January 05

Today I realized that I began this journey on January 02, despite promising 365 days of gratitude, so today, I’m going to single out three women I’m grateful for, to make up for missing a day.

First, the gifted musician, artist, writer, and editor, Melanie Cossey. I met Melanie over a year and a half ago, at the second meeting of the Coquitlam Writer’s group. There were several people in attendance that night, but when Melanie read her pages, she pulled me in to her story so powerfully I asked if I might have the honour of reading her entire manuscript, right that very night.

This book has since been bought by Regal House Publishing, hopefully to be coming out this summer. Yes, it was that good, and yes, I do have good taste.

Our friendship has grown since then, as I recognized a fellow artist in Melanie, complete with the insecurities that this craft brings. She is so bright, and witty, and talented, and she loves puns. Seriously, how could I not love her? She gives such insightful feedback for my words, always ready to encourage me when I am down and push me to be better.

Recently I embarked on a different journey with her. In the past I did a fair bit of paining and drawing, but with the demands of a career and two children, and now my writing, this fell to the wayside. I started taking painting lessons with Mel a few months ago and hope to one day have a painting worthy of sharing with you all.

I must admit to finding this process rather intimidating. The last thing I want is Melanie to realize I have no talent, she’s so darned talented I want so badly to impress her. At this point I may have fooled her into thinking I have some semblance of talent, but when the painting is complete, the final product may lay bare my inadequacies. Wish me luck.

I am so grateful that I went to that group and met Melanie. I can’t imagine not having her in my life.

You can find her art at:  www.melaniecossey.com or: http://www.ohthatface.com

And her words at regalhousepublishing.com

Her book is entitled: THE PECULIAR CURIOSITY  a gothic horror story. I’ve had the pleasure of being one of her beta readers, and I can say that it is quite wonderful, if you don’t mind a wee bit of gruesome. I can’t wait to hold an actual copy in my hands.


The next two women I am grateful for having in my life, are Katherine Wagner and Rhonda Eyben Payne.

I met these two powerhouses when I first went to a literary evening sponsored by The Golden Ears Writers, a group these two women founded over six years ago to support the local writing community. Each month on the second Tuesday, with the exception of July and August, they arrange for speakers to do presentations at the ACT Theatre in Maple Ridge.

I immediately felt welcomed by them both, and was thrilled to find my “people.” Katherine encouraged me to take a few short story classes with her, and I loved each. She is a gifted story teller with numerous stories published, and awards won. A story I wrote in one of these classes actually went on to win first place in the genre category of Writers Digest Annual competition this year. Something that never wouldn’t have happened without Katherine’s encouragement.

Katherine also organizes an annual Ghost Writer’s Retreat at Loon Lake Lodge in Maple Ridge. I’ve had the pleasure to attend twice, and hopefully will make it again this year. Such a fantastic few days of writing and companionship in a magnificent setting. IMG_0120

Rhonda is a writer by profession,  you can find her work at: http://www.girlwithapen.ca and a gifted storyteller as well.

This year these incredibly hardworking individuals organized The Golden Ears Writers and Readers Festival, a wonderful event that brought together local writers and readers for a day of sharing and learning. Quite an accomplishment for two people. We are hoping they will do this again next year, and if they do, I encourage any local writers, or readers to attend.

I’m sorry to say I was unable to find a picture of these two lovely lovely ladies who inspire me to improve my craft and encourage me to share my work. I am so grateful to have made their acquaintance.


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