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Rhonda Herrington Bulmer
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Archive for the ‘Life’ Category
  1. May 2nd, 2017 - The Gabaldon Effect–God created man, but Diana created Jamie

    This year’s prestigious Maillet-Frye lecture, the flagship event of Moncton, New Brunswick’s international Frye Festival, was lent a little more prestige on April 29 when it welcomed Diana Gabaldon as featured speaker. The author of the eight-book Outlander series, as well as a host of other related novellas, has sold more than 28 million books [...]

  2. January 2nd, 2017 - I can’t believe this is happening to me

    I was yanked out of a deep sleep in the wee hours of this morning by an overwhelming, high-pitched tinnitus in my right ear—but this time it was so loud I could hear nothing else in the room. And I cried out in fear and frustration, because there is no cure.

  3. October 9th, 2016 - Grapefulness 2016. Yes, another Thanksgiving meditation

    After so many years of boastful posts on social media about my exploits with grape jelly, people have begun to drop grapes off at my door. I have both friends and family who grow their own, but can’t be bothered with the labour-intensive process of turning them into wine or jelly.I didn’t set out to [...]

  4. August 24th, 2016 - *Change is a different shade of blue

    My husband is a little scared every time he watches me trot off to IKEA while on vacation. I don’t drive ten hours from my home in the Maritimes just to visit my brother in Montreal, Quebec—I drive to shop at IKEA and stay at his place for free. Ssh, don’t tell him.

  5. August 16th, 2016 - Subway Etiquette

    Subways are underground transport lines. They move groups of busy strangers from place to place. Home to work. Work to home. Here to there and back again. Subways are endless grids of stops and starts. So be advised, they are not social places. Do not smile at strangers—they might think you’re insane—or worse, that maybe [...]

  6. August 5th, 2016 - In Which Rhonda goes Running and Mixes up Classic Children’s Stories

    Rhonda saw the strangest sight during her evening run. A Long Brown Snake reposed at a tiny table, set for tea just off the woodland path. He invited Rhonda to join him.

  7. June 26th, 2016 - Proxy Walk

    There was a stand of rosebushes at the end of the lake, in furious bloom. The dark pink kind with yellow centers, like the ones you planted at home. Their sweet scent was thick on the breeze.

  8. June 10th, 2016 - For all those in dry places

    I broke last night.
    For the last seven months I have indulged myself a brief moment of tears every couple of days, but last night my whole body cracked into several pieces. I came as close to a panic attack as I ever have in my life. I was sure my heart would stop at any moment and I would cease to exist.

  9. June 7th, 2015 - We are Moncton, and we are not afraid

    A man doesn’t plant a tree for himself. He plants it for posterity—Alexander Smith. Earlier today, Glad Tidings church in Moncton, New Brunswick, dedicated a green space on its property to the memory of three fallen RCMP officers killed in the line of duty June 4, 2014. They were killed by a lone gunman in the city’s north end, where the church is situated.

  10. April 7th, 2015 - What kind of a person reads the end first?

    According to my sixteen year old daughter, who happens to be an avid fiction reader, only “Lame-o’s” read the end of the book first. So Mom is a Lame-o.

  11. March 8th, 2015 - Update from a social media freshman

    Since last I wrote about my journey into self-promotion on January 25, my number of Twitter followers has grown from 342 to 723. But I’m following 1288. So far, most of the people who have followed me (after I followed them) are those likeminded souls who are also selling indie books.
    Many, many books.

  12. January 31st, 2015 - Have you been journaling? Here’s why you should

    As long as I can remember, I’ve been keeping a journal. A stack of them line my bedside bookshelf and testify to my dedication. I think I have journals dating back to 1992.

  13. January 25th, 2015 - Everybody’s talkin’ at me

    At a business coaching workshop a couple of weeks ago, I made a commitment to one action, done daily for at least 15 minutes, that would bring me closer to my goals. Among other things, I chose to work on building an audience for my books using social media, including Twitter.

  14. December 31st, 2014 - To be or not to be

    In my circle, the adage “we are human beings, not human doings” is oft repeated.

    Meaning, of course, that we should not be so goal-oriented in the course of our lives that we forget to be aware of each moment and be present in their midst—whether it is a good moment or a rotten one.

  15. December 1st, 2014 - A tribe of scribes

    On Saturday, I participated in the first annual Author Fair, a book sale hosted by the Moncton Public Library. Southeast New Brunswick authors were invited to set up tables, side by side, and peddle their wares to book-lovers wandering through the square who were doing their Christmas shopping.

