Hi Everyone – Winter arrived with a wallop in southern Ontario this year with a massive snowstorm that had us buried within 24 hours – in the middle of November! Now, I’m a sturdy, old-fashioned kind of Canadian and love my four seasons in Canada, but WTF, that dump was a bit much!
Still, as always, there is ‘calm-after-the-storm’. After the fact, it was a beautiful day here on the Lake Ontario waterfront with everything glistening in sun diamonds on a bright white ground. – Lovely!
I did want to get a Seasonal Message out to you all and did that recently with my ‘Winter Update’ newsletter. Therein, I was thrilled to announce that my third novel, TRILLIUM, has been short-listed for the 26th Annual Hamilton Literary Awards. (It would be super grand to win again, after a 20 year hiatus!)
I’ve also heard from some far-flung CJC chums over this past year: John H. is stuck in the middle of the Hong Kong melt-down. His harrowing reports from the ‘front lines’ of that civil unrest is eye-opening and terrifying. In Canada, we really MUST protect our hard-won freedoms as authoritarian rule surges in other regions of the world. Chris L. has been busy with a new feature film about cultural guru from London, Ross Goodman, as well as playing with his band. It’s heartening to see the old boy still ‘rockin’ & rollin’!
Hope you are ALL doing well. We’ll recover from that wallop. Winter really is a magical time of year across Canada. Once we are ready for it, it’s a blessing. … Enjoy.
Keep in touch!
With Season’s Best and a Merry Christmas to you all. mlh 🙂
Well, here it is, May 12th, 2021, and honestly, I can’t believe what’s happened to the planet over the past year and a half. The deadly COVID virus has swept around the globe leaving death and disaster in its wake. Still, most of us have survived and await the opportunity to re-engage with humanity. Canada remains in various waves of ‘lock-down’ as I write …
Do you remember when it finally hit home that ‘this was serious’? I was out grocery shopping in mid-March of 2020, (before masks and distancing were mandatory), and was surprised to see a local run on basic supplies. Yes, toilet paper hoarding, but moreover, eggs. Not one egg could be had, for love nor money. The mind travels fast and I started to think that food shortages could undermine Canadian civility. Assessing the situation, I spent the next two days hunting around for a dozen eggs until I found a carton in a small convenience store. This small deprivation drove home the urgency of the situation. Soon, I, like the rest of Canada, hunkered down in place to wait it out …
How has the past year been for you? I was, and remain, extremely lucky that I have a studio on the Hamilton Beach strip with easy access to Lake Ontario and a fantastic lake-facing view. Without a doubt, this view kept me sane. As the year-long isolation set in, the one reprieve was to just go down to the lake and walk the boardwalk for miles in either direction. Thank the gods for that. … Still, isolation can be put to good use …
In January of 2020, I had started the audiobook version of my third novel, TRILLIUM, with a talented Dutch-Danish Canadian narrator, Jens Hansen, a flamboyant and confident actor and printer from St.Catharines. (p.s. TRILLIUM is an epic family saga set on the Niagara peninsula and covers 250 years of human experience.)
Over the course of the next few months, Jens and I established a different system to pass audio files back and forth via our computers. He would record 30 minutes in a small home studio, then send over the file via email. I’d listen, critique it and send it back for an update. It was tedious and we took our time with it … (ha! thanks COVID!) … until the final 14.5 hour effort was perfect. A final buff was applied by a sound engineer to remove residual crackle and then the effort was sent into the audio distribution department of global giant, Amazon – ACX.
After months of waiting, ACX sent a note saying that we had to add a 1/2 second of air space at the front of the first file. This teeny adjustment meant that we were at the back of the queue again! Another month passed until, finally, in November of last year, they approved its release. ( — Seems everyone was working on audiobooks during COVID!)
Please tune in! Or, add the ebook or paperback to your reading list!
