Tag Archives: family

Spirit Day…time to take a stand for kids.

So, October 18, 2018 and for those of you who don’t know what that means I’ll give you a quick breakdown. 

On the Pride flag, each color represents something different. Purple represents Spirit and on Spirit Day I wear purple to show that I stand with kids in the LGBTQ community (and everywhere) against bullying. Why? Here’s some quick stats from the GLAAD site.

85.2% of LGBTQ students report being verbally harassed.

63.5%of LGBTQ students report hearing homophobic remarks from teachers and/or school staff because of their gender expression.

57% of LGBTQ students don’t report bullying or harassment because they don’t feel like anything will be done about it which will just make things worse for them. That same amount of students don’t feel safe in school.

63.5%of LGBTQ students who did report an incident said that school staff did nothing in response or told the student to ignore it.

Now these are American statistics but that doesn’t mean it’s not happening here in Canada. Around the world there are places where things are much, much worse.

No student should be afraid to go to school. It’s as simple as that. School (especially in grades 1-12) should be a safe place for kids to learn. If you think otherwise, I doubt you have ever been bullied.

I hear people say “kids gotta learn to be tough, stand up for themselves” but when you are systematically beaten down, mentally and physically on a regular basis, it’s hard to find the strength.

I was bullied in school, in elementary mostly. Not because of my sexual orientation, but for other things. It made me hate school and try everything I could to be there as little as possible. By the time I hit high school, I hated it with every fiber of my being. I went and did my best, but when you don’t want to be there, it’s hard to concentrate on your grades.

In high school, the torment was different. I wasn’t bullied physically, but I was ignored. I might as well have not existed because no one every saw me. I spent all my time there alone, watching people go by me like I was a ghost. I know I wasn’t the only ghost there, but by that time I was so hurt and angry, I’d decided that I’d stick with the few friends I’d made outside of school, because I wasn’t giving anyone anymore ammunition to use against me.

There were days when wishing I wasn’t there took on a different meaning and while I contemplated a more dire escape on a few occasions, the thought of my family suffering because of me kept me going. I was lucky…some kids aren’t.

Some kids are being bullied to death…literally. They find themselves so ostracized and alone that they will do anything to escape the pain. To adults it sometimes seems silly and dramatic but if you take a step back and try and remember what it was like for you back in school maybe you’ll see things from a different point of view.

When you are young, everything feels so big and out of control. I watch my daughter and see the drama going on between her and her friends and it breaks my heart so many times to see how scary things are for them.

I can’t even begin to imagine throwing in trying to figure out your sexual identity on top of all that.

My girl is pansexual. Basically that means she’s gender-blind (as she says) when it comes to romantic attraction. She’s had boyfriends and a girlfriend and she’s confident in herself because her father and I have made it clear that as long as they treat her right, we don’t care who she dates. Just don’t miss curfew.

There are so many kids in Meghan’s situation who are struggling to figure things out and when your peers are doing their best to make your life miserable, it can lead to desperate situations. Life and death situations and that’s what people who support Spirit Day are trying to stop.

If you have a kid in your life who’s a member of the LGTBQ community, talk to them. Ask them how things are going, see if they need some help. Look at that child and think about how you would feel if they were no longer there because that’s the reality that a lot of people are facing.

If you are a kid you can help too. If you know someone needs help, offer it. Or tell someone who can.

And if you need help, ask for it. I know it’s scary but you can do it. Reach out to me or to anyone you think might listen. Find the helpline for your area, look for an LGTBQ organization in your community or call the suicide prevention hotline for your country. Please don’t give up, there are people who care about you.

Most of all, on October 18, wear Purple. Be a visible reminder to kids who need help that you stand with them. You never know how close they could be to you.

Link to GLAAD Spirit Day info: here



Leave a comment

Filed under bullying, Spirit Day, This is important.

What’s left of my marbles are circling the drain…

So, I’ve been housebound (bedroombound) for 3 days and I’m already losing my mind.

For those of you who don’t know, I had a stress fracture in my foot. I went to the doctor on Thursday and he referred me to the foot and ankle specialist and sent me off to the hospital to be fitted with an air cast. I went and got it but found it very difficult to walk in as it was too tall for me and put pressure on my foot in all the wrong places, causing me pain where I didn’t previously have any.

So, I took it off, vowing to take it home and try to figure out how to make it work…right after we took my kid to her audition for the Vancouver Film School. So of course, as I’m walking up a set of steps on the way to the audition, I tripped and snapped the stress fracture. It was probably the most painful thing that has ever happened to me, and I’ve had my gallbladder out and given birth.

So, I cried and limped my way back to the car and sent my husband off to the audition with my daughter and her friend. Once that was over (She got in! I’m so damn proud!) we made our way back to the hospital where they put a temporary splint on it and set me up with the orthopedic surgeon.

So here I am. I needed a wheel chair to get to the car because it was too painful to be on crutches. Once I got home, I made it half way up the sidewalk on crutches, crying the whole way, until my husband went and got my office chair and wheeled me the rest of the way to the house. Fortunately, my brother was at my house for something and helped my husband get me up the steps and into the house.

