Saskatchewan Photography Challenge

A fellow amateur photographer/birder (thanks Alaina!) invited me to join a new facebook group – Saskatchewan Photography Challenge and I’m loving it! Each week the host (Ryan Wingfield) presents a new challenge. Rules are simple – your picture has to be taken that week and has to be taken in Saskatchewan.

I love that it’s making me get out and take pictures, and I love seeing other people’s entries. I feel I’ve learned a lot already and we’re only on week four! Check it out if you’d like to join (Saskatchewan Photography Challenge) or even if you’d just like to see some amazing photos.

It feels great to be creating again! Who knows, next thing you know I might even get back to writing! 🙂

Here are my entries to date:


Challenge 1 – Reflections



Challenge #2 – Leading Lines

Leading Lines


Challenge #3 – 50mm Landscape

50mm Landscape


Challenge #4 – Outdoor Panorama



Dreaming the Future

I had a dream recently and it was so meaningful and so illuminating I just need to share it. Plus I want to be able to revisit whenever I need to, and I know I’ll need to.

Bill and I were cruising down the highway. As usual he was driving. We were talking and laughing and all of a sudden we were sailing off a cliff! Neither of us saw it coming. First I screamed but when I noticed Bill wasn’t screaming I looked over and he was asleep. I tried waking him up but he wouldn’t wake up. (I always tear up at this point.) In true dream-style, the descent went on for a long time. I was panicking because I didn’t know what was going to happen, but then a calm came over me as I realized there was nothing I could do about it. It was a Hollywood-rough landing on a paved road and we rolled into a town I had never seen before. Everything was new to me. I left Bill in the car and got out to see where we were. The rest of the dream is fuzzy but I know I met new people and they did things differently in this town. Somehow I knew this is where I would live now. I also knew it would take me some time to get used to this new place, but I felt certain that things were going to be okay.

Then I woke up. And cried.

Topping Up the Inspiration Tank

I was at the CANSCAIP (Canadian Society for Children’s Authors, Illustrators and Performers) Saskatchewan Prairie Horizons Conference in Lumsden this last weekend. It’s held every two years and as usual, it was fabulous!

I got to hear 10 people pitch their mostly YA manuscripts to a panel of four esteemed judges (Marie Campbell, Eric Walter, Sigmund Brouwer and Sean Cassidy) in a Canadian Idol type competition. I enjoyed hearing the different styles and learned a lot by listening.

We went on a moonlight labyrinth walk. A huge moon lighted our way so it wasn’t a big deal that the wind picked up and blew all our candles out. The labyrinth walk is one of my favourite parts of the conference.

We heard incredible speakers – Marie Campbell, an agent who was both honest and straightforward but inspiring too; Eric Walter, a prolific writer and man of conscience and action; Sean Cassidy, an incredible illustrator/author who wowed us all by teaching us to draw cartoon expressions. Here’s my results:

ExpressionsNot bad, eh?  🙂

The open mike is another favourite part of the conference for me. We had about 20 people read 5 minutes of their work. Amazing stuff! (Not to mention I had a hoot being the time keeper.)

Add to all this, a weekend of writing talk – specifically writing for children talk. Believe me, that’s a big deal. Not once did I have to explain why I write picture books. Not once did I have to say that no, I wasn’t planning on “moving on” to adult writing.

I met new people, I laughed, I ate really well (lemon poppyseed cheesecake – yum!), I left feeling fired up and ready to write. This morning I was up at 6 to do just that.

And what a beautiful location! Lumsden in the fall. Here’s a shot taken early Saturday morning.

IMG_2075I’m already looking forward to the fall of 2015 and our next CANSCAIP SK Prairie Horizons Conference! If you are a writer, illustrator or performer for children, I highly recommend it!