New Podcast – Episode 9! Also: Deep Question

Continuing on with this ridiculous theme in my life of being somewhat productive and active, here is my Ninth Podcast. It’s all about NOT finishing things, of which I give one example out of literally dozens of grand projects I’ve never gotten around to!

In other news not related to the podcast…and because you’re on the edge of your seats about it…I’ve continued my experiment with Hot Yoga.

Results: I’m a couple inches more flexible. My stomach is getting all “abs”-y (and one day those remarkable muscles won’t be hidden behind my little flesh quilt), and I feel a lot more healthy, energetic and awake.

So I’d rate it as just all right.

Before I sign off, in my podcast I do talk about a how-to book I never ever finished. If this sounds like something you’d be interested in taking a look at when it’s done (that’s my polite way of saying, “buying a dozen copies to give to everyone you know”), drop me an email or a comment so I know there is a demand and I’ll get it done just that much sooner!

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Teenage Suicide – Don’t Do It

-Heathers (1989)


Sharon Ryan, adjunct professor of management sciences at Concordia University College of Alberta, and freelance columnist (Workplace Ethics on Wednesdays) with the Edmonton Journal is releasing her first book on young adult suicide.

Live Your Life: How to Abandon Your Miserable Existence Without Killing Yourself and Others Along the Way contains twelve true stories as told by the young adults who lived through difficult experiences and how they overcame major setbacks to carry on with their lives. Following each story, Sharon reflects on the wisdom of the young adults by dovetailing their message with passages from the Bible. The intent is to show other young adults that they can find their way out of misery by using scripture.

The stories come from Edmontonians and students Sharon has met over the past 10 years. Three stories come from the Aboriginal community. The topics include date rape, teenage pregnancy, child abuse, sexually transmitted diseases, imprisonment, serious illnesses, general boredom with life, depression, and the trial of having someone close to you commit suicide.

Aaron Paquette, highly acclaimed Edmonton artist, has graciously allowed Sharon to reprint four of his prints in the book. The prints have a healing effect and are intended to offer psychological relief between chapters. As well, a short biography of Aaron’sā€™ life is included in the book.

Sharon and Aaron will be present at Concordia University College of Alberta, Tegler Centre, on Wednesday April 9th from noon ā€“ 1:00 p.m. for a book signing and sale. The book costs $15 including GST.

For more information, please contact Sharon Ryan at


My Thoughts:

The publication comes from a decidedly Christian perspective and I considered this before allowing my images to be used. There are two perspectives of Christianity in the Native Community: one with very negative connotations due to a history of abuse and attempted cultural genocide, and one that embraces the theology and spirituality of the beliefs, choosing to overlook the messenger for the message.

I decided to remain neutral on the subject as I feel that anything that encourages youth to take a larger look at life and decide it’s worth living can only be a positive thing. I lost someone I loved to suicide when we were both in our teens and I’ve seen and felt first hand how destructive it can be. I’ve experienced the waste it is and the waste it leaves behind.

The suicide rates in First Nations communities are disturbingly higher than in the rest of Canadian society and if this book can help even a little, then I’m proud to stand behind it.

Some Traditionalists will disapprove but as someone who faced his own difficult choices as a young man, help from all sources was good to have.

So, if you have the lunch hour free, I’ll be glad to see you there. Also, if you can’t make it but still want the book signed – assuming everyone is obviously going to want ten copies šŸ™‚ – just give me a shout and we’ll work something out.

Two Down

After a really productive weekend I finished the rough drafts of Chapters One and Two of the book, and got a good start on the third. I find it’s easier than I thought it would be to write this book, but then, it’s not War and Peace we’re talking about but a simple seven chapter walk-through.

The other thing that makes it a little easier than expected is that it’s a simple process of jotting down what I do so there’s really not a lot of plot invention or research I have to undertake. The only difficult part so far has been keeping it simple, honest and straightforward. I have a tendency toward privacy so the thought of letting people glimpse beyond the comfortable surface has been a little daunting.

It’s not that I feel there’s a lot more to me than meets the eye, it’s just that there’s the fear of being vulnerable. I don’t think that’s too crazy.

The next chapters are somewhat less demanding that way, anyway. Now the fun begins in detailing some of the exercises and techniques I use. I’m imagining that in the last chapter I’ll have a photo journey of a painting from start to finish with some explanations of what I’ve done at each stage. Although it may take some of the mystery out of the process, I know that I would have treasured that kind of thing as a beginning artist. In fact, if an artist I admired did something like that for me right now I’d be overjoyed and fascinated.

I hope others will feel the same way about my work!

On a completely unrelated note to be filed under “why I shouldn’t write to my journal after midnight”, I’ve just reached week one in The Great Moustache Extravaganza wherein I convince myself that my paltry growth will fill out into a lush pelt of manly pride. So far my native ancestry is defying my dream. I guess I didn’t really get any of the Viking when it comes to facial hair but if I can muster the courage I’ll take some photos tomorrow for the sake of posterity.