Ottawa Book Launch


Carleton University’s School of Journalism & Communication and the ALiGN Media Lab will be co-hosting a book launch for my second book, Punching and Kicking, on Friday Nov 30th @2:30pm. If you’d like to attend, register here!

To read an interview I did with Carleton’s School of Journalism and Communication, click here.


“With a Closed Fist” book launch photos!


Last Friday was the official book launch for With a Closed Fist at Saint Columba House in Point St. Charles. If you missed out, check out some photos of the event, courtesy of Andrew Waldie Porteus. More photos coming soon! To see a larger version of this slideshow, click here.




Have your own photos of the event or of the Point that you’d like to share on Send them in!


The Spelling Bee at my book launch


I know I probably shouldn’t admit this, being a writer and all, but I’m a terrible speller. I also sometimes screw up on “then” and “than,” and “their, there, and they’re.” But I’m working on it.

When trying to share an idea or point of view, especially via the written word, I understand how crucial it is to pick just the right word. If I’m talking to someone right in front of me, I can simply read their face or body language for an instant check on how my words are coming across. But for readers, it’s different of course. So I get how important correct spelling and all of that truly is.

At my book signing in Montreal last week, thanks to a combination of excitement, nervousness, and being a terrible speller, sometimes I had to ask a person how to spell their name. And sometimes more than once. Even simple names.

For example, somewhere out there is a Felicity who must be convinced I’m an idiot. I had to ask her how to spell her name. Three times.

“It’s F-E-L-I-C-I-T-Y,” she patiently said each time.

But for some reason, my brain just wasn’t getting or hearing that “F.” I kept wanting to spell her name with a “Ph” for some stupid reason, until I finally did a mental smack on myself and got it right. I think. I hope.

When it came time to write the word “Librarian” in someone else’s book (long story about why) I finally gave up and turned to my daughter, who CAN spell, and asked her if it has two “i’s” or three.

Oh, and where exactly each of those I’s go…


Sharing Secrets


Last Friday I was in Montreal attending the launch of my book, “With a Closed Fist: Growing up in Canada’s Toughest Neighbourhood.” Today I’m back in Waterloo, sitting at my kitchen table, and chewing my nails.

Within the next few days I expect to get a sense of how the people of the Point feel about the book. Do they hate it? Did it make them laugh? How many saw their own story in some of the details of mine?

For many of us who grew up in Point St. Charles, the Point remains a special place and feelings can run deep if we think someone is misrepresenting ‘our’ neighbourhood. Or telling secrets.

I admit, my book is filled with secrets, including a few ugly ones. So I understand that some people might prefer I had remained silent and just kept my mouth shut. The truth is like that sometimes. It makes people uncomfortable. But if there is one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that secrets are bad. Especially those secrets we sometimes ask children to keep.

I hope everyone who reads my book from Point St. Charles loves it. But I don’t expect that of course, and nor do I require it. Just the fact that the book is now out there means I’ve already achieved a really important goal. I’ve given that kid in the book a voice.

You might not like what she has to say. But I’m glad she’s finally being able to say it. Today she is no longer invisible.