Let’s Be Civil

My mom taught me that no matter who or what someone was, you never say nasty things to people or treat them badly or make them feel like they don’t belong, especially if they are family. If they are too difficult, well, you keep your space but you don’t exclude them, make them feel “less than” or be cruel to them. It doesn’t mean you have to be a doormat, but it does mean that even if you don’t get along you treat them with respect. I’ve tried to live up to that in my life – it isn’t always easy. It’s called civility. I wish more people were like that.#letsbecivil

Strange Dream: Smoke and Mirrors

I had a waking dream that was just weird enough I thought I should share. So here it is:

I’m watching the news. There’s a hand holding a cigarette over a black ashtray, smoke swirling up and the shot pans out to Peter Jennings. It cuts to another black ashtray and somebody trying to light a cigarette and it catches then there’s smoke swirling up and we see Peter Mansbridge laughing and saying “I’m going to get in trouble for this probably.” Then he explains this is an introduction for a piece on special effects.

Then it cuts to a woman’s voice talking about a dry river bed and horses and then you see three brown horses walking down this riverbed; a foamy water comes pouring down and the horses wind up with water up to the middle of their chests so the second horse wraps its front legs around the first horse’s chest and third horse does the same to the second. But the foamy water keeps rising so the next thing you see is the three horses with one standing on top of the other and the third on top of that, with the water up to the middle of the neck of the first horse. The woman’s voice over says: “Without special effects, movies would be pretty boring, wouldn’t they?”

Then the next news piece was saying that because of the shooting at the Trump rally, the Republican party is asking for a six month to one year extension to the Presidential election to give them time to regroup.

Then I woke up.

Writing the dream out I realized that the main theme is it’s all just smoke and mirrors (special effects). I did also want to put this out there because I have on occasion had dreams that have come true; I hope that security around Trump is very strong – I’m not fond of the guy but I certainly don’t wish that on him.

Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me…

LOL nothing special to write about just using my birthday as an excuse for a title. What I’ve been up to lately is a lot of work so writing and other things have taken a bit of hiatus while I attend to long days. However, that should be winding down soon and it’s time to think about gardening and house fix up things that don’t cost a fortune.

In my blog you will notice that there’s a recipe for New Brunswick brown bread. It’s actually Maritime Brown Bread, I just call it that because well, that’s where I fell in love with it lol. But one thing that this recipe does – aside from provide people who are unfamiliar with this wonderful east coast bread a chance to make it – is start a new category for my blog.

I have two unique things that I’ve been given and have held onto for years not quite sure what to do with them. The first is from my family – a great aunt of mine (on my mother’s side of the family) – and it is handwritten and clipped from magazines recipes dating from the early part of the 20th century to about 1940. I love all the cartoons with flapper ladies and from ww1 era, hints for maidens and married women, that sort of thing. The recipes themselves are funny because many of them talk about cooking over a medium flame in the oven and stuff like that from back in the days of wood stoves. I’ve tried to cook a few of those recipes but I’ll honestly have to try to figure them out first. Anyway, I’ve been thinking of scanning and posting those recipes for the sheer historical value of them.

The other recipe book is from “grammie-great” my mother-in-law’s mother and they are pencil recipes no doubt dictated from her mother or other relatives in a notebook. I worry about losing those wonderful recipes (where the brown bread comes from, by the way) and I’m sure there’s some I’d like to try and bring into my repertoire, again so these old family recipes don’t disappear and my son and daughter can pass them down.

Stay tuned for more, many of which may well be unique for the passage of time and tastes can cause good recipes to be lost in time. Here’s hoping I can resurrect a few of those.

Wish me luck,

Yup, I’m a winner in Nanowrimo but where do we go from here?

I am very happy that once again I’ve got a really good start on a book.  It’s tentatively titled Late Night Cleaners Club however it may not be staying with that title.  It depends on whether I work what I had originally intended for that title into this book.  It’s hard to say.

