My (Newly Published) Poem on Trafficking That Propelled Me To Work With Survivors About 8 years ago I read a book. A book I couldn’t put down but could hardly read at the same time. When I read, ‘Terrify No More’, by Gary Haugen, I was a stay-at-home mum with two young kids. It was about rescue operations for girls as young as 5 caught in the Asian sex trade industry. I cried several times as I read, and then I eventually wrote a poem. The simple poem expressed what was
My Published Piece on the Redemptive Side of Rescued Survivors of Human Trafficking With my recent travel schedule, I’m not posting quite as often as I’d hoped on this blog. This is not for a lack of writing, I’ve just found that if I’m going to continue to write creatively, I have to balance that with all of the other things going on in my busy life right now. I’m learning to manage my time on train rides, in the car, the London tube, etc., and finding alternative ways of
On Transformation – Time, Space and the Art of Reflection I’ve just come back from two and a half weeks in Portugal. Besides getting a little ‘sun crisped’ in places versus ‘sun kissed’, I feel very refreshed. The biggest reason was due to my daily walks in the vineyards/orchards behind our house. Every morning I took at least 30-45 minutes to walk in the quiet, relish the space and reflect. On those dirt paths, I let my own soul’s dust settle from the wear and tear of th
Dignity Can Be Stolen or Given – A Lesson I Learned When I Paid To Be Homeless I wrote a short chapter in my novel ‘Beauty Pageants to Brothels’ about dignity – it’s a true story that happened to me years ago when I was learning how to identify with vulnerable people. It was one of the more challenging weekends (and something I would like to not repeat) though I have encouraged many to go through the experience I went through.
When I think about humanity, but especially my w
On Writing – The Healing Power of Emotional Writing I was working on another post yesterday when I got news through friends from the Boston area of the bombings during the marathon. I was grateful no one I knew was hurt, though they had friends and acquaintances that had been injured. And as I read the updates via twitter, I experienced that sad and powerless feeling of knowing that suffering was happening while I sat in my cozy house, with my two children safely asleep ups
Beautiful Women Series – Breast Cancer at 30 and She is More Than Surviving I’ve known my friend Melody since university days in the early 90s. She was several years younger than me, but we seemed to hit it off from the beginning especially as both enjoyed the craft of writing. I still remember the horrible nausea when I read her email that the docs had discovered cancer in both breasts – at the age of 30.
I was in England when she went through chemo, had her double mastec
I Want to Be in the Arena . . . Marred by Dust, Sweat and Blood I am a collector of quotes. And every once in a while there is one that prods and stirs me deeply. This is one I have meditated on since I read it a book a few months ago, though I would add ‘tears’ to the list of dust, sweat and blood.
It points to great courage, no matter the result, because it means fighting with a full engagement in the game. It’s who I want to become and embrace – whatever my ‘arena’ alb
Before last week, I had only been inside one massage parlour, aka a brothel. They are hard to find, and it took us months before they even let us come in. At the time I volunteered with a charity that was an initial contact for women who worked on the streets. There was a significant class difference between the street workers and the massage parlour employees. Our only agenda in the brothel was to build relationships and offer other options, resources, etc. if they wante
An Interview with Miss Asia USA I met Diane years ago when my husband and I led a group of over 500 university students. In all my interactions, she was kind and humble, and even though she was attractive, I never thought that years later she would be an international supermodel. I also remember her struggle with physical pain and her constant courage to keep going forward despite the limitations.
I had great respect for Diane then, and even greater respect now. The follow
A Lil’ Bit of Everything and A Book That Changed Me Forever I may have posts that are light, and full of humour, and then I may have some (like today) that are serious.
That’s life isn’t it? You laugh, or cry or it’s somewhere in between – just a lil’ bit of everything. But there are some things so awful, so outside our normal grid, that your natural response is to close your eyes, turn around and wish it away. I’ve done that too often in my life, and I don’t want to be t
My First Time in the Brit Hot Seat, and I Cooked A Little Monday (11 February) I did a 20 minute interview on BBC Radio Sheffield with Rony Robinson. He is good at his job of poking, prodding and provoking. This was my first time to just ‘talk about my life’ on air, and I felt I fumbled through it. Next time I hope to have the witty rebuttals, the jovial banter, and the eloquent responses, but oh well, life moves on, and I just answered the best I could. But I was invited