Archive for December, 2008

snow haiku

December 29, 2008



snow on powerline

falls one stroke at a time

writes kanji below

Sharing a Victorian Christmas

December 21, 2008

victorian_xmas_treeAs Christmas draws closer, I always love sitting by the Christmas tree and reading Christmas stories. As a way of sharing this tradition, I thought I’d post an excerpt from my novel Discovering Emily. Canadian artist Emily Carr, the heroine of the novel, was born in Victoria, BC in 1871. The Christmas scene in Discovering Emily is based on Emily Carr’s own reminiscences about her childhood Christmases:

The day before Christmas, the Carr house filled with the spicy smell of boiling plum pudding and the fresh fir scent of the Christmas tree. On Christmas Eve Father took Emily and her younger sisters into town to see the shops lit up. Every lamppost had a fir tree tied to it, and the shop windows were decorated with mock snow made of cotton wool and sparkly dust. In the grocer’s window was a Santa Claus grinding coffee. Bonbons, clusters of raisins, nuts, candied fruits and long peppermint candy sticks surrounded him. At the end of the food shops was Chinatown. Its dark streets held no Christmas decorations. Emily’s father turned them around to head back to James Bay.

Before bed the children hung their stockings from the high mantel piece in the breakfast room, and Dede read “Twas the Night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse . . .”

At the bottom of the stairs Emily peaked into the dark dining room and smelled the Christmas tree waiting there. She couldn’t see it, but she knew that it stood there, touching the ceiling and hanging heavy with presents ready for the morning. Up in her bedroom the air was chilly, and Emily dove under the covers next to Alice. She wiggled with excitement.

“Be still,” whispered Alice. “I want to sleep.”

Emily tried to keep still, but she tossed one way and then the other. How could she fall asleep when there were presents waiting? She tried not to think of the new set of paints she wanted or of the cuddly puppy she had longed for. She knew it wouldn’t do any good to wish for them, but she couldn’t help hoping that something special hung on the tree for her.

Snow still here!

December 19, 2008

View from my back porch yesterday:


Winter haiku

December 16, 2008

Even rarer than sunny days in winter here, are below zero celcius days of dry cold snow. Sunday night I came out of  the Ukrainian hall (after enjoying a colourful dance performance) in Strathcona, an old area of Vancouver, and it felt like I was walking into a different world. By then it was dark, the streets were pretty much empty, and there was a different feel in the air from the snow on the ground and the unusual cold. With the old row houses dating back to the turn of the last century, I could have been stepping back in time to Dickens’ world….Couldn’t resist going for a walk….









breaths puff in crisp air

Christmas lights reflect on snow

stillness holds the street


More wet stuff

December 13, 2008

Yesterday was a rainy day sandwiched between two rare sunny days. Unfortunately, I was stuck inside on the sunny days and was out and about on the rainy day. As I left the house, giant wet snowflakes were coming down. By the time I got to Commerical Drive and downtown Vancouver, there was just giant wet. I still ended up enjoying myself — perhaps because haiku kept happening (and creating anything always puts me in a good mood), and perhaps because I was still feeling high from good news I received the day before.

The haiku:



 rain on bus windows

 blurrs neon and car headlights

 into Christmas colours






buildings, sidewalk, street

everything is cloaked in gray

except a red coat


The good news:

My first picture book story has been accepted by Orca Book Publishers (for publication in Fall 2010)!!


Evening haiku

December 6, 2008

under the awning

of the Seven-eleven

sparrows shelter

Random sights

December 4, 2008

I haven’t posted any graffiti images in awhile, so perhaps I’m due. I’m always intrigued by stencil graffiti (which seems a little more rare), and here’s one that caught my eye today (under the Skytrain by Metrotown mall).


The Blues Brothers made their first appearance on Saturday Night Live when I was in highschool, so catching sight of them out of the blue (so to speak) was kind of like unexpectedly hearing a favourite old song (btw, I never seem to tire of watching/listening to the first Blues Brothers movie).

Where do writers turn for inspiration when they’re stuck?

December 2, 2008

If you’re interested in hearing some children’s book authors and illustrators answer this question, check out the “Tuesday Tell-All” on the CWILL BC blog.