Vancouver Island is home. I enjoy glorious sunsets over Quennell Lake and Mount Benson. It’s a perfect spot for writing. My plastic plants and polyester pets have allowed my husband, Pat, and I to winter in Mexico since 2006. The views of Mount Garcia over Lake Chapala provide another quiet scene conducive to writing as well as other artistic pursuits.
In all this tranquility, I’ll bet you are wondering where all the murder and mayhem comes from that finds its way onto the pages of my novels. It’s in those tranquil moments when one’s imagination is freed.
By eleven I was a chambermaid at Miss Irving’s rooming house, earning enough for an Orange Crush at the Mozey Inn Cafe. By fifteen I was a telephone operator for Bell Canada in Sioux Lookout. I remember my first paycheque – what a sense of pride. Now I was earning enough to help with the rent and buy Christmas presents for the first time. When the phones went dial, I moved to long distance and marine radio operator, serving ships from around the world on Lake Superior.
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 homeschooled Amber and Greg when we were in the bush and on the road until we settled in Victoria in 1985.
My mother and stepdad, Frances and Finley Gerdis, were avid square dancers. They travelled south to North Dakota and west to Saskatchewan to dance. When they flew out to BC to visit us, they went square dancing at the Women’s Institute. By the time they had danced in nine countries on a European tour, I had sewn them several matching outfits. So what naturally spins off from that? I formed Custom Creations Ltd. sewing outfits for ‘Well Coordinated Square-Dance Couples.’
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 for 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 mouldy 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…
A Person of Interest
…. and the story continues in my Adventures Blog.
Life has 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
Fast forward three years and I found myself in banking, which took me to Winnipeg where I met my husband to be, Pat Holden, in the back seat of a Triumph. See I knew you were listening.
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 the shop and flew as a family into the northern Manitoba rice lakes every fall for the harvest in the Cessna 180—CF-JZV.
I formed Family Footprints Films Ltd. and tried my hand at videography of sorts, creating slideshows of family photos on videotape. Pat’s Dad, Shorty Holden, was one of the early bush pilots in the Canadian north. We were lucky to have him narrate the photos of his long flying career. I hope to have several episodes on my YouTube channel by 2024.
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 Victoria.
Thank you for taking the time to read this load of… Hay! Why don’t you keep in touch on Social Media and Share with your friends? I’d love it if you’d subscribe to my Newsletter and Blog, and of course, you can buy my books through the links below.
Take Care and Be Well,