I would love to get your thoughts on our effort some time. (Send a note after listening, or, if you prefer anonymity, write an on-line review.) So far, critics have applauded Jens’ stellar performance with a well-deserved 5-star review!! —“Brilliant!” And, I am thrilled to say, that the venerable Mr. Knight has just bought a copy. Thanks Paul!
… What have you been doing during the pandemic?
With warm affection to all – and a glass of red & a platter of Swiss cheese ever at the ready – Lindsay 🙂
p.s. One other good thing about this pandemic was the resurgence of wildlife around the planet. For humans, reduced pollution and improved air quality were recorded everywhere … There’s an excellent David Attenborough film, The Year Earth Changed, that shows some amazing interactions, currently on AppleTV.
Hi Everyone! How ya doin’??? — Geesh, where is the time going???
Mea culpa, I’ve not done a thing at all this year to ‘keep in touch’ with any of you. I am hoping that Chip (hint-hint) will pick up the reins soon and organize a get-together when we all start to barrel past 65!
At this end, I’ve been very engaged in the writing of my third novel, TRILLIUM. Started in February, I finished in October of this year, writing and editing flat-out for eight months. I’ve not felt this kind of ‘urgency’ before in the writing of a fictional work. I just knew I had to get it done as quickly as possible. It seemed important to ‘say a few things’ about where we, as a species, are going, and how we, as humanity, are faring … So, I did.
To be sure, there is more then enough guff coming from our political leaders who flip-flop between naive globalism and entrenched parochial nationalism. Good fiction, or ‘a good story’, on the other hand, can entertain – and persuade – far better then a constant media slug-fest of ‘data & facts’. … To that end, let me gently introduce you to the Hartfords, the O’Sullivans and the Di Angelos. These very distinct families arrive to the southern shore of Lake Ontario and make a go of it in the burgeoning wine-making region of Niagara. … Hashtag: #landlustloot …
Spanning 250 years, from the mid 1750s to the early 2000s, the time-line has allowed me, as an author, to develop generations of familial characters: some nice, some not so nice. TRILLIUM is a hybrid historical fiction. It’s ‘adult’ in scope and ‘timely’ in content. It’s offered as ‘a work of Canadian literature’ that continues to assist us all in establishing our identities within a larger civil community … That pronouncement may sound kind of heady, but I guarantee you, TRILLIUM is fun stuff!
The first print review even says so >
I hope a few of you will consider it. Seriously. TRILLIUM is now listed on Amazon.CA – you can pre-order an e-book, releasing in January, 2019, or get an up-dated trade paperback. (Great stocking stuffer, by the way, or Great for Summer reading!) — LINK to Amazon page: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07J2TV7GX – If any of you prefer Kobo, Indigo, or Apple e-books, those formats are also releasing in the new year via http://www.books2read.com/trillium. (You can specify and link up with your provider via that link.) … Ok, ok, pitch over. 🙂
Aside from that, I do miss you all and wonder what the heck you’re up to … Please do add any news or views that you think others might like to know in the comments below. — What have you been up to this past year? – ?
For sure, many of our families are now grown. Some of you are even experiencing the joy of ‘grand-parenting’. (We age, we age, eh?!) And yet, even so, through the amazing miracle of memory, we do still remember and hold dear that one sterling year that brought us altogether.
Merry Christmas to All! – Have a Good One! – Ho! Ho! – xo xo – mlh
Hi Everyone – ‘Tis the Season! Ho-Ho! No snow yet, here in Southern Ontario, but forecast says it’s coming VERY soon, so bundle up!
I just received a very nice note from our former headmaster, Peter Simmons, wishing all a joy-filled and happy Christmas, with a gentle reminder not to forget the less fortunate in our midst. Instead of Christmas cards with stamps, he and Patricia have sent a donation to ‘Marys Meals’. This charity works in 15 countries, (including Canada), “encouraging children to continue with their education by providing them with their main meal each day at their school.” It’s a noteworthy – and timely – gesture.