I crawled my way up the stairs to my bedroom and with my husband’s help, managed to get up off the floor and onto my bed. And there I have stayed, except for the occasional painful trip to the bathroom on crutches and to sit on my office chair (now back in its rightful place).

So far, this has been the most humiliating thing I have ever had happen to me (once again, I’ve given birth). And it doesn’t look like it will be getting better soon.

I can’t get myself a drink of water, or a slice of toast. I can’t go down and sit and watch TV. When my dog whines in the morning to be let out or to be fed, I can’t do it. I can’t have a shower because I can’t stand in the tub and so figuring out how to get clean is the next thing on my list of stuff to figure out.

I’m not good on crutches. I’m too heavy, have no sense of balance and my uninjured foot suffers from plantar fasciitis. The injured foot is on my dominate leg, the one I rely on to lift me up and help me navigate.

Someone is going to have to come stay with me when my husband is at work and my daughter is at school in case I fall and to feed me.

I know it’s temporary, and I know it will get better eventually but anyone who knows me knows how much I value my independence. I am the person who takes care of people. Let me cook for you, it’s my favorite thing to do. But I can’t get near my stove.

My biggest source of stress is my job. I love my job. I may only work at a small town grocery store, but it makes me feel like I’m accomplishing something. I love my customers and I’ve worked really hard to build a good relationship with a lot of them. And my boss is awesome. She is the hardest working woman I know and she inspires me a lot. She’s given me an opportunity I never thought I’d have, to do something that makes me feel like I’m making a difference.

I get a lot of my sense of pride from my job.

I’m pretty fond of most of the people I work with and they are the people I spend most of my time with. I’m going to miss them a lot while I’m off.

So now I have to find something to occupy my time.

I hope to get a lot of books review for Love Bytes. Dani will be happy with me, lol.

And I hope to write. I’m 12000 words into a work in progress that I think is pretty good. Plus there’s the sequel to Love Aggression I’ve been asked about. And I have 3 other stories that have great starts but kind of got sidetracked. So I have lots to write.

Also, there are like 500 books in my TBR file on my computer so I have a ton of stuff to read.

I know I’m lucky. I have a lot of people to depend on. My husband, my daughter, my parents. My brother and sister and their families will be looking in on me. So I’m not alone.

But man, it’s gonna feel like it sometimes. I see teary, angry days ahead. I have to figure out how to get out of the house to go see the surgeon on Thursday and I can only hope they will do what needs to be done right then. That will not be a good day.

And I’m going to sound dramatic some days…sorry about that, but it feels pretty dramatic at the moment. I also expect to come out of this with a new appreciation for all the people out there who are permanently in a wheelchair or other limited mobility device. the fact that you all figure it out without going completely bonkers is something you already have my admiration for.

So, if you’re looking to hit someone up for some conversation, come and talk to me. It’s not like I’m going anywhere, lol.

Photo 2018-09-30, 3 21 22 PM


Filed under life’s like that

Love Aggression, the Pride Parade and life in general. June is a busy month!

My latest novel, Love Aggression came out on May 30 and I am so immensely proud of it. Getting it published took a long time and I hope Ashavan Doyan and Ron Desroches at Purple Horn Press know how grateful I am for all of their hard work. And writers, especially new writers, if you’re looking for a publisher, then give Purple Horn Press a chance. They will walk you through all the steps and I promise, you won’t be sorry. Here’s a link to the submission guidelines!

You know, this has been a stressful couple of months for me. Waiting for the release and then sitting and watching my book riding the rankings at Amazon like a roller coaster. It’s left me feeling a little sick to my stomach. But it also gives me a feeling of accomplishment that nothing else can compare to.

So what else is new? It’s Pride month, obviously and I got back to the parade this year, after having to work last year. My daughter Meghan was part of the Grand Marshal contingent this year and it made me so proud to see her walking up there with her peers, and standing up for herself and the community she was representing.

For those of you who don’t know, Meghan is pansexual. That means she doesn’t really care about the sexual identity of the person she’s attracted to. She looks more at who a person is in their heart and in their mind and I think that makes her amazing.

This year was the first time we encountered a protest at the parade. A group of people from the community wanted to be heard and made sure they were. I absolutely understand that there is still work to be done on behalf of transgendered persons and people of color in the LGTBQ community and I’m glad they had the chance to say what was on their minds. I hope that it will open up a dialogue with the Pride Committee and others who need to work on their interactions and support with the people are still feeling like they are on the outside looking in and terrified of the things that could still happen to them.

However, as a mother, watching your child disappear around the corner at the end of the parade, out of your sight, only to have it all stop a minute or so later it was very scary. I couldn’t see her, or the group she had been with, but I could see all the police officers who were there providing security looking in that direction. My only consolation was they didn’t seem very concerned and when I texted Meghan she answered me right away, telling me about the protest and letting me know that she was with people she trusted and out of harms way.

