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 firstname.lastname@example.org for the Zoom link. More details at this Facebook page.
Some people could never imagine offering comfort as a bedside companion to a stranger who is dying. Or sitting in an all-night vigil for someone’s final hours. In hospice training, we learn that compassion, deep listening, acceptance, and non-judgment are core traits needed to remain truly present with those who are dying or grieving a death.
Texas blogger Pamela Skjolsvik, who wrote the digital book Death Becomes Us, interviewed me about my experiences as a hospice volunteer and as caregiver for my dying husband. She and I were in the creation nonfiction MFA program at Goucher College in Baltimore, MD. Click here to read the Q&A with me on her blog page.
(From left): Heather Blackwood and Rosemary Hoare, SCHS’s first two volunteer coordinators with long-time volunteer Karen Falk
Want to know what hospice has done on B.C.’s Sunshine Coast for the past 30 years? Come to an Oct. 5 event in Sechelt and see the video that I wrote, produced, and directed called “Legacy of Love: 30 Years of Compassionate Care on B.C.’s Sunshine Coast, 1987 – 2017.”
The seven-minute documentary includes two poignant stories and an overview, by decade, of the achievements of the Sunshine Coast Hospice Society (SCHS). You’ll see historic pix and meet some of the founders of hospice plus board members, donors, a patient and more.
The video is part of a project commissioned to celebrate the 30th anniversary of SCHS.It will be screened at a special event to honour current and past hospice volunteers and donors. The event starts at 6:45 pm on Thursday, Oct. 5 at the Sunshine Coast Arts Centre in Sechelt.
Besides making the video, shot and edited by Arthur Le and Jordan Williams, I researched and wrote a lot of original content for the 30th anniversary: a detailed chronology, and nine web features with interviews and photos that reveal key highlights of local hospice history.
Have you always wanted to write a family history but felt overwhelmed? Thought of writing a memoir but didn’t know how to start? Would you like to document the highlights of your organization’s past?
I’ll be sharing both practical and inspirational tips — and how to avoid research pitfalls — in my new Vancouver School of Writing workshop Writing History: Passions, Pitfalls & the Process (Non-Fiction).
This is a 90-minute to 2-hour LIVE and LIVE VIRTUAL course so you can be in class or have access to it anywhere and ask the instructor questions. Can’t make the date? All Vancouver School of Writing workshops are recorded; you can receive a link to view the course later, or access it in a few weeks in our archive of courses.
Here’s just some of what you’ll learn:
• Posing questions you don’t have the answers to
• Researching: where and how
• Getting beyond myths and stereotypes
• Handling conflicting opinions and sensitivities
• Making smart choices for structuring
• Discovering the hidden stories
The class begins at 6:30 PST in downtown Vancouver. Cost is $59 + GST.
To register and for more information, see Vancouver School of Writing.
What are the challenges of writing about trauma, whether it’s sexual abuse, incest, or a life-altering illness? How do you connect with others through a personal story of crisis?
These are some of the topics to be addressed next month at an event I’m co-hosting. Manitoba author Donna Besel and I are presenting a panel discussion April 24 in Victoria, BC called “Writing Past Fear: Trauma, Taboos, and Finding a True Voice.” Event facilitator is aboriginal author Monique Gray Smith.
This panel, which will run from 4:15 to 5:30 p.m., is part of the conference of Canada’s Creative Nonfiction Collective Society. It will be held at the Laurel Point Inn.
For more information, or to register, please see Creative Nonfiction Collective Society.