All posts by Rusti Lehay

A member of the Professional Writers Association of Canada since 2003, Rusti has been writing professionally since 1999. Her favourite word activity is immersion editing with memoir writers.

Find your tribe with a new local group The Coffee Friendship Club helps people connect

Nobody expects to become a pariah when a major life change occurs. Yet that is exactly what two women shared at The Carrot’s new Coffee Friendship Club when discussing their experiences after divorce and becoming a widow.

In just three-and-a-half years, Bernadette Alseth’s mother, brother, sister-in-law, husband, and close neighbour died. To become a widow and a senior at the same time and also have her best friend distance herself was a shock.

“My closest girlfriend is so afraid of losing her husband she withdrew,” said Alseth. Continue reading Find your tribe with a new local group The Coffee Friendship Club helps people connect

Honouring family and Remembrance Day My Father’s Cello brings popular wartime poem to life

One cello was destined to become a canvas when a 63-year-old musician with two cellos and an artist fresh out of high school regularly volunteered together at The Carrot. After all, Bernadette Alseth could not play both cellos simultaneously. During one of their conversations, Alseth asked the artist, Ariel Casapao Jr., to read John McCrae’s poem, In Flanders Fields.

Some people question the lasting importance of the poem. Those questioners may not know that Nov. 11, while honouring veterans of all wars, is really about the First World War. It commemorates the armistice signed between the Allies and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front. The armistice took effect on the 11th month, 11th day, 11th hour, and 11th minute of 1918. Continue reading Honouring family and Remembrance Day My Father’s Cello brings popular wartime poem to life

The work really is never done on a farm What it means to work on an organic farm in Colombia

Farming in Colombia so near the equator sheds a whole new meaning on the cliché, “early to bed, early to rise.” The sun sets around 5:40 and rises 12 hours later, give or take a few minutes. I cannot recall the last time I was asleep by 7:30 p.m., let alone night after night. I’m here working as a volunteer.

Continue reading The work really is never done on a farm What it means to work on an organic farm in Colombia

There is no golden rule for creativity Shima Aisha Robinson talks about art and poetry

The best poets throw out the rule book and speak plainly to you with electric words they pull from their veins of consciousness and then pour like lightning into the reader’s bones. Shima Aisha Robinson’s electric first book of poetry, Horn, will soon be available in a second printing. 

Few acts are more courageous and electric than truth. Autobiographical poetry, as Robinson defines her work, is thought and truth aloud on the page. “My book is about personal experience, friends and family, all the major themes, love and pain and [it also] explores politics. I tried to choose the most potent poems that communicated the issues.”

Continue reading There is no golden rule for creativity Shima Aisha Robinson talks about art and poetry