A glimpse forward…

Her fluorescent purple hair glowed in the dying evening light. It was a warm evening, sticky with the promise of rain. She wore a low cut top showing the silhouette of a bird tattooed on her collar bone. The tattoo calmly flapped its wings, vainly attempting to escape a prison of skin and digitized ink.
The buildings shine and glimmer in vibrant colours. A backdrop for ghost images appearing in the corner of her eye. Each advertised the store, service, or persons residing inside the building.
She smiled as she passed a young man dressed in a classic white t-shirt and jeans. As he walked his information appeared next to his head. Name, age, sexual preference, relationship status, favorite quote and a silly picture.
She winked at him, it served the double purpose of “Liking” his profile, and the more traditional way of showing him the same thing. She could have chosen any eye trigger to accomplish the same digital ends, it was the intentions that counted not the interface.
Reaching home she dimmed her hair with a thought and unlocked her door in the same way.
Interfacing with the house told her that she had mail, the old fashioned kind, the oven was pre-heated, and the tofu for dinner was de-frosted. She put supper together, she added real veggies from her miniature garden and in les then ten minutes, sat down to eat.
As she sat down to eat she interfaced with her home network and streamed a home repair show. During the commercial she thought, “I wonder want the future will be like?”

Awesome Juicy Burgers

500 g of Extra Lean Ground Beef (Unfrozen)
1 egg
1/8 cup Crushed Crackers or Bread Crumbs (I recommend Ritz Crackers, Rye bread, or Pumpernickel)
1 tbsp of BBQ Sauce
1 tsp of Thyme
1/2 tsp Crushed Pepper
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 cup of Finely Chopped Mushrooms
1/2 tbsp Soya Sauce or Worcestershire Sauce

First thing you should do is take the meat out of the fridge and place it in a big bowl. This way the meat will be less cold on your hands later. If you’re using medium or regular beef instead of
Extra lean, I recommend doubling the amount of Crackers or Bread Crumbs.

Finely Chop the Mushrooms. They should be around the size of a pea. Any bigger and they will fall out of the meat, any smaller and they’ll turn it into mush.

Put all the ingredients into the bowl with the meat. With clean hands, mush it all together. Make sure that everything is well mixed.

Once everything is mixed together, you’ll be tempted to stop working the meat. Don’t. The longer you work the meat the more it’ll stick together when you cook it. This should take a minute or two of extra time with the meat.

Roll the meat into a large ball and split it into two smaller balls. Take the Two smaller balls and split them into two even smaller balls. Finally take your four smaller balls and split each one in two for eight meatballs.

Roll your meatballs in the palm of your hand and flatten it in the same way you would dough. Make sure to flatten well. They’ll retract and try to become balls again when you cook them.

If you want thicker burgers, split your meat into six instead of eight.

Cook on a BBQ, Griddle, or in a pan for around 3-5 minutes per side until they’re brown throughout. Don’t squish them with your spatula, or you’ll have dry burgers.

Childhood Home

It changed. All of it changed. Somehow, without my knowledge, or permission, my childhood home changed.

I had never truly understood the meaning of, “You can never go home again”. Now I think I get it. It’s not that you aren’t capable of returning to childhood homes but that it will never be the same.

Almost ten years have passed since I had last seen the little blue house where I grew up. It seemed smaller, so did my little town. The houses seemed older and the trees shorter. Everything was the same but felt different.

I brought my wife to see it, to see all six streets of it, that small northern village. She’s a big city girl, and she marvelled as I gave her the sentimental tour. I showed her were the old convenience store was the one my mother and I rented a Nintendo. That first gaming system started my Mother’s love of video games.

I pointed out the old tavern. When I was very young, they had a vending machine that effectively microwaved French fries. They were the best fries, not because they tasted good but because they came from a machine and that was cool.

I showed her what was left of the grocery store. Once it seemed larger then life. I remember getting caught stealing sour gum. The clerk gave me a firm talking too and I never did it again. Latter I worked with them folding envelopes and working with Excel. My first real summer job.

Moving on I showed her the small white two-story building which hosts the bank. My mother had lived in the apartment above it when she worked as a waitress.

I showed her the new convenience store. I worked there part time in my last year of high school. The money was ok but the free vhs rentals were amazing. I watched more movies that year than I had my whole life.

I pointed out the old blue house. Not really that old, I remember my mother’s excitement as we would drive by as it was being built. She would say, “Let’s go visit our hole.” It still has the flowering crab apple tree that she planted twenty years ago when we moved in. I worked hard pruning and cleaning that tree. Picking the small bitter apples.

We drove up the steep road where my cousin and I would sit on our skateboards and fly down it. It was a monolithic hill. It really wasn’t. Somehow, overtime it had levelled itself out.

We passed the small white church and the still large Baseball field. Turned around in the old school yard. All the play structures I remembered were gone. Replaced with plastic, safe versions.

Of all the memories the old school brought back, it wasn’t the pranks, old friends, or bastard teachers that I remembered, it was my first kiss. I was in high school and she was visiting me for the day. My brother was home with his girlfriend and her son. The small blue house felt small and we escaped for a walk.

