Get Excited! Get Writing!

Excited about new CPOW books

I was excited to pick up these boxes — with their jewel-toned innards — today at the post office.  Our CPOW program is something that people are really taking to heart as an important piece of their writing toolkit and an essential part of daily living.

Overcome Writers’ Block

At Whistler Writers Fest, I talked about moving past writers’ block.  Our strategies to help us write are often reduced to mere word searches, but in truth, the reasons we’re not getting words on the page are complex and dynamic and tied to what’s going on in our lives.  So don’t blame your brain for being the top part of a human being, and don’t blame the words that simply won’t come to you.

Find Your Voice

CPOW is a way to find focus and joy and excitement — to find your voice as a writer. It uses the power and concentration of the journey of doodling to calm your brain and unleash the words that are inside you.

Find your way to our online store to find out more



Indie Welcome: Whistler Writers Fest

Indie authors welcome! We’ve been working with Kilmeny and Lynn at Vivalogue and the incredible crew at the Whistler Writers Fest to pull together a full day of programming as a lead-in to the festival.

There are many great reasons for becoming an indie author.  But if you’re an aspiring indie, you know how hard it can be to stay true to the vision you have for your work, and to find ways to get it out into the world and to connect with your reading public.

If you’ve ever felt like your way forward is fuzzy and you can’t see how to get from here to there, join us on October 15th.

Join us at October 15th to make connections, explore ways into becoming the writer you aspire to be, and get answers to your questions.

Get tickets here:

Find out more about my session: What do editors do, anyway? in this laggy little beauty of a video.


CPOW Again!

CPOW! We are getting ready to launch three more books in the Contemplative Practice of Writing series.  Launch date is October 15th at the Whistler Writer’s Fest —

Workbook 2: Everyday Celebrations

Workbook 3: Classroom, Homeschool & Microschool Edition — Intermediate

Notebook 1: Extended Word Bank

The Contemplative Practice of Writing (CPOW) program is new way of gently focussing your mind and generating fresh thought.

Creativity thrives when exploration meets constraint, and CPOW exercises invite you to follow the freedom of your pen into your voice as  writer.

First, doodle to a visual CUE for SET TIME in a BOUNDED SPACE.  Then follow a writing PROMPT and fill your WORD BANK.

It seems impossible that the act of doodling can free your words and help you write.  But it works.

Early adopters of the program have called it miraculous, life changing, and have been using it in their classrooms and in their own lives as they have navigated their toughest days.

Get tickets for my WWF CPOW session here:

Find a laggy but lovely video with me talking about the program here:



CPOW Spring 2020


In this uncharted world of Covid 19, we are aware more than ever of the power of words to provide solace and strength, to share new knowledge, and to bind community even across great distance.

We are at work rescheduling our Spring 2020 workshops and reimagining our workshop on CPOW 1 in a digital format.

Stay tuned for more information on the release of more resources to keep you writing and to safeguard your thinking and drafting.

CPOW Workbook 2 — with streamlined instructions, and new cues and prompts

CPOW Workbook 3: Classroom and Homeschool Edition

Wordbank: Standalone Notebook


BC Book Prizes Finalist

A Good Day

We are delighted and humbled that Surrey: A City of Stories has been named as a finalist in the Roderick Haig-Brown Regional prize category, part of BC Book Prizes 2018.

Place is built as much on layers of stories as it is on landscape or building fabric, and we worked hard to mine the archives for stories and images that would resonate with readers and reflect the pride with which Surrey citizens view their growing city.

Unsung Heroes

A big shout-out to book designer Bill Glasgow, of William Glasgow Design in Abbotsford, BC.  Book designers are the unsung heroes of book land, creative and innovative souls who labour out of the limelight to make our words pop on the page.  Bill is the consummate collaborator who grasps and extends our vision while wrestling both disparate images and gorgeous archivals onto the page and into a coherent and beautiful whole.

Great big thanks to Ryan Gallagher and his team at the Surrey Archives.

Winners will be announced May 4, 2018 at the 34th Annual Lieutenant Governor’s BC Book Prizes Gala in Vancouver.

More information can be found here 2018 BC Book Prizes Shortlists Announced


Have you ever felt yourself being one of those clients who just seems to never let go?  Does it ever feel like you are constantly trying to get something fixed? Changed? Done?

That is how I have felt about this website for awhile since the moment when — poof! — something happened and — yikes! — lots was gone.  I am pretty sure I was to blame, but I don’t even know enough about the inner life of websites to know that for sure.

This lettuce heart is for the great folks at Crocodile Creative who set a new standard in customer service.  They patiently listened, fixed, and beautified this site — a couple of times.

I am excited about Fenton Street’s work this spring and deeply grateful to have my site up and running — once again.

Watt is Reading Local at Point Grey Library

As part of the Read Local campaign, I will be reading The Girl Who Writes and The Boy Who Paints to an enthusiastic audience at Point Grey Library in Vancouver.

Join us on April 15th at 1:30 as we talk about crafting these books and sending them out into the world.

For more information on Read Local events, see



Workshopping The Girl Who Writes at a Wonderful Place

We are happy to be conducting workshops on The Boy Who Paints and The Girl Who Writes over the next month with students from Hillcrest School in Surrey.

The day was warm.  Spring was in the air, and the warmth of the sun outside went right through to our bones after the winter.  And if that wasn’t enough, look what we found when we rolled into the parking lot with our canvases, our paints, and our load of kids books.  Our place was reserved by librarian Bonnie Chapman with this amazing sign.

It is a wonderful place, filled with the buzz of inspired minds.


Alberta Bound with The Girl Who Writes!

We are bound for Alberta on Friday, to tour bookstores in Calgary and to officially launch The Girl Who Writes at Canada House Gallery in Banff on Saturday, November 8th between 1:00 and 3:00.  We will be doing a presentation and reading at 2:00.  Families are welcome.

What does Richard’s painting of an owl have to do with our new children’s book on writing and the importance of choosing great words?

Lots, in fact.  As we worked on the design vocabulary of the new book, and tried to think what a perceptive young woman in early-twentieth century rural Canada might see around her in the river and in the town she was familiar with, we knew we needed to include a beaver.  Richard drew one, then we decided it needed to be a smart little critter, so he made sure he was reading.

This process of considering and drawing wildlife for our new book put Richard on the path to painting giant portraits of wildlife — hence the owl. It also puts me in mind of something The Girl says:

I know that with a bit of ink and 26 letters, I can make new worlds.

We are looking forward to seeing you all at Canada House this weekend! Here’s the link.

Saskatchewan Luck

I’m feeling pretty lucky these days, to be staying in the town of Eastend as writer in residence at Wallace Stegner House.  His are pretty big boots to fill, but it’s a privilege to be here, and to have his smiling face on the wall above the desk.

I’m working on a history book about my colourful corner of the world, but somehow getting away from the nearby history I stroll through and think about every day makes the obvious, well — obvious.

Viewed personally and historically, th[e] almost featureless prairie glows with more colour than it reveals to the appalled and misdirected tourist.  As memory, as experience, those Plains are unforgettable; as history, they have the lurid explosiveness of a prairie fire, quickly dangerous, swiftly over.

Wallace Stegner, Wolf Willow, 1955

I am not appalled.  I may be misdirected.  I am certain that history has not yet been fully written.

I am indebted to the Eastend Arts Council for the chance to stay.  I hope their stewardship of this place continues long into the future.