For my latest 1922 Sarnia cookbook adventure, I made Prunes aux Rhum. It’s heartening to see the importance of regularity hasn’t changed much over the years.Read More
The holiday season has come and gone. And that means you’re probably going out in your biggest pair of sweat pants only to have a stranger ask, “Hey, where’d you get those leggings?”Read More
Not sure what traditions you have around the holidays, but I like to send out packages of holiday baking to friends and relatives. Often, I include a note for that personalized touch. If you're thinking about doing the same, here are some suggested notes you can include in your packages that are sure to spread the holiday cheer.Read More
Much to the joy of no one in my family, I make a Christmas fruitcake every year. The recipe was my dad’s, which he got from his mother. So I like to think making fruitcake is my way of ensuring that family traditions continue to plague generations to come.Read More
A few weeks ago, I posted the results of the first recipe I tried from my 1922 Sarnia church cookbook. The recipe was for Burnt Leather Cake, which, fortunately, had no leather. Although it had burnt stuff. This time around, I made something called Sally Lunn. Who’s Sally, you ask?Read More
This past week, I visited a dairy farm since I’m writing a book that takes place on one. I learned some pretty interesting stuff. Like keep a good distance from cows because they don’t hold back when it comes to bodily functions. I also learned other things, most of which I won’t use in my book.
And that’s a good thing.Read More
I recently finished writing my novel. I suppose “finished” is a relative term. No doubt there will be rewrites in the weeks ahead. But for now, it’s just the two of us. I like to cuddle with my novel at night, laying gentle kisses across its pages and whispering, “You complete me.”
Okay, I’m exaggerating. But the truth is that I’ve become emotionally attached to my book.Read More
One of the more challenging things about being a writer is that once you publish something, you can’t go back and correct it. So if you’re anything like me, you tend to stress over details, especially when you’re in the final stages of a manuscript. I start to question everything. Did I convey the setting accurately? Are my timelines right? What mistakes have I made in this book?Read More
I find writing frustrating, especially when I’m working on a first draft or dealing with plot holes the size of Jupiter. Everything is so much more interesting than whatever it is I’m working on: pizza flyers, Bruce Jenner, the spider nestled in the corner. (Is it dead or just hibernating?)Read More
Right now, my coffee maker is in the bedroom, there’s a toilet in my kitchen and I’m washing dishes in my bathroom sink. In other words, I’m living through a home renovation.Read More
When my mom’s Aunt Mae died in 1984, we inherited some of her belongings, one of which was a handwritten short story. The story, I was told, had been written by Mae’s only child, Barbara, who had died in 1956 when she was 20 years old.Read More
One of the most important decisions you’ll make when writing is deciding the perspective from which your story is told. Most fiction is either told first person (I said) or third person (she said). You can try doing second person (you said) but I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re just starting out. It can be the most challenging to pull off.Read More
One of the best things about being a writer (besides the opium) is doing interviews. Most of the time, it’s me interviewing myself in the car on the way to No Frills, but it gives me the chance to work on my accents (my questions are usually asked by a stern German woman) and I get to answer all the questions that no one’s asked me yet, like, “Why are you so fucking brilliant?” and “Is it true they’re making Caker Cooking into a movie?”Read More
I smoked for about 20 years or so. I spent most of my thirties trying to quit, but failed miserably. I’d manage to go for a month or two before some stressful situation presented itself (mostly manufactured by my own imagination) and the only thing that could help me through was smoking.Read More
Back in the olden days, writers used to write, sell their books and spend their money on opium. Times have changed and today’s modern writer has no time for opium, what with all that social media stuff to maintain.
For some authors, the idea of creating a website can seem overwhelming. But it’s not that hard, provided you have a game plan in mind, give yourself plenty of time and have fun doing it.Read More
Doorbells are pretty straightforward. They ring. You answer the door. But what if no one is there?
One Sunday, as my parents were walking home from a church luncheon, my father began talking gibberish. My mother, naturally, was alarmed. They went to the Emergency. A cat scan was performed and nothing was found. My father was told that he’d likely had a mini stroke. My mother believed the stroke had been caused by a hot dog.Read More
There were many things I didn’t know at 23. In particular, that anytime you read the words “earn upwards of” in a job ad, you shouldn’t apply. Unless, of course, you’re poor. Which I was. And you’re a directionless university grad. Which I was. And you believe there’s a certain romance in the solitary life of a travelling salesman. Which, unfortunately, I did.Read More