Monthly Archives: November 2010

Hope in the City Lunch: Deborah’s Gate

Yesterday, I attended the sixth annual Hope in the City lunch in Vancouver – a fund-raising event for Deborah’s Gate – ” A place of refuge, love, counsel and hope for women rescued from a life of sexual trafficking.” This is a ten bed shelter operated by the Salvation Army and the first of its kind in Canada (to the best of my knowledge).

Emceed by Pamela Martin with Human Trafficking expert, Benjamin Perrin presenting the keynote, it was, to say the least, an eye-opening afternoon. Each attendee was given a copy of Perrin’s new book, Invisible Chains: Canada’s Underground World of Human Trafficking, and Perrin treated us to some heartbreaking facts about slavery in our country, our city and yes, even our neighbourhoods. Buy it, get it from the library, borrow it – it talks about the problem of sexual slavery, but more importantly, if offers ways to fight back.

Also present, Glendene Grant, mother of Jessie Foster, missing for five years and possibly a victim of human trafficking. Jessie disappeared in Vegas and everyone gave up on finding her, except for her incredibly brave mom. Glendene’s talk left me teary-eyed and full of admiration at the strength of the human spirit – at the love of a mom. Please visit Jessie’s site. Who knows – maybe you can help her family.

I learned a lot yesterday and since ignorance is not an excuse, I’m asking you to follow the links I’ve provided, read the book and find out what you can do to protect your children and your families from sexual predators. And by the way, if you can’t think it can’t happen here, think again – it’s only a click away.

Don’t believe me? Visit Craig’s List, exotic services and when have had enough, consider staying away from that site until they clean it up. Not easy, but if it could save a kid, isn’t it worth it?


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Homeward Bound

It’s time to leave the land of Shakespeare and JK and fly home. The days have passed so quickly, and although I’ve done zero writing, I have kept up with suite work (thanks to the Wild Strawberry Café in Woodbridge). I’ve also drank pots of tea and tasted some really good local Suffolk beer – so happy.

It’s Christmas here – lights up, store windows decorated, making me think that when I get home, I have to go into ‘Santa mode…’ According to stats, women (on average) do about 300 hours of Christmas related, extra work leading up to the 25th…I plan to quarter that, but still…

Besides Christmas, it’s all about Wills and Kate…and I mean the papers are saturated. Had enough of that, for the time being.

Completely missed London this time 😦

Oh well, it’s been a really wonderful trip and once again, no jet lag. Here’s hoping it’s the same when I get home.

The Book Exchange at the Wild Strawberry: Woodbridge UK

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Filed under Travelling In the World

Wi Fi in Woodbridge, UK – A Place for Online Writers

Once a year, I visit my aunt in Woodbridge, Suffolk and once a year I try to do a shout out for the best internet café, based on good food, location and free Wi fi. For the second year in a row, The Wild Strawberry Café wins, hands-down.
I’m here now, and this is where I can be found most mornings, so if there are any suite writers in the area, contact me and we’ll meet over delicious coffee and tasty treats.

It’s located at the top of Market Hill near the church, and although the Wi Fi is free, they do ask for a small contribution (a pound) for the use of power, should you need to plug in.

Lots of cafés in Woodbridge don’t have internet, or it they do, they charge for it, so this is a good find. Other places are so busy that one feels guilty taking up a table for long than ten minutes. The staff here are nice too!

So, that’s my tip of the day.

PS: It’s foggy and cold here and I need a woolly hat!

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Geist Postcard Story Contest: early bird entry

Deadline January 15, 2011
Early Bird Special: Enter by November 20, 2010, to receive the
Geist 20th Anniversary Collector’s Issue!

The 7th Annual Geist Literal Literary Postcard Story Contest is underway. Here’s your chance to finish that short piece you’ve been thinking about. Find a postcard that inspires you, write a story to accompany the image (prose or verse) and send it to us.

You could win fame, glory and some prize money too! And, if you enter by November 20, 2010, we’ll send you the Geist 20th Anniversary Collector’s issue as part of your subscription.

Here are the details:
Send us a postcard with a story that relates to the image. The connection between image and story can be as subtle as you like, as long as we can figure it out. Contest info and submission details can be found here. Enter by post, or submit your entry online here.

First Prize: $250
Second Prize: $150
Third Prize: $100
Honourable Mentions get swell Geist gifts

Maximum length: 500 words, fiction or non-fiction, prose or verse.
Winning entries will be published in Geist and at
Honourable mentions will be published at
Entry Fee: $20 for the first entry (includes a 1-year sub­scrip­tion), $5 for each addi­tional entry.

When you enter before November 20, 2010, you will recieve the Geist 20th Anniversary Collector’s Issue—guaranteed!


Filed under writing contests

Watch National Geographic Audubon Volunteers Video

See this new National Geographic video, which showcases Audubon volunteers in action. The video follows citizen scientists as they track Gulf coast birds in the BP spill zone and learns how their work is helping document the disaster’s effects on Gulf coast birds. Click here to watch.

snowy ploverAudubon is calling for the Senate to pass legislation to direct BP’s Clean Water Act penalties to Gulf Coast environmental recovery and to do so now. The lame duck congressional session in November and December offers the final opportunity to hold BP and other polluters accountable, put safeguards in place to prevent a disaster like this from happening again, and set the Gulf coast on a path toward healing and renewal.

Here’s the scoop and a rallying cry from Chris Canfield, VP Gulf of Mexico Conservation and Restoration.

“This past week I was in Pensacola, Florida, at the inaugural meeting of the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force. It is a long name for group now tasked with facing a long river of challenges that has flowed into one of the world’s great ecosystems. We should be encouraged that this unprecedented grouping of federal and state agencies is being led by a close friend of Audubon’s, John Hankinson, Jr. Until this appointment, Hankinson was the chair of Audubon of Florida’s board. We should be distressed, though, by the fact that there is no funding currently available for this effort. What a further tragedy it would be to waste the tremendous goodwill and passion across the country for finally restoring this great national treasure, as so many at the meeting described it. Let’s get our elected leaders, especially our senators, to respond now and put the money where it is most urgently needed.”

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Filed under BP Oil Spill