It was dark, maybe seven at night, and we walked to the old school. I was determined to kiss her, I had been paralyzed with fear for too long. I can’t remember why kissing terrified me but it had and now after almost a month of going steady, I was determined to kiss her. We went around to the old gym doors and there, under the orange glow of a light, I made my move. The kiss was sweet, soft and wonderful. I didn’t marry her and we ended badly but that moment was wonderful.

My wife and I drove down the last road in our tour. Both sets of grandparents lived on this road when I was young; they even lived across the street from each other.

That was the tour, it seemed so sad to me that such a big part of my life was suddenly so small. How could a place that felt so wrong feel so right? So many of my memories and experiences came from there and I love the place, but it’s not my home anymore. It has lost some intangible quality that made it my place in the world.

After some time thinking about it I realise, it isn’t smaller, it didn’t change, I did.


I’ve had a story stuck in my head for the past few years. At first I thought it would make a cute picture book but lately I’ve been thinking of writing it for older children. I started it as a picture book and it didn’t feel right.

In the original version, below, I had originally planned to have Elizabeth be wrong about the wizard, one of those over active imagination stories. The more I think about it the more I realize that it’s an idea much more suited to a form of Urban Fantasy. I’m toying with the idea of making it into a Detective novel.

I’m still having trouble deciding what age group to write it for. I like the idea of the Middle-Grade story but I’m worried that’s too young. I could do Young adult but I’m not quite sure if I can handle writing a teenage girl. I’m also not very sure of the difference between the two genres.

Tell me what you think?

* * *

Elizabeth saw the mittens on the ground. Every day in winter there would be a new one somewhere in the city, all alone in the cold. She wondered what it would be like to be one of those mittens lost on the ground in a Canadian winter.

It was just such a day as she passed a pretty pink mitten that she wondered what if the mitten was a little girl like her? What if there was an evil wizard turning children into mittens. It scared her and she decided not to think about the poor pink mitten.

One day Elizabeth’s best friend Sean wasn’t at school. She asked Misses Coderre, her teacher, “Where’s Sean?” and the teacher told her, “I don’t know Elizabeth, maybe he’s sick? You should call him and see how he is when you get home.”

The day passed very slowly and Elizabeth had a bad feeling that something had happened to Sean. At lunch she asked all the other kids in the yard, “Do you know where Sean is?” and no one knew.

Just as the lunch was finishing she saw a lonely brown mitten, which looked just like Sean’s lying on the ground. “Oh no,” she thought, “The Evil Wizard changed Sean into a mitten.”

Sean was her best friend and she couldn’t leave him outside, she took the mitten and placed it in her pocket. He would be safe there and he wouldn’t be cold.

She went to see Misses Coderre again and showed her the mitten as she said, “Misses Coderre an Evil Wizard turned Sean into a mitten and I don’t know what to do.”
The teacher looked and Elizabeth and then at the mitten she was holding, “You’re right Elizabeth that does look a lot like Sean’s mitten. You should tell him he lost it tonight when you call him.”

* * *

The Runaways

“Let’s runaway” my mother told me two years ago. Her rotund face framed by false blond curls, was aglow with excitement. She had said such things before but this time was different. If only I had known how different it would be.

“We’ll jump into the car and drive. No direction just you me and the open road. We haven’t been on an adventure in years and look how beautiful it is outside. The leaves are changing the air is crisp. Get your camera and we’ll go now.” The mask of her excitement cracked for only a moment, showing just enough worry that I had to say yes.

Before I had even finished nodding she was packing a sandwich lunch. Her homemade purple dress flapped and danced around the kitchen like a tiny purple culinary tornado. I ran to get my camera.

Being in my early twenties and having moved away from home meant I was no longer required to pretend I was too cool for these trips. I had always found them exciting. She called it “Running Away” but we rarely went far and on the rare occasion we did, we were home within a week.

I had a head start on the running away, I had flown it the night before. Running away from my life and growing up. I had just finished University with a degree in English and teaching. My mandatory Term of Service with his Highnesses Royal Army, started in a few weeks and after that I had a ready made, pre packaged life ahead of me. I’d return from service be wed to my genetically compatible husband or wife and teach the school I was most needed. It scared me, I felt like my freedom and life, were ending. Pushing away my worries, I concentrated on my last week of freedom and the only person I wanted to spend it with.

“Do you think we’ll see a T-Rex this time? I can’t believe I missed the picture last time.” I said as we got going. She smiled at me and took my hand, squeezing it and laughed. The one and only time I had seen the endangered species I was twelve and my shock and awe at actually seeing one made me forget to take a picture before it had run back into the trees.


Just a random Idea for a story.

In the dying light three men met. The sun hid itself behind the world and the darkness covered the city. The three men liked the darkness. It gave them a feeling of comfort. They believed it was safer in the dark, that somehow the absence of light could hide them from the cities consciousness.

They met in a closed health food store. Their secrets seemed like they would change the world, they believed that there was nothing more important than the pathetic dealings they were about to have. They were completely unaware of what was going on just the other side of the city and event that would make them cry had they known if was happening. Thankfully they would never need to show such weakness as the world ended as they shook each others hands.