A synopsis:  Doug is a middle aged man who visits his mom in Fredericton for Thanksgiving.  When he gets there, he realizes that something is wrong, his mom is not herself and what’s worse, she thinks his father is in Toronto.  He’s not.  A trip to the doctor confirms his suspicion – his mother has dementia.  Since she is barely able to handle things at home, Doug decides he better take leave from his job and go to Fredericton to take care of his mother.  His wife is not amused.

This book is a journey through memories and follows the decent into silence that dementia is; it’s about a mother’s love, a marriage hanging by a thread, and the exploration of relationships that happens when you are faced with a serious illness of a close family member.  There is humour, touching, sad moments.

This is a book that I think people will appreciate.  At 50k words it is not finished; I expect that it will be about 150k when it is.

I do have a promise that unlike my 2012 novel that is about half way at 75k words I will finish this one.  My 2012 book is a humorous fictional novel that deals with what it’s like to work for the government (think Yes Minister but from the point of view of us minions, not the DM level).  For various reasons I’ve shelved it for the time being but it will be completed in due course.

What’s next for me is continuing on this new novel and finishing the edit of the first edition of Off-Air after which it will be (I hope) approved for Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  I will also be illustrating and publishing my children’s story The Troll of Barondale and compiling a book of essays and a book of short stories.  So you see, I’m busy.

The two published novels, I Ching Jukebox and Off-Air are published under pen-name Genève Blue because fiction is indeed fiction and that’s my way of putting space between the real me and pure imagination.  Other publications, such as Polariods Get Yellow (my illustrated book of poetry) and my essays and short stories are published under the name Catherine M. Harris.  Yup, that’s me.

So stay tuned.  As you can guess I am really happy with my latest nano attempt.

Now about Nanowrimo: I have read and been part of discussions on the merit and the foolishness of trying to write a novel in a month.  The fact is that how quickly and indeed how people write is individual.  For me, this exercise forces me to put aside extraneous things and get busy.  The hardest thing I find is just having the time and the perseverance to not take several years to finish a piece of work.  It’s easy to get distracted with life so I appreciate this month of writing time.  It doesn’t always work – last year’s effort got as far as about 2k words when I knew that what I was thinking of would take research and I just wasn’t all that into it.

50k of words is a novella.  As a short story writer and poet used to trying to condense emotion and thought into a short space initially that amount of words was a daunting experience.  However, once I saw that it gave more space to truly explore deeply the characters and their emotions I have learned that novel writing is an experience that I use for my more complex ideas.  I don’t write as many short stories as I used to because I now look at them for ideas that require a short punch – not an entire world and bevy of characters.  I view this as evolution.

I have been told that you can’t just sit down and write a novel.  There needs to be a story board and plot outlines and character sketches to attempt it and for those people who do this, all the more power to you.  I envy your organizational skills.  For me though writing comes from a space that I can’t explain.  I see a sentence – my first line – and everything just flows from there.  It’s how I’ve always written and how I intend to continue.  Whether a novel takes me ten years or two is irrelevant.  It’s how the inspiration hits me and that’s all.

People say how good can a book be if you just whip it off in 30 days?  Well, probably pretty messy.  That’s what editing is all about, and that’s where proof reading after the book is edited and published comes in.  The editing is the hard part and most assuredly the longest – at least for me it is.  Some day if I ever get picked up by a publisher I hope that I’ll rub shoulders with an editor that comes with that book contract.  In the meantime I rely on my own skill and those of a few chosen fellow writers to be those extra set of eyes.

In that I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that one of my favorite editors Mark Atherton died earlier this year.  I miss him, and I hope that where ever a soul goes when you die, he’s happy.  He deserves it.

Now back to my novel.





Nanowrimo 2014

Yup, I’m at it again.  This novel is a little different in that so far it hasn’t got any ghosts, lol.  Just the haunted musings of a man caring for his mother who is suffering from dementia, watching his world both close in around him, and fall apart.  There’s a wife and a house in Mississauga he’s had to abandon for Fredericton, a job he’s put on hold while he deals with this, a dog and two cats to care for, and a shit-load of memories to sort through.

