WPC – Seasons

….no two years are the same

This week’s photo challenge asks us to take photos of what the season looks like where we live. February in Toronto is usually cold and white. At least the two years before this one were like that. Today the temperatures were mild and the only snow came from the skating rink after being cleaned. Here are photos from two years ago in February at Col. Samuel Smith Park and today in the same place.


29 Faces Challenge

…..every day in the month of February I will post a new face that I have drawn

Now that my on-line course is finished I need to practise what I’ve learned and experiment with new techniques. I discovered a challenge over at 29 Faces Challenge and I’m hoping tp post one new drawing every day for the next 28 days. It’s called the 29 Faces Challenge because is was started in a Leap Year when February has 29 days.

After posting the line drawing of my friend L, I got a lot of positive comments. Even my friend L liked it but our friend M thought it made her look too old. I have to agree so I’ve done a new drawing from the same photograph. I think it’s much more flattering and I see the value of doing the assignments a couple of times.photo 2-8

Original drawing.

Original drawing.

February – A Book Review in August

…..after reading it again for a second time

(I discovered that the library in the village has free WiFi, so I decided to post the two stories that I’ve written since coming to the cottage and not wait until I get home.)P1020939

Earlier in the year my book club had discussed the book February by Lisa Moore. It was one of the books that I didn’t finish before our discussion. I had read about half of it and I was having a hard time finishing it. Most of the members of the group really liked the book and I was somewhat lukewarm about it.

I decided to continue reading it to see what I was missing. The funny thing is that I did read some more of it after the meeting but I knew that I hadn’t read all of it. When I brought it up to the cottage to continue where I had left off, I couldn’t remember how far into the story I had read. I went about half way back into the book and started at a random page. It didn’t look familiar but as I continued to read I started to recognize passages that I had definitely covered.

Instead of skipping the following pages and trying to find where I had left off I continued to read, even though I had read these very pages before. I rarely reread a book once I’m done with it but I found that I gained a new appreciation for the story reading it a second time. In the end I discovered that there were less than 20 pages that I hadn’t read.

February is the fictional account of an actual tragedy that occurred in 1982 when the oil rig, The Ocean Ranger, sank off the coast of Newfoundland. All 84 men aboard died. The story is about Helen O’Mara who became widowed when her husband Cal drowns during the storm on that fateful Valentine’s evening.

The story goes back and forth between that tragic night and the present. Helen tries to imagine where her husband was and what he was doing before the rig overturned and she is haunted by images of what could have been. We also learn of the difficulties Helen experiences raising her four children on her own and her struggle to end her loneliness.

I think the first time I read the book I was frustrated by Helen’s on going obsession with wanting to know exactly how her husband died. After reading it a second time I began to appreciate the writing itself. The Winnipeg Free Press described Lisa Moore’s writing as follows: “Moore’s writing resembles poetry…She expertly captures her characters’ physical surroundings in sharp-edge fragments of colour and sensation.”

February is a study of grief and how one woman’s life is profoundly changed by one tragic event. I’m glad I reread the book. I wouldn’t recommend it if you need to read something light and funny but if you are in the mood for an intense and dramatic story, based on an actual event, pick up a copy of February. By the way it was also the winner of the 2013 Canada Reads competition.