Port Hope Presentation and Book Signing


“In the fall of 1996, we bought a single-masted, fin-keeled Tanzer 26 and christened it after David’s grandfather’s boat. The Killarney II marked the end of cottage rentals and the start of marina-to-marina sailing on Lake Ontario and the Bay of Quinte, which carried on through the boys’ teenage years.”

That is a quote from my memoir, Ready to Come About, being published by Dundurn Press.

Our Lake Ontario sailing was limited to brief jaunts during David’s two weeks off. It was anything but “extreme sailing” and, in no way prepared either of us for what lay ahead. A decade or so later we found ourselves alone in a 37 foot boat circumnavigating the North Atlantic Ocean.

Killarney II Picture_0002

A Lake Ontario stopover on the Killarney II was along the wall in the Port Hope Municipal Marina, where we experienced the quiet, the small town friendliness, the fishermen coming and going, the lovely beach, the unexpected arrival of Shad fly season and the infamous Port Hope storm surge! That night will be etched in our memories forever!

Port Hope Library

Now, almost 21 years later, my husband and I are returning to Port Hope, this time by car.

The Port Hope Public Library, in partnership with Furby House Books, has invited David and me to do a presentation of our year-long adventure on the high seas, what precipitated the voyage, and what we learned by it.

There will be an audio/visual presentation, readings from my memoir, Ready to Come About, and a Q&A. Books will be available for sale and signing.

If you are in the area, I hope you will be able to join us for this event.

furby house books

Friday June 14, 2019 at 1:00 p.m.

Port Hope Library
31 Queen St.
Port Hope, ON
L1A 2Y8


Occupational Therapy and My Memoir: they actually have a connection!

My grandparents, while in their early sixties, the age I am now, were diagnosed with severe progressive neurological disorders; my grandfather had ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease, my grandmother, an aggressive form of Parkinson’s. They lived in a modest stone house, downtown Hamilton, Ontario. My mom and dad were their main, almost only, source of support.

While my parents cut the lawn, shopped, and banked for them, I followed my grandmother as she shuffled around the kitchen making a Finnish staple, “Pulla”. And I watched my grandfather put classical music on their Hi Fi, usually Sibelius, then hook himself up to a tube connected to his liquid “lunch-in-a-bag” hanging from the chandelier in the centre of the living room. He had lost the ability to swallow.

Even though I was only around eight at the time, their struggles made me ache. But I also marveled at their ability to still find joy in their shrinking worlds. And their desire to hold onto what independence they had, shaped me, profoundly and forever.

In high school I was told about the profession of occupational therapy, and that, at its core were: the view that there are lots of ways to live a life; the belief that autonomy and self-determination is what makes us whole; and the assertion that we have the right to take risks.  In that instant, I knew I was meant to be an OT!

queens emblem

My career spanned several decades, throughout which I embraced those core OT values – that is, as a professional, with my clients. However, as a parent of three sons, sometimes I wasn’t so sure.

Ready to Come About, being released by Dundurn Press this May, is the story of my improbable year on the North Atlantic, and my personal journey within, through which the mom in me ultimately became convinced there is no more precious gift than the liberty to chart one’s own course, and risk is a good thing… sometimes, at least.

Given the OT subtext of Ready to Come About, I emailed OT Extraordinaire, Sue Baptiste, to ask if she would be an advance reader. Her answer was an immediate “yes”, and her praise, swift and high.

To my delight, here is what she had to say:

Sue Baptiste Words for FB and Twitter

Recently I joined Sue for a wonderful lunch in Hamilton.

2019-03-28 14.07.18



Thank you so much, Sue Baptiste!


In Praise of Barbara Kyle

If you are an aspiring writer, I’d like to introduce you to my remarkable friend, Barbara Kyle. Following a long acting career in film, television and stage productions, Barbara became an internationally acclaimed author, known for her historical fiction series, the Thornleigh Saga, and several suspense novels, the latest being Entrapped, winner of the IndieBrag Gold Medallion, currently being developed into a four part television series. More recently, she has become a sought-after lecturer on the creative writing process and mentor to writers around the world.