Stay tuned.  Don’t know if I’ll publish/finish this one but it’s starting to grow on me.  It kind of has the feel of my short story Karen.

Tips from a Canadian regarding the cold

So I’ve been watching Anderson Cooper and Piers Morgan and having a giggle at all the cold observations. Growing up in Ottawa where -35C windchill isn’t uncommon, here’s a few words for people not used to this:

1. Layer clothing, it’s warmer than big bulky things.
2. Mist does rise from rivers and manholes due to the temperature difference. It’s beautiful. Take pictures at sunrise, catch the hoarfrost on the tree branches, but be careful driving in ice-fog.
3. Very cold snow squeaks underfoot. Things crack mysteriously, like tree branches.
4. Water freezes remarkably quickly including pipes. Keep your taps dripping if your house isn’t insulated. You can also insulate pipes.
5. It doesn’t snow as much when it is very very cold. If it is really sunny, it is colder than when it’s cloudy.
6. Never ever cook or heat with gas or charcoal barbeques indoors. Ever. Carbon monoxide kills.
7. Do not try to stay warm with candles everywhere and for heavens sake don’t put candles or kerosene lamps inside a tent for heat. It’s a huge fire hazard.
8. If you’re cold, keep moving. If you can’t feel your skin you’re in danger of frostbite and hypothermia. Get indoors anywhere until you warm up. Never try to unthaw by running hot water over frozen skin.
9. If it’s too cold for you outside, it’s too cold for your animals. Keep them inside.
10. -42 celcius and -42 farenheit are the same.
11. In Canada cars have block heaters – there are plugs in the front to warm up your battery. Don’t have one of those mysterious plugs? Park the car in the garage or if you can’t, turn it on and run it every few hours. The battery will die and oil gets cold and slow in very cold weather.
12. If you are stranded in snow, make absolutely sure the tailpipe is clear before turning on the car. Like I said in #6, carbon monoxide kills.
13. If you heat with natural gas, and you’ve had a big dump of snow, make sure the gas meter isn’t covered – frozen gas meters can be deadly.
14. Also if you have a big dump of snow, watch out for snow build up and icicles. Weight of snow can collapse roofs, and icicles falling can kill.
15. Don’t let your kids build snow forts out of snow banks and particularly don’t let them play on them where they can slide onto a road.
16. Tree branches near power lines breaking often cause power outages. When possible (not in the middle of the winter in a storm!) have branches trimmed away from power lines if your power company hasn’t. Don’t do it yourself, have a professional do it.
18. Winter driving means going slowly, keeping good distance from the car in front of you, pressing gently (or tapping) the brakes, no jackrabbit acceleration. If you feel you car starting to spin, steer into the spin and keep looking at where you want to go not where the car is, take your foot off the accelerator but don’t brake suddenly. Gain control of the car and then get yourself back in the right spot. And if you’re like me, pull over when you can and stop shaking, lol.
19. And lastly, from a four years old’s (me) experience – don’t be tempted to lick icicles hanging from metal poles. Just don’t, lol.

2014 Predictions

Yup, it’s that time of year again, so here we are, my predictions for 2014. As always I will say that I in no way claim to be a psychic in the grand sense, just that sometimes I can see things that come true. I started writing these a couple of weeks ago and one has actually come to pass but I do elaborate beyond the news item.

So how did I do for 2013? https://mrssauga.wordpress.com/2012/12/31/2013-predictions/ You be the judge 🙂

1. Medical first responders are being called from across Canada – they need nurses and paramedics and doctors (interns accepted) to aid in a very large disaster in the mid-west but I’m not sure if it’s the US or Canada or both maybe (near the border?). I’m seeing fire but I also see flowing burning rivers of stuff so it could be a volcano or oil pipe explosion? Timeframe is around March.

2. In January near new years there a disaster that people think initially is terrorist related – it’s not, it’s natural. West coast US.

3. Weather – the nasty winter we’re having in Eastern Canada continues. There’s a break in February with sun and melting that has people thinking maybe we’ll get an early spring but it will come back with a vengance. Will be May before the snow clears. This whole year is water, lots of water. In Quebec eastern townships an earthquake (medium sized) and ledo clay will cause houses to slide with some deaths reported. That might be around June.

4. Royal family – significant upheaval. Prince Philip dies in September I think and the Queen will rethink her role – takes to reigning in name only, handing offer her duties to the younger ones. Prince Charles has a health scare – heart? (As an aside, I don’t see him ever being King). Prince Harry gets engaged in the summer, Kate will be pregnant again with an August announcement.

5. Justin Beiber slips out of public eye around February for some time. He has health issues that need to be taken care of. He also needs to have some space to get back to reality. He will be home in Canada for a few months at least. Will eventually spend more time writing music for others and is thinking of pursuing more acting roles.

6. Cancer. This is a year where a number of well known people will be diagnosed with cancer and it will be enough that it will seem surprizing. One notable young male actor will die of what I think is bone cancer (and it’s not Justin Beiber, lol).

7. I don’t where to begin with Stephen H and the government. The pot that boiled this year overboils and the mess that’s been hidden overflows. The conservative government won’t last through 2014. The next election, when it comes after a period of interim government called by the Governor General will be won by the NDP. The Liberals will be in power again but not before the election after this one (2017) and both elections will result in minority governments. The Conservatives will be reduced to a number similar to when Kim Campbell was leader after the election that nearly ended the PC party. On another note, I see an aircraft with flames burning just below the passenger door on the left hand side that somehow ties in with all of this (a trigger?) but – is this image literal or figurative?

8. Rob Ford. Hmm. I see a body on the floor, a hand, a gun. Is it him or related to him in someway or, like the plane image, figurative? Regardless this is something happening in May. There will be an election in Toronto in April I think.

9. Somebody wonderful from England becomes well known this year. I believe it’s a woman and she is young, but she has a gift that makes people feel good about themselves but importantly, others. Very much a Mother Theresa vibe about her but she’s not religious; she’s either a singer or writer.

10. Bitcoins are going to be more than people realize. Credit cards and banking in general is going to be revolutionized – not necessarily all in one year, but this is a starting wave that is impossible to ignore. The evolution is not by government but by people disillusioned and frustrated by years of financial thievery on the part of banks and government. Last year I saw the credit cards being called out and fees lowered – it sort of happened but not nearly as much as I had thought. Regardless, what they did wasn’t good enough. Watch for a housing market meltdown caused by attempts to cool the rising prices that unfortunately are lowering prices in areas there’s no need for that to happen and the difficulty and frustration middle class people see with getting a mortgage and the high down payments needed. The moral of this story is that low interest rates are great if you access to credit. Many people don’t.

11. Finance Minister Flaherty will resign, ostensibly for health reasons but more likely to avoid fall out from something being uncovered in the late winter Feb/March timeframe. (Yes I know I predicted this last year, may well be the same prediction happening a little later is all).

12. Sochi Olympics – Ukranian athletes – I see police arresting a number of them on suspicion of a threat. There isn’t one, at least not from them. I do see that these games will be full of nerve wracking incidents that scare people, but no actual harm to the athletes and spectators. The terrorist attacks that happened over the last couple of days (2) will continue though. I see 3 more (for a total of 5).

13. Overall I see it as a year of people finding themselves at their truest level. People want simple now, and family, happiness is what is most important after years of being burnt by employers and banks and credit card companies. In a way they’re just saying “enough, you can take your money grubbing ways, we’re not interested in that anymore.” The effect of this on industry though is huge because for now at least, consumerism is dead.

14. Electrical source – a new novel affordable home electrical generator set up/device that will power individual homes will be made available widely for people to buy. I see this coming out of Japan – it will be quite popular in Europe and North America, so much so that there will be a shortage and waiting lists for orders. This should be late fall (November) when it will be a commonly known and wanted item.

So what do you think? Will this be as accurate as last year? Time will tell!

