Saskatchewanderer 2018

After years of wanting to apply but never feeling my application ideas were good enough, I have finally produced my first Saskatchewanderer application video:

I first heard about the job back in its first year in 2011 when they were just looking for someone to drive around Saskatchewan with their own vehicle and blog about their adventures for a few months as a summer position.

Since I did not have my own vehicle I was not eligible then and then I moved to Nova Scotia; not exactly a good thing for my Saskatchewanderer prospects.

I have my Bachelors of Journalism from the University of King’s College. While living in Nova Scotia, my heart was always in Saskatchewan and everyone knew and remembered where I was from the first time they met me.

It was a weird feeling to be straddling the country; one foot at home and the other on the east coast.

While I love to travel and I have been to every province in Canada, there is no place like home.

We rarely think of travel within our own province as an option

photo courtesy of Ray Whittonbut that is what the Saskatchewanderer is all about.

But I have worked as Saskatchewan cheerleader and promoter for a while now already.

My job as the editor of the Humboldt Journal and East Central Trader has meant being the Humboldt-wanderer for the past two years.

I have had to defend Saskatchewan to everyone I meet outside this gorgeous province so besides the year long road trip, I was a Saskatchewanderer long before I applied for the job.

We have 28 provincial parks and three national ones.

We have music and culture festivals all across the province.

We have industries that are thriving and a northern beauty that is wild and unseen, at least by me. I need to go more north than Prince Albert.

The position is about showing off what the province has to offer.

But I want to make it about so much more.

While I have grown up in Saskatchewan, there is plenty that I have not done and plenty I want to try.

Greenwing Days in Humboldt, 2015

There is also the fact that so many musicians, authors, actors, painters, crafters, and other professionals that have not had a chance to be profiled.

There is also the fact that these travel opportunities and the different communities are there because someone believes in them. I want to give back to these communities by donating time and energy to the many great causes around the province.

This has been my dream job for a while. I’m so happy that I finally have a chance to work for it.


Ode to a Teacher

So it finally has dawned on me that this is not some weird practical joke.

An amazing man died this past week.

Alone in my car, I sang Seasons of Love from Rent for him.

How would we measure the life of such an amazing man?

Just like in the song, there is no better measure for him than love.

His love for life, volleyball, writing, drama, and teaching was something no one could miss.

He was someone that owned his permanent smile and wore it with pride.

He taught me what passion looked like and that it was not something to stifle for the sake of others.

Looking back, he showed me that I was not alone in my own love of writing at a pivotal time in my life.

During high school graduation, while he had not warned me before hand, he read one of my poems out loud for the audience. He did not do this maliciously, he did this because he believed and encouraged my writing.

He is a big reason why I am where I am right now.

His passion was not just for teaching but for learning. He did not stop at his education degree but was always looking for new volleyball drills, writing prompts, or thinking up his favourite movies and stories that he could turn into drama productions for the school.

Bringing new ideas into class and practice was his forte. I don’t know about his nerves or fears but he was always willing to try something and if it didn’t work, he moved on to the next new thing to try.

I admired his courage coming in to a new school to teach English and there was no shortage of complaints from typical high schoolers who thought they knew it all. That never seemed to phase him and he kept on learning and growing to be better at what he did.

There are so many things that I would have liked to say to him but I guess it is human nature to do this once someone is gone.

He taught me so much more than just what was on the curriculum and for that I can never thank him enough.

Thank you, Rick for giving so much of yourself to all your students.

Am I a writer

I write for a living.

I write for fun.

But am I a writer yet?

I don’t feel like I am and yet I have a problem trying to improve myself as a writer.

I finally took the time today to go through the MANY saved pins on my Pinterest Writing board. I love what I am finding.

Story outlines, resources, tips, encouragement, everything is there for me.

Yet, I cannot make myself use it.

I feel like I am starting in the middle of something. I do not feel like I’m on the Go space. I feel like there is so much more I have to go through before I am worthy of all this new gold mine of information. I feel like I have not dug far enough.

A shout out to the Eva Deverell and Lady Writers League (Eva Deverell: The Lady Writers League: I just signed up for her emails and I already love her work to help writers flourish.

Her first emails asked these questions:

“Have you secretly LONGED to write a novel but didn’t know where to start?

Maybe you even had an idea, but as soon as you sat down to write, you found that you couldn’t transfer that idea onto the page?

