Posted in (All Posts), Personal Anecdotes, Rants, Relationships

My Vanilla Rape

FullSizeRender 2 (1)In July 1999, I was invited to a costume party. The theme was “lounge,” so my date and I dressed accordingly. We went to a thrift shop and bought hilarious outfits befitting the occasion. He was a younger Hugh Heffner, and I was some-kind-of-fabulous in black velvet, satin gloves and a feather boa. My date was in the “friend zone,” but he didn’t know it at the time. He made me laugh more than anyone, and I absolutely loved being around him. He was my BFF, but he wanted more. I was 24 years old that summer.

FullSizeRenderOver the course of maybe two hours, my BFF got me drunker than I have ever been in my life. He accomplished that by continually refilling my glass before I had time to finish my drinks, thus making it impossible to gauge how much I had had. Before long, I was feeling nauseous and had to step outside for some fresh air (or risk bathing the shag carpets in repurposed orange-flavoured California Cooler.) Another boy at the party offered to Continue reading “My Vanilla Rape”

Posted in (All Posts), Family, Homelessness, O Canada 🇨🇦, Personal Anecdotes

The Lights are on, but…

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the concept of “home.”

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Reynolds’ House, 1970s

I had a really chaotic childhood. I spent my years moving from place to place, relative to relative, making and then losing friends one after the other. I didn’t know where I would be from one year to the next. I don’t actually know how many different homes I have had in my life. It would be impossible to count, but I’ve just made a mental list of 30 places where I can remember living since I was four. There are probably at least ten more that I can’t remember before that. The concept of “home” to me has always been a tenuous one. Continue reading “The Lights are on, but…”

Posted in (All Posts), Family, Fiction, Personal Anecdotes

I Remember

This is a story that I wrote in 1990, when I was 15. It was published in a student anthology at the time.


They were right when they said it would be different after grandpa died. It’s been a year and my life hasn’t – and never will be – the same.

image5My grandpa was a kind, loving, handsome man. He loved music and dancing. He loved to sing in the church choir every Sunday. But, above all, he loved his grandchildren.

The youngest of 12 children, he grew up just outside of Vanderhoof, British Columbia on a little farm in Chilko. His parents had emigrated from Ireland hoping for a better life in Canada. Times were rough, but they managed. They named their youngest son Arthur Percival (Percy, for short.) Continue reading “I Remember”

Posted in (All Posts), Culture, O Canada 🇨🇦, Personal Anecdotes, Travel

That Time I Was Kidnapped in Venezuela

Read about one of the scariest experiences of my life! I’m certainly much more aware of my naiveté and I’m a little more cautious these days.


When I was a college co-ed, I decided to take my white bread Canadian self down to South America with my then-boyfriend Adam.  The idea was that I’d broaden my horizons and see some of the world during the semester break.  First stop:  Caracas, Venezuela.

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Here’s an excerpt from the Lonely Planet [guide to discovering] South America on a Shoestring ©1997. (Yes, I still have it.)


Venezuela is a relatively safe country in which to travel, though robbery is becoming a problem. Common crime is increasing in the large cities. Caracas is by far the most dangerous place in the country, and you should take care while strolling about the streets, particularly at night. Keep your passport and money next to the skin, and your camera, if you are carrying one, hidden in a pack or bag. Venturing into poor shanty-towns is asking for trouble.  Avoid police…

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Posted in (All Posts), Personal Anecdotes, Rants

Sticks and Stones: My Story of Bullying and Acceptance

Four eyes.   Nerd.   Geek.   Loser.   Freak.   Bitch.   Slut.   Whore.   I have been called all of these and worse. I was bullied a lot in school. Surprisingly, for me the girls were always the worst offenders.

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10-year-old four-eyes

Four Eyes

I was a tall, gangly kid with a lazy eye and thick glasses. The bullying got really bad for me when I was around 12. Younger than that, kids are a little less savage, but they still do enjoy name-calling. Furthermore, children are not always nice to the new kid and I went to a new school almost every year.



My worst year, by far, was seventh grade. Continue reading “Sticks and Stones: My Story of Bullying and Acceptance”