All Wounds Matter: Writing Better Stories

Check out Kristen Lamb’s blog for writers.

In this article she shares the need to write your characters as wounded human beings to make them real. I found this to be excellent advice for writers. Click on the link below. Please leave me a comment if you enjoyed it, and leave a comment on Kristen’s blog as well. I know she will appreciate it.

Have a great day and thank you for dropping by.



P1080568This is for fiction writers and is reblogged from Kristen Lamb’s blog.

Dialogue can be a tricky thing to handle in a novel, but if done well, with accurate punctuation, can make a scene come alive for the reader. Kristen shares some great advice on how to write dialogue to the best advantage. Check it out and please leave a comment below to let me know what you think. And leave a comment on Kristen’s blog, too. I know she will appreciate it as much as I will.

This past April, my roommate, Robyn, suggested we do something I have been wanting to do for a number of years: take a trip to Lion’s Head.

I did some research about motels, and found Lion’s Head Beach Motel.

Lion's Head

Entering Lion’s Head

The price was right, it was on the beach, and, after consulting my cousin who lives there, we decided this would be our choice. And it proved to be an excellent one. The housekeeping rooms are spacious, clean, bright, and have everything we needed and more: two double beds, a pull-out couch, fridge, stove, picnic table just outside our door as well as chairs and a BBQ.

Although the area around the bay is mostly rocky, there is a small sand beach in the village. I thought I had a picture of it, but cannot find it right now.

We definitely chose the right weekend to make our mini holiday. The Civic Holiday weekend (in Canada–the first Monday in August) is their weekend of celebrations. On Friday night (we arrived early Saturday afternoon), there was live music by the marina. Saturday afternoon we walked around the village and dropped in to the art show and quilt show as well as one of the stores I remember from my childhood. The store, part of a chain,  is now owned by others now, but the upper floor is much as I remember it–gifts, souvenirs, etc. They still have the old sales counter though now you pay downstairs. Saturday night they held a street dance until the wee hours of the morning, but we did not join them. I took some of that time to visit my cousins. Then, after dark, we went down to the marina for stargazing. Several telescopes pointed either at the moon to magnify its craters, or at Saturn where the rings and a couple of the moons were visible.

Sunday morning we had a pancake breakfast on the beach: two large pancakes, sausage, scrambled eggs, home fries, fruit cocktail, orange juice and coffee. Mmm…it sure was tasty. And it started us off well on our trip to Tobermory at the tip of the Bruce Peninsula (about a half-hour drive from Lion’s Head). While we were gone, they had a horseshoe contest on the beach and a sand sculpture contest. I believe they held a BBQ as well. The Rotary Club put on these events.

Tobermory is a true tourist center, small but very busy. We wandered through the little stores until we caught the shuttle for the Blue Heron glass-bottom boat tour to Flowerpot Island.



You may be wondering whatever is Flowerpot Island. It is a rocky outcrop that looks a little like a flowerpot. Actually, there are two: Big Flowerpot, and Little Flowerpot. We went over old shipwrecks which, because the water is so clear, showed up well even in my photos.

I love to ride on a boat, so I enjoyed every moment of that beautiful sunny day. I did not bother to go downstairs to check out the glass bottom. I was content to sit on top and snap photos and soak up the sunshine. The two-hour trip took us past many islands, some uninhabitable, one, Devil’s Island, the breeding ground for cormorants and mergansers.

Many people take the ferry, the Chi-Cheemaun, to Manitoulin Island, where they can either tour the island, camp, return to Tobermory or take a shortcut to the mainland further north on the other side of the Georgian Bay. We did not have time for that. I remember as a child watching the ferry come and go and always wanted to ride on it. Maybe some day.

The Chi-Cheemaun

The Chi-Cheemaun



Devil's Island

Devil’s Island and Cormorants

Little Flowerpot Island

Little Flowerpot Island

Hole in the Rock

Hole in the Rock












Clear Water

Clear Water












Robyn had never been in this part of Ontario before, but she loved it as I do. We are already booked for a whole week next summer. I can’t wait!

Watch for the next installment of photos. Thank you for visiting. I hope you enjoy these photos. Please leave a comment before you leave.


Lion's Head Ontario

Can you find the lion’s head?

A holiday, at last!

I had been waiting for years for this weekend. And it was all I hoped for.

Memories of my childhood flooded into my mind as we drove into the little village.

