Monthly Archives: February 2017

Sunday February 5, 2017

This is the story of my life. As a non-sleeper, I am often reading or doing my mail in the middle of the night. Oddly enough, when I have an early morning deadline, I manage to sleep so soundly that I am comatose when the alarm goes off. Strange stuff!

Monday February 6, 2017

This was an opportunity to make an important observation, I hoped, without sounding preachy. There are serious things a cartoonist wants to say; the challenge is in choosing the right time and the right way to say them.

Tuesday February 7, 2016

Some of our best family times have been when the electricity was out. Not only did it make us creative and prepared, it gave us a break from sound. Until the appliances are off, we have no idea how much ambient sound we live with!

Friday February 10, 2017

Moving to North Vancouver has given us a break from shoveling snow. Wet snow falls here, but few people shovel it because the rain will come and wash it away. The rain does come, but frost might come first. Dangerous and slippery sidewalks make going anywhere treacherous. Seaside living means bone-chilling cold. Long underwear (for me), is a necessity. You can’t win in Canada!

Wednesday February 15, 2017

I had so much fun with the English language. These strips won’t translate, so my work was generally only in English language papers. The good thing is that folks are using comic strips like mine to teach ESL. Seems the puns and wordplay are a great way to get right into a language, and what better way to learn than through funny words and pictures.

Friday February 17, 2017

As a hockey mom, I saw some interesting stuff. Parents who dropped off their kids and left never knew how important it was for those young players to see supporters in the stands. Some of the parents who did attend were so determined to see their kid be a star that they also ruined a great game. Kids were shouted at and bullied from the stands, and volunteer coaches were criticized. I’m hoping things have changed since I was a hockey mom.

Sunday February 19, 2017

I didn’t learn to skate until I was over 35! What gave me the courage to try was a really good pair of skates and the lure of a rink made by the neighbours on Trout Lake outside of North Bay, Ontario. It was one of those perfect days. The ice was thick and the snow was fresh. Just a few passes of the snow blower and a small private rink was cleared. The kids both had skates that still fit, and my mom-in-law had borrowed skates for the rest of us. She’d made hot chocolate in a big thermos and the Harrisons, whose house we were visiting, had built a fire in the pit down by the dock.

For the first time since I was a kid, I strapped on skates (dull rentals) and shoved off from the snow bank. To my surprise, I discovered the bite of a sharp blade and was actually scraping my way forward. That’s it. I never went again, past those surprising few turns around the ice, but it was enough to let me know how it’s done and why some people become champion skaters. You just have to experience this exhilaration when you’re young!

Tuesday February 21, 2017

After the strip became second nature to me, I began to look past the main characters to the Pattersons’ neighbours and friends. I was so immersed in the neighbourhood that I wanted to know what was going on in their families, too. I began to introduce strange new characters; people who would be interesting for the readers, and a challenge for me.

Wednesday February 22, 2017

Molly is Elly’s best friend Connie’s step-daughter. I was getting into some convoluted relationships and I only had four panels a day in which to tell a story. Four panels and one statement a day. This was hardly enough time to develop a character—especially one outside the familiar ones already established.

Friday February 24, 2017

If I was doing the strip today, I’d be even more intrigued by the ability to talk almost subliminally in coded texts and abbreviated comments. Today, it is communication as fast and as simple as it can be, but nuances and subtlety are lost along the way. I wonder how many serious misunderstandings occur now, because people don’t use or don’t know enough good words to be able to express themselves!

Sunday February 26, 2017

While making a big cuddly fuss over the dog one day, I noticed a wistful glance from my husband. Whether he was cringing at the "dog-ma" of mother and dog or a bit jealous, I didn’t know. The scene made for a good Sunday page!

Tuesday February 28, 2017

My friends used to go to my mother for emotional help. They’d pour their hearts out about everything from boyfriends to schoolwork, to their relationships at home. As a teenager, I found my mother awfully hard to talk to, and I couldn’t understand why my friends went to her for guidance!