Who Said That?

The graduates of McGill University who finished their degrees after World War II ended are the great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents of those who are graduating from university and college over 65 years later.  The quotes beside each graduates’ name speaks volumes of how they interpreted the world around them.  Since most of the quotes fail to acknowledge the author of the quote, I thought it would be fun to see how many of these quotes are recognized by those who follow or visit my blog.  Today’s quote is this:

Reason is the slave of passion.

Feel free to add the name of who you believe was — or may have been — the person who first spoke or first wrote those words, in the Comments Section below.

Lovin’ The View

As a follow-up to yesterday’s entry announcing the publication of the “Amazing Adventures” anthology edited and published by award-winning author and scriptwriter, Joel Mark Harris, today I’m posting a snippet of a review.  I’m specifically sharing the review of the illustrations I created for each short story.

Reviewers generally focus on the short stories in an anthology, and rarely (if ever) review the illustrations … although they occasionally mention the cover.  Imagine my delight when I read this in the review at BestChapLit that spoke specifically about the artwork!

BestChapLit_17 Sept 2014
It’s rewarding to hear a reviewer stated that my illustrations “perfectly captured the genre with intriguing, colorful pictures drawn with dark hues and a childlike representation of criminal activities.”

If you’re interested in having canvas or poster prints from the book, I have a Zazzle store at www.zazzle.com/ElyseBruce* where you can pick up prints or a deck of cards or keychains.  Click through HERE and peruse the items based on the artwork from the “Amazing Adventures” anthology.

And stay tuned as tomorrow’s entry on this blog is another round of “Who Said That?

Elyse Bruce

Selection on Zazzle


Amazing Adventures!

TDT and EB Poster_MEDIUM
If you love the book, you’ll want to see more at the Elyse Bruce Zazzle store!

Who Said That?

The graduates of McGill University who finished their degrees after World War II ended are the great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents of those who are graduating from university and college over 65 years later.  The quotes beside each graduates’ name speaks volumes of how they interpreted the world around them.  Since most of the quotes fail to acknowledge the author of the quote, I thought it would be fun to see how many of these quotes are recognized by those who follow or visit my blog.  Today’s quote is this:

Assume a virtue, if you have it not.

Feel free to add the name of who you believe was — or may have been — the person who first spoke or first wrote those words, in the Comments Section below.

Jayne Invited Me To The Hop

When Jayne Hyatt invited me to this blog hop, I was delighted to participate.  You see, I love opportunities to promote other authors I know as well as to give readers some insight into how I come to write the books and stories I write.  “Who is this Jayne of whom Elyse speaks?” you may asking yourself.

Jayne Hyatt is a lifelong bookworm who comes from a long line of storytellers and book lovers.  She currently lives in Denver, Colorado, writing contemporary romance and romantic suspense novels.  One reviewer recently described her debut novel, Looking for the Good Life, as “a story of friendship, family (the good and bad) mystery, adventure, love and romance all rolled up tight into a wonderful vacation for its readers.” She is busy working on several projects, one of which is a sequel to Looking for the Good Life.

Jayne Hyatt’s blog is called “Musings of an Author” and can easily be found at www.jaynehyatt.com, and last week, when it was her turn to be the blog hopper, THIS is what she had to say!

JAYNE HYATT_bookcover

Now that you know a bit about Jayne, I’m certain you can understand why I was interested in being included in this blog hop!

Now the way this blog hop works is that I have to answer four questions that have to do with my writing and my writing process.   And so with no further ado, I am diving into the four questions put to me.

1. What am I working on?

I just completed the final draft for my next short story collection, “Fireflies And Front Porches.”  However, when I write, I don’t have just one manuscript on the go.  Currently, I am working on:

a.  the next Missy Barrett Adventure story for young readers;
b.  the next Missy Barrett Conversation story for fans who are more than young readers;
c.  the revision of my next novel, “Knick Knack Paddywhack” which is slated for release in early 2015; and
d.  short stories for the third short story collection slated for release next summer.

And, of course, I write for all my blogs including weekly blog articles on the Missy Barrett blog, and more frequent blog articles on my other blogs including the Elyse Bruce blog (where we play “Who Said That?” twice a week and learn more about Indigenous issues on Fridays with the “Idle No More” series of articles.

My three most recent books are:

a.  “Indians Live In Tipis” from the Missy Barrett Conversations series published August 28, 2014;
b.  “End Of The Innocence” (a psychological thriller) published July 25, 2014; and
c.  “The Secret Ingredient” from the Missy Barrett Adventures series published June 30, 2014.

