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The Uninspired Inspiration

I have no inspiration today. Zero. Zilch. Nothin’.

I am in the process of clearing out my bookstore inventory at a smashing 75% discount and I won’t go into detail about how people behave with that kind of a sale. But tomorrow is the last day and then I’m done. There will be great rejoicing in the land. Or at least in my house.

Perhaps today isn’t the best day to be seeking inspiration. Interruptions come in abundance and my thought process is sputtering, to say the least.

Okay, maybe I will go into a bit of detail about some of my – um – customers after all. I hesitate to use that word because most of them belong in a pinball machine. They bounce around from one place to another, bumping into things and knocking stuff over in the process. Then they laugh, as if it’s funny.

I am getting all kinds of advice from well-meaning people as to what to do with my leftover inventory. Put it on Craiglist. Okay. Sell it on eBay. Maybe. Open up a store in my house. Seriously? How would you like to have people knocking at your door at all times of the night and day wanting to browse? Not to mention the city bi-laws, zoning and licensing requirements for something like that. No, no, and no. I am done with the bookstore business.

There are kids standing at the counter with their noses in the free candy cane bowl. After their mothers have already said no to their pleas. The kids look at me in the hope that I will defy their mom’s decree and there is no way I’m going there. The kids who did get the candy canes can’t keep them in their mouths and I am forever wiping sticky fingerprints off books and toys and windows.

The day drags on.

And the locals keep coming in.

The woman who hasn’t yet learned to use her indoor voice. The girls who can’t speak a word of English and always flock around the novelties. The transit driver who parks his bus and delays his schedule on purpose just so he can browse in the store. The man who asks for an additional discount every single time. The little girl who likes to straighten the books. The mother who feels the need to bring her five unruly children with her.

I do love the regulars who have come just to give me a hug and say goodbye. They are precious people with whom I have crossed paths for a season and I will treasure that brief connection.

Next week, after all the books have been packed up and stored away, I will look for inspiration.

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On Christmas Eve

It’s Christmas Eve.

I just want to finish wrapping gifts. Clean my house. Go to the candlelight service at church. Prepare food for tomorrow’s family feasting. Maybe watch “White Christmas” for the 32nd time.

And when the Big Day arrives, I am going to enjoy my husband and children and grandchildren, purposing to connect with each one on more than a “hi, how are you” level. Store up some great memories.

I could go all spiritual, but the bottom line is this:

Have a blessed and happy Christmas!

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The Passage of Time

The passage of time marks milestones and I’ve been thinking of a few of mine. This month it’s been:

– 37 years and 11 months since our first date. We got married the next year.

– 102 years since my grandmother was born. She went home to heaven in April 2012.

– 35 years since I wore my first maternity clothes.

– 23 years since we drove from Regina, SK to Kitimat, BC for a job interview and didn’t get the job.

– 11 years since our first grandchild was born.

– 25 years since my sister and brother-in-law’s wedding. I remember that day so clearly.

– 44 years since I changed schools to attend Simon Fraser Junior High in Calgary, Alberta.

– 30 years since we helped my parents move into the house with the green living room.

– 7 months since I became the manager of our corner coffee shop.

– 52 years since I learned to read. Approximately.

– 28 years since I threw up in the bushes between classes at university. Morning sickness.

– 4 years and 4 months since I “retired” from my banking career. No regrets. Not even one.

This little list has made it clear how important it is to live every minute – to make my passage of time count.

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Just Because

I’ve had this picture up in my office for years.

I like it. Just because.


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Tash – Part Nine

Okay, it’s been a while since I posted a bit of Tash’s story, so if you missed Part Eight, click here.

I lay on my mattress that night, thinking about my conversation with Ginger. I hadn’t told her everything, but I’d said enough. I swore her to secrecy and I knew I could trust her. She was the only one. But I couldn’t bring myself to tell her everything because I wanted to protect her from people who might start asking questions about me. People like Mrs. Sinclair and maybe even the welfare department. No way did I want to get Ginger involved. And no way was I going into foster care. I’d been there before and anything was better than that.

I rolled over, eyes still wide open. I took a deep breath and coughed. The stench of the place was overwhelming sometimes and I knew I’d have to do a lot more cleaning if I was going to stay here any longer.