  16. September 23rd, 2014 - My love letter to NB

    Dear New Brunswick: I am ashamed to tell you that people have been saying terrible things today, my love. They say you’ve made so many ill-thought decisions, leaving you poor and without status in our country and in the world.

  17. August 12th, 2014 - Better than Rivendell

    Yesterday was a perfect day for my first road trip through the Fundy Trail Parkway, near St. Martin’s, New Brunswick.

  18. June 11th, 2014 - The fraternity of wounded souls

    I had already graduated from James M. Hill Memorial high school in Chatham, New Brunswick and was studying in Ontario by the time I heard that Allan Legere murdered John Glendenning, of Black River Bridge, in 1987. I remembered meeting the victim and his wife once, as a teenager. My father did some refrigeration work for him.

  19. November 26th, 2013 - Waxing poetic at Christmas

    It’s late November and the fall chrysanthemums in my blue ceramic plant stands outside are dead and gone. Time to replace them with cute four-foot spruce trees cut from Dad’s woodlot—it’s the suburban thing to do.

  20. August 15th, 2013 - Elevator chat

    The second of Lawrence Hill’s writing prompts is now posted on the Canada Writes website and this time it involves writing dialogue. Dialogue is my favourite thing in the world. I read today that you should write for yourself first and nobody else and in honour of such a great sentiment, I’m jumping in, though [...]

  21. February 18th, 2013 - Eating the art at L’Idylle

    Here in Canada, we are not used to lingering over our food. Even though afternoon talk shows and news items about healthy eating emphasize the importance of enjoying homemade meals round the family dinner table, people rarely partake that way.

  22. February 4th, 2013 - Renovating the past with gratitude

    A couple of weeks ago I woke one morning after dreaming about houses. I dreamed that in addition to the house we own currently, my husband and I bought an additional house. It was the first house we ever owned and lived in for nine years in another community.

  23. January 15th, 2013 - The handwriting-er-the typing on the wall

    Mr. Milner was my grade four teacher and he had the loveliest handwriting. On the chalkboard, I admired the way he wrote in flowing, classical strokes and perfectly straight lines. By grade nine, when I had him as a supply teacher in science class, I didn’t worry so much about perfection.

  24. December 26th, 2012 - Home for the holidays

    Do you wonder what Christmas is all about sometimes? Other than a pile of self-indulgent gifts, high-caloric intake and a credit card bill to choke on in January, I mean? I’m about to tell you.

  25. November 16th, 2012 - Shadow and light

    I am by no means a professional artist, but in the last eight years or so I have taken great pleasure in painting. I love to fill my free time with it and even though my hands can’t do what I see in my mind’s eyes, it doesn’t really matter. That’s a big thing for a perfectionist to say.

  26. October 25th, 2012 - Right person, right book, right time

    Last Saturday, I attended a couple of workshops in Woodstock presented by the Writers Federation of New Brunswick during their annual WordsFall festival. Not that it matters, but I had to venture out from Moncton in the rainy darkness at 6:30 am to get there on time. Details.

  27. September 28th, 2012 - The deepest cut of all

    Trailing, draping, curling, twisting tendrils of flowering or fruiting vines—I love them, running riot over fences, arbours or trellises. Just a few streets over from my place is a brick house covered in wisteria. In springtime, the vine fairly explodes with dangling purple blooms.

  28. September 7th, 2012 - All dogs go to heaven

    Trea (pronounced Tree-a) was 11 years old when we put her to sleep this morning. She was a purebred Cairn terrier complete with an award-winning lineage and papers.

  29. June 22nd, 2012 - Milestones on the one-way road

    Tonight, as my oldest daughter graduates from high school, I realize my most significant period of influence in her life is over. The thought strikes me with force. If I failed to live in the moment in all the years prior, now I must live in the past.

  30. February 3rd, 2012 - Live long enough to embarrass somebody

    I was not embarrassed by my mother often. Most of the time, her existence didn’t collide with mine at all. But with each rare incident, I remember feeling that her words or actions somehow reflected poorly on me, that she lacked decorum or diplomacy on some level.

  31. December 22nd, 2011 - God bless us, everyone

    Do you have at least one special Christmas memory? Was it a gift you really wanted, or a memorable activity, or a visit by someone special? The year you got stuck in the snow on the way to visit relatives, the year you got a pair of skates or took a hayride, or received tickets to a rock concert?

