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Songwriter's Message of Hope

Posted by Val Fox on November 22, 2014 at 5:25 PM Comments comments (1)

A Clean Pair of Eyes
by David Gray

lyrics© BMG Rights Management US, LLC

Hear me God, I'm on the level
Mapping silence seeing things
Crying laughing like the devil
Before the might of all that's seen
I'll raise my head and wake to dream
with a clean pair of eyes.

Murdered gold and colours flashing
Time like blood like flowing hair
Faces merging airplanes crashing
Before the might of all that's true
I'll raise my head and wake to dream anew
With a clean pair of eyes.

A clean pair of eyes
Don't need no one to blame
Don't need no disguise
No sugar to sweet my brain
A clean pair of eyes.

Today I need no comentary
Today I do not need to speak
No explanation necessary

And before the light of all that's seen
I'll raise my head and dream again
With a clean pair of eyes

A clean pair of eyes don't need no right or wrong
Don't need no disguise
No sugar to fix my tongue
A clean pair of eyes.

Liquid air and flags that ripple
A tambourine of smoking suns
love that blinds us fear, that cripples

And before the might of all that's seen
I'll raise my head and wake to dream
And before the might of all that's true
I'll raise my head and dream anew
And before the might of all that's unnamed
I'll raise my head and dream again.

Dream again
Dream again

Logging Trucks and Rain Forest

Posted by Val Fox on November 16, 2014 at 4:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Winter is cold here on The Island too. It is a damp cold. I'm glad I brought my down-filled jacket. When the wind blows, it knocks out power lines and tree branches litter the autumn ground.

          Logging trucks roar past every day, all day.

The sun peeks over the eastern mountains later than near the coast, then shines low to the south until it vanishes in the afternoon behind the western mountain and soon I am in inky darkness. Like the prairie, dry and clear means cold. Rain means wet and bone-chilling icyness.The rains are expected to return on November 19 - Sheila Hollihan's birthday and the anniversary of my mother's death. I'll do something nice to celebrate them both.

Everything is different and I am completely out of my comfort zone. I patiently wait to see how things will look in the spring. In the meantime, What will I create?

                                          The forest is ever green on Vancouver Island.


Find ways to earn extra money, keep stacking the wood in the shed and gather the debris from last week's storm. Rain expected to roll in by Wednesday.

Keep working on the novel I am writing for this year's NaNoWriMo challenge. It must be complete by November 30, and I am behind. Some painful circumstances led me here and sometimes my heart is heavy with loss. Then, I pick myself up and get busy.

I am determined. Change is good. I watch for the miracles, and am thankful.

I am determined.

Journal Entry
Waking Up on Vancouver Island 2

Menacing Mystery Threatens Homor

Posted by Val Fox on October 26, 2014 at 6:50 PM Comments comments (1)


My name is Carmel Mae Whitney. I live at Ridgeway drive, number 4 in the town of Homor Oreos. I, I ..the date is October 29, 2014. I swear the story I will tell you is true. It really did happn tonight when I walked along the path from the park. This THING followed me on the other side of the trees. I'm sure it followed me.

It shon really bright and was a sparkly blue. When I walked, it mooved when I moved. I wanted to run but I coudnt. I tried to just walk normal and pretend I didnt see t. I could hear my breathing and I wanted to be quiet but I coulnt.

I kepped walking until I could see the lights from Barnwell's store. It was real quiet and my y chest thudded hard. Oh

when I was almost there the light disapeered. I coudnt see it any more. So I started to run.

Then I heard something like a real sick person thats hurting bad. But it was different too. The sound kind of rattled, you know like a person who's dying. Yeah. Then it got louder. It was behind me. UI knew it was. I could feel it. It was hot like it wanted to burn me. I kepped running and the light came closer behind me. I slipped on the rocks and my ears popped and it hurt.

The ground turned blue and I raced from the trees to the store. Barnwell already locked the door and went hme. I saw the lights go out and banged on the door and said let me in! Bt he had gone home early because his wife is sick.

So I ran here to you guys and and it shreeked like a siren was behind me and I don't know if it's still out there or not!  I dont know what it was. I have to get back home to my little ones. I was only supposed to be gone a cupple of minutes. And now I need to get home but that thing is out there. That's all I know.