It won’t always be like this. Someday I’ll have a good job and nice place to live. Someday I’ll have a real life.

I thought about my mother then, wondering where she was and if she was happy now that she didn’t have me to worry about. Had she even given me a second thought? Probably not. Barbie wasn’t like that. I knew she loved me in a weird sort of way, but it wasn’t like other mothers loved their daughters. Not like Ginger’s mom loved her.

I used to imagine what it would be like if Barbie and I lived in a cute little house with a yard and a kitchen that always smelled like chocolate chip cookies or banana bread. I tried to picture Barbie dressed in normal clothes and not the ones that were always too tight, too low and too young for her. And what if she cleaned up and wore pretty perfume instead of smelling like sweat and liquor and cigarettes all the time? I couldn’t conjure up the image.

Barbie told me something about her family once when she was still partly drunk and didn’t really know it was me she was talking to. I knew it had to be that because whenever I asked her if we had any relatives she told me to shut up and stop being so snoopy about things that didn’t concerned me. But that night I found out I had an aunt somewhere; my mother’s older sister, Bridget. Barbie went on and on about how they used to be closer than two peas in a pod and people always thought they were twins. I could tell by the way she talked that Bridget was someone she loved once upon a time. I wanted to ask her where Bridget was now, but I didn’t dare.

It gave me comfort to know that I wasn’t completely alone in the world, even though my aunt Bridget probably didn’t even know I existed. I’d think of a way to find her someday. Maybe she even lived in a little house like the one I imagined. And maybe she’d have room in her heart for me.

It was a long time before I fell asleep.

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The Wednesdays

It’s Wednesday. I am supposed to have Wednesdays off, but I usually end up going in to work anyway. The why of that escapes me because Wednesdays are designated writing days. I balk at this. And there isn’t an excuse under the sun I haven’t already thought of to get out of writing on Wednesdays. Shame on me.

But I will leave you this tidbit from The Bond of Seven.

“This Book holds the key to your survival in Ravenbray,” he spoke quietly, as if he were trying to keep the walls from hearing his words. “Its instructions are clear and must be followed exactly. Do you understand?”

“But we can’t read it. We don’t know the language,” I pointed out.

Breckan’s face registered the smallest of smiles as he pulled the Book toward him. “Come,” he said. “Let’s read together.” He turned the page.

Now to get to work on Chapter Twelve.


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Blog Award

I would continue writing blog posts regardless, but it’s nice to receive awards like this every now and then. I am honoured that Healing for the Nation likes my writing enough to consider me for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award. Thank you so much!

And thanks to all of you for taking time out of your busy days to read, like, and comment. I can’t begin to tell you how much I appreciate it.


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Fabulous Blogger Award

Thank you so much to Yellow Impressions for this Fabulous Blog Award nomination! You totally made my day.

In order to accept:

1. Post the rules on your blog (done).

2. Name 5 of your most fabulous moments (either in real life or in the blogosphere).

  1. The day I married my awesome husband almost 37 years ago!
  2. Salvation in Jesus Christ at age 15.
  3. This is actually four fabulous moments – the births of Julie-Anne, Michael, Jordan, and Kelsey.
  4. And this is actually seven fabulous moments – the births of Emily, Caleb, Joshua, Reece, Nikolas, Elijah, and Jairus.
  5. Winning first place in a fiction contest!

3. Name 5 things you love.

  1. My family.
  2. Being in “the zone” while writing.
  3. Thunderstorms.
  4. Driving through the mountains.
  5. Dairy Queen.

4. Name 5 things you hate.

  1. Spiders and bugs of any kind.
  2. Computer issues.
  3. Mint in anything but gum.
  4. Squishy parking lots.
  5. Road construction.

5. Pass the ribbon on to 5 bloggers and leave a comment notifying them of their win.

1. Know Your Why
2. Healing for the Nation
3. Blessed with a Star on the Forehead
4. Verbal Banter
5. Easy Going Country Lady

You need to check out these blogs!

If you received this award from me, here are your rules:

1) Copy and paste and conform to the rules above (or)

2) Toss the rules to the side of the road and do whatever you want with it!


