January Blues

I was in a coffee shop last night and a woman came in and started complaining about January--about the cold, the grey and the overall miserable-ness of it. She also added how it's a perfect time of year to get away. I silently agreed with her and even though I had sometimes felt guilty about having these feelings, it was kind of nice to have someone else admit them. After all, I'm Canadian and I'm supposed to love frigid temperatures, right? Besides, it was less than a month ago that I, along … [Read more...]

Welcoming 2014

Happy New Year! Out with the old, in with the new...Here's to an amazing 2014 filled with love, happiness, and prosperity. We also hope that there are many great surprises coming to each and every one of you this year. Image Courtesy of Wedding Wallpaper. … [Read more...]

Reflections on the end of another year

2013 has been an interesting year. One main thing that we are very happy and proud of is that we completed and published our debut novel, Stargazing from Nowhere, we re-designed this blog and put up a completely new one (the one for our novel). Other events that we would rather not have dealt with include a major flood in our basement (doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it has taken six months to get things back to normal and it’s still not totally completed), as well as some family health … [Read more...]

Getting into the Christmas spirit

Neither one of us are yet fully in the Christmas spirit and it's already December 19th! The flood we had this past July has taken a lot of our attention, so it's pretty much all we've been doing when we haven't been working, and are only now getting fully settled. Everything in our basement is done except the warm fuzzy decorating which will have to be done here and there since to do everything all at once would be way too overwhelming. It was pretty overwhelming already, so at least now the … [Read more...]

The Fado

{Image Courtesy of Last Fm} Amalia Rodrigues was known as the "Queen of the Fado," and sung beautiful, haunting and mesmerizing music. The fado is known as the Portuguese version of the blues and dates back to the 1820s. As kids, when our mom and grandparents would play it, we didn't really appreciate it, but do now as adults, especially after having seen it performed in Lisbon (it's very theatrical and the performers will not begin singing until everyone in the audience stops talking and stops … [Read more...]

Feminine Office Ideas

While our office isn't as bad as it was a few weeks ago, we are still working to get it to be a fully-functional, visually appealing and comfortable office space. We've pretty much changed it completely from what it was (we had a lot of mismatched furniture, oversized couches and IKEA desks that were really dated and no longer as functional for us), which was unexpected but since we were flooded, we had little choice. It's kind of fun to start from scratch (and a tad overwhelming!), and while we … [Read more...]

How the “F” Courses Saved Me

{Gloria Steinem 1977. Image Courtesy of Postcard Gallery} One thing I’ve always been interested in is how we, as women, shape and are shaped by society. The feminist courses I studied in university really woke me up to women’s rights and I’ve never been the same since. I loved what I learned then (my then boyfriend not so much–but as my mother always says, “Better you cry now, than me cry later,” so I ditched him and happily moved on). What I learned that really stood out for me: -Women … [Read more...]

The Alchemist

I've been teaching the novel, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho to my Grade 12 students for the past few years and find it to be a really valuable novel to study in school, particularly for people venturing out into the world for the first time. One of the main reasons I enjoy teaching it is because I find it very important to teach students the importance of following their true paths in life. They often don't yet realize that there are many things that come up in life (mostly responsibilities … [Read more...]

Happy Thanksgiving

This weekend, we are celebrating Thanksgiving in Canada. It is one of our favourite holidays as it is still the least commercial, and has remained relatively simple. We usually celebrate by having dinner with family and friends, getting in touch with nature, and of course by remembering and acknowledging all that we are thankful in our lives. Even, our protagonist Kristen, in our novel, Stargazing from Nowhere, loves Thanksgiving. She says of the holiday, "The combined aromas of squash soup, … [Read more...]

September

We love September. It feels like a brand new year. In many ways, it is. There's something about the mood and energy of this month that revitalizes and comforts the spirit and fills it with renewed hope of what's to come. Even the crispness in the air is comforting. We wanted our protagonist, Kristen Morgan, to share our love of September. Stargazing from Nowhere begins in early September as Kristen is beginning Grade 11, and she expresses her love of the fall in the passage below. … [Read more...]