Indians_Live_In_Tipi_Cover_for_Kindle(1)   End_Of_The_Innocence_Cover_for_Kindle   The_Secret_Ingredien_Cover_for_Kindle

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I suppose that unlike most authors, I don’t stick to one genre.  I write children’s books.  I write young adult books.  I write fiction.  I write resource books.  I write psychological thrillers.  However, the one thing that is common to every genre in which I write is that I get inside the mindset of every character (with the exception of resource books which have no characters) regardless of what I’m writing.

When I write, it’s not enough to write the what and the when and the where.  I have to write about the who so the who becomes as real to the reader as if the who was a real person, and doesn’t languish about the story in a two-dimensional state.  I have to write about the why because without understanding the character’s motivation, the rest of the story sits on shaky ground.  And lastly, the how matters:  how do they think, how do they perceive things, how do they react.

When one or more of those six aspects aren’t properly addressed in a story, readers begin to doubt the veracity of the character.  They begin to question the merits of the story being told.  And ultimately, they begin to doubt the conclusion of the story and the lesson or lessons therein.

3. Why do I write what I write?

As I have said to many high school, college, and university students (yes, I’m available for workshops, seminars, and teaching college and university courses), more important than asking why you write what you write, ask yourself this question:  Who am I writing for?

When you write, you must write for yourself, and no one else.

That sounds selfish and contrary to the concept of success, but it isn’t because when a reader reads, he reads for himself or herself, and no one else.

When an author gives a reading, it isn’t for the author; it’s for the listener, who listens for himself or herself, and no one else.

To answer the question, “Why do I write what I write?” I must say:  I write what I write because it’s what I want to write at the time.  It’s what I am passionate about taking apart and piecing back together again.  It’s what interests me, and drives me to ask questions … what, when, where, who, why, how?

And that, in a nutshell, is why I write what I write.

4. How does my writing process work?

I’m a disciplined writer, and have been for years.

Whether I’m writing something literary or I’m composing or arranging something musical, discipline has been the key.  While I don’t set aside a specific number of hours each day to write, I do set aside time every day to write.

If I’m struggling with my writing, I will set it aside in favor of other writing or songwriting or composing or arranging.  I might even set everything aside to focus on something that’s writing related … such as illustrations for a book.

What I mean by writing related is that sometimes the best exercises to kick start creativity are those that are mundane by definition.  One of my favorite exercises over the years has been what I call the “One Plus Fifty” exercise.

How this works is that I take a blank page and a pen, and write the first word that comes to mind at the top of the page.  I then draw a straight line down the middle of the page.  On the left hand side are positive words that relate to the word on the top of the page, while on the right hand side are negative words that relate to the word on the top of the page.

The goal of this exercise is to come up with exactly fifty words that relate to the word on the top of the page.

It may sound easy to you, but I can guarantee you that by the time you reach your fortieth word, you’ll be struggling to find words that fit the criteria.

The reason exercises like this are important are because they force you to really THINK about the word on the top of the page.  It forces you to consider all aspects of that word on the top of the page.  It forces you to see that word from different perspectives.  And in the end, you have fifty words you can use instead of the word on the top of the page, which adds variety to your writing.

Simply slip the page (in alphabetical order, for easy referencing) into a file folder, and call it a day because really, writing isn’t always about the story; sometimes writing is about the new experiences that are as a result of wanting to write.

I also own a number of dictionaries in different languages (including a Latin dictionary, a Cree dictionary, a few Spanish dictionaries, and a few French dictionaries, believe it or not)  as well as in English.  Language is an intriguing beast regardless of what language you speak, and that is most likely the reason I also own and author the Idiomation blog.

And I read … A LOT!

My writing process may seem complicated and labor intensive to some, however it’s important to understand that creating is my passion, and so it’s not complicated or labor intensive to me.  Anything worth having is worth putting effort into, and because having stories written and songs composed and illustrations painted and more is what I consider worth having, it’s always worth the effort put into all of them.

Extra Cool Stuff

What makes this blog hop so much fun is that I get to invite three more authors to answer the same four questions next week on their blog!   You’ll want to check these three out, so bookmark this blog entry and make sure you click through to their blogs next week to learn all about what makes them tick as authors.


I was born in 1954. I began writing poetry at the age of 12. I grew up an avid sci-fi fan: The Blob, War of the Worlds, The Time Machine, the Godzilla movies series, among my favorites. I wrote my first book in 2010. I wrote my first fantasy novel in 2013 and the second book in the series in 2014.

