I enjoyed my recent chat with Nelia Hutt, host of the Apple podcast Giving Starts With You, based in Barrie, Ont. Under the topic Writing As a Transformational Tool, I discussed how I help others find their voice when writing about traumatic events. I shared my experiences writing the incest memoir No Letter in Your Pocket.
Click here to listen
Listen to the podcast here.
I enjoyed my chat with Abby Ayoola, host of the Toronto podcast How to Survive Society. We discussed my incest memoir No Letter in Your Pocket and my work coaching authors of trauma memoirs. We talked about how to stay resilient, and find the courage to share your trauma story. Abby told about an incident of sexual assault from her childhood, plus the domestic violence of her first marriage. I applaud her courage and willingness to divulge these secrets. We need more survivor stories. Abby’s How to Survive Society Academy offers online workshops and courses to address healing from trauma, finding self-esteem, relationship health, and more.
A snowstorm didn’t stop our Feb. 25 Heritage Week literary event, held at the Sunshine Coast Museum and Archives in Gibsons. I enjoyed giving a presentation about Muriel Wylie Blanchet, author of the classic West Coast boating tale The Curve of Time. Many thanks to Michael Gurney of The Coast Reporter for his coverage of the event and to the Museum for hosting. Click here to see a group photo and read his article.
I really enjoyed being interviewed on Om By the Beach, a European podcast hosted by Josef Schinwald. Our one-hour discussion about Being on a Spiritual Path covered many areas, from Buddhist concepts of compassion, forgiveness, and no-self to writing about trauma, coaching others about writing about their trauma, and my memoir No Letter in Your Pocket. You can listen to it here:
Before xwu’p’a’lich Barbara Higgins was born in 1933, members of the shíshálh Nation were waiting for her to take on the role of Rememberer or Knowledge-keeper (her ancestral name means “she weaves”). Since then, she has voiced the importance of preserving Nature, her people’s land, language, and culture through her stories, poems, and activism. See my related photos and feature about her in the winter 2022 issue of Sunshine Coast Life magazine: Barbara Higgins story winter 2023.
What influence did university journalism and the UBC student newspaper The Ubyssey have on my life and career? I explain, and reminisce, in a new online series of Q&As, part of the Hundred Year Trek project. (The Great Trek was a huge event in Vancouver, BC in 1922, whereby hundreds of students, supported by many businesses and high-profile folk, marched through the city to rally support for the creation of a university in Point Grey. Their efforts helped launch the construction of the University of BC.)
UBC’s Alma Mater Society reached out to me and other former Ubyssey editors, including CBC’s Justin McElroy, to share what our UBC and Ubyssey life was like, what the big campus stories and issues were at the time, etc. I was co-editor of The Ubyssey in 1979-80 — it’s hard to believe that was more than 40 years ago.
As a UBC history graduate who’s worked as an oral historian, written two history books, and loves research, I was delighted to participate in this project. It’s a way to help promote release of the new book The Hundred Year Trek: A History of Student Life at UBC, by Sheldon Goldfarb, archivist for the university’s Alma Mater Society. I haven’t read the book yet but will provide an update when I do.
Click here to read my interview.
Click here to read interviews with four other former Ubyssey editors.
Pre-sales have already started for my incest memoir No Letter in Your Pocket, which will be published in May 2023 by Guernica Editions of Toronto. See sales links below.
Price: $25 CDN
Incest denial and sexual assaults disrupt a young woman’s solo spiritual quest and her two romantic adventures in India in 1990-91. Two decades later, after profound healing, she’s resilient at mid-life. Finding the love and intimacy she craves, she can, at last, forgive her dying father—and her mom, for her decades of silence. Unlike many stories of healing and spiritual discovery, No Letter in Your Pocket avoids predictable recovery rhetoric and insular victimhood. Instead, it is a testament to thriving empowerment.
To read praise for the book by novelist Sylvia Fraser, Dr. Bernie Siegel, and feminist/professor emerita Diana Hume-George, click here.
Through University of Toronto Press
IN THE UNITED STATES:
Through Barnes and Noble
IN THE UNITED KINGDOM:
kway?imin Andy Johnson, the shishalh Nation’s cultural ambassador, drummed and sang one of his original songs, plus told a sasquatch story at my book launch in December 2019 at the Sechelt Library. I profiled him in the fall issue of Coast Life magazine.
In the photo to the right, he holds a copy of my picture book Six Stinky Feet and a Sasquatch at the Tsain-Ko First Nations Gift Shop in ch’atlich (Sechelt, BC). The book is available for sale there.
Click here to read the profile of kway?imin and to see more photos.
Along with puppets and fun props, I’ll be reading Six Stinky Feet and a Sasquatch at Gibsons Public Library on Saturday, Oct. 15. Bring the kids for this free 10:30 am event, and they can draw and colour their own Bigfoot character, with a show and tell and Q&A. I’ll have books available for sale and signing.
See you in the Mainil Room. I’ll have a display board of many original illustrations of sasquatches by a variety of artists. Children can use these for inspiration.