Fortunately it ended a short time later, with concessions made on both sides and promises for future talks. But the thought of what could have been left me sleepless for more than a few nights.

I thought about telling her no more Pride but then I realized that if I was going to stand with her and the rest of the community, then I also had to understand that sometimes there are risks. I always considered that before going, although my concerns where always more along the lines of queerphobic assholes causing problems.

I think when we are celebrating how far we have come in the world in regards to equal rights, we sometimes forget how far there still is to go. And as an ally, if I want to celebrate with you in the good times, I also have to stand with you in the scary, sad and frustrating times. This year was a sobering reminder that Pride didn’t start as a celebration, it started as a protest against oppression and I’m thankful for that reminder.

And as for the rest of life, well, it’s busy. Working full-time, trying to promote Love Aggression and finding time to read, write reviews for the Love Bytes book blog and work on my WIP…well it doesn’t leave time for much else.

Except thinking about that sequel my publisher keeps hinting at. Woof!

Anyway, you can find all my books at Amazon as always. And just so you know, my best-seller Wrapped Up in Chains is only 99 cents until the end of June!




Leave a comment

Filed under I'm so excited!, Monday Raves, Pride, Things I'm Thankful For, This is important., Writing and thinking.

The loss of a light…

So I usually use my blog to talk about my beliefs in equality, or what inspires me to write but today I was thinking about something a little different.

I work in a small town grocery store. It’s a great place to work and I am very grateful every day that I was given the opportunity to work there. One of the things that I love about it is that I get to meet so many interesting people. As a small community, we get the same people in our store day after day and I talk to a lot of them. I enjoy listening to their stories, especially from the large senior population that comes to shop almost every day. I always try to remember that for some of these people, the cashiers and other store staff might be the only conversations some of the people get to have all day.

Today this lady came in and I hadn’t seen her in a little while. She’s a lovely lady and usually came in with her mom. Her mom suffers from dementia and I’ve known them for about 5 years now. When I first met them, her mom still talked. She would say hi, ask how I was doing and tell me she was going home to Spruce Grove every chance I get. Even then the dementia had started to set in but she was a feisty old lady, dashing off and trying to escape the store every chance she got. She was sneaky too, waiting until her daughter was distracted by something before making a break for it. She was always smiling while she did it too, and I knew that some part of her was getting a kick out of being a bit of a rebel.

Because they were in the store a lot, I could see as the dementia got worse. For a while she started glaring at me and a couple of times she tried to hit me, much to the horror of her daughter but I didn’t let it bother me. I can only imagine the frustration her mom must have felt in her moments of clarity, knowing there was something wrong and not knowing how to fix it.

The last couple of year, she didn’t speak at all. She yelled a lot, like a small child does, smiling and gesturing and still getting into little bits of trouble. You could hear her clearly as she made her way through the store with her daughter and it always made me smile. Most of the staff said hi to her and spoke to them both as they went through and the daughter was always very grateful for the kindness she found at the store for her and her mom.

Today the daughter came in alone and I asked how she was doing and her eyes teared up as she shared with me that her mom had passed away 3 weeks ago and I wanted to go around my counter and give her a hug. I didn’t though. I could see that she was trying hard to hold herself together, and sometimes when you are in that head space, a hug with good intentions can be the straw that broke the camels back.

But the reason her visit today affected me so much was how much she very obviously missed her mom.

Her life couldn’t have been easy the last few years. Her mom’s behaviour was pretty much that of a toddler, and the daughter looked completely exhausted every time I saw her. She’d always have to keep her mom behind her at the till so she didn’t run out of the store and her mom was always smashing the small cart she was pushing into her daughter’s side and I know it had to hurt, in more ways than just physical.

But she still missed her. Even though it was hard, even though it was probably painful, having to act like the parent in the relationship because I know that when my life is making me crazy, the first person I still want to talk to is my mom.

That kind of love really is amazing. I mean, I wouldn’t have blamed the daughter for being a little relieved that the ordeal was finally over and that they would both get some peace, but I could tell that she’d give anything to have her mom back, just how she was, for just a little longer.

Alzheimer’s runs in my family. Both my grandmothers suffered from it as did an aunt and I know the odds of one of my parents…or myself developing it is fairly high. And I won’t lie and say it doesn’t scare me. I rely so much on my parents, mostly because I truly enjoy their company, and I have no idea what I would do without them to lean on.

I talk to my mom almost every day and movie night with dad is one of my very favorite things. When life is wearing me down, moms always got a free ear for me and dad always knows how to make me laugh.

I can only hope that if I find myself in that daughter’s shoes one day, I can half as amazing as she did with her mom. Her patience and good humor were truly a miracle and while I know she most likely got down at times and probably despaired a time or two, you never would have guessed it from the way she interacted with her mom every time I saw them.

I hope that someday my girl remembers me and smiles through her tears.

And I’m thankful for days like today that remind of how lucky I am to have my family in my life.



Filed under Things I'm Thankful For