Carmel Mae Whitney.

Photo: Val Fox

Tags: Halloween tales; mysterious light; Girl followed; Unsafe Streets; Is This For Real  

Gardening is Therapy

Posted by Val Fox on July 20, 2014 at 5:30 PM Comments comments (0)




This year has been emotionally challenging in some ways and I forgot that fact earlier as I chastised myself for not being more productive. I forgot that I had written a story in May and it was published in July, or that I was studying for tough editing exams to become certified. Self-criticism rarely inspires and will often skew the truth. I find the truth when I stop thinking and dig in the garden.



When we say "you should be.." we often forget all the other things that steal our attention each day, many of them unplanned events such as vehicle breakdowns or sudden illness. This is not to be confused with making excuses for doing nothing. I'm talking about events that affect our usual routines or mind-set. The garden's colours can help us feel grateful.


When I hit my forehead with the palm of my hand, saying "I forgot, again!" or I see a typo in my writing, I forget that three children demand my attention - the second set of kids I've raised. It escapes me that three sisters-in-law have died in the last six months and that one of our beloved dogs was run over. The garden's moist earth wafts a grounding fragrance and I discover that I'm grieving.



When our son rolled the truck, breaking his leg and pelvis, the garden got neglected. The flashing police lights were frightening but I remained calm and observant. When the fear feelings came, the garden offered a place to catch my tears. Others have claimed this too. A garden grows newness.


Living in the trailer (RV) was fun for several weeks, after much of our furniture was destroyed and we had to live out of boxes. The kids and I have slept soundly in the fresh night air, carressed by the fragrance of petunias, peonies and lilac.


We all have our share of life's bumps, some more than others. We hear tragic stories on electronic devices or share in the sorrows of family and friends. Some of the garden's plants are living memoriums to lost loved ones; they call forth happy memories.


The sight, feel and scent of a garden's treasures will always invite us to a place of wonder in the middle of life's stresses. When we allow its energy to comfort and amaze us, our turmoil eases, gratitude grows and our creativity is stimulated.


Thanks for visiting, everyone. The next post will feature scenes from last weekend's Kainai Nation Pow Wow in Southern Alberta. See you soon!



Experiment With Genres

Posted by Val Fox on July 2, 2014 at 9:25 AM Comments comments (2)

     Hi everyone! Welcome to the first Wednesday of every month where writers of all levels gather for a virtual blog hop to share our doubts and triumphs with one another. This monthly event is hosted by author Alex J. Cavanaugh and his talented team of co-hosts. I'll post the link to his site at the end of today's brief message. Please feel free to share your thoughts.

Today I will submit a short story for possible publication in an anthology of dystopian tales - a genre I had only seen in movies until recently. Writing a post end-of-the-world story felt intimidating but how will I learn if I don't try, right?

I've learned that when we experiment and stretch by trying something new as writers, interesting processes will often surprise and reward us.

After scanning several recommended books I came to one conclusion. Just concentrate on telling the story or let the story tell itself. A good story is where it begins and where it ends, always. Trying to write in different genres will always teach us something helpful if we give it a shot.

The following is a short excerpt from the story I will submit today to WPaD Publications, titled The Last Summer Storm.

"We can't make it back!" shouted Sofia. "Follow me down into the coulee!" Before they reached the bottom she glanced back and saw two of the horses racing back and forth along the top edge of the deep slope. Then, they vanished. The menacing cloud had swallowed them up and continued to spread in all directions. She heard their screams.

Everything we write, matters, even if it isn't published; all this practice is part of the writer's journey. Keep tapping and your writing will get better than you could have imagined. 

Have a fantastic day and thanks for visiting. :) 

Here are some early summer photos from my home in Southern Alberta.

                                   Happy Birthday, Canada!

             Rocky Mountain foothills provide prime grazing land for Alberta cattle ranchers.

                                Two-month-old Nahanni with her mother, Peach Monroe.

                               Gardening is a popular form of physical & mental therapy.

Tags: IWSG July 2014; supporting other writers; new palomino foal; dystopian fiction; speculative fiction; foothills and The Rockies; Alberta ranchland; Kainai Reservation



©Val Fox

Southern Alberta Rains

Posted by Val Fox on June 19, 2014 at 3:15 PM Comments comments (0)

June rains have once again risen to flood level in many
Southern Alberta areas.

                                         This is normally a green meadow dotted with wild flowers.
                                          Hwy 505 west between Levern and Glenwood.

Alberta Spring Photos

Posted by Val Fox on May 26, 2014 at 8:05 PM Comments comments (0)


                A warm, spring wind blows the snow off the nearby Rocky Mountains.

                Today's photo dedicated to a dear sister, Bernadette Fox, who left her earthly

                life on Saturday, May 24, 2014. Thank you for the inspiration, Bernie. :)



Check Sources For Accuracy

Posted by Val Fox on May 7, 2014 at 11:20 AM Comments comments (1)

Digital technology and the Internet have made it easy to access information on just about any topic. This saves time and gets stories out to the masses faster than ever before. But how do you know the material in your story is true? Your credibility as a writer depends on accurate, current facts based on evidence and reliable sources.

The following list contains important points that every writer must consider if you want to be taken seriously, especially if writing non-fiction.

 - Credibility is more important than getting the story out faster than the competition. This point was made clear in the movie "The Paper" when an over-zealous editor insisted on running a front-page story that had not yet been thoroughly checked for accuracy. She went head-to-head with a senior reporter who decided to stop the newspaper production (expensive and time-consuming) to wait for the truth. Never compromise accuracy.

 - What is source of your information? How reliable is the source?

 - What is the agenda behind your source? To convince others? To sell something?

 - Look at the word choices used by your source - are they sound or sensational?

 - Do any of your sources contain back-up quotes or testimonials by other credible people?

 - Are there any conspiracy theories behind this information?

 - If you write about the sciences, were true scientific processes involved? Check the research carefully noting who funds the research and what is their mandate? Is there a paper trail that proves claims about the research?

 - What experts were used to back up the info you want to share?

 - Is the source connected directly to the subject? How?

 - Is there other supporting evidence that backs up the point you are trying to make?

 - What qualifications does the source have? You can't be sure unless you check.

 - Have peers reviewed the material you are planning to use in your story?

 - Have you provided links to credible sources that back up your story? Are the links current? Remember to check them carefully.

One last point: If you have published something in error, be up front about it. Don't just correct it and say nothing. Your credibility as a writer depends on your willingness to be open and honest, even when a mistake has been made.

These are some of the items I learned when studying journalism/public relations at Lethbridge College. Our credibility depends on our follow-through skills; even a misspelled name can affect how seriously we are taken as writers. Fiction must be made plausible too, by thorough research and accurate background information.

Check everything out, never assume anything. Your credibility as a writer will be rewarded.

Thanks for stopping by to read today's Insecure Writers Support Group post. The IWSG is a group of writers from around the world that posts on the first Wednesday of each month. Our goal is to share information, ask questions and support other writers. For those of you who may be interested, the link is provided below.

Have a great day!



tags: responsible journalism; writing the truth; don't believe everything you read; 


Getting Into The Zone

Posted by Val Fox on April 29, 2014 at 2:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Have you entered Into The Zone lately? You know, that state of mind where you become focused on a task and the flow of energy makes everything come together even better than expected, the best possible outcome.

Some refer to being In The Zone as on a roll, in the groove, tuned in or on fire. The Verbal Dictionary describes In The Zone as a state of conciousness where our skills perfectly match our perceived performance.


                                 massdistraction via Compfight cc

 We can get Into The Zone through a number of different activities. Examples might include:

When I ________, I get Into The Zone.


                        run                   write              swim laps  

                  listen to music     read    work in the garden               

                  hike in the mountains          re-build my car        


                                    photograph the ocean

                                         ride my horse

Researcher Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi said we can recognize this state of consciousness by the joy or even rapture one feels while doing the activity.

While this kind of flow is similar to hyperfocus, the latter can sometimes inhibit progress or focus. Examples could be video game addiction or too much focus on work to the detriment of one's health. But for many the phrase is an idiom with positive implications.

What does being In The Zone mean to you? How do you know when you're In The Zone?


                                      Photo Credit: Bronski Beat via Compfight cc


                                  Noise level lowers/rises              

        We stop or increase talking (depending on our  focus)

     We become more productive             We get more creative.

