Calgary – The Stampede

Voted as one of the four best places to party – in the world; The Calgary Stampede. During the stampede you can enjoy pancake breakfasts all over the city – every business, mall or even individuals have them and everyone is welcome.  Nearly everyone dresses in western garb – even when going to work.  If you go into any bar or nightclub you may enter alone – but you’ll never be alone.  Everyone appears happy, tourist and resident alike.  It is a short time of complete goodwill and friends – stranger or friend.

The grandstand rodeo is the largest outdoor show in the world. The feeling of awe, admiration and sight of bucking broncos, barrel races is only surpassed by the amazing site of the chuck-wagon races.  The anticipation and beauty of competition and horses racing is unsurpassed.  The perfect physically fit forms of cowboys and beautiful horses all come together at the Calgary Stampede.

The midway is a feature as well.  Rides, games and food is all available in abundance.  The Stampede brings of memories of fun and good times with my children and with friends.  The Stampede offers top caliber entertainment from the most famous singers of all genres to a native village, native dancing and interpretation of old times.

My  15 seconds of fame was at the Calgary Stampede.  I agreed to take my friend’s daughter through the cow barn.  Ashley at three years old, spotted a baby calf and went running up to it to pet him.  I was approached by a reporter (I believe he was from the Global News covering the stampede events).  That night I was on TV with Ashley and the calf with the caption – come visit our blondes at the Stampede.  I was blond, Ashley was blond and the calf was blond. It was a thrilling moment – but I forgot to tape it.    

The Setting of One Dance with a Stranger

There is a city – nestled in the foothills of the Blue Canadian Rockies, where the lights at night wind for miles and miles.  These lights can create an awesome sight for travelers in darkness who suddenly topping a hill, see this breath-taking picture.  I never tire of the beckoning lights of Calgary.

The city is vibrant, thriving and so clean you can eat off the streets.  Calgary has always had the ability to tear down garbage areas and when they decide something is a ‘heritage building’ – it is exactly that – stately, maintained and impressive. Calgary is ‘cow-town’ regardless of how people try to change it.  The Calgary Stampede was picked as the fourth best place to party – in the world.  Country bars and country hospitality reigns supreme.  There are other options for anyone who doesn’t like ‘cow-town’ – but no one is able to destroy the country atmosphere either.

I left home once when I was sixteen with my best friend.  Coming from a small farming community in the middle of nowhere the idea of living in Calgary was too irresistible.  So with $10.00 in our pockets and an enthusiasm I would love to have now we left.  A job literally fell into our laps.  A man approached us in the bus-stop cafe and told us of a hotel that was looking for workers.  We had no idea whether it was a good job or a bad job.  We started working immediately and one of the girls who was also a waitress offered us a cheap place to live.  We shared a house – four girls who had adventures and fun together. But reality was knocking.  I went back home to finish my schooling – but was always determined Calgary was the place I wanted to live.

Although I have traveled all over North America many times, Calgary is still my choice,  I love visiting, seeing everything but I want to go home to Calgary.  I raised my children in Calgary.

When I was wrote my fourth book – I no longer lived in Calgary.  I was homesick.  So I wrote a romance of Emily who, for reasons that happened in her childhood, hates the country atmosphere and the ‘dirt’ it creates. She meets  Wade, a true cowboy – a rancher and a superstar country singer.  The sparks fly.  Conflicts fall into place easily.  I fell in love with my hero immediately – but being a different person I could see why Emily didn’t want to.

I design my own covers.  The back cover of my book One Dance with a Stranger is a picture my son took at dusk and I created using Adobe Photoshop.  It is mysterious and beckons me to go back to a place I love.

TO WRITE WHAT YOU LOVE

From the time I was a child I loved country living, country life and especially cowboys and horses.  Even as a teen I was upset when my mother moved into a small town after my father passed away.  I longed for the freedom of roaming outdoors in spaces only imagined to some – but a  definitive reality to keep me focused and sane.

I was forced to move to cities in order to work.  I continued to dream of the freedom I knew when I was young.  I married an ‘asphalt’ cowboy (a long-haul truck driver) and often I remained at home raising our children.  But sometimes I went with him and travelling became a form of freedom again.

When I lived in Calgary I discovered many ways to escape –  from going to Fish Creek Park to visiting  forts in the near regions of the city.  There were many options to listen to and enjoy my lovely country music as well.  The Calgary Stampede, although crowded, offered me the thrill of watching cowboys, bucking bronco’s and races.  In all my travels Calgary became my city of choice – followed by San Antonio in Texas.

As I dreamed I discovered another fascinating concept.  I could write my dreams down – and escape into that world I loved so much.  I was often at home and my children were now in school.  So my writing career began. I took courses, joined groups, attended conventions and edited/critiqued other works.  Now, I can escape into my perfect world, regardless of where I am.  I can create an atmosphere and relieve stress by becoming involved with my characters.

Forever an optimist with hope in my heart, I love creating stories with happy endings and overcoming severe conflicts to obtain that end.  I have written three historical romances, set in the colorful, little known Canadian West which makes Hawk’s Gift, (Canada’s Civil War) Alberta Wild Rose (fabled Lost Lemon Gold Mine in Crowsnest Pass)  and Paradise on the Horizon (homesteading in the wilderness) true romance stories, using a unique setting. My latest published romance is a contemporary romance and set in the cowboy atmosphere of Calgary, Alberta. They are all available in Soft Cover as well as e-books at Amazon.com or Amazon.ca Kindle and other bookstores on the internet.

I am presently working on a romance suspense “Angels Among Us” which I hope to have available in the fall of 2012.