Remote Viewing a secret

I was asked the other day to try remote viewing the 3rd secret of Fatima by a friend. At first I laughed finding the idea of that very funny, kind of like when Ed Dames remote viewed Satan, however when I thought about it the idea of what the result would be intrigued me. My thought has been so far that it foretold the 3rd world war, and that the very technology involved would be incredibly scary indeed. More than enough for the Catholic church to hide it for years, and more than enough to release part of or even a fictional version of what was really written. That being said, my skills in remote viewing are innate in that I’ve done what I’ve called “looking ahead” for as long as I can remember, and it’s normally about my life and the people around me. I’ve been right though, often enough that I do get asked by people close to me to try and see and tell them what I come up with. My new years post was one of those.

Now, if you don’t know who Ed Dames is, he is a remote viewer who is trained and teaches a scientific remote viewing system which he sells on his web site learnrv.com. Some time ago I bought his DVDs (when I had a whole lot more money than now, lol)  but I’ve only looked at the first 2 so haven’t completed the full training and don’t use it for my “looking ahead”. I will say that following this little experiment in looking backward – which I’ve never done before – I will take the time to work through the rest of the course to learn his scientific way more fully so I can actually try it on stuff like this.

So. Here’s what I did:
First I had to figure out how the heck I was going to look backward, to a time I wasn’t born in and a place I’ve never been to. What do I focus on? I chose to think of Portugal, and three children kneeling in front of a light in the past.

Okay – now comes my huge disclaimer, which is I do not claim to be psychic, and I am a writer which means I have a vivid imagination. This may simply be an exercise in imagination. Take it as you will. Whatever it is, it was fun to do.  It basically involved meditating on a time and a place.

The session:
I saw 3 children kneeling and praying. There was a very bright light in front of them, so bright it was nearly blinding. In the centre there could have been a figure that could have been a woman, or it could simply be the mind making sense of the folds in the light.

Seeing that I chose a higher viewpoint – there was a lot of people behind these children so I figured this likely was the time and place I was looking for.

Then I wondered how would I hear what was said if only the 3 children heard and not the people behind, and if I did manage to hear, what if the language used was Portuguese? I mentally stood immediately behind the children, and what appears to have been said was telepathically.

So, huge disclaimer in mind, here’s what I got:

God is never angry and is not angry. He is disappointed that his message is being misused by humans. He is disappointed at what is being told in his name, and that organized religion is using him as a voice to further their own ends. The bible, for instance, is not meant to be read literally, but rather words as a vehicle to convey a message. This misuse of his name to further human ends has resulted in his name being used to promote hatred, division, and greed. These are not his message, those are controlling of humans by humans and is darkness and at times, evil. His message is not one of darkness and that is why he is disappointed.

What he wants is that the darkness be dispelled, that his name not be used to promote that which is contrary to his word. He will not wreak havoc and devastation on those who do this as that is not light, it is dark and it is angry and he is not that. Instead if the goodness that should be is not effected within the organized religions and the darkness dispelled and removed from his name he would soon shine light on these religions. In effect, giving them enough rope to hang themselves [my words, lol, I’m not sure how to say what I got there]. In doing so, organized religions will fall as they are man-made constructs of human determination using the name of God to further human ends.

This is not constrained to one particular religion, it is the Catholic church, the Protestants, the eastern, western and all other forms of organized religions who pray to a God for all forms of God are truly one thing crouched in cultural forms. In shedding light the darkness will not be still, it will fight back and further try to control and be divisive and hateful towards not their own, all using the name of God to further their ends. They will not succeed, but it will not be without a huge cost. This cost will be suffering and shedding of blood, among other things. The light however will win out and people will see that God is within and favour of God is not granted by following certain ways or rules or giving of money but who and how you are in spirit. This will not sit well with people who are heavily invested in perpetuating the bureaucracy of it and who have profited from this. In the end though, light always succeeds over darkness.

My thoughts on this are, and again I repeat, it may be pure imagination on my part but it would make sense that such a prophecy would be hidden by the church, and that there are many people who would be devastated if all of their firmly held beliefs and, in the case say of nuns and priests and anyone else who has entirely devoted their lives to a religion to find out that a lot of what they gave their entire lives to was perpetuating things that are unholy and dictated by people, not by the word of God.