He Walks with Dragons stems from a simple assumption. Since nearly every civilization ever on the face of the earth has had legends of dragons, they must have existed. He Walks with Dragons is about how those dragons interacted and influenced mankind, through a human, Draig, who was trained from a young age to be a dragonrider. It is his life, seen through his eyes, told in his own words.  Draig continues his adventures in the second book, The Staff and the Orb. In the first book, Draig is called upon to make the ultimate sacrifice for dragonkind. In the second book he is asked to make the ultimate sacrifice for mankind, but will he once again make that sacrifice?

Stanley’s blog can be found at stanleythorntonbooks.com.

Stanley Thornton_bookcoverbook2


Allison Cosgrove was born and raised in a suburb of Toronto, Ontario. A married mother of three daughters, she runs her own business by day and creates her own worlds by night. She enjoys spending time with her husband and daughters hiking in the woods or sitting by the fire reading a good book. She has had the love of reading and writing detective mysteries from the age of twelve but it has only been since the birth of her youngest that she has gotten serious about crafting some of her own works for others to enjoy. She credits her family and friends with being the driving force that has given her the strength to breathe life into her books.

Allison’s blog can be found at www.stanbrookshire.com.

allison-head-shot-newAllison Cosgrove_bookcover


Joel Harris is a Canadian novelist, screenwriter and producer. He was born in Vancouver and enrolled in the Langara journalism program where he wrote for the  newspaper. It was at Langara where he first got the idea to write a series of books about a journalist, the first of which is called A Thousand Bayonets.  In the novel, a former war correspondent named John Webster weaves through the seedy underworld of Vancouver, trying to bring a vicious drug lord to justice.

Joel graduated from Langara in 2007 and worked as a journalist in Squamish and Vancouver.  In 2008, he went to British Columbia Institute of Technology for a public relations degree. After doing various jobs in the public relations field, he wrote and produced his first feature film, Neutral Territory, which went on to win 13 awards and was shown at film festivals across the world, including Beijing, New York and Lucerne.

In 2010 he completed a sequel to his novel, Shame the Devil, a continuation of the John Webster series.

He is now working on bringing A Thousand Bayonets to the silver screen, a new science-fiction novel, Re.Evolution, as well as a John Webster comic book series.

Joel’s blog can be found at www.joelmarkharris.com.

Joel Mark Harris_photo (incl AA bookcover)Cover Idea #1_Small

Don’t forget to check out Jayne Hyatt this week as well as Stanley, Allison and Joel on their blogs next Monday!  And feel free to leave comments in the Comments Section below!

Elyse Bruce

Indians Live In Tipis

Missy Barrett is a delightful fictional child who has her own unique take on life.  She is fiercely loyal to her family and friends, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t willing to find ways to resolve issues amicably with others.  In June, Book 3 in the Missy Barrett Adventures series for young readers was published:  The Secret Ingredient.  The book is selling well in Canada and abroad, and has garnered Missy Barrett even more fans — from young readers to parents to grandparents!

Now, Book 2 in the Missy Barrett Conversation series is available as a Paperback and as an eBook:  Indians Live In Tipis.

Book Description
The Missy Barrett Conversations series is written for older readers who have fallen in love with Missy’s outlook and insights on life.  The more you read about this fictional child, the more you want to know about this fictional child … and the more you want to introduce her to others.

Missy Barrett first appeared as a 5-year-old secondary character in the novel, “Glass On A Stick” and it wasn’t long before she became a break-out favorite with readers.  From the first time readers met her, they embraced the energy and inquisitive nature that were central to her character.

Missy_Glass On A Stick
The first Missy Barrett ConversationBarracudas and Impalas — was a rollicking telephone conversation with her Grandpa, all about the classic car show she had just attended with her mom, Josh and Aaron (her older brothers), and their mom’s friend, Roy.  What readers didn’t know about Bonnie and Clyde or the President of the USA amazed and entertained readers as Missy regaled her Grandpa (and readers) with everything she learned while at the classic car show. Whether readers were classic car owners or just fans of great cars in general, what Missy had to say about good old-fashioned automotive ingenuity rekindled their passion for cars of days gone by.

In her latest telephone conversation with her Grandpa, she turns to him for guidance after being told by a classmate that her grandfather can’t be a Mohawk anymore because he doesn’t live in a tipi like they do on television and in the movies.  Regardless of what the answer is, Missy’s mission is to ensure that her Grandpa can be who he is.

The book is a breezy 58 pages long, and is available in Paperback at $4.95 by clicking HERE as well as in eBook format at $1.49 by clicking HERE.  If you already know Missy Barrett from her blog, you know you’re going to love this book.  And if you don’t know Missy Barrett yet, you’ll be a fan once you read this book.  So click through and buy a copy of “Indians Live In Tipis” as well as any other Missy Barrett stories!


Idle No More: Race Based Abuse

Two days ago, End Race Based Law posted an OpEd to the ERBL Facebook page as well as on the ERBL blog where the writer shared her views on violence, specifically on violence against Aboriginal females.

