CHRISTINE'S BLOG

Welcome! I love to write, and I love sharing what I write with my readers. I vary my style as much as I can-posting events, creative non-fiction, prose and poetry and the occasional video. Enjoy!

Miigwetch

Christine

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Event Posting: Discover the Aboriginal History of Toronto Tuesday April 29, 2014 from 2-5pm at Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre


Monday, April 21, 2014

Call Out to Writers and Publishers!




Hello (Aanii!)

As a freelance writer, I'm trying to drum up business. This is a call out to writers, readers, and publishers.

Do you have any books you think I might want to read or possibly review?

If so, please contact me at chrissy.mcfarlane@gmail.com

Big Thank you (Chi miigwetch!)

Christine Smith (McFarlane)


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Event Posting- Plaid Party with Veronica Johnny @ the Sister 1554 Queen Street West April 24, 2014 @ 8pm

Plaid Party with Veronica Johnny, Plaid on Flannel, +Open Mic!
@ The Sister 1554 Queen St West Thursday, April 24 @ 8pm 

 Veronica Johnny Plaid on Flannel + Open Mic! $6 or PWYC Prizes for best plaid clothing. Musicians sign up at the door.

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1465779596989167/?ref=br_tf

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Book Review: Rabbit and Bear Paws Sacred Seven (Respect)


Waaboos Miniwaa Mkwa Ziden- Gchi-Twaa Niizhwaaswi
Mnaandendiwin- Rabbit and Bear Paws Sacred Seven

I’ve never really been drawn to graphic novels, but the graphic novels that Chad Solomon writes are fun, educational and inspirational. They are something that I wish I had had as a child growing up because I’m sure if I had had them under the right circumstances, I would have been drawn to their bright pictures, and the accessibility to the teachings behind each story he tells within them.

“Rabbit and Bear Paws- Respect” is a part of a Sacred Seven series of graphic novels for the young at heart, and is book three in a series that teach the Seven Grandfather Teachings.  The other titles in this series involve love, courage, honesty, humility, wisdom and truth.

Rabbit and Bear Paws butt heads in this graphic novel trying to understand what it means to have RESPECT for people and animals. Rabbit and Bear Paws are out collecting birch bark with their friends and see a herd of buffalo grazing not far from them.

Clover Blossom, Rabbit’s mother reminds Rabbit to keep his distance and tells him “We must respect their space, as we share this land with them.” As they are told this, Rabbit mimics the buffalo and stuffs some grass into his mouth, spits it out, and says “Blech, this tastes like musty old moccasins.”

The reader is taken on a journey as Rabbit and Bear Paws struggle to understand their place beside the buffalo and the animal world. They realize after an adventure that brings them close to disrespecting the buffalo and their space that they must show respect in order to have respect shown back to them.

I love how at the end of the story Clover Blossom asks the kids “what did you learn from today’s adventure?” because when kids read it, they are also given a teaching through characters that they can relate to. Another great thing about this Sacred Seven Series is that underneath each sentence in the story, the Ojibwa translation is there for you to read along with your kid.

Rabbit and Bear Paws Sacred Seven- Respect is an educational, funny and inspirational graphic novel written by Chad Solomon. It also comes with audio pdf PC version cd to help you and your child while reading.

The End

Mii iw!



Chad Solomon is also available to do presentations with his characters Rabbit and Bear Paws. To book and to check on availability and costs, please contact Chad Solomon.

Email: chadsol@gmail.com, Phone: (647) 519-2986, Web: rabbitandbearpaws.com

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Come and Rock With The JOHNNYS @ Hardrock Cafe April 15, 279 Yonge Doors Open @8pm-Done at 11:30pm


Event Posting: CIG/AEC Community Resurgence Speaker's Series: Reclaiming The Representation of Indigenous Women Friday April 25, 2014 @ Oakham House (2nd Floor) 55 Gould Street Ryerson University


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Life's Journey: Changes


Life’s Journey
By: Christine Smith (McFarlane)

So I haven’t written my column “Life’s Journey” for a while. I know I promised that I would keep up ‘Life ‘s Journey’ on my blog, after changes late last year saw my column cancelled in one of our community newsletters. Life’s Journey has been about documenting the journey my life has taken. In recent months, life has handed me many changes. Changes that have made me see that sometimes sitting down and writing can become downright difficult.

 Changes in my life have included working steadily on my first manuscript, which I can now say is done and sent out! I have been struggling with a few things that have resurfaced in my life, mainly depression and the return of an inner anxiety that has me struggling with feelings of insecurity and a sadness because one of the most important people in my life- my oldest niece has gotten to adulthood and boyfriends, and doesn’t need me as much as she used to.

Sometimes I wish she could stay a little girl forever, but I know that’s impossible. She needs to get older, and experience her own life’s journey. My niece’s 18th birthday is coming up, and it feels like just yesterday that I was playing with her, watching her in the park playing on the swings or one particular favorite memory is her running through the park with a mason jar in her hand because she wanted to catch fireflies. Those carefree days are over, as she now adjusts to adulthood.

Adjusting to change can be difficult.  I know that I’m not alone in that, but sometimes when you’re in the middle of experiencing changes, you feel like no one really understands and your reaction to that is to withdraw and isolate, even though you know that you need to do the opposite-reach out and be with people.

When I withdraw, I notice that my personal writing goes by the wayside and it becomes difficult for me to sit down and focus on just any particular thought or incident. The journey that life takes me on is one that is unpredictable. I never deal well with unpredictability because I can go from feeling elation about something that I’ve done or something a friend has done to feeling low about something.

Today, I learned of another loss in our community, and thought this would be a good time to sit down and write. I’m learning how fragile life is, and how we can take life for granted. You meet someone, or see him/her around on a daily basis and then BANG, one day you hear they’re ill. You hope that they get better, and keep a light of hope within that you’ll see them again. When it doesn’t happen, you go through a million different emotions, because you wish that you had just had more time to know them.

Tonight, I let myself cry and feel the loss our community has encountered, and then I went through the typical emotions that a loss can bring- feeling anger and sadness. Anger because someone beautiful has been taken away too soon, and anger that we have such diseases like cancer that can take someone away so quickly. I feel for this woman’s family and the community as a whole.

After I let myself cry and feel the sadness I began to realize that lately, I haven’t been letting myself genuinely feel. After I lost my favorite uncle in February, I shut myself down. I know that I’ve been feeling the emotions but I just haven’t been giving them any airtime. Not giving my feelings any airtime is not necessarily a good thing. I have learned that in order to be truly healthy, you need to let yourself feel things, and then you need to be able to slowly let them go, in order for true healing to happen.

Grieving is difficult though, no matter what. According to the “Grief Recovery Handbook: The Action Program for Moving Beyond Death, Divorce, and Other Losses,” written by John W. James and Russell Friedman it is said that “since most of us have been socialized to attempt to resolve all issues with our intellect, grief remains a huge problem.”

This is where sometimes I wish life came with an instruction booklet. Wouldn’t it be nice, if there were a booklet on how to deal with things that come our way? But then again, if it did, life would be boring, and the things we encounter in life would become predictable and there would be no learning.

Death is a hard thing to deal with. Loss or changes made in your life are two of the most stressful things you can encounter in your life’s journey, but as you go through life, you slowly learn how to deal with these things in a way that is conducive to where you are in life. That’s what life’s journey is all about.

If you are grieving, or feeling at odds about things going on in your life, don’t be afraid to reach out. To all of those out there, who may be struggling with something, I send love. I will put semaa (tobacco) down for you.