Life had given me so much fodder for storytelling, albeit not about murder.
I grew up in Hudson—a small fishing and logging town in Northwestern Ontario. In its heyday, it had been a huge float plane base servicing the North. My first job was pumping gas and changing tires on pulp trucks at my father’s garage—Bowman Motors. By eleven I was a chambermaid at Miss Irving’s rooming house. By fifteen I was a telephone operator for Bell Canada in Sioux Lookout. When the phones went dial, I moved to long distance and marine radio operator servicing ships from around the world on Lake Superior. Three years later, I found myself in banking which took me to Winnipeg where I met my husband to be, Pat Holden.
We married in 1974 and moved to Lac du Bonnet—his hometown. He was a pilot and I was the base manager for Silver Pine Air Service until 1976 when our daughter, Amber, was born. Son Greg followed in 1979. I kept busy bookkeeping for our aviation, mining exploration and wild rice companies. We built the wild rice harvesters in our shop and we flew as a family into the northern Manitoba rice lakes every fall for the harvest in our Cessna 180—CF-JZV.
In the winter we would pack up the family in a camper and travel to British Columbia and southern climes to escape the frozen north, sometimes putting on ten thousand miles in a winter. I home schooled Amber and Greg when we were in the bush and on the road until we settled in Victoria in 1985.
With Family Footprints Films Ltd., I tried my hand at videography of sorts, creating slideshows of family photos on videotape. As the family viewed their photos on the television, they narrated their own videotape with stories, laughter and tears. With Custom Creations Ltd., I sewed outfits for ‘well coordinated square-dance couples. These companies were a labour of love only, and so I went to work in fabric stores for a salary, and back to school at Camosun College and UVic. With the added boost in education, I went to work for doctors and surgeons for ten years and then managed a travel vaccination centre.
In 2000 we literally bought the farm back in Manitoba and I opened the Country Mouse Scrapbooker. I enjoyed seven years helping friends preserve their family histories with photos and journaling. By 2006 we were wintering in Ajijic, Mexico and I began the next chapter of my life.
Joining the Ajijic Society of the Arts with my photography, I soon found myself inspired by the other artists and took up painting and sketching. But my not-so-secret passion of watching mystery movies (no matter how old) and detective television series, rekindled my passion to write. All my hand-written stories were tucked away in a moldy box up north, and I was itching to put pen to paper–scratch that–boot up and open Word. So began my first murder mystery novel, and the story continues. . .