So what do you think the true 3rd Secret of Fatima was? Do you think that the truth was revealed when it was supposed to be have released?

2013 Predictions

I like to do predictions every year as a fun exercise.  I’m not a psychic or anything like that but sometimes they come true (my 2012 ones had several hits).  That being said please don’t take these as anything more than me having fun.

Here goes:

1.  In January I see a massive forest fire – I think it’s California, there’s also a serious weather event in Australia that may be something to do with a big flood.  There’s an earthquake on the West Coast of the US – no, not the big one but scary enough to have people thinking.

2.  Something about money – I’m thinking Europe, could be Spain or Portugal.  What’s important about this event is that it sets off a world-wide chain reaction that isn’t pretty.  Following that, prices for things including gas plunge, and for the most part people are happy about that.  However, like 2008 a lot of jobs will be lost when inventory can’t be sold for what companies paid to stock their shelves; again that’s world wide.  Prices don’t bounce back up though; they stay low for at least the rest of 2013 and going into 2014.  The price plunging actually starts in the May-June time frame as a result of the financial crisis.

3.  There’s something about banks and credit cards about to be revealed; its a systemic problem that will cause interest rates to be reduced greatly and people who have defaulted may be given a grace payment thing where black marks related to them are removed from peoples’ credit rating.  Has to do with an discovery that consumers are en masse defaulting and it’s not for lack of trying to pay.  Rules will change, as will the finance minister.  Not sure the time frame but I think it’s somewhere around July, after the big financial breakdown.

4.  Harper government is about to come to a rude awakening.  I see them being brought down by the end of the year, based on something very inexcusable coming to light around August or September.  It could spell the end of the Conservative party; certainly a number of MPs resign and do not run again.  I’ll think on what that could possibly be; at the moment I don’t see what or why.  Whatever, this is likely to be the one thing that they can’t get out of and proroguing will not be to their advantage.  What I do think is that whatever it is, it isn’t what we’ve already been dealing with (like robocalls) – this is something very new.  Collusion is a word that pops to mind.

5.  In general, 2013 is a year of rude awakenings.  I see the entire year like a huge spotlight shining; it is a universal energy type of force that is affecting every single person on Earth.  Secrets will come into the light, and to some degree those who need to be brought to account will be.  On the bright side, 2013 can also be the year that some amazing people are also brought into the light.  Those who shine in 2013 will be people who move the consciousness of the world forward, away from the darkness we have been sinking deeper into.

6.  As good as 2013 will be for many people, it will be equally difficult in many ways.  There is a huge turnaround coming and in many ways it won’t be pretty.  I see riots, more gun killing sprees, not just in the US but also in Europe in unexpected places (Switzerland?).  

7.  The federal civil service is about to have another shake up, most likely because of the scandal in the fall, however it is also related to antiquated policies and cumbersome procedures that simply can’t deal with the fallout of the mess that has come from higher up.  I see fewer departments and fewer employees, but also more use of current technology.  Teleworking will be more encouraged to save money.

8.  In medicine I see two things:  first, this will be the year of the Stem Cell.  Research will prove some amazing capabilities of stem cells and a new technique to easily extract a patients’ own cells will bring about cures for a number of things previously thought incurable.  Diabetes comes to mind.  Second, there is a virus or something like that coming out of Africa.  This will emerge in 2013 and it will have a unique property in that there is a genetic component; certain people will be completely immune, others not and some will have a milder version, but it will be based on a person’s genetic makeup, not their age or physical condition.  

9.  Venice – in the late summer early fall I get a feeling that something weather related will happen to cause major damage to Venice, Italy.

10.  A young celebrity will die in mysterious circumstances.  It’s a male and it will take some time to discover the reason.  Turns out it’s due to an unknown medical condition.

11.  A leader of a country will resign over family reasons, for instance to deal with a medical problem of a child.  Not sure which country, not even sure if the leader is male or female.