I grew up in Trinidad and Tobago. My mother was an artist, who occasionally wandered South America, living in simple villages and painting for weeks at a time. My father was a veteran explorer and well-known mountaineer who, as a young man, nearly got fired from Texaco for doing a handstand at the top of a 200-foot derrick (for a bet).  More

For a child growing up with these parents and four siblings, life was always exciting. At the drop of a hat everyone would pile into the old Kingswood for a trip somewhere, fishing, snorkelling, explorations in the bush. Bedtime stories usually involved hair-raising tales of my father’s encounters with alligators, snakes, sharks, piranhas. . . .

At eleven, I went to school in England—a dramatic life change. Writing, art and music were my great loves, leading me to work on the school magazine and to sing in places such as the Queen Elizabeth Hall and the Royal Albert Hall. At 17, I sang the soprano solo in Allegri’s Miserere. My first serious poem woke me at two in the morning when I was 15.

On graduating at 17, I came to Canada for six months, during which time I spent two weeks kayaking on Vancouver Island’s west coast—an experience so reminiscent of my beloved childhood, that I dropped all previous plans for further study in England and returned to Canada after only a year in England and France. I took Outdoor Education with an interest in nature interpretation, later working as a sea kayak and whale-watching guide. This allowed me to pursue a driving passion for adventures on the water, and to remain in Canada as a citizen.

In 1996, I became the illustrator for a community mapping project and the following year took up work as joint editor of The Sound Magazine. In 2000 I turned to freelance writing and illustrating.

Paddling Through Time, my first book, was published by Raincoast Books in 2000. It is a cultural and natural history of the area, as well as a the record of a journey. This was followed by Salt In Our Blood in 2002 (Aquila Instincts), and Silent Inlet (Oolichan) in 2005, for which I was awarded both Canada Arts Council and BC Arts Council funding. In Silent Inlet, I set out to show how easily cross-cultural relationships can break down, having witnessed this in Tofino during the Oka crisis. In August 2014, my small volume of haiku This Dark was illustrated and released by Postelsia Press. I have contributed to many magazines and anthologies and am now working on my next book, a novel, jointly set at Lennard Island and the Isle of Wight in 1918, also supported by a grant from the BC Arts Council.

I am the west coast rep for the Federation of BC Writers and a long-standing member of the Clayoquot Writers’ Group. I volunteer as an art teacher in the elementary school and am also involved in performing arts, with several performances in the past few years.

I live on a floathouse in the Tofino harbour, with my partner Marcel and our daughter Toby, where adventures on the water continue.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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