APRIL 2021

COVID-19 has benefitted me. Want to know how?

Benefit #1 – No more guilt
I no longer feel guilty about going to the pub for a beer with the boys. Nope, can’t feel guilty ‘cuz the pub’s closed.

I no longer feel guilty for not taking my wife out for a nice dinner. Nope, no can do. Fine dining establishments are closed. Sorry honey, they’re closed.

I don’t feel guilty about not going to my neighbourhood Timmy’s for a coffee with the guys. “Take outs” permitted but no sippin’ inside. Sorry boys!

I don’t feel guilty about sitting at my computer much of the day. My options are limited so I can’t feel guilty. TV or not TV, limited choices. And TV can drive ya nuts nowadays.

Benefit #2 – LCBO shopping…like a pro!
Restocking trips to my local LCBO have become exercises in efficiency. On your next restocking trip, take me along. I guarantee you speedy shopping, in and out in minutes because of my COVID fears.

I follow all the COVID precautions as laid out by the LCBO. Tight paranoia, tied up well, tighter than the strings on Elvis’ guitar. His strings may be looser now, not mine. Wearing the mask, staying distant from others, following the arrows on the LCBO floor pushing my cart at a pace that makes me vulnerable for speeding tickets from ‘Durham Blue.’ Thank goodness they aren’t shopping at the moment.

Benefit #3 – I’m learning a new language
COVID is helping me learn a new language. I have very few people in my bubble, just immediate family. COVID’s transmissible but the variants are more so. COVID variants must have passports to come from away, the UK, South Africa or was that South America? With the weight I’ve gained, vaccination rollout takes on a whole new meaning for me.

Then, I’ve begun to worry about efficacy. So I safeguard myself with my PPE. Might consider investing in a spit shield or a face shield. Did you read about the horoscope scandal in the Star? Seems Astrazeneca is not moderna enough to have a strong efficacy rate. In other words, its potency has pfizered out. So I have to find another bandaid solution and I hear Johnson & Johnson’s got a one-dose vaccine coming out soon.

Yup, COVID’S been good to me…but I still want it gone.

Hallelujah, HAPPY EASTER 
If there is one section you should read in this newsletter, it is this one. April 4th is Easter Sunday, a very special time for prayer, celebration, resurrection and renewal. Like spring, it is a time for rebirth and re-beginning. And this year, three religious festivities occurred at nearly the same time, Easter, Ramadan and Passover. Turn up your volume, click on the link provided below, sit back and think.


[Thanks to our writer/contributor: Reg R. ]

And then to balance things out a bit, click on the photo below:


Atheist and the little girl
To balance things out, even more, we can’t resist linking to this story about an atheist who is on a plane sitting beside a precocious young girl. You just have to read this story at   Atheist.

Lobster Baron
Chef Shane Christoffer has spent the past 27 years learning, experiencing and perfecting his culinary skills across Canada, from the Fairmont Algonquin in St. Andrews-by-the-Sea, New Brunswick to five kitchens in Whistler, British Columbia. He’s flipped a lot of flippers but he’s docked at his own fish market now, the Lobster Baron, where he serves fish so fresh you smell the ocean. Website: lobsterbaron.ca

We’ve done his oysters, the Fresh Raspberry and the Lucky Limes, superb. You’ll taste the ocean as each one slides down. A mignonette sauce would spoil the taste of these babies. Just a touch of salt bolsters the marine saltiness of these ‘bad boys.’ Yummers! Next on our list of fish to try, Ahi Tuna, so fresh looking, ya swear the fisherman’s going to walk through the door in his Wellingtons and So’er wester!

Cast your rod, bait your hook and catch his outstanding fish fare at 677 Marksbury Road, Unit 5, Pickering, Ont. [Full disclosure: no bait was received as remuneration for this plug.]


Read much?
My website is associated with a number of excellent writers who’ve published interesting and entertaining books, historical romance, humour relating to modern living, troubling memoirs, touching military history, books for the heart, the head and the soul. Canadian writers, mostly, people like you and me who one day sat down and decided they had a story to tell or something tickled their funny bone and they wanted to share it. Check them out. You’ll enjoy them a lot.

Cheryl Bristow: AMAZON Books

A romance writer who sets her story in the dying days of the Roman Empire. Life went on then, even as the empire was crumbling and love knows no bounds as Cheryl tells it.


Ruth Coghill: Words of INSPIRATION

Life and living is an endless chain of learning and lessons. Some of these lessons tweak the heart, nudge the head but all give the soul wings of conscience, thought and provocation. Ruth Coghill will touch the inner you.


