Sunday, February 23, 2020

The stories of my life (free short story collection) by Leanne Dyck

Since 2010, I've been sharing short stories inspired by my life. This is a list of those stories that received the most page views. That's right,  your page views built this list.

These short stories are about my family and my friends and the music I love and writing and knitting and... 

Click the title the link will take you to the story. Except for Afi--that story is in two parts. So please click on part one and part two to read Afi. (He was always a little challenging. 😀 )

I hope you enjoy reading them.

'face in the trees' photo by ldyck
My husband sees a bear
What do you see?


who taught me to knit? 


a neighbour told me that she wanted a new toque for her husband and I...


who introduced me to Bluegrass music


Remembering Them
I wrote a short story about my dad and my dad wrote a short story about his day and... I shared them both in this post.


The Words Behind the Writing
I write about what writing gives me



about the final days in my mom's life and her relationship with my dad


a childhood memory about crossing a highway to buy rainbow ice cream


My Writer's Desk
what's my writing day like? Well...


about sharing a short story about my afi (grandpa) with my amma (grandma)


From Mom (2 stories)
Before You and After Me

photo by ldyck

On this blog in March...

March 1
short story
The Pitter-patter of Little Feet

What do you do when a dream dies?

March 8
book review
The Wife
Meg Wolitzer

A novel about being a successful author.

March 15
book review
My Canada Read choice

Canada Read March 16 - 19

March 22
guest post
Cozies and Me
by mystery author Benni Chisholm

What's a cozy? Benni will explain.

March 29
book review
Dual Citizens
Alix Ohlin

Does Lark's sister Robin inspire her or hamper her development?

Are you following me?

Linked In

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Book Review: The Painted Girls by Cathy Marie Buchanan (historical fiction)

The Painted Girls by Cathy Marie Buchanan provides glimpses into the relationship between two sisters growing up in the slums of Paris, France during the late 1800s. Sisterly love--sisterly envy. The secrets they can't share with each other, they share with us. The prejudice they face we witness. 
'I want to put my face in my hands, to howl, for...all the women of Paris, for the burden of having what men desire, for the heaviness of knowing it is ours to give, that with  our flesh we make our way in the world.' (p. 284)
I see you struggling. Starving,  you live in squalor and your future is bleak. But I can sleep easy without lifting a finger to help. In fact, I'm wise not to help because you'd only take advantage of me. Your facial features, they give it away. 

This type of blame-the-victim thinking was known as physiognomies.

Cathy Marie Buchanan's author notes explain that one of the inspirations for The Painted Girls was the discovery that 'Degas bought into the idea that certain facial features hinted at a person's innate criminality and sought to incorporate it into his artwork.' And she wondered, '[h]ow might such perception have affected the lives of his teenage model.' 

Published by Harper Perennial
an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Published in 2013

I enjoy shopping for almost all the books I review on this book--mainly at independent bookstores. Occasionally, there are exceptions. I received my copy of The Painted Girls from the HarperCollins. Along with a beautiful and useful beach bag. 

The Painted Girls is alternatively narrated by two sisters--Antoinette and Marie Goethem. Antoinette is the elder by four years. She seems resolved to her fate. Marie still dares to dream. The bleakness of their lives made The Painted Girls a challenging read, but my hope that they would escape the fate that was targeting them and eke out some kind of happiness kept me reading. 

Target reader:  Those interested in French or art history--especially dance or the fine arts.

February 19th is...

'a national day of celebration of Canadian books for young people.' 

Next Sunday Evening...

Short story collection
Stories of My Life

A collection of short story that was inspired by my life.

Are you following me?

Linked In

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Book Review: Be My Love by Kit Pearson (young adult novel)

Be My Love by Kit Pearson is about secrets hidden and secrets shared, and it's about personal truths discovered.

Buy this Book

Published by HarperTrophy Canada
an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers Canada
Published in 2019

I purchased my copy on Mayne Island during Kit Pearson's author talk.

'Kit Pearson on Mayne Island' photo by ldyck

Set in 1951, fourteen-year-old Mairead Jean Stafford "Maisie" spends a life-changing summer on Kingfisher Island with a 'hodge-podge of grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins'. (p. 55) All help Maisie learn some personal truths. Such as...

-The way to healing is to face your truth.
-By telling your truth you may help someone else who is in the same--or similiar--pain.
-Telling your truth may be hard but it's much better for you if you let it out.
-By telling your truth you may grow stronger and you may find others who share your truth.
'"We were amazed to discover how many of us there are!...It's so confirming to know that we're not alone."' (p. 206)
Target reader:  a young adult reader who feels like she doesn't belong and fears she never will. 

Another new book by Kit Pearson...

The Magic Boat (picture book) 

Next Sunday evening...

Book Review:
The Painted Girls

provides glimpses into the relationship between two sisters growing up in the slums of Paris, France during the late 1800's.

Are you following me?


Linked In

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Ownership by Leanne Dyck (short story)

...a haunted house story

'Craigdarroch Castle' photo by ldyck


The minute the couple saw the house they fell in love. Towers. Turrets. Dormers. Wrap-around porch. They imagined it smiling at them.  

The foyer was huge and lead to even bigger rooms. They found the parlor, sunroom, library, study. A grand curving staircase led to the second floor. Each stair squeaked a welcome to their potential new owner. Upstairs the floorboards in the bedrooms and bathrooms also squeezed but seemed sturdy enough. The couple bought the house and the family of three moved in. They didn't have enough furniture to fill each room but they had plans. 

"What do you think of our new home," the couple asked their seven-year-old son.

Troubled by a sense of doom, the boy feared that something was wrong with the place but didn't dare tell his parents. He thought they would only laugh at him. "I love it," was all he told them.

The first night, the father told the son, "Run upstairs and brush your teeth. I'll be up in a minute to tuck you in."

Upstairs in the bathroom, the boy turned the tap. Brown water trickled out. He couldn't brush his teeth with that.

"Abracadabra," the boy said and the water cleared.

Downstairs, the couple shared a bottle of wine.

"I can't believe this grand old lady is ours," the husband said. 

They clinched their glasses and toasted the house.

"Of course, she needs some upgrading--knocking down a few walls. That sort of thing. But I'll--."

"We'll," the wife corrected him.

"Enjoy working on her," they said together.

They kissed and the wife told her husband, "Don't take too long tucking Benji in. I'll be waiting for you." And winked.

The man continued to smile as he climbed the stairs. He found Benji already in bed and started to cross the floor. The floorboards gave way and he fell through--all the way to the first floor. He fell on his wife who was finishing her wine in the parlor. Both were killed instantly.

From a forgotten corner in the attic, a needle scratched vinyl and Benji heard a voice sing, 

When the wind is free
Take good care of yourself
You belong to me.


Craigdarroch Castle

Next Sunday evening

 photo by ldyck

Book Review:  
Be My Love
Kit Pearson

set on a small island, during the 1950's, Be My Love is about secrets hidden and secrets shared, and it's about personal truths discovered.

photo by bdyck

Are you following me?

Linked In