At this end, my latest news includes the spring release of a spoken word and electro-pop album that responds to Canada’s 150 years of Confederation – CANADADA: TAKE TWO. The album explores ongoing issues of Canadian Identity, and stands as a time capsule of the ‘Here & Now’. Have a Listen: scroll down for individual tracks – like ‘Barn Dance’, ‘Igloo’, ‘Shareware’ and ‘I care 4 U caribou’ … Enjoy!
I think we would all agree that Canada – as an IDEA – offers humanity a vision of Hope that far surpasses the tragedy and humanitarian horror that exists elsewhere in the world today. To be sure, we are not ‘perfect’ as a nation state. We have our own historical issues that DEMAND resolution. But, overall, our young democracy does continue to offer a safe haven – to grow families, build businesses and live well. We, as Canadians, are very fortunate.
I’ve not heard any dire news from any other CJCers over this past year, so it’s kind of reassuring to know that we all continue on – living, loving and laughing – in our 60s. Please do share any updates or news – good or sad – in the comment section below. Keep in touch!
And may you all have a splendid Christmas – with a very merry New Year!
Plus, thought a few of you might be interested in what I’ve been up to recently … I’ve assembled a spoken-word album, – CANADADA: TAKE TWO – (cover to the left), based on some earlier poems that I’d written (some while in Switzerland), and then complimented those poetic words with some recent musical pieces. All in all, it is meant as a ‘sound celebration’ in response to Canada’s 150th. Canada is so very young as a nation state in the global sphere, yet built on such solid ancient lands …
Plus, have included other newsworthy items, (a new choral work coming from British Colombia, up-coming pinhole photography exhibits in Hamilton & Oakville, as well as an on-line link to my short classic Canadian WW1 film, TheFrozenGoose ) – all can be found in my Spring Newsletter.
Hi Everyone. Blazing hot summer out there at the moment. Just thought I’d take a second to touch base with all you old timers and see what’s up!? – Any news about fellow CJC-ers to report?
No word of any additional CJC Reunion planned as far as I know … so maybe we should head for our 60th Reunion & see who’s left standing?!? – Chip, throwing that in your court. 🙂 – I will pass on the ADMIN of this blog to YOU, for starters.
I’ve not heard much else about ‘the gang’ recently, but have seen some lovely and insightful on-line photos on Facebook of a trip that Susan Mac & hubbie took in the Far East earlier this year. Well worth a gander! (Catch up with Susan directly to SEE.)
In my quarter, I’ve spent the past year-ish working on a short film project, The FROZEN GOOSE, (25 min), about a rural family coping in the aftermath of World War One. It’s a timely war story about misunderstanding, loss, and fear – buttressed by the enduring emotions of tender love – and hope. The Canadian Premiere will be at the Art Gallery of Burlington on Sunday, September 11th, with two matinee screenings, between 3-5pm. If interested, tickets (& full programme) are now available on-line ONLY. Some of you will soon get my mailer about it. Otherwise, DVDs of The FROZEN GOOSE, will be shipped in early September. An on-line rental/purchase option will be available next year, during the WW1 centenary.
UPDATE, Feb 22, 2017 : Wow, DVDs have sold out! Plus, got front cover just before Christmas of The View Magazine, with terrific review on Page 13. (Swipe through.)
Just got a note from Chris L. raving about the Turner exhibit now on at the AGO, until January 31st, 2016. Apparently there are some EXCELLENT watercolours there that Turner did of Switzerland, including Lausanne.
Sample of Turner’s view over Lac Leman provided by Chris, as well as a photos of his of relatively current ‘view’ over Lac Leman, are shown below. – Check out the Turner Exhibit if you get a chance.
2016 – HERE WE COME! – Hey, that’s kinda fun to say as a near ‘senior’ 😉 And Chris just turned 60!! – (wink, wink) – Welcome to the Club boyo!
Keep in touch with each other folks. By the way, there are no plans, yet, for any future reunion. Maybe in 5 years? Someone else will have to ‘step’ up next time. – Have a good year! – mlh
We’re just about to tip into December, the festive season. It is that time of year when we hope and wish to be with Family, to catch up with our old friends, and celebrate too, with the young and newcoming.
