Tuesday, September 22, 2015

First Time Being Published - Part II

 Here's a preview of Xavier's selected work.
The Taint
Foratarof got out of bed like every other day. He went outside and saw it, the Taint.  The Taint is an infection that infects everything it touches: everything. Foratarof ran to the town hall to sound the alarm but it was too late. The monsters had arrived. They were killing everyone in sight. He saw people he had known his whole life die before his eyes. They were all gone. There was no hope, until he saw it. The egg. He could be one. A dragon-rider. He ran like lightning. He knew if he could get there fast, he might succeed in getting the egg to hatch. He threw out his mind. It did not take long to find the dragon’s mind; it was bright and shining like the sun. He tried to contact it, but its mental barriers were too strong. He ran even faster.  When he reached the egg, he touched it and it  exploded with a shower of colour. And there it was, his dragon. It was a cyan dragon. Its scales were pointed and sharp. Its claws were black daggers, capable of piercing the strongest of armour. He knew that he should run from the Taint, but the dragon’s beauty was overwhelming. Then the dragon contacted him.  His voice was deep and powerful as he said, “Come, let us slay these monsters.” He wanted to refuse but he could not, he was too overwhelmed to say no. So he ran towards the city with his magnificent blue dragon, Adodyppalsyppah.

Ten years later.
As the sun went up the Silverwood Tree died. Omega knew then and there his death was near. The Silverwood Tree, their only protection, was gone and he knew whose fault it was. The king. The king was mad, he and his dragon. They had set fire to the tree. They would all die. He climbed to the top of his house and saw that there was a red glow coming from the outer wall of the town. It was a silly thought, but if it was an egg he could kill the king…

Xavier Brooks (age 12)
Symmes Junior High School
Gatineau, QC

First Time Being Published -- Young Writers of Canada -- Part I

Last year Xavier submitted a piece of writing to a annual anthology published by the Poetry Institute of Canada (based out of Victoria) to showcase Canada's young writers.  His piece was selected for publication. 

Today we received the proof sheet for review.  It is so exciting (well, at least for him mom).


Friday, September 18, 2015



I saw this book at the Okanagan College yesterday.

Remember when we used the 2427 driveway as a chalk board and I asked you to explain E=mc2 to me?

I loved that day in the backyard with you, your kids, and the peeing tree covered in wet tissues from the experiments Amir and Reza did with me and Michael.

I am trying to send you a photo of that day because the images are so vivid in my mind .... but perhaps I never took any. So instead I looked on my phone for a picture of you and Michael and Alice without any limbs moving -- that was equally hard to find. It perhaps lends new meaning to E=mc2.

E = parents energy at the end of the day.
M = combined weight of children
C = children's combined speed

Truly one of the profound mysteries of the universe.

Image result for e=mc2


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

News on Arta and Kelvin (Arta not yet ready for visitors)

Updates from Calgary
Girl Party night before surgery

Arta has a new right hip. Yea!  

Given the length of time it took to diagnose the specific issue (which has meant some high doses of morphine), and the fracturing of her femur during the surgery, the recovery is going to take a bit longer than expected.  She will require medical oversight, and will be spending the next while in the Sarcee Rehabilitation Facility.  

Backyard planning meeting pre-surgery
Arta knows her friends and loved ones will want to visit, but she has asked that visitors please wait to visit until she can enjoy them. (translation:  please do not come to visit her). 

She has a very tight regime for recovery (which includes lots of physio, icing, elevation, and rest).  She wants people to know that her kids are helping, and that takes as much energy as she has available.  :-)   Both Bonnie and Mary have been here helping out. Doral is currently down from Edmonton, and Rebecca has taken a leave from her job in Victoria.  It is a transition period where Arta’s days are literally filled with taking care of herself, giving input to the siblings for the care of our father, and providing direction to Miranda and Richard as they work to put in place crucial renovations to her space at home in a short window of time.

A brief facetime conversation to see Baby Betty
Arta loves her friends and family.  She can read email (and while her access is not frequent, she can check her email every other day).  She loves to hear news, so she would definitely welcome emails.  She knows you all love her.  She knows you all would do anything you could for her.  What she is needing right now is a concentrated period of quiet focus without visitors.

Some people can relax when visitors come. Arta is the kind of person who will not be able to relax.  She will be working hard to listen to her visitors, to hear how the visitor is doing, and will forget to take care of her own needs in those minutes, or hours of being visited.  Knowing her, we are guessing that will make sense to you.   

Kelvin and Rebecca Sarcee selfie!
Kelvin is also at the Sarcee Rehabilitation Facility (the arrangement was that he would be there on respite during Arta's recovery period).  The current plan is for him to next move to a Supported Living Facility, and we are waiting further news on that front.  

Kelvin does love to hear news of people (though he too points out that the days here are so full that it is a real challenge when visitors come).  If you want to visit, just give him a call first to let him know you are coming.  You can call him at Sarcee.  Just say you are looking for Kelvin Johnson, in the Left Cluster (the phone number there is:  403-686-8100)   He also has a cell phone (403-971-3393).  He loves phone calls, and letters!  (chocolates and bonbons are also welcome...)