Here is a list of my varied writings and other works that have been published, facilitated, presented, worked on, or am still working on. Many have called upon my “pre-med weeder” course of study in biology, with a specialty in ecology, and all have benefited from my pursuit of communications studies at the University of Calgary.
I seem to cover a lot of ground when it comes to different topics and angles, just as a good generalist with specialties in ecology and communications should. Or, maybe it indicates how I am easily bored. (Can you say ENFP?) Either way, a multidisciplinary approach to my work has served me and my audience well. At least, I think it has!
The Idea Garden, my company, is the way I get to share connections, tools, and resources to assist socially conscious people in their work. As of January 2014, my website will be in a minor state of flux as I load it up with all sorts of great things, from evergreen op-ed columns to how-to guides and tip sheets, all of which I’m hoping will bring both inspiration and practical guidance to my fellow and “feller” changemakers.
To see how The Idea Garden is working to grow a better world, hop on over here.
And, while you’re thinking about it, why not sign up for The Idea Garden’s newsletter and email announcements, too? That way you’ll know right away when more resources get uploaded. You can add your name to our mailing list here.
In Our Best Interest
The opinion-editorial is my favourite form of writing. In 750 words or less, In Our Best Interest monthly columns are where I get to share different ways of looking at common social, political, and environmental concerns. Some might call it putting a different spin on mainstream news, but spin-doctoring is not what I am about. I am about revealing truths, not the practice of deception.
Wow! I’ve written 11, count ’em, 11 books for the Canadian and American divisions of this educational publisher catering to youth. Each book was way more work than I had counted on, but I always learned a lot from writing them. I always tried to make sure that environmental issues received special mention in each book, too. (Ah, the power of pen…)
- Exploring Countries: South Africa (Coming Spring 2014!)
- Canadian Ecozones: Shields
- Canadian Industries: Mining
- Canadian Business: Air Canada
- Canada Past • Present • Future:
Trade and Global Impact
- Remarkable People: Bono
(yup, the lead singer of U2)
- Remarkable People: Steve Irwin
(aka The Crocodile Hunter!)
- Remarkable Writers: Gordon Korman
(Canada’s favourite kids author)
- Structural Wonders: Beijing National Stadium
- Structural Wonders: Pyramids of Giza
- Structural Wonders: Sydney Opera House
Monday Morning Writers Group
Then there’s my work associated with a writers group I’m involved in, Monday Morning Writers Group. We published a book, Hope in the Colour of Orange: Dutch Civilian Memories of War and Liberation, as a fundraiser to help pay for a local WWII veteran’s trip to Europe, his first since the war, to learn just how much his military service meant to the Dutch and Belgian people and to see his brother’s grave for the first time. I served as the editor in this project that involved capturing the memories of 24 Dutch civilians who experienced, firsthand, what living through war was really like. (And, believe me, after reading and better understanding everyone’s story through the process of editing, war is not something any rational being would wish on even their worst enemy.)
The print copy of “Hope” is now sold out at our end, but there are still some retailers which might have a few copies kicking around, like Bluerock Gallery in Black Diamond, Alberta. Our writers group might eventually create an e-book to keep these incredible stories alive, but all that still has to be figured out.
I’ve had the honour of contributing to a few books, too. Here are a few opportunities that gave me an opportunity to write about the environment from completely different angles.
- Eureka! There’s a New White Gold! – chapter appearing in EcoLiving: Working Together For a Sustainable World, published by Regina EcoLiving Inc.
- A Leading Lady – article appearing in Heritage Trees of Alberta, published by the Heritage Tree Foundation of Canada
- Two chapters, Good Health is Your Business and Wildlife Crossing, in NorQuest Reader 1, a multimedia Deaf reading resource published by NorQuest College
While living in the Lethbridge, Alberta area, I had the honour of developing two research packages for the Helen Schuler Coulee Centre, a wonderful nature centre nestled in the Oldman River valley in the heart of the city. These compilations of material were later used to create interpretive displays, activities, and lessons for visiting school children.
- Deer – Our Living Legacy
- Chasing, Swooping, Pouncing & Gnashing:
Vertebrate Predators in Lethbridge and Area
As a contributor to a few lifestyle and faculty alumni magazines, as well as a magazine about Alberta’s medical research, I’ve interviewed some of Canada’s hottest innovators and covered a few stories on sustainability over my writing career. Highlights include:
- Contributor, Sustainability section – Okotoks Living
- Various stories for Research News, the magazine of Alberta Innovates – Health Solutions, including Cancer, Aging, and Immortality and A New Superhero in Town
- Various stories for Your Faculty, the magazine of the University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine, including Lydia’s Legacy
- Various features and cover stories – Lethbridge Living
Trying to make a living as a writer also had me involved with various types of corporate work, serving mostly as a technical editor of proposals and reports for consultants and corporate or government clients. Recently, I have served as a scribe on occasion, taking notes and minutes at board retreats and AGMs.
As a technical editor I’ve been involved with the creation of several manuals authored by various consultants. A few examples of my work in this area include:
- Community Economic Development Training Program – published by Economic Developers Alberta (seven participants’ manuals, plus accompanying PowerPoint presentations)
- Online Job Search Strategies – Presenter’s Guide Book
and an accompanying Job Seeker’s Workbook – published by HCM Advantage Consulting Ltd.
Yes, there’s more. (Just like you’d expect of any living and breathing ENFP.) I’ve worked on video and animation scripts, prepared newsletter stories, edited entire newsletters, facilitated workshops, and gave several presentations of different sorts. presentations. A few of them are listed below.
- Author Visits – Canadian Authors Association
- EnviroSquad (interactive environmental learning modules for Grades 4 to 6) – The City of Calgary
- Various Newsletter Writing and Editing – The City of Calgary, Alberta Wilderness Association, Alberta Association for Adult Literacy, Literacy Coordinators of Alberta (the latter two now Literacy Alberta)
- Youth Writing Camp Workshops – Writers Guild of Alberta
- Water Presentations – Okotoks Women’s Day, Elementary School Classes
- Media Relations Presentations – Calgary Technologies Inc. (now Innovate Calgary)
- Writing Presentations – Sheep River Library, Professional Writers Association of Canada
It seems there’s always another idea being scribbled down in a notebook somewhere. Here are a few of my projects in various stages of completion.
- A book of quotes to inspire the environmentally and socially conscious
- A children’s multi-denominational book about prayer
- A cheeky eco animation project, created with a partner
- A series of communications how-to guide books and webinars
Yes, there’s more. But, I don’t want to bore you completely. Let’s just say I’ve done quite a bit of writing, editing, and communications consulting and coaching since I started down this communications career path back in the 1980s.
Writing can be a lonely task, but I am happy to get around that by belonging to some great organizations that support writers and their profession.