tea and sympathy

In certain circles in the 19th century, drinking tea was considered a dangerous habit. More specifically, working class women were discouraged from engaging in the practice because if they were taking time from their daily chores to congregate around a pot of tea, it could only mean that they were up to no good. In short: “Sipping tea was once thought of as a reckless, suspicious act, linked to revolutionary feminism.” (Alison Aubrey, for npr.org) No wonder I love it so!  My love affair with tea began in my early 20’s. Up to that point, I hadn’t given it much

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ten times round the seasons

During the big rewrite/revision/edit of The Witches of New York an important milestone came and went. I didn’t exactly miss it, I just didn’t have time to stop and acknowledge it, (at least not in any way that felt fitting or right.) Now that the manuscript for Witches has gone into “pages” (the magical process where the story gets arranged by the wonderful crew at Knopf Canada into the actual pages of a book,) I can take some time to yank the weeds from my garden and my brain, and think on all the things I pushed aside while I was immersed in a world

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Midwife Mondays

  It’s been a while since I’ve written about midwifery on my blog, but it’s a subject that’s near and dear to my heart, and never far from my mind. My homebirth baby, Jonah (pictured above) is now thirteen, and in 2016, my novel The Birth House (inspired by the midwife who once lived in my house) will be a decade old. Time flies! In the last couple of weeks I’ve noticed there’s a new hashtag popping up in my Twitter feed, #MidwifeMondays. I have to say, I’m really enjoying reading the tweets from the Canadian midwifery community and beyond.

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wisdom of the crone

Crone…the word alone conjures the image of an elderly woman with a wrinkled, warty face and penetrating gaze. In fairy tales, she’s often referred to as a hag or a witch, and (to the dismay of many an unwitting character) her advice and her voice is dismissed until it’s “too late.” In some ways, things haven’t changed much since such folk tales were first told and written. All too often we push women aside as they age, relegating them to the fringes of society, leaving their wisdom unnoticed (and to our great loss) unheard. What is it we fear in

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creation

This past summer, amid literary events and kitchen renos, I had a visit from two talented musicians, SarahRose Black and Andrew Ascenzo. Together they make up the wonderful duo, Arosa Star. I’d met them last fall while I was on tour in Ontario with the publication of The Virgin Cure. They’d introduced themselves to me after a reading, and said they had some news to share. Imagine my surprise when they told me that they’d been so inspired by Dora’s tale in The Birth House,  that they were writing a collection of songs based on the landscape and themes portrayed

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Jammie Dodgers for all!

Dear J. K. Rowling, “They say it’s your Pub Day, (insert guitar riff) It’s my Pub Day too, yeah! We’re gonna have a good time… I’m glad it’s your Pub Day, Happy Pub Day to you.” – with apologies to the Beatles. It’s September 27, 2012 and it’s a big day for Ms. Rowling since her first novel for adults, The Casual Vacancy is now on bookstore shelves. It’s a big day for me as well, since my second novel, The Virgin Cure has just been published in the UK. I guess that makes us “Publication Day Buddies” of a

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