After I had completed the first draft of the manuscript for my memoir, Ready to Come About, and was beginning to tackle the daunting task of editing it, I had the good fortune of landing in one of Barbara’s lectures on ‘the novel’ at the University of Guelph. It was immediately obvious to me that she is an expert on all things writing, and a passionate teacher of it. Through a subsequent seminar by her I gained the practical tools I needed to approach this editing stage, objectively, systematically, even enjoyably. The rewriting process that had felt like pure torture at the start, became a labour of love. Over the course of the next fifteen months, I sat at my kitchen table, cutting words here and slashing whole scenes there, and my story gradually became tighter, brighter, and ultimately almost 40,000 words lighter!


I am thrilled to say I now have a publishing contract for Ready to Come About with Dundurn Press. What’s more, developmental editor, Allison Hirst, commented that the story flows at a good pace without leaving anything out, and it was one of the cleanest manuscripts she has seen in a while.

In addition to Barbara’s in-class lectures, she runs online courses, and has written an inspirational, information-packed book on the creative writing process: Page-Turner: Your Path to Writing a Novel that Publishers Want and Readers Buy. This book sits prominently on my shelf of writing resources.

So, if you’re working towards the goal of getting published, no matter what stage you’re at in the process, Barbara can help. Check out her website. Better yet, contact her. You’ll be glad you did!


Kingston – A fitting place for a book signing

Kingston Ontario is an historic Canadian city, but also a place of significance for me.

In May of 2007, Kingston was the last familiar port of call for Inia before heading into the mighty St. Lawrence River on a sailing journey that would ultimately cover 11,000 nautical miles, two transatlantic crossings, and 14 ocean passages with a total of 86 days at sea, all in the space of a year.

Inia was tied up to the wall in Portsmouth Harbour with the limestone walls of Kingston Penitentiary, then an active prison, in the background.

Inia in Kingston

Kingston also marked the beginning of my often challenging, ultimately rewarding 37 year professional journey as an occupational therapist.

queens emblem

Autonomy, self-determination, and the right to live at risk, values central to both journeys, are explored in my memoir, Ready to Come About.

So it somehow feels fitting that I will be signing copies of Ready to Come About in the heart of Kingston’s downtown.

Join me at the Novel Idea Bookstore, 156 Princess Street, Kingston, on Father’s Day, June 16th between 1 and 4 p.m.

Novel Idea Photo

Book signing in Picton

I am pleased that one of my first book signing events will be at the Naval Marine Archive – The Canadian Collection, in downtown Picton, located in beautiful Prince Edward County on the shores of Lake Ontario.


We were first made aware of the Naval Marine Archive when our boat, Inia, was at Waupoos Marina. Our good friend and dock neighbour, Craig Archibald, told us that this is a “must see” place for anyone into boating. He was right! I was blown away with the incredible collection of books, art, models and displays. It is a truly unique place that you should not miss if you are in the Picton area.

I will be there on Saturday June 15, 2019, from 1 to 3 p.m. with copies of my memoir, Ready To Come About.

The address is 205 Picton Main St, Picton, ON K0K 2T0 in the heart of downtown.

For those from the County, just to let you know, there is local content in the book. Anyone heard of Green Island?

Book launch date is set!

cover picture

I am so excited to announce the book launch for my memoir, Ready to Come About, being published by Dundurn Press.

Come and join David and me in the celebration! We will have refreshments, live music and readings (yikes!). The book will be on sale, and there will be a cash bar.


Thursday June 6, 2019 – six to eight p.m.
The eBar at the Bookshelf
37 Quebec Street 2nd floor, Guelph

Here is a little blurb about the book:

It wasn’t a midlife crisis. She wasn’t running from the law. She didn’t have an adventure-seeking bone in her body. In the wake of a perfect storm of personal events, Sue suddenly became convinced that, in her sons’ best interest, she had to get out of their way. And her husband, David, needed to follow his dream to cross an ocean. So she’d go too.

Ready to Come About, Sue’s debut book, is a compelling memoir about her improbable adventure on the high seas, and her profound journey within, through which she grew to believe there is no more precious gift than the liberty to chart one’s own course, and that risk is a good thing… sometimes, at least.

Early Praise for Ready to Come About:

I love Sue’s book, a startling, swashbuckling sea adventure, and all the hilarious and terrifying details of that, combined with the very personal story of lost connections and deep love. It is a remarkable story — heroic and inspiring.
Miriam Toews, author of Women Talking

A thrilling adventure, a profound love story, and a testament of self-discovery that will make you cheer. It is not only an empowering memoir, but also a very fine book.
Barbara Kyle, author of A Traitor’s Daughter

Hope to see you at the event! If you need any more information, such as where to stay in Guelph, please contact me below: