another environmental and economic catastrophe by keeping this moratorium in place. Please visit my website, www., to see transcripts and video clips of the action I have taken in Parliament.

I will continue to be a dedicated and passionate defender of B.C.’s coastlines, and will fight for effective government leadership on this very important issue.


Joyce Murray

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Salt Spring Island is one of my most favourite places in the whole world and combine that with a poetry slam camp and it’s heaven!

The Poetry Slam Camp is a great opportunity for high school students to harness their creativity by learning the craft of poetry.

Students between 15 and 18 years of age are eligible. The Camp will be two fun-filled days of writing, performance, and learning. Cost: $50, including accommodation, meals, and classes.

For all Information email:

Salt Spring Island

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Filed under Writing Tips

The Magazine Writers’ Craft Fair and – July 26th 2010

Suite101 will be sponsoring BCAMP’s Magazine Writers’ Craft Fair.

Here’s a little more information about the event:

The Magazine Writers’ Craft Fair is the essential professional development event for emerging and aspiring writers who are interested in crafting their careers in magazine writing. Industry professionals share their knowledge in an intimate and interactive forum.

The event is being held in the SFU Harbour Centre, 515 Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC from 10 a.m. – 3:30 pm, Saturday June 26th.

Cost for a full day (lunch included!) is $50 and $40 for students and BCAMP members.

Suite’s most amazing Associate Editor Lima Al-Azzeh, will be at the fair this year and hoping to meet up with some of our local Suite101 writers! If things work out travel wise,I will be there too!

Find out more about the fabulous list of speakers and register online here.

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Visit the three-day novel contest Website here.

It’ Time to Register for the Big Contest!

The goal: write a complete novel in only 3 days. The reward: a creative experience and one coffee-stained, tear-tinged, rule-breaking first draft. And for the winning author, publication. (Cash prizes too). It’s a BC-born, now international, rite of passage. Registration is now open – preregister online.

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June 26 – Hands Across the Sand

Hands across the Sand is a nationwide event that takes place this June 26.

Hands across the Sand is coming to a beach near you!

At noon, thousands of Americans and Canadians across the country will join hands for 15 minutes to bear witness to the ongoing environmental tragedy in the Gulf. If you want to join hands with your neighbors, look for events in your area at

Stickshift Bio Car

11am, 15 minutes, wherever you happen to be…if there is no Hands Across the Sand at a Beach near you, go to the website and find out how to create the even for your community.

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Cheerios Writing Contest; Children’s Author’s Americans Only

Cheerios Cereal is holding a contest for children’s fiction authors. Submit your original, unpublished children’s story targeted at children ages 3 to 8 for a chance at the grand prize of $5000 cash and a possible publishing contract from Simon & Schuster. Two first prizes of $1000 will also be awarded. Deadline to enter is July 15. Read all about it here

I don’t know why a cereal company would do this, but I’m not complaining. Hooking up kids with books is through food is a great idea. I grew up reading the backs of cereal boxes. – Trix are for Kids…Put a Tiger in Your Tank

I loved those taglines, but how much more satisfying would it have been to have had the opportunity to read a serialized (pun intended) version of Charlotte’s Web!

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Brown Pelican Drawing: Olivia Bouler Makes a Difference

The Audubon Society sends me weekly emails with updates on the terrible Oil Spill in the Gulf. I get these because I have volunteered to help out in whatever way I can.

I am a bit late in posting this one as I was travelling, but I was very intrigued to read about this young artist/activist who is doing her bit to make things better for the wildlife in the Gulf who have been so adversely impacted by the spill.

I think you will be too. Who says we can’t make a difference?

Inspiration and Support from a Young Conservationist

Olivia is eleven-years-old!

You can find her on Facebook at Save the Gulf: Olivia’s Bird Illustrations.

Olivia Bouler is a young and talented artist. When Olivia first heard about the leaking oil, her family helped her reach out to Audubon, asking what she could do to help.

From that conversation, she got the idea to use her artistic talent to create original watercolor images for anyone willing to donate money to an organization that provides wildlife disaster relief, such as Audubon. Since then, people across the nation and even around the globe have gotten to know Olivia’s work, thanks to a special AOL promotion and appearances on national television — and the support she has generated has risen even faster than her fame.

Visit Olivia’s AOL Artist Page.

See her on the CBS News
Thank you Olivia for making such a big difference and bringing this story to so many people.


Filed under BP Oil Spill