ERBL Facebook Page (excerpt)

Facebook Excerpted Screenshots

Rather than dissect the OpEd piece, let’s take a closer look at the facts from various studies, statistics, reports, and mainstream media news articles. While some of the sources contain anecdotal or personal stories (i.e. comments from interviewees that are included in mainstream media news articles), most of the information referenced is factual data interpreted by respected and reputable professionals.

Fact #1: The most common form of violence experienced by women is physical violence inflicted by an intimate partner.

This fact comes from the United Nations report found HERE.

According to Statistics Canada, this is the most recent information (based on information collected in 2011) with regards to same-sex and opposite-sex couples in Canada.

Couples In Canada

Factual Information from Statistics Canada

In other words, there is violence happening in some of the same-sex intimate partnerships just like there is violence happening in some of the opposite-sex intimate partnerships, and Statistics Canada proves that same-sex and opposite-sex intimate relationships are recognized in Canada as being intimate relationships.

Statistics Canada information indicates that interracial couples are on the rise in Canada. Nearly 7% of all intimate relationships are in the 25-to-34 age group, followed by nearly 6% in the 16 to 24 age group. What this means is that there is violence happening in some interracial intimate relationships just like there is violence happening in some same-race intimate relationships.

Bottom line: Violence in intimate relationships does not hinge on one person being male and one person being female or on both being the same race.

Fact #2: Every six days, a woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner.

This fact comes from the Statistics Canada report found HERE.

Since we now know that an intimate partner is defined as someone who is either same-sex or opposite sex, and that violence in intimate relationships does not hinge on race, this statement is a fact: Every six days, a woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner.

Fact #3: Indigenous women in Canada are five times more likely than non-Indigenous women in Canada of the same age to die as the result of violence.

This fact comes from the United Nations report found HERE.

The United Nations report does not make a link between incident rate for death by violence and either marital status or race of the perpetrators of violence or murder.

The United Nations report does state that Indigenous women in Canada are violently victimized and killed at a rate that is five times greater than that for non-Indigenous women in Canada.

Fact #4: Indigenous women in Canada account for 4.3 per cent of the population in Canada, and account for 16% of homicides and 11.3% of missing women reports.

This fact comes from the RCMP report “National Operational Overview on Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women” with factual documentation from Statistics Canada as well as from almost 300 policing agencies.

The average age of a homicide offender is 35 years of age. This means that some are 35 years of age, while others are younger than 35 years of age, and still others are older than 35 years of age. In 89% of cases, the homicide offender is male. This means that in 11% of cases, the homicide offender is female.

Two out of every three homicidal offenders with a previous violent conviction will target an Aboriginal female over a non-Aboriginal female. Three out of every five homicidal offenders with a criminal record will target an Aboriginal female over a non-Aboriginal female.

But when it comes to homicidal offenders who are gainfully employed, the preferred target is non-Aboriginal women. In other words, statistics prove that non-Native women are at greater risk of being murdered if they encounter an employed homicidal offender.

If one was to apply skewed logic to that last statistic, imagine the hysteria that could be whipped up in all demographics across the board in Canada!

Fact #5: Amnesty International and the United Nations have publicly asked the Harper government to set up a national inquiry into the “disturbing phenomenon” of missing and murdered aboriginal women.

This fact comes from Amnesty International on their website HERE. This fact also comes from the report by James Anaya, the UN special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, found HERE.

Fact #6: If the number of missing and murdered Aboriginal females was applied proportionally to the rest of the female population in Canada, there would be over 18,000 missing Canadian women and girls.

This fact comes from “Voices of our Sisters in Spirit: A Report to Families and Communities” by the Native Women’s Association of Canada, published in 2009.

In other words, if 18,000 non-Native women in Canada were murdered or missing, there would be public outcry … and for good reason!

Would the general public demand a public inquiry be launched into finding the perpetrators and reasons for this atrocity? Of course the general public would! Any reasonable person would!

Would anyone have the audacity to tell non-Native men in Canada that there was no need for an inquiry because, in that person’s opinion, non-Native men in Canada had killed all those non-Native women in Canada ergo the question about who the perpetrators were was already answered? No. That would be an unreasonable assertion for anyone to make.

Would anyone dare tell non-Native men in Canada that non-Native women in Canada go missing because of non-Native men in Canada? Well, some might, but it would be met with disbelief and shock that anyone could make such an ignorant assertion and leverage that to dismiss any call for an inquiry into such a disturbing situation.

So why do some people feel it is their right to dismiss the seriousness of missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada?

Elyse Bruce


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