About Shelley Hrdlitschka

My life is blessed... I am the mother of 3 amazing young adult daughters, I am the author of 10 award-winning teen novels and my circle of friends and family is rich with diversity and love. I live in the stunningly beautiful community of Deep Cove.

Mom’s The Word 3: Nest 1/2 Empty

Moms the wordI’m so excited that I soon get to see these women perform in their new theatre production, Mom’s the Word 3: Nest 1/2 Empty. I’ve been following their careers since they staged the first version of Mom’s the Word, a collection of stories that poke fun at the joys and challenges of raising toddlers.  Their second show in this series – some years later – dealt with raising teens and it was just as wonderful. Now they’re on their third production where their children are leaving the nest (or not).  Their marriages may have evolved as well. Alison Kelly (second from right) and I swapped parenting stories on the side of the soccer pitch for many years so I know first hand where some of her material comes from. Continue reading

A Writerly Crisis of Faith

Apathy_Bear_by_MrsGeeI’m writing a new novel. This one is for an adult audience, not my usual genre which is young adult. This is new territory for me. I spent months doing the research, and now I’m well into the story.  I’ll probably spend another year completing it before I’ll shop it around to publishers. If it’s any good and with a little luck it will get published and then I’ll start another one. Such is the life of a novelist.

But there’s always that chance that I won’t find a publisher for this one. It’s an extremely competitive field. I might have missed the boat with the topic which may be passé by the time the story is complete. Am I wasting a couple years of my life working on something that will simply grow mouldy in a file cabinet drawer in my basement? Every day I wonder if my time would be better spent working in a soup kitchen, bringing meals to the elderly, volunteering in a hospital – all things that would help make my community a better place.

This is the dilemma faced by most writers. Hugely successful ones sign contracts before a project is written, but for most of us, writing is an act of faith. We enjoy the process, but we also hope that our words  will  find an audience to entertain, inform, or simply be thought-provoking. But there are days, like this one, when the words aren’t flowing and the passage of time stares me in the face and I wonder … is this the best use of the time?

Life imitating fiction

whiskey-jack-blogIn my book, Dancing in the Rain, the character of Brenna entertains the tourists on Grouse Mountain by hand feeding the whisky jacks, a bird commonly found on the mountain. I liked the idea, but had never actually done it myself. Yesterday I spotted a group of them in in the trees while snowshoeing on Mount Seymour . I put out my hand to see what would happen. Immediately a  bird landed on it, looking for food. Because she was so friendly I shared my Cliff bar with her. Nothing makes me happier than being up close to wildlife.

Standing up…

standing-up-2… for what I believe.

These are the 2 facts that led me to a plant-based diet over twenty-five years ago.

  1. 1. More than half of the grain grown in the US is being fed to livestock rather than consumed by humans.  The US could feed 800 million people with that grain.
  2. 2. It takes 4,000 gallons of water to support an omnivore diet per day compared to 300 gallons to support a plant based diet.

I knew that by giving up meat I alone couldn’t change the fact that millions of people around the world don’t have access to fresh water and food, but it felt like the right thing to do. Since then I’ve learned that meat-heavy diets create more climate change than all cars and planes combined and I’ve seen photos of the atrocities animals suffer because of our wide-spread practise of factory farming. My resolve to maintain a plant-based diet has only intensified.