As a child, we would spend two weeks each summer at the cottage my grandfather built when I was a baby. It was about three miles out of the village. Though there was little to do there, and the “beach” was nothing but rocks with icy water in the bay, I always loved it there.  As children, we would venture into the water for short periods. We always wore shoes as the rocks are very slippery with moss and crayfish lived there, too. We often collected them for the neighbor who fished with them.

The above photo is a view from the marina in the village. About the middle of the cliff is where the lion’s head is supposed to be seen. I must admit, I cannot find it in this photo any more than I could just looking at the cliff. The binoculars on the observation deck did not help, either. If you can find it, please leave a comment and let me know. This view we could see from across the bay at the cottage.

Rocky shore

Rocks, rocks and more rocks.

I always had to take care not to get into the poison ivy which seemed to thrive there. Fortunately I learned at an early age to recognize the shiny triple-leaf structure and stayed clear of it.

The sound of the seagulls, though harsh to many, has always been welcome to my ears as a reminder of the times spent along that shore. To me, it is a comforting sound. I remember, after breakfast, lunch and dinner, we would put all the scraps on a plate, take it down by the water and scrape it off onto the rocks. First one gull would come, then another and another. Eventually, a whole flock noisily hovered until we moved away. The food disappeared quickly.


My favorite place to sit

My favorite place to sit was down the shore from the cottage, at the point. You can see, just right of the center of the above photo, some very large rocks. The cottage was just beyond the left side of the picture.  I would walk down the rocks until I reached the point, then would sit and listen to the water sloshing over the rocks and watch the sunlight dance on the surface of the bay. Whippoorwill Bay, it is called–part of Isthmus Bay. Though I never saw one, you could sometimes hear the whippoorwills at night. At dusk, we would sometimes see a loon skimming the surface of the water. All memories I cherish.

My curiosity tempted me to climb over those huge boulders, pieces fallen off the cliff many years before, just to see what was on the other side. But I knew it would be dangerous and never got far. Because I could not swim, I never attempted to go around, through the water. So that curiosity was never satisfied.

Getting close

The view that excited me

Every time we arrived at the top of this hill and I could see the bay, I knew we were getting close to the cottage. That sight always thrilled me, and still did this time. But today, buildings, huge homes, occupy space that back then was empty except for a few cottages and homes that were nothing like the size of some of the new ones. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, and had a hard time recognizing where I was. Even the narrow dirt lane–I could not call it a road–that led to the cottage, is now paved.

I will add more photos in my next post and tell you more about my holiday. Until then, I hope you enjoy this one and will come back again for the next installment. Have a wonderful week. And please, do leave a comment.

Yoga: More than Meets the Eyes??

Edhird's Blog


Ed Hird by tree

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

You may find this a stretching article in body, mind and spirit.  I have intentionally avoided writing this article for years, because I knew that it might be unavoidably controversial.  To be honest, I have been waiting for someone else to write this article instead of me.  Like most pastors, I want people to like me.   With genuine reluctance, I eventually faced my conflict avoidance, obeyed the Lord and read hundreds of yoga books in our local public libraries.  In preparing this article, I have not read one book which warns against yoga.  All book citations in this article are from yoga advocates and practitioners.

               To many people, yoga is just the hottest new exercise fad for younger women.  Twenty million North Americans are now doing yoga, including around four million men.  These twenty…

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The Cone of Shame–Not Just for Pets Anymore

Kristen Lamb's Blog

The past week and a half has been…interesting. I was completely off last week, so messed up that I woke up Saturday morning, believing it was Friday. The super funny lady Leanne Shirtliffe, who was supposed to be my FRIDAY guest post, was probably all WTH? when I wrote about wanting a DeLorean so I could go back in time and kick my own @$$ for being stupid instead of posting her seriously funny guest piece and talking about her on-line humor-writing class (still open, btw).

Hmmm, a bit prophetic. And, Leanne’s post? Humor is Everywhere? Doubly prophetic?

So Friday Saturday, I stagger out of bed, exhausted (we’d been passing around a toddler stomach bug for the previous week) and I drink three cups of coffee just to be able to SEE straight.

Being the AWESOME, sweet, loving, and humble wife I am, I let my husband sleep in…

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Since a few of my readers liked to ‘peek’ when they were children (and maybe they still do), I thought I would post a short peek once again into my childhood.

Another Wee PeakI follow a page on FaceBook and the question was asked about what we remember most about Kindergarten.

My answer was “playing in the rhythm band”. Terry replied that she would have liked to see my play. Well, as that is entirely out of the question, I thought I could at least post a picture of that little band of five-year-old boys and girls with our sticks, tambourines and triangles and drum.