I’m delighted to say that I heard recently from one of our ‘old chums’, John (Palmer) H. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen or heard from Big John. And, as I soon learned, there was good reason. Unhappily, over the past few years, John has been fighting for his life against cancer. Happily, it’s now in remission. He IS improving – and he sends his BIG love to ALL. (Photo courtesy of J.P.H.)
I have many fond memories of time spent with John, both, in Switzerland, and later, in Toronto, when we (with others) maintained our friendship at university. Dinners, as example, with his parents and siblings in North Toronto – (in an unforgettable century-old ‘log cabin’) – were always festive and madcap occasions never to be missed. Ribald good-humor, guitar playing, singing, dancing, provocative conversation with the ‘rents’ and lots and LOTS of wine – with TONS of good food – made those enjoyable evenings pass in mere moments.
Typical to John, since that time, he has traveled far and wide, finally settling in Hong Kong, where, of all things, he became an institutional banker for a global concern …. (I know, somehow THAT image doesn’t quite jive with the madcap and adventuresome story-teller we all knew back in the day … Still, it’s where he ended up.) Married, with children, John found solid footing and was, as always, giving Life its ALL, when that dreaded ‘C’ disease crept into his life. But enough of that gloom, he has SURVIVED – and lives on to tell his tales, and SING.
It is exactly this kind of remembrance that we all share of our past. Our present circumstance and our unknown futures bind us together – all because of that one remarkable year in Switzerland.
SEASON’S GREETINGS to you ALL. Love dearly the ones you are with … And Merry Christmas.
Just a quick little ‘hello’ to touch base in 2015.
I’m going to be sending out a ‘personal’ newsletter soon, with an ‘early bird’ invitation to my personal art show & sale on Sunday, September 20th, 2015. I’m going to have this ‘Open House’ in the Community Hall, at the Hamilton Beach Rescue Centre on the Hamilton Beach Strip. Rain or Shine. SOOOOO, mark your calendar if you’d like to come. If you find yourself roaming around Southern Ontario in the fall, just pop in and say ‘hi’. (Dave J. sure surprised me last year!) Would love to see you.
Otherwise, NO NEWS re: another CJC Bash at the moment. That doesn’t mean little Suisse-loving beavering gnomes aren’t working on it … Will post any update here – if and when the next CJC extravaganza takes off. Check back periodically to find out what’s happening.
Have a great Spring. (We’ve sure waited long enough for this one!) And have a great Summer wherever you end up.
By the way, small thing, but BIG THING – I turned 60 this year. Kinda shocking to this perennial ‘spring-chick’, but there it is. It’s a sobering realization that we, yes, WE, are not ‘half way’ anymore … (not bloody likely any of us will make 120!!! – but you NEVER know! )
Missing the whole whacky bunch of you –
Keep well, and STAY IN TOUCH.
With affection – Lindsay
p.s. If you’d like a sneak preview of my Spring 2015 Newsletter, click on LINK. If you do take a gander and decide you’re not interested in THAT, please do not ‘unsubscribe’ there as it will knock you off the CJC Master Mailing List, instead, just send me a personal note, I’ll ‘fix it’. Cheers. mlh
Just a quick note to those ‘checking in’ at the end of 2014 … We had a great re-union in October 2014. (see photos under the ‘Rogues Gallery’ tab above.) – It was wonderful to catch-up and re-ignite old friendships from years gone by. Many ‘new friendships’ were sparked from that occasion. Hopefully, it will be easier NEXT time to pull the whole gang together for our next re-union in about five years time … Please do keep us posted of your whereabouts! Also, if you do stumble on any that we have missed, kindly forward on their contact info so that we can make sure the next get-together is bigger and better!
In the meantime, Season’s Very Best to You ALL. Have a wonderful festive season with dear family & friends.- Merry Christmas! – Below is a fabulous shot by NASA of the Northern Lights. We are blessed to live on such an amazing and enchanting planet! Ho Ho!