Ginger Kuenzel: Utopian State

Remember Erma Bombeck? Dave Barry? Well, Ginger Kuenzel goes beyond channelling these outstanding American humorists with her own take on living in small-town USA. She will make you laugh saying, “That’s so true,” as you think about your summers in cottage country Canada. An American writer, but her writing is international and gut-busting funny.


Peta-Gaye Nash:
Essie on education

Author of children’s books first, Peta-Gaye Nash kicked it up a notch once she faced her mirror and saw a mature black woman, mother and marital partner. Her writing then grew wings and soared in new directions and to new heights with new recognitions and new perspectives. Incisive, poignant, Nash will inspire you to deeper thinking and greater introspection.

Howard Pell
: Retire Fit, Fit, Fit

Are you retired? Did you plan for it? Howard Pell did and writes about it. He examines and analyzes the various aspects of what the future will bring for you in retirement. In Pell’s eyes, better to plan and prepare than to have retirement surprises when you retire.

On another note, Pell considered the question, “What good is retirement if you aren’t physically able to enjoy it?” which led to a second publication, an instruction manual on how to get yourself into better physical shape so you can really enjoy the next years of your life.


Rick Pyves, a writer of Canadian military history, par excellence. His initial book was a trip into researched history about his father as a Canadian armed forces airman during WWII. An emotional journey into the past, Pyves will tug at your heartstrings with his researched memories of his father during the war. A great read which may launch you into his other military history books, all relating to members of his family ancestry. It’s researched history with a family touch, sensitive, touching and for some people, almost nostalgic.

Sheila Tucker
: Rags Dolls and Rage

A memoir writer with British roots, Tucker writes about a childhood which justifies her book’s title Rag Dolls and Rage. She recalls her painful youth, her difficult upbringing and her distressing early development.

The redemption in reading this memoir is that Tucker has survived and like the mythological Phoenix, risen from the ashes launching a successful career where she has taken flight as a podcaster, novelist, poet and writer.

As well as writers, we have some artists associated with our site. Both groups are creative spirits who need support and encouragement. They are often working in isolation, alone in seclusion. Take a look at their work and leave them some words of encouragement. We know they will appreciate your support a lot.  Check out the Galleria at https://www.szpin.ca


WAG is an association of published writers who help each other and other authors in developing and working their craft. They meet regularly and exchange advice, suggestions and tips relating to their work.


New volunteers as WAG moderators

Critiquing Samples Moderator
Sheila Tucker
is a published poet, memoirist, broadcaster, and community activist.

She has been involved with writers ever since she immigrated to Canada from the UK and today leads many groups in a variety of writing endeavours.

As Critiquing Samples moderator, Sheila will be coordinating and managing critiquing meetings where interested WAG writers can submit samples of their work for critique, review and feedback.

Presentations moderator
Howard Pell
is a retired technology instructor who has published two books of interest to imminent retirees, both books are about getting fit, financially and physically. He is a very experienced and knowledgeable user of technology who applies its use to writing. Howard will be coordinating and managing WAG presentations, topics, presenters and presentation dates.

Macleans magazine tribute to the victims of COVID
Macleans, Canada’s well-read and renowned news magazine, has published a tribute and remembrance of COVID victims in Canada. These obituaries submitted by family or friends pay respect to the memory of individuals who have passed away due to COVID. Click their site:   http://macleans.ca/they-were-loved/

Technology Corner
As we are very passionate about technology, we feel it is time to initiate a new and permanent section to the newsletter, the ‘Technology Corner.’

Each month we will highlight, explain or examine an aspect of Technology that may interest you and be of value to your use of technology.

This month we are simply saying, “Use technology to benefit your life.” If you are challenged by it, find a family member or friend, WITH PATIENCE, who will help you become more comfortable with its use. It is not something to fear, rather it is something that will benefit and enhance your life, your connection with the world and with information. It will inform you, keep you up to date with the world, connect you with family and friends and entertain you. Try learning how to use YOUTUBE first and be prepared to enter a great new world!

April moves us a month closer to our goal of control, or better still, eradication of COVID-19. This has been a horrendous year as so many people have fallen to the virus, survivors struggle with its real effects and legacies and those still healthy, watch and listen to many confusing, contradictory and cloudy news stories about the virus and the vaccines. The confusion comes at the hands of political and medical leaders who have communicated information that has been nebulous, contradictory and inconsistent. No leader, from Trudeau to Tam to Tory, is guilt-free from adding to the cloudiness of the communications.

The one consistency is that the best precaution remains distance, wearing a mask and washing your hands well and often.

Stay safe, stay healthy and stay distanced.

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