Image from Unsplash- Umberto

To edit or not to edit… that is our dilemma. Whether it is nobler to hand over the manuscript without making a scene… but I digress.

Those two words, copy editor — a bane to most writers if we’re being honest with ourselves — can conjure up all sorts of fear, real or imagined. We’ve been told that they’re necessary evils, fulfilling steps that will refine our manuscript and tighten it up for a better read; even enhance it for a smoother flow. Yeah, right!

It all sounds fine, but from an author’s point of view, we tend to look…


“Words have the power to shape your life. Consequently, words have the power to shape other peoples’ lives.” Kathleen Edelman

In her informative book, I Said This You Heard That, Edelman introduces us to her concept of temperament, in that we have been individually and wonderfully wired internally by God. Each one of us has a unique and dominant temperament which in turn affects our personality – our thoughts and feelings.

We’ve all been blessed with talents and abilities, but what really distinguishes one individual from another – even within the same family – is his…

Not alone

Unsplash- Neeran Khare

It was 2:24 a.m., on a cloudy Sunday October morning, way back in 1996. It was raining; not hard, but just enough that I turned on the intermittent wiper control on my car.

I had just finished an evening shift and was heading home, south on the two-lane highway. Unwinding from a hectic shift as a general patrol officer, I was tired but had to focus on the road ahead. I wasn’t concerned about falling asleep. …

Image: Unsplash- Unuabona

Winnipeg’s finest? Those two words could mean almost anything. But for me, it’s more than that, it’s personal and reminds me of a catchphrase coined by the Winnipeg media many years ago. Once called ‘the boys in blue’ a new phrase emerged: Winnipeg’s finest. It has that cutesy, almost patronizing ring to it, and refers to the men and women of the Winnipeg Police Service. It was meant to be complimentary, a term of endearment.

Sadly, those days are long gone, and the phraseology has changed from being complimentary (usually), now often reverting to derogatory speech. I take that personally…

Unsplash- The creative exchange

Life can be full of surprises, and one of these came in the form of an unexpected phone call. My long-time friend Donna, a dear acquaintance, took pity on my prolonged singleness and suggested I should meet a lady friend — a co-worker, in fact — and go out on a date.

My initial inclination was to decline the entreaty, offering the usual excuse: I’m way too busy. After a little prodding on her part, I added that I wasn’t really interested in dating, yet. She took it in stride and left it at that, for the time being. But…

Homeless man (Dmitri Bong- Unsplash)

A typical sign on Waikiki Beach. “Surf boards for rent”. Boards, paddles, umbrellas, beach chairs, all for rent, lessons extra. The operator was doing brisk business.

But just around the corner was another sign, one that drew my attention:

“Stupid people shouldn’t use smart phones.”

Signs are intended to make a statement. For example, to convey information or instruction. Others are displays for advertising, typically offering some commodity or service. But this one was neither and implied the “advertiser” wished to convey a distinct message.

Seated, and with his back against a rock retaining wall along the busy strip on…

Unsplash (Aaron Burden)

Translation, it’s not an easy task. I’ve often been asked what it’s like to translate a work from one language to another, in this case from German into English. The short answer would be hard work. But first, allow me to furnish a little background.
Having learned and studied English with all its idioms and exceptions, I embarked on a career as a police officer. There, I had plenty opportunity to write, but it was much later that I took a serious look at translation work. My reasoning was simple. I wanted to share some of the German books I had…

Imposed loneliness

Serafina (photo by author)

A peculiar and misunderstood word, loneliness. Unfortunately, it affects us all. And it’s particularly poignant during this difficult time as many of us are impacted by the pandemic. We all have, or know of loved ones who are now alone, isolated out of concern from contracting the Corona virus.

While most of us are pretty handy with the latest smart phones, tablets or computers, many of the elderly – particularly those of the previous generation (pre baby boomers) – aren’t as fortunate. …

Unsplash- Mustaches Cactus

In his excellent book, Just Like Jesus, Max Lucado relates an interesting story in Chapter #9 — The Greenhouse of the Mind — whereby he pokes fun at himself by suggesting that he (Max) plant nothing but undesirable seeds, like crab grass and burr seeds in his ideal garden. Sounds preposterous, right? I mean who on earth would plant seeds that will ruin your garden?

But that is exactly what many of us do, figuratively, by inviting (planting) all sorts of unproductive and ill-advised thoughts in our minds (hearts). …

Pixabay- jhfl

“Mom, I’m coming home!” For my mom that telephone call, no matter when, meant only one thing: drop everything. To a good mom the sole and most important thing is your child’s well being. Once told that all is fine, the next question on her mind is: Are you hungry?

I still chuckle at the implications of that question. I think that that single thought separates mothers from fathers. Dad was concerned with the rudimentary things: How are you doing in school? Is the car still running? And of course the big question dear to most men: Do you need…

Robert Stermscheg

I’m a writer and translator living in Winnipeg, Manitoba. My interest is in the genre of historical fiction. I can be found at:

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