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Part Six

If you missed Part Five, click here.

Tash awakened early the next morning. Her sleep hadn’t been sound, interrupted as it was by what she hoped had simply been the creaks and groans of the old house. Until she was convinced that the noises were made by nothing more than the aching joints of an aging building, Tash knew that a restful night would be impossible.

She wasted no time. Making herself as presentable as she could, she set out to find some breakfast. It would be dumpster dining today. Tash wasn’t prepared to dip into the little cash she had to splurge at Denny’s. Besides, she knew exactly where to look for the best discards. There had never been much money for food, especially when Barbie was on a binge, and Tash had learned young that if she didn’t want to starve, she’d have to find another solution. The trash bin behind Cal’s Takeout was usually a good place to start. They always cleaned out their sandwich cooler in the mornings and everything was encased in plastic wrap. The bread might be a little stale, but it was clean. Tash was sure she’d find enough food for today and maybe even tomorrow if the homeless hadn’t been there first.


Yeah, that’s me, she thought. Tash Campbell of no fixed address.

Later that morning, after finding marginal success in the garbage containers behind Cal’s, Tash sat on her favorite bench in the park and polished off a rather unremarkable salami sub. She’d already picked out the soggy tomatoes and lettuce, but she’d left the onions to give some flavor to her otherwise bland meal. The carton of expired yesterday chocolate milk tasted better.

Here, watching the river rush past, Tash relaxed for the first time since reading her mother’s napkin. She had the day off work and her homework could wait. For now, she was just like any other sixteen year old girl enjoying the outdoors on a Sunday morning. People who saw her sitting there would never suspect that her world had just collapsed.


She was startled out of her thoughts and turned to see who had called her name.

“Natasha Campbell, I have been looking everywhere for you.”

A tiny blonde stood on the pathway beside the river just below the bench where Tash sat. She was waving frantically, as if anyone could miss her.

“Hey, Ginger,” Tash called, forcing a smile.

The girl struggled up the embankment, carrying a shoulder bag that was almost as big as she was. “I thought maybe you’d be here.”

Tash shrugged.

“I went to your work and Al said you were off today.”


“And then I went to the library and even the gym, because sometimes you go there.” Ginger plopped herself down beside Tash.

“Not today.”

“So I see.” Ginger opened her bag and pulled out a granola bar. “Mind if I eat my breakfast?”

“That’s your breakfast?” Tash thought about the salami sub and chocolate milk.

“Yeah. I’m trying to lose a few, you know.” Ginger munched on the chewy snack.

Tash almost laughed. Ginger was already thin as a rail. And always on a diet.

“Hey, want one?” The girl reached into her bag for another bar.

Tash knew she should say no, but the temptation was too great. “Sure.”

Ginger Paulson was the closest thing to a best friend Tash had ever had. They had been in the same class since sixth grade and despite their opposite personalities, they’d found common ground. Both lived with their mothers and both were the only kid in their families. Ginger didn’t have a father around, the same as Tash, but Ginger knew who hers was and she’d even met him once or twice. The similarities between them were enough. They’d become friends.

Tash knew all of Ginger’s secrets.

But Tash’s secrets, no one knew.

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One Lovely Blogger Award

I have been nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award by Lea at Sea. Thank you so much!

To accept this award:

  1. Link back to the blogger who nominated you.
  2. Paste the award image on your blog.
  3. Tell 7 facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate 15 other blogs that you would like to give the award to.
  5. Contact the bloggers that you have chosen and let them know about the award.

I am going to leave the nominations to 7 this time around, but here are my nominations:

Journey of Jordanna East

Blessed with a Star on the Forehead

Clotilda Jamcracker

New Life

Healing for the Nation

Coco J. Ginger

Texana’s Kitchen

7 Things About Me:

1 – I have two part time jobs. I’m a coffee shop manager and a branch office admin for an investment company.

2 – I buy so many books and my to read pile just keeps growing.

3 – I like to play computer games and have to limit myself to half an hour a day.

4 – I don’t like bananas.

5 – I am notorious for giving people nicknames.

6 – I used to play the piano quite well. Now there are two pianos in our house and I never play.

7 – I eat ice cubes.


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