  32. December 15th, 2011 - I love it when I’m right

    I was sitting on my bedroom sofa this morning, as is my daily writing ritual: pad and paper in hand, coffee mug perched on the windowsill.

  33. November 20th, 2011 - Would it help if I cried?

    A young guy, dressed all in black (with a piercing in an unusual place), walked up to my book signing table at a local store tonight to say hello. He picked up my book and turned it over.

  34. November 11th, 2011 - Four-letter words

    I believe all parents have the right to embarrass their children. It’s going to happen anyway, so why not plan for it? To this end, I’ve recently begun peppering my language with a few four-letter words.

  35. September 23rd, 2011 - Who needs a hospital, anyway?

    It was a difficult pregnancy. Not only was I continually nauseous, but I had back pain. I was sleepless, every night tossing and turning in an effort to find a comfortable position. The baby was pressing on my sciatic nerve, making sitting down or standing up an excruciating process. But I muddled through.

  36. September 7th, 2011 - Did I say that?

    This morning, my oldest child headed out to her last-first day of high school. It’s hard to believe she will graduate this year, and even though I still have two more children with plenty of growing left, it makes me feel as though the biggest chunk of my life is quickly drawing to a close.

  37. April 7th, 2011 - Who’s gonna remember you?

    This past weekend, an elderly relative died of cancer. He had made it clear that upon his death there would be no funeral and no visitation. Since the family is not close, it didn’t surprise me, but I was still disappointed. His wife, who had died a couple of years before him, had stipulated the same thing.

  38. January 31st, 2011 - A wrinkle in time

    A couple of months ago I attended a screening of the locally-produced film “A Question of Beauty” (first released in May, 2010) at a fund raising event for Project Under the Tree, a charitable Christmas function hosted by the Moncton Business and Professional Women’s Association. Seen through the eyes of female artisans and writers, the [...]

  39. December 10th, 2010 - Terms of Endearment

    I’m going to confess something now that will reveal once and for all how cranky I really am, but I can’t hold it back any longer. Please hear me, grocery store clerks, gas station attendants, librarians, food servers and retail sales associates: I am not your “dear,” nor am I your “sweetheart.” Those terms are [...]

  40. October 20th, 2010 - Finding sanctuary

    If you’re a student of nature, and interested in Canadian conservation and environmental causes, you’ve probably heard of Mary Majka. Sanctuary: The Story of Naturalist Mary Majka, published by Goose Lane, is an authorized biography detailing the life of this important figure to New Brunswick’s Bay of Fundy.

  41. August 24th, 2010 - The writer writes

    I just finished reading Syd Field’s book, “Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting. A Step by Step Guide from Concept to Finished Script.”

  42. August 13th, 2010 - What Mike Holmes doesn’t know won’t hurt him

    Have you been holding your breath waiting to hear the end of the story? Well, we’re finally finished, and it’s all thanks to my husband’s sudden burst of ambition during this summer’s “staycation.”

  43. July 20th, 2010 - The play’s the thing

    Just like any other artistic endeavour, creative writing can be a relaxing tool and a powerful outlet for personal expression. No matter what we spend most of our time doing, it’s beneficial to flex our creative muscles.

  44. June 18th, 2010 - No sense crying over split books

    Sadly, my beloved Merriam-Webster dictionary (affectionately called MW) split in half this morning after I dropped it on the floor. I knew it was just a matter of time. I bought it in 1985 in the college bookstore, and it’s been with me ever since. I have to tell you, I’m feeling a little weepy.

  45. May 19th, 2010 - My favourite (jelly) fish story

    I was about eight years old when my father invited an overbearing work colleague, along with his wife and son, to visit our summer cottage on New Brunswick’s Richibucto River. Cottagers are usually happy to share their little-piece-of-heaven with friends and family. But for my mother, even a relaxed cottage welcome had its limits.

  46. March 23rd, 2010 - Cast off those dowdy feathers and fly

    I find stories about the Good Ugly Girl immensely entertaining. It’s a buttery-popcorn night at my house when I can watch the angst arising from shallow relationships and wicked step-sister plots transform into joyful self-awareness and dream-fulfillment. This includes Good Ugly Girl landing the object of her affection, Handsome Boy. He usually has the happy [...]

  47. February 18th, 2010 - Measure twice, cut once…naw, why bother.

    I’ve always hated The Giant Monster. And in some inanimate way, I know The Giant Monster hated me too. I’m no animist, but I’m convinced it kicked me in the back on the way out the door for spite. The Giant Monster (TGM) is a set of bunk beds we purchased eight years ago for [...]

