Category Archives for Communications


[gallery type="slideshow" ids="16859,16858,16856,16862,16863,16988" orderby="rand"] Even after 25 years of  experience, I never tire of doing stories about people, places and important issues in the community. Read some of my favourite stories from the past year by clicking on the photos within the gallery above. Thanks to the very thoughtful reader who sent a cheque to the subject of my story "senior with food intolerance struggling," after it appeared in the City edition of the Suburban in July. That reader is just one of the people who took positive action from my work and reminded me how nonfiction writing can be an act of social justice. I speicalize in stories about Montreal Island Report, Verdun and LaSalle. Sign up to the Vital Verdun mailing list or the Local LaSalle mailing list.      

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[gallery type="slideshow" ids="16243,16241,16239,16238"] I'm currently working on Steady Hands Broken Heart, a book about Canadian Changes during World War II. This will be the next book in my war series, that begin with I Volunteered, Canadian Vietnam Vets Remember, Winnipeg: Watson & Dwyer 1996; 175 p.; 24 cm; ISBN 1896239145. There are still a few hard-copy versions of that book available, but I'm also planning to launch a digital version in the next year. The series of outdoor guide books about Ontario cycling, hiking and cross-country skiing  are available in both hard-copy and digitally through Ulysses. If you're working on your own non-fiction book, you can hire me to help you structure or improve your work before you hand it off to an editor. Contact me for a consultation.

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Writing Assistance

  Are you struggling to finish a non-fiction story? Do you wonder if your work could be better, but you're not sure what to do? My four-step process helps you write compelling stories fast while feeling confident that your work is the best it can be.

  • Structure--Pick a suitable structure to automatically create your story section by section.
  • Story--Focus on surprising your reader through scrupulous detail.
  • Style--Strong style means using good grammar, active verbs and tight sentences.
  • Sound--Readers hear stories in their heads, so be sure to revise with pauses, rhythm, speed and tone in mind.
I've prepared one-page reports to show you how to implement each of these steps. To get them for free, sign up for my notable non-fiction email list. You'll also get regular offers about my group writing courses. If you prefer individual assistance with a particular project, contact me for a consultation.  

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Thanks to coach Ryan Eliason for renewal support

explode_bannerThis month, I will turn 51 years old. The milestone has made me reflective about what I’ve accomplished and what remains to be done. Despite a rather large melt-down in my industry, I’m in a buoyant mood about the future, thanks in part to some powerful coaching from Ryan Eliason.

During weekly group coaching sessions, Ryan asks powerful questions that have helped me move past overwhelm and towards renewal. My favourite quote of his is “renewal is not a circumstance, it’s a state of mind.” Thanks to his coaching, everytime I feel overwhelmed I go for a walk, have a healthy meal, take a nap or change what I’m doing, even if only for a little while. What a relief!

Every week, he encourages us to celebrate small and large milestones in our lives. Graduations, anniversaries, accomplishments, even cleaning your office; all of these landmarks should be posted or verbalized or discussed with loved ones. The idea is that regular encouragement improves your energy and makes you more grateful. Thanks to his coaching, I’ve been paying attention to happy children, a good marriage, a beautiful home, good relationships with siblings and my dad, a close extended family, lots of good friends and business acquaintances, great bosses…the positive notes go on and on. He’s encouraged me to spend at least some time every day thanking God for an abundance of love in my life.

One of his exercises had me list all the successful mentors I have in my life. That exercise alone makes me so grateful for everyone who makes such a difference in so many spheres.  If you’re reading this note, you’re very likely on my list of mentors. It’s extraordinary how many people do great things without being thanked or appreciated. Thank you.

He also encouraged me to define a vision that connects me to my biggest purpose. I decided I want to use communications and urban agriculture to build abundance so that people, politics and nature can strengthen one another. That focus links my work as part of a vibrant team creating an important urban agriculture cooperative in Verdun with writing that highlights amazing people and projects. Courses about growing things, community activism and good food preparation are now on the to-do list.

I’ve also dusted off that World War II book project that’s been off and on my plate since I finished a survey of Canadian Vietnam Veterans in 1996. It should be finished in time for Christmas so that I can plan a spring 2015 launch.

Ten years ago, if you had told me that I’d be starting my business with fresh eyes, I wouldn’t have believed it. Thanks to Ryan, that’s happening now.

Happily, Ryan is holding a free webinar series next week so that you can experience his coaching first hand and see some of his most successful case studies. He offers this kind of webinar only once every year, so I highly encourage you to see what he has to offer by clicking on the following link to register for his free webinar.

Ryan has opened up the registration for his Visionary Mastery program. If you think this is a good fit for you, sign up with this link to Ryan Eliason’s Vision Mastery Program.




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Ten Phrases That Indicate Obduracy

Webster’s Dictionary Definition of Obduracy

The quality or state of being:

  • hardened in feelings
  • stubbornly persistent in wrongdoing or
  • resistant to persuasion or softening influences, as in unyielding.”


1)     It’s not my responsibility, it’s theirs.

2)     Trust me to do the right thing, that’s what you pay, elect, or assign me to do.

3)     We’re going to take it one step at a time.

4)     Those details aren’t important.

5)     Why are you focussing on that?

6)     I share your concerns, but this isn’t the time to raise them.

7)     We’ll consult you when we have something concrete to present.

8)     We need more information.

9)     This isn’t a public issue.

10)   That decision can’t be made until everything connected to it has been considered.

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