Friday, August 22, 2014

Summer Fun

Summer Fun

Sixty years ago this month, the two runners who had already broken the 4-minute mile barrier raced each other at the Empire Games in Vancouver. They were this close when John Landy did a shoulder check and Roger Bannister passed him on his blind side, and won the race.

Fifty years ago today, the Beatles touched down in Vancouver and played Empire Stadium. I remember hearing about it on the news.

Yesterday, I visited Hastings Park for the first time and stroked off two things from my Bucket List – the PNE and riding the merry-go-round. It was a great day, good weather, sunshine with a nice breeze, lots of trees and shade, lots of food, Superdogs. Without having to buy gas, pay for bridge toll, parking, or admission, and without the stress of driving in rush-hour traffic. Bonus. Thank you, Care Transit. A perfect day.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Work In Progress - The Rocking Girl

The Rocking Girl

I've been working on a novel set in British Columbia and Ireland. I've managed the third major revision, pushing it last week in order to run off a copy to give to my first beta reader, my writer friend Marilyn Meden, who was here for a summer holiday visit. She gave me valuable feedback. As we were discussing the protagonist, Wyn, and the “arc” of the story, I heard myself insisting that the novel is not about the relationship, it is about Wyn, and her development. And that I need a title which tips the reader to that fact, that it's about Wyn. Then it came to me. The Rocking Girl. And with it came the concept for the cover – a statue of a rocking girl, in the yoga, not the fetal position. Wyn is an artist and the Rocking Girl is one of her pieces to which other characters refer. Thanks, Marilyn.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Work In Progress - Research

Work In Progress - Research

Kindred Spirits

Sometime, call it luck, call it preparation, call it synchronicity, the universe sends you a little present. You know, a surprise gift which overwhelms you? Such is my reaction to the discovery of the blog Social Bridge (wordpress)  by Jean Tubridy from Tramore near Waterford, Ireland.

Like me, this Jean loves poetry and gardens and Van Gogh and art in general. She loves the ocean while I, a prairie girl living in the mountains, am a triple earth lover, with an exaggerated fear of water. That may have something to do with being a fire sign. Although the beaches she writes about seem to be near some of the genealogy research I've been doing, around Kinsale. And on the bus tour I took last summer which included Belfast, Dublin, Kilkenny, Waterford, I took a picture of the Norman tower in that last city (where our stop seemed mainly focused on a souvenir shop). Jean's passion for Yeats I also share, although the poet of my dreams is Leonard Cohen who I first heard sing at a concert at university my first year.

Jean writes about losing aged parents. I moved from the prairie province of Manitoba to BC when my mother was ill. Within four years, she was dead. One of my first finds in my new home was this framed copy of someone's calligraphy exercise, of “Crossing the Bar,” Tennyson's famous poem about grief, which Jean's mother asked to be read at her funeral. This piece of art, black ink, teal blue and gold paint, still hangs on the wall in front of my computer. 

I'm not sure exactly how I stumbled upon her blog. I do check out “bridge” references. This blog is called Earthabridge. And I have been doing weeks and weeks of Ireland research for my latest fiction project. The three saints, especially Bridget (which must be part of Tubridy.) Searching for Art. Genealogy. History. Sacred stones. Sacred wells. Sacred sites. Yeats and Heaney. Geology as it relates to eskers and bogs. The name Tubridy even came up again in a research paper on a specific esker which appears in my story.

I don't know this woman but I wish I did. And in many ways, I feel as if I've known her all my life. Finding her blog, like I said, feels like a gift from the universe, a link to the other side of the world. As if a crack has opened up and let light into my life.

J.M. (Joan Margaret) Bridgeman

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Interweavings - An Earthabridge Update


Dear Followers, and Newbies Stumbling Here:

It may look as if I've abandoned Earthabridge, but really, I've just been busy.

Right now I'm in the midst of writing a novel, working title Shine, about "the third coming of age," set in BC and in Ireland. I'm in the down dip after finishing the first draft and am busy researching before going back to revise, which is really my FAVOURITE part of writing, making it better.

But I have also been busy in the last several months working on topics which have interested me for years. Some of these I've posted in other blogs.


Jian Ghomeshi's intro today about the neighbourhood reading map of Toronto challenged me. Last fall I completed a long 100-slide Powerpoint on CanLit: A Passion For Place, with representative works from each province and territory augmented with regional visual art. Because of copyright issues, I have not posted this presentation, but I did put the list of books and writers up at a blog If you know of a place to share Powerpoints, I'm interested. My audience for this collection is new Canadians, Canadians educated elsewhere, readers who have not yet explored this beautiful land and its artists, literary and visual.

My other passion has long been HUMAN RIGHTS, and especially the human rights and treaty rights of First Nations in Canada. I have posted my Creative Non-Fiction book DANCING WITH GHOSTS: A CROSS-CULTURAL EDUCATION at

I am passionate about THE TRUTH ABOUT RECONCILIATION and attempt to share my opinions on Twitter @Earthabridge and by sharing links to blogs where I write about this important issue in Canada today.


IMAGINE CANADA 2017 (our sesquicentennial)

My interest in HUMAN RIGHTS and in LITERATURE has intertwined in AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL's human rights reading book club. Because they haven't got the interactive sharing pages working yet, I am posting my reactions on a separate blog at HUMAN WRITES ACTIVIST. The three Canadian novels I have read for this project are Joseph Boyden's THREE DAY ROAD, Steven Galloway's THE CELLIST OF SARAJEVO, Esi Edugyan's HALF-BLOOD BLUES, and (still reading) Dionne Brand's WHAT WE ALL LONG FOR.

And finally, my interest in family history and genealogy inspired me to accept the Book of ME challenge, a weekly prompt which I post at GENEALOGY PROMPTS

I still check my e-mail at and more frequently at 


Peter Robinson. WHEN THE MUSIC'S OVER . M&S, 2016.  Banks has been promoted. His first two cases involve sexual abuse--one histori...