Or perhaps you got partway through a novel and then realised something was wrong and you couldn’t figure out how to fix it?”

You are not alone, she says, and that has made me feel a little better.

So what is the solution to my problem?

Looking at why this is happening, many things come into play:

Fear of course is the biggest thing. Feeling lazy is another one.

Combine the both of them and it is a rather daunting task to look at the novels on my shelf and want to create one of my own.

I guess time and hardwork will tell.

How I got here

I did not get here on my own.

I got here through the help and caring of others.

I got here on the support of amazing family and selfless friends.

I got here through people giving of their time and energy.

I got here on other people’s advice and kind words.


I also got here riding out people’s harsh criticisms and battering remarks.

I got here even after I trusted people who never wanted me to succeed.

I will overcome those who don’t think I deserve to be here.

I am done believing those whom only want to see me fail.

Because of who got me here, I know the difference between those building me up and those knocking me down.

I will respect everyone’s opinions of me but that doesn’t mean I will take their words as gospel.

Because of who got me here, I will help and care for others trying to get to their here.

I will be there with advice and kind words. I will give of my time and energy.

Because if everyone helps everyone else get there, we will reach a world where no one will be lost.


Tea with Ellie Word Challenge: Collywobbles

So many things give me the collywobbles nowadays. But how can you let it bother you when you’re talking about having the collywobbles?

I’m at the age where I’m realizing I’m starting to get older and things are changing more and more.

What am I doing with my career? Where are we going to live? When should we buy a house, have kids, start paying into our retirement fund?

Like  said though, these words were invented to quell all those fears.

Hee hee, collywobbles.

Faces to the Characters

My journey from Outlander reader to Outlander watcher

I’m very much a book reader, therefore I will talk about ALL the books, you’ve been fair warned.

There is a blessing and curse with having your favourite book series turned into a TV show.

Number one reason is that no matter how hard the cast and crew works on transforming the words on the page into scenes on the screen, there are always going to be the little things you think they’ve missed. From little lines to gestures, to whole scenes and whole plot lines, there is always going to be something you think should have been included that wasn’t.

Just try to show me one book reader who can say the writers and directors did everything perfect, that they missed nothing of value from the books.

Now, I am not condemning them. I love the series for what it is, a visual adaption of a VERY complex series. But I am like any other book reader, they always could have done more with it.

The number two reason that this is a good and bad journey is seeing the faces on the screen versus the ones in your head.

This is the true definition of a good thing and bad thing.

The characters you’ve created are never going to match perfectly the faces you see on the screen. I recently had a craving to read the third book in the Outlander series, long after I started watching the series. I suddenly found myself switching between the Jamie I have always seen while reading the books; who looked very much a William Wallace-esque kind of character without the face of Mel Gibson, to Sam Heughan, who is an amazing Jamie but still very different than “my” Jamie.

The books get more intense as the series goes on since Jamie and Claire go through an insane amount of shit before they can finally be together.

Actually having a human face to relate to this heartbreaking story, even if it isn’t the one from your mind, adds to the feelings you have when you read it. When Jamie talks about living without Claire or the daughter he’s never met, you see a real human being having these feelings and not just the physical entity you’ve created in your head. Sudden these problems become more real.

Some days I wish I had never read the books before watching the show.

It’s hard sometimes to hear lines and as a book reader you are more likely to notice the foreshadowing.

One of these lines is when Jamie denounces James and Charles Stuart saying he has no loyalty to them. For the first time reading the books, this is just how the events transpired, a little tidbit of insight into Jamie Fraser. Said by Sam Heughan in the series long before events take place that you know are going to happen, this is the most heartbreaking line. Readers know how much he is going to lose by the end of the rising, including his wife and child because of his relationship that will develop between him and the Stuart cause.

As readers, what happens to these characters is well know. You are emotionally invested in these characters; you have grown to know, love and hate them. You know how they are going to live and, for some of the characters, you know how they are going to die.

This is also why I am happily a book reader. The books plunge into the deepest, darkest realms of the characters mind. You know their motivations, how deep their love goes for another person. In the show, without the book as your guide to the Outlander world, you just see the surface of that.

Whenever someone asks my opinion of what book they should read next, with no hesitation I recommend Outlander. I’ve become more adamant about this ever since the show came out, just because more people will be drawn to the show before being drawn to the books.