Another Wee Peak

The quality isn’t so good, but I had to take a picture from a photo and that doesn’t always come out well. I’m sorry I can’t provide you with sound to go along with it. Perhaps, if you have a vivid imagination, you might just catch a little tune. I’m afraid I don’t even remember what music we played to.

I hope you have enjoyed this little reminiscence. Please leave a comment below, and if you do not already follow my blog, feel free to sign up to have notifications come via e-mail.

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Please don’t be sad. I know it’s been a long time since I posted anything here.

I apologizeI hope you haven’t given up on me.

But I do hope you have missed me–just a little.

Don’t worry, I’m won’t give you a long list of excuses, but I have been busy with some editing, mostly on my own book but also a little for other authors as well.

Hopefully I will be back on track soon, but while you wait for something new here, please check my main blog. I have recently posted a three-part series about the parable of the sower and the seed (Luke 8:4-15).

You will find Part 1 here. Then I hope you will read Part 2 and Part 3.

I do hope you will enjoy reading them and that you will leave a comment either here or below each post. Or, if you have the time, leave a comment in both places. There are lots of other posts you can browse through as well. I hope you enjoy your visit.

Thank you so much for stopping by. If you are not already following me, please take a moment to do so. For those of you who have subscribed to this blog, I want to say a special “Thank you” and tell you how much I appreciate you. And to everyone, have a wonderful day.


Yes, I nearly didn’t exist.

Three separate incidents from the past could have made my birth an impossibility.

One incident involved something that happened to a grandmother . One involved a decision made by a grandfather. The other involved the timing of a voyage. Had any one of these situations turned out differently, it would have meant I would not be here to tell about them.

I nearly didn't exist

Grandma and Grandad Stephenson

I don’t know the story around this particular incident, but I remember being told years ago that my grandmother, when she was young, was thought to have died. She was in her coffin when suddenly she opened her eyes. That was before the days of embalming in England. It’s scary to think of someone being buried alive. How horrible had she gained consciousness after being interred. I wouldn’t even want to imagine what it would be like. But fortunately the coffin lid was still open. Although it must have been a little disconcerting to the family and others standing around the coffin, I’m certainly grateful to the Lord that He had other plans for her that involved me all these years later. Otherwise I wouldn’t even exist today.

I nearly didn't exist

The Usher Family

Next, a decision made by my grandfather to emigrate. Initially he had chosen to take his wife and daughter  to Australia. Now that would certainly have meant I would not have existed had he followed through with that plan since my mother met my father here in Canada. But at the last minute my grandfather spoke with a friend who was coming to Canada and decided to accompany him. Again, I’m so thankful that his plans were changed. He came to Canada, to Brantford Ontario, and prepared to bring my grandmother and their baby daughter (my mother’s sister) here.

Then my father’s family decided to come to Canada in 1912. My father was between 7 and 8 years old. They were booked on a ship which sailed either just before or just after the Titanic. And we all know what happened to that ship. Had they been booked on it I would not have existed. So close. But the Lord obviously had a reason for me to be born, to exist. He has a plan and I’m grateful that He spared my family. They came to Hamilton Ontario but later moved to Brantford.

The postcard below is one my grandfather Usher sent from Canada to my grandmother who was still in England. The date on the back, 1908, is visible in the top right corner. The writing, though faded, is still visible: Dear Ada this is an Indian Postcard From Your Jess.

I nearly didn't exist

Indian Postcard

I nearly didn't exist

Back of Postcard

Everything was being orchestrated for my parents to meet on a blind date at a mutual friend’s home. I suppose you could say that this was a forth incident that, had one decided not to go to that party, would have meant I would not exist today.

I nearly didn't exist

My Parents' Wedding

To the left is a photo of my parents’ wedding. This was again part of the Lord’s orchestration in the creation of my life in 1945, 13 years after they were married. And that is the history of how I came to exist. And as I look back on my own life I can see how the Lord has orchestrated it just as carefully and intricately as my ancestors’ lives. One decision here, one incident there and my life could have been drastically different than it turned out to be. We may wonder “what if” but I’m satisfied that I am what the Lord wants me to be (except for some adjustments here and there) and exactly where He wants me to be. Though there was a great possibility that I may not have existed, there was an even greater one that I was meant to exist.

And thus ends my story for today. I hope you have enjoyed it. Please leave a comment before you leave. And do drop by again.