About Me

Life design agent for creatives

I galvanize professional writers and fine artists to create lives as self-expressive as their art.

I believe in the Truth and Beauty Cycle: the never-ending flow of energy and ideas that drives your artistic process.

I’ve trained in creativity coaching with Eric Maisel and the Creativity Coaching Association.

Ardent fiction writer

My work explores the ordinary transmuted to the extraordinary. Epiphanies, lucid dreams, and magic realism. When I’m not writing, I get squirrelly.

I’ve published short stories and essays. My first book, Brick and Mortar, was nominated for the Ottawa Book Award.  And I’ve been blogging since Life of Pi won the Booker.

I have an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Calgary, and I’ve taught writing at various conferences and colleges.

Skilled leaper-into-heads

Empathy is my chief strength. I can read tone of voice, turn of phrase, and body language like nobody’s business. Which makes me an intuitive coach and a nuanced writer.

Dauntless wrestler of angels

My high standards and work ethic combine to give me near-genius levels of persistence. This doggedness can be used for good or ill. I don’t quit easily, so I make sure that what I commit to is really right for me. Luckily I picked the perfect guy.

Scrupulously genuine

A truth-lover in name and practice, I can’t stand small talk, hypocrisy, or self-deception.

I love deep authentic conversations and share stories from my life with abandon.

Daydreaming mother

Life is boisterous with kids aged five and three! My daughter is a feisty diva and my son is an easy-going jester.

My favourite parts of parenting:

  • Inventing new words like blamey, cloop, and lavalanche
  • Reading (I’m a book junkie and now the kids are hooked too)
  • Exploring the world together

Cheeky wife to my high-school sweetie

I married a researcher and statistician who does not let me get away with sloppy thinking. He also made me learn to drive stick and get the car serviced. A car which we have now sold. I love watching him play Ultimate Frisbee.


Travel is the perfect way to satisfy my thirst for stimulation and contrast. In 2011 Shawn and I sold our house and left our loved ones to embark on an open-ended trip around the world that we call Operation Hejira.

Favourite trips: our two-week honeymoon in Newfoundland, three months in Beijing with the toddlers, and a rejuvenating visit to the Pacific Gulf islands after I quit my corporate job.


I’ve had glasses since Grade Three. I once joked about my bad eyes to the ophthalmologist and he said reverently, “Your eyes aren’t bad, they’re just deep.”

I also have x-ray vision, seeing down to a person’s essence and the encumbrances that don’t belong.

I’m drawn to working with accomplished writers and artists at a turning point in their lives. Do you see yourself there?

For all the latest, follow me on Twitter.

Curious about how I became a writer? Have a listen.

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{ 1 comment }

susan March 22, 2011 at 2:26 am

This is so captivating AND so exciting!

I can’t wait to be a part of it. Looking forward,
(MAdeleine’s workshop buddy)