Ok. You want to know something about me. Fair enough. If I'm going to sound off about
other people's work, they have a right to know where the opinions are coming from.
Most of my professional life so far has been spent as a writer and freelance journalist.
My articles on a wide variety of topics have appeared in many Canadian and American publications. In the 1980s, I worked for
a couple of years as a staff writer in the Communications Department of the University of Toronto. If there have been
areas of specialty in my journalism, you might say they have tended towards family, the arts, spirituality and generally matters
of human interest. My preferred style is usually light and humourous. My articles have won a number of awards and I have served
as a juror for national journalism competitions.
Years ago, I did a lot of freelance writing for CBC radio and TV in Vancouver, mostly
in the areas of humour and variety. My short stories have appeared in various publications and have won some awards.
In recent years, my writing has focussed mostly on books and plays. My book Grappling
With God: The Naked Truth About My Spiritual Life was published by Novalis in 1994. (I believe it's out of print.) In
1998, I published I Give You My Word: The Autobiography of Mary, the Mother of Jesus through my own company, Arcadie
Books. (You can still get a copy through the US distributor, New Leaf, but I believe the Canadian distributor has disappeared
into the frozen wasteland.) I have also ghost-written or collaborated on various other books.
In the last few years, I have staged public workshop performances of some of my plays.
I have also acted in two one-man shows Roses From Heaven and My Dying Day that I wrote for Fringe festivals
in various venues across Canada. The latter play was directed by the well-known Dora-award winning Toronto actor Liza Balkan.
I have also appeared recently at Toronto’s Alumne Theatre in Modern Ritual by Rob Downes.
As for my education, I attended St. Peter's Seminary in London, Ont., where I received
a BA in philosophy (or "Pre-theology" as it was technically called) from the University of Western Ontario. I left the seminary
after five and a half years, just a little more than a year short of ordination to the priesthood.
While in the seminary, I became very active in student politics on the UWO campus
and was acclaimed to the position of the first student representative on the university's board of governors. I was also very
involved in the UWO student newspaper, The Gazette, where my whimsical column, "The White Collar Worker" ran for several
My first training in watercolours was with the very accomplished Jane Hunter in Sarnia,
Ont. She had just returned from studies at the Ontario College of Art and I was her first student. The teacher with whom I
have studied most in Toronto is the well-known Canadian watercolourist Margaret Roseman, the founder of the Toronto Watercolour
Society. I am now on the executive of the TWS and have won several prizes for my watercolours, including the Gold Medal
for "Best in Show" in the TWS Spring Show 2007. In the fall of 2006, a watercolour of mine was included in "Open Water", the
annual juried show of the prestigious Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour. A watercolour of mine chosen for "Open
Water" in 2008 won the award presented by Curry's and the M. Graham Paint Company.
My first piano studies, up to the grade eight level, were with Pauline McGregor in
Sarnia, Ont. As an adult, I studied for several years with Margaret Grant, a distinguished Toronto teacher and adjudicator,
and the author of Your Child and the Piano. More recently, I have studied with Sue Polanyi, a prominent personality
in Toronto musical circles and with Lawrence Pitchko, a concert pianist who has had a brilliant career in Europe and
Long ago, I studied singing (mostly lieder) with Madame Catharina Hendrikse in Vancouver.
She is famous for having discovered the great Canadian baritone Cornelius Opthoff. Apparently, Mme Hendrikse's knack for picking
winners did not pan out in my case.
My wife Jane and I live in Toronto where she taught high school English until her
recent retirement. Our son, Michael, is an economist with Health Canada in Ottawa. He is the father of two lovely
daughters, Alora and Ella. Their mother is Barbara Sherman. Our daughter, Madeleine, is a graduate of George Brown
Theatre School and has performed with many theatre companies in Canada and the US. She and her husband, Geoff Pounsett, also
an actor, are the parents of two delightful children: Arthur and Rosaline.