  48. February 9th, 2010 - The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree

    I confess, I’ve been lax. My bedroom organization plans came to a screeching halt just before Christmas, along with my industrious blog posts, but I have a good excuse: Santa left me with no budget.

  49. January 14th, 2010 - On the up side, I won a door prize.

    Picture this: a business networking event where plenty of entrepreneurs are wandering around with wine, cheese, business cards and a nametag. It’s a small city…lots of people already know each other, and lots of people wish to be known.

  50. December 22nd, 2009 - Merry Christmas, from our closet to yours

    For those of you who’ve been following my foray into the world of bedroom organization, I thought you may appreciate this short video produced by “Lava Lamp Productions,” (a video production company consisting of my husband, a hand-held Panasonic video camera, our kids, editing software, and an amazing sense of humour).

  51. November 20th, 2009 - The giant fork and spoon live

    We did it…we purged our closets. We separated clothing into a blue plastic bag–what someone might want–and a green plastic bag–what nobody would ever want. Technically, we’re performing Steps 3 and 4 simultaneously: The Sort and The Purge.

  52. November 16th, 2009 - Cleaning out the treasure closet

    I had no idea he was doing it. After completing my kitchen chores this evening, I came upstairs to find my husband unloading the contents of his closet. “If you’re going to blog about it,” he said, “at least say I was awesome enough to start by myself.”

  53. November 16th, 2009 - The best laid plans

    A few months after we were married, I threw out my husband’s blue baseball cap. He’s never quite forgiven me for that faux pas. But folks, trust me when I say it was a really ugly, dirty, floppy, smelly hat. I stuffed it into the center of a blue garbage bag filled with items bound [...]

  54. October 21st, 2009 - Do files and frilly underwear go together?

    I suppose the clutter wouldn’t be such a problem if I crawled out of bed in the morning and didn’t see it again until I crawled into bed the next evening, but I work in my bedroom. (No, no—don’t be silly, I’m a writer.) I know I’ve broken the cardinal rule of organizers and Oprah’s [...]

  55. October 13th, 2009 - Just lucky, I guess

    I just celebrated my 18th wedding anniversary. I was 23 and my husband was 21 when we got married on a sunny day in October, 1991.A recent article in Chatelaine suggests if we were married today at that young age, our marriage would likely not last 18 years. Author Kate Fillion reports in “The case [...]

  56. August 15th, 2009 - Buy that snake oil: you know you want to

    Last Friday I took my middle-aged van to be serviced in preparation for our family vacation…you know, change the oil, adjust the fluids, tighten up this and that. I decided to kill time at the drug store across the street and got lost in the girly skin-care and cosmetics department where I was secretly hoping [...]

  57. July 17th, 2009 - Beach Therapy

    Because my Maritime childhood was filled with whole summers spent at our family cottage, I have an emotional connection to coastlines and crashing waves. Dad built our summer residence 40 years ago on the banks of the Richibucto River, in Upper Rexton, New Brunswick. The isolated beach, with its brown sand and seagulls, became a [...]

  58. June 26th, 2009 - The King of Pop or the King of Truth?

    Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett both died yesterday, and I’m sitting here pondering why the media is spending as much time broadcasting news of Jackson’s demise as they did on 9/11, which in my opinion, was a much bigger story. Poor Farrah…Jackson’s death has completely overshadowed hers, much like John F. Kennedy and my literary [...]

  59. March 1st, 2007 - Get some perspective

    Don’t get me wrong, I love my Grandma Louise, but she turned up at our summer cottage at the worst possible time. My best friend Gail turns seventeen this week and I’m going to miss the party because Gram brought someone “my age” to “spend time with”—aka entertain.

  60. February 27th, 2007 - Of Memories, Summer Days and Sand Castles

    I recently painted a 30 by 60 inch canvas from a photograph of one of my daughters at ‘The Dunes’ in Bouctouche, New Brunswick last summer. She is standing just inside the water’s edge, looking at her feet submerged along the shoreline. What a nice August day it was, sunny but cool and breezy by [...]

  61. March 26th, 2006 - Moments which transcend motion

    I want to tell you about my kids. Everything they do and say teaches me something. Parenting is the stage of life where there’s barely time to stand still and fart, let alone contemplate the meaning of life, but somehow I manage to glean wisdom from daily experiences, and I wanted to tell you. Maybe [...]