    We feel content - even joyful            We enjoy what we're doing


                                         Time goes quickly

There's another positive result when we're In The Zone. We often lose self-consciousness, thereby allowing our full potential to shine. If you have any thoughts about being In The Zone, your comments are always appreciated.

This is the final blog for the April 2014 A-to-Z Challenge. Thanks to all those that visited, commented or joined this website.

I'll be back soon with more images, stories and music as we continue to explore Earth And Its Inhabitants. 



Yukon Novel Promising

Posted by Val Fox on April 29, 2014 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (0)


Yukon Territory along the coast of the Beaufort Sea/Arctic Ocean

Source: CC Compfight

The main character finds himself stuck on a slice of swiftly moving pack ice, lost at sea. He will confront challenges ahead that threaten to alter his life forever. Will he make it back home or will the Far Northern Yukon Territory play a savage hand?

This novel is on its third re-write and when complete it will take readers on a journey to a land of brutal winters and short, passionate summers; a place where one's life depends on the ability to adapt to unpredictable, frightening and  compelling conditions.

Surviving The Circle (working title) will be a quality piece of work offering drama, adventure, tragedy and joy in the Northern Yukon Territory. Stay tuned for further updates.

This post featured the letter "Y" and almost the end of this year's A-to-Z Challenge hosted by author Alex J. Cavanaugh and his team of co-hosts. Thanks to all the participants from around the world. I read some interesting and useful blogs and wish the writers well on their writer's journey.

Tomorrow's post will feature the letter "Z."  Thanks for visiting. :)


When Words Trigger You

Posted by Val Fox on April 26, 2014 at 5:25 AM Comments comments (0)



This post is about word choices and the power they hold to trigger a reaction from others.  Read the following items.

I won!

It happened without warning.

He went wandering out there alone.

I was wrong.

Why do you never listen to directions?

The weather report issued a warning.

What I think doesn't matter.

We need to talk.

Where are the kids?

Will you sponsor me?

We're out of water.

You'd better watch your back.

Did you have a reaction to any of these statements? What does our reaction say about others..about us?  How does the context alter the meaning we get? Is there a word or phrase that triggers you each time you hear it? Words evoke a response even when it is not visible. 

                                           Words - The letter "W"

Thanks for stopping in as we head toward the finish line of the April 2014 A-to-Z Challenge where bloggers write almost every day of the month while following the letters of the English alphabet.

                   Welcome to this site's newest members!


If you have any questions or would like to submit photos/guest posts click on the Contact Me button on the right side of the page. I'll look forward to hearing from you and will return tomorrow with the letter "X." Have a nice day. ;)

tags: Choosing the right words; saying what you mean; what did I SAY??; getting the message; how is your delivery; writers use words to carry a message; word choice and politics; using words of diplomacy; 

Unusual Words Unlikely

Posted by Val Fox on April 23, 2014 at 9:30 PM Comments comments (1)

While checking the Scrabble dictionary today I noticed a number of unusual words that didn't make much sense. I checked the dictionary meaning of unusual and found the following definitions:

Out of the ordinary               Uncommon                    Extraordinary

Here are five examples of these unusual words that are listed in and are also acceptable Scrabble words.

Unkissed - an adjective but no definition provided.

Unlearnt - an adjective meaning the knowledge and skills are available but not learned yet.

Ungelded - an adjective but no definition provided. Unusual and unlikely choice.

Unbathed - No results found.

Unbitten - adjective referring to arm that was not bitten. Possible but unlikely choice.

What's good about these words is that, used in the right context, they save both words and time. Example:

That's the lass that's never been kissed. vs That's the unkissed lass. Seven words or four words to describe the same thing.  I guess it depends on how tight your writing needs to be.

Thanks for stopping by and "listening" to the ramblings of a budding author and prairie girl. I'll be back tomorrow to feature the letter "V." Have a great day!
                                          The Letter "U"


Photo Credit: KristinNador via Compfight cc



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This is the personal website of writer Val Fox from Alberta, Canada: soon-to-be published author; freelance writer/editor; ghost writer; animal and child advocate; amateur photographer and avid camper.  Welcome!


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