New trail signs to honour value of old-growth forest and shíshálh heritage

I am delighted to have worked as an editor on a new series of interpretive signs for the Community Health Trail on Mt. Elphinstone on British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast. As part of an initiative by Elphinstone Logging Focus (ELF), the signs highlight the importance of old-growth forests and their flora and fauna. With himus (Calvin Craigan), a shíshálh Nation knowledge-keeper as consultant, we included shíshálh words on each sign and the First Nations medicinal use of various plants and trees.

I learned a lot on this project, which reinforced how the shíshálh Nation, for many centuries, has lived in harmony with these forests, making full use of bark, berries, trees, and plants to sustain their lives and culture, while today’s non-Indigenous industries seem bent on destroying these lands.

This four-kilometre stretch of trail, designated by ELF, traverses a low-elevation, emerging old-growth forest on the slopes of Mt. Elphinstone. It connects two isolated parcels of Mt. Elphinstone Provincial Park and ELF hopes that the park will expand around it. These small areas face possible destruction by adjacent development and logging.

Watch my Sept. 19 reading on YouTube

In case you missed my Sept. 19 Spoken INK reading on Zoom, you can watch it here on the Burnaby Writers’ Society YouTube channel. About 20 minutes long, it features excerpts from three sources: my essay “A Slow Goodbye,” about love and loss; my romantic visit to the Taj Mahal, from my memoir No Letter in Your Pocket, to be published in 2023; and the start of my 2019 picture book Six Stinky Feet and a Sasquatch.

Port Moody in-person writing classes resume Sept. 27

Want to join a supportive group of committed writers in a class that focuses on content feedback? Still spaces left in my Mon. night program at Kyle Centre, Port Moody. Sept. 27-Dec. 6, 5:30 to 8 pm.

Many students have published books and/or contribute regularly to publications. All genres and levels welcome. Participants find in-class feedback truly valuable. All COVID protocols followed. Pre-registration required. Call 604-469-4556 or register online before Sept. 25 at this link.

Zoom reading Sept. 19

Hello Everyone, The Burnaby Writers’ Society is sponsoring me as a featured writer on Zoom, Sunday, Sept. 19, starting at noon. I’ll be reading short excerpts from three sources: my essay “A Slow Good-bye,” a visit to the Taj Mahal from my memoir No Letter in Your Pocket (Guernica Editions 2023), and my picture book Six Stinky Feet and a Sasquatch. Q&A to follow, then open mic to 1:30 p.m.

Email info@bws.bc.ca for the Zoom link. More details at this Facebook page.

Writing workshop

I’m offering a two-hour online workshop Wild Mind: Freeing the Writer Within on April 10 from 1 to 3 pm. Designed to cure writer’s block and access your deepest writing self. For all skill levels. Contact the Royal City Literary Arts Society to register.

Join me and 5 authors March 16

I’ll be one of six writers reading live on Zoom on March 16, as part of Port Moody Public Library’s Writers in Our Midst program. The theme is love stories. I’m reading “Lost at Sea,” a love poem.

Many thanks to my student Eric D’Souza for putting this together. See @WritersinourMidst for details.

Fed. of BC Writers Zoom reading

REGIONAL SPOTLIGHT: SUNSHINE COAST — I’ll be one of six authors reading a 10-minute selection on Zoom on Feb. 11, sponsored by the Federation of BC Writers. My excerpt is from the chapter “Assault” in my memoir No Letter in Your Pocket, to be published in 2023 by Guernica Editions. Free event runs from 7 to 8:15 pm. Click here for more details.

Book launch and signing

Want a signed copy of a fun story for kids? I’ll be selling and signing copies of my new picture book Six Stinky Feet and a Sasquatch on Saturday, March 21 at the Chapters bookstore in Coquitlam, BC. Watch for me from 1 to 3 pm at the Chapters store in the Pinetree Village on Lougheed Highway.

Young Writers’ Festival, Gibsons, Feb. 26

I’m one of five authors who will be doing a reading and presentation to kindergarten and grade one students at Gibsons Elementary School in Gibsons, BC on Wednesday, Feb. 26. I’ll be sharing my new picture book Six Stinky Feet and a Sasquatch and talking about “Picture Books: Fact and Fiction.” I look forward to hearing what the students have written. It should be a fun half-day.

Picture book launch Dec. 7: Six Stinky Feet and a Sasquatch

It was fun presenting my new picture book, Six Stinky Feet and a Sasquatch, to an audience of young and old Dec. 7 at Sechelt Public Library. Andy Johnson, storyteller for the shishalh Nation, shared a sasquatch song he composed and told a sasquatch story. I’m honoured to know that he plans to read my book to shishalh kids.

At the event, I wore a red hoodie with the sasquatch design by shishalh Nation member Candace Campo. She explained to me how cultural Indigenous tradition determines the shape of each eye of the creature’s face. At the end of my fictional story, I include some cultural history and trivia regarding the sasquatch and a few URLs and book titles for those who want to find out more about this mysterious creature.

The hard-cover book, published by Peppermint Toast Publishing, features illustrations by talented Vancouver, BC animator Lillian Lai. The book is $18. Ten per cent of proceeds support pediatric palliative care in British Columbia.

Click here to see media photo and event coverage.

Click here to find out more and order a copy.