JF Garrard is an award-winning speculative fiction writer, editor and publisher. She is the President of Dark Helix Press, Co-President for the Canadian Authors Association’s Toronto Branch and Deputy Editor for Ricepaper Magazine. Her portfolio of works is listed on jfgarrard.com and you can find her on Twitter @jfgarrard.
My colleague and fellow Canadian author, Alice Weldon asked me to help her spread word about her mindfulness guide to overcoming dog anxiety. It’s free from 12:01 AM Tuesday November 9th until Thursday, November 11th at midnight PST. You can also pick up the beautifully illustrated companion journal for free once you download the book.
In our busy, stress-filled world, who doesn’t know what anxiety feels like? Just as we can become nervous or stressed, so can our dogs. Author Alice Weldon is mourning the loss of a long-time canine friend who “crossed the rainbow bridge” in October. To honour the memory of her beloved furbudy, she’s giving away copies of her eBook on Overcoming Dog Anxiety that’s especially helpful for people who are physically going back to work and who now leave their pets at home alone for a longer time period.
It’s been a busy week, planning for my mom’s funeral this Friday and suddenly my 105-yr old grandma landed in the hospital two days ago. Mom was the only one who could shove food down grandma’s throat and they were each other’s nemesis for the last forty years. Grandma has been struggling to survive for a while now, her body is getting weaker as time passes.
After learning about my mom’s death, a wave of comments from aunties and uncles crashed down on me, including:
“If you stayed with her, you could have saved her” (an elderly uncle fell at the same time who has no kids and for a moment me and my siblings where trying to deal with him when she suddenly died)
“Don’t kill yourself!” (I was depressed for many years after father died and have gotten somewhat better, not suicidal anymore at least. Thanks for the reminder)
Funerals are like weddings, I have to come to say goodbye to your mom!
Sue her family doctor! This was negligence in the healthcare system!
Don’t fight over money with your siblings! I want to mediate and we have to find a spouse for your single sibling!
I think we should talk, but you have to drive yourself to my house because I don’t have time to come to you.
At least she died not knowing she was sick, so she lived her life to the fullest!
Sadly, having experience the loss of my father before, I know that a lot of these comments are people dealing with their own grief and expressing it onto me. For people who say they want to help, but can’t really find time, it’s their choice. At the end of the day, I forgive and forget. My mother was very involved with family, friends and her community, so it’s a huge loss for everyone. May she give me strength to get through her funeral and grandma’s current hospitalization.
There’s one more angel in Heaven There’s one more star in the sky Mommy we’ll never forget you It’s tough but we’re gonna get by
-modified lyrics, Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Andrew Lloyd Webber
Last Sunday, my tornado of a mother suddenly died. She was doing dishes when she fell dead, as if she was struck by lightning. At the same time, an elderly uncle fell, so my siblings and I were dealing with that crisis. It feels like we turned away for a moment and then she left. My many aunties, uncles, workmates and friends are super worried about me because after my father’s death I fell into a deep depression which took about five years to come out of. I wrote an article about how stoic Asians need to stop doing the face thing and seek help and was told I was victim blaming.
Mom’s death is different. She felt ill (general symptoms of stomach cramp/bloating, constipation, vomiting) so she consulted a doctor on the phone with an in person appointment later (COVID has really messed up healthcare) who told her she had stomach flu and there wasn’t much pain. Turns out she had multiple cancers in her body and her family doctor never sent her for any scans over the last twenty years of being their patient. Looking back, the only sign was weight loss which we attributed to her becoming older and being sad about dad’s death. Is it better to know death is coming or not?
She was a powerhouse, running a virtual Chinese school with a thousand students the day before she died. As a grandmother she doted on her grandkids and as a mother, she was strict with high standards which were difficult to meet at times. Despite her driving me crazy, I am glad I took the time to see her almost every weekend. We went on cross border shopping trips, ate meals with her friends, and I took her and my kid to Philly to play in Sesame Place.
Mom thought she would die soon after dad, so she spent the last six years drilling into me that the most important thing is the next generation. Depression wasn’t real to her, her strategy was yelling at me all the time about forgetting myself because family was most important. She had her affairs put in order and even picked out her casket! She was dim-summing 3-4 times a week with friends and even had sleepovers with her BFF. My lovely husband and I were planning on moving in with her next summer to take care of her because she said she didn’t want to go into a nursing home. We thought she would live past 100 and we were ok with that.
Whenever I feel sad, I feel her spirit behind me yelling at me to stop whining and keep going. So I think I am holding it together this time, I really am. I am a bit slow on responding to emails and doing work but I am trying.
Everyone is talking to me about how life is fragile and it is true. Please give your loved ones a hug or send them a message to connect. Also, find a good doctor who cares. We all know our time is limited, but it’s too hard to face, so we ignore it. Thank you for reading, have a good day!
Click on the link I discovered I wasn’t #60 but #36. The list updates automatically based on number of hits. Hopefully over time the podcast will gain more listeners and gain more recognition for the guests on the podcast! Listening to so many authors gives me energy to keep writing as it is a difficult task to write since there is seldom much monetary gains for writers. There are only so many lottery winners like JK Rowling, so please keep your day job unless you have a sponsor!
In episode 26 of The Artsy Raven we spoke with Adam Jonathan Kaat who wrote about his experiences on the grocery retail floor during COVID. In our interview with him, he said he had to publish the book quickly because COVID is a timed event and the traditional publishing cycle takes so long! Episode links here: https://www.patreon.com/posts/ep-26-writing-57308566
On Thursday, October 28, 2021 7:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. EST Via Zoom I will be hosting a panel called ” Book Marketing 101 with The Idea Shop.” Chris Houston, the Marketing Guru of The Idea Shop, has over 20 years of experience in the publishing industry. He’ll share his tips and stories about his best marketing campaigns, and explain why it’s important to let the world know that you have a unique book that they need to discover!
Nastasha Alli was born and raised in the Philippines and came to Canada in 2007. For her writing at the intersection of food and diaspora communities, she won a Food Sustainability Media Award from the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Her work has been featured on CBC Radio and her recipe published in a “top cookbook of 2018” by the San Francisco Chronicle.
She answers the question “Why is research important in your “Exploring Filipino Kitchens” podcast?” on the Artsy Raven podcast, Episode 12. This clip is an excerpt from the episode.
Moni Brar’s works have appeared in PRISM international, Hart House Review, Existere, The Maynard, untethered, Hobart, and other publications. She is a member of the Alexandra Writers’ Centre Society, The League of Canadian Poets, and the editorial board of New Forum Magazine.
She reads “Fault Lines” and tells us what inspired it on the Artsy Raven podcast, Episode 11. This clip is an excerpt from the episode.
Kevin Wong was born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia: the same hometown as Sidney Crosby and Sarah McLachlan. He has always loved writing and creating art, and even as a child he was constantly drawing, painting, writing stories, and telling tales to his friends and family.
He answers the question “What inspired you to write stories about Hong Kong?” on the Artsy Raven podcast, Episode 9. This clip is an excerpt from the episode.
Bianca Weeko Martin is a designer with Filipino, Indonesian, and Chinese ancestry. She was educated at the University of Waterloo School of Architecture in Canada, where she has been based since immigrating with her family from Jakarta in 2000.
She answers the question “What makes you decide to make a piece of artwork versus writing?” on the Artsy Raven podcast, Episode 8. This clip is an excerpt from the episode.