A collage of photos of MC




Writing is my Passion...

Foundational Years

In the suburbs of Montreal MC spent her teens up until her early 20’s working during the summers with disabled children, summer day camps and running a preschool day camp. After graduating with a B.A. in Sociology, she decided to head to Toronto where she landed an insurance claims position. During this three year period, she met and married her husband, Mark. In their first year of marriage she went to U of T Teacher’s College.

The First Five Years Teaching

The September after graduating, MC began teaching in 1984 with Dufferin-Peel Roman Catholic District School Board. After a year as an itinerant computer teacher she worked at Mary Fix Elementary School teaching junior grades. Her desire to infuse the workplace with fun was evident with her appearance at a staff meeting as a Super Fuzzy, her attempt to add fun and provoke staff to think of the importance of compassionate teaming.

Breaks and Beginnings

From March 1989 to the fall of 1997 MC took a leave from teaching to be a stay at home mom while starting a sole proprietorship, Knotty Fashions (fabric jewelry craft business featured on Marilyn Denis’ City Line), a fabric jewelry partnership Asymetrix, followed by founding The Governor’s Lane Resident’s Association, and a short period where she and her family ran Rolston House, a bed and breakfast out of their subdivision home. It was during this time that she began to write with her first story In Search of Something Green, followed by Sassy Frass. Both stories featured Nanabanana and Grandpoobee (my parents and our chalet in the Laurentians)

Inspiring Others is my Dream...

Return to Teaching (1997) and the Birth of Joie de Vivre (2000)

She returned to teaching first as a supply teacher then to working full time at Hillsdale Elementary School in the east end of Hamilton (Hamilton Wentworth District School Board). It was here that Fairy Dazzle was birthed 18 years ago while MC worked with Leslie Bell, a.k.a Tink in conducting social skill training assemblies for the school. The focus was to dovetail literacy with Second Step, the school’s adopted social skills program. Dazzle was a very awkward, impulsive and silly character (getting herself stuck in the gym climbers) who under the coaching of Tink, learned to eventually control her impulses and make effective choices. It was here that she and Katie Shepherd, the mother of one of her students, became friends and Katie surprised her with illustrating In Search of Something Green.

An older photo of MC

Simultaneously, MC established Joie de Vivre a business committed to presentations and writing that celebrates servant leadership, staff recognition and celebration, in addition to tributes for anniversaries, retirements and birthdays. She reduced her teaching to part-time for eight years to make time to balance the business with teaching and assisting her parents during her father’s battle with cancer. She eventually switched schools to Highview where she taught primary/junior grades and continued her secondary passion of working on school wide social skill programming bringing new training of Choice Theory to Highview. She wrote a set of 11 rhyming social skill stories which eventually were acted out by the students of Highview and filmed by Doug Lenz and a team of Mohawk College students.

Check out the video Problem Solving With O’s

The last six years of her career were spent in what she calls ‘teaching heaven’ where she taught kindergarten at Queen Victoria Elementary School. One of her best memories was the beautiful celebratory clap out parade the staff hosted for her as she hand in hand with one of her students who was off to be a bone marrow donor for his brother who was fighting cancer, led her class of kindergarten super heroes (yes, wearing capes) through the three story school.

Blogging is my hobby...

Retirement and Self-Publishing

In 2016 she retired and moved to Victoria BC where she was blessed with meeting a retired engineer, Keith Cains, an exceptionally talented artist. Keith’s personal story of courage and tenacity in over coming a near fatal bicycle accident when he turned 63. For the last 17 years, he has maintained a positive attitude as he rehabilitated himself while caring for wife as she battled a fatal diagnosis of Parkinsons and works part time as a draftsman. He maintains his art has helped him through his darkest times. MC and Keith have collaborated on three self-publications through Friesen Press, Timely Umit Upturns Tim, Happy Cat and Merry Cat and Watching Whirling Wishing Wanda’s Whale Pleas!

In the summer of 2018 MC has worked with Doug Lenz in producing a 25 minute documentary short titled I’m Not an Artist. The film features her husband Mark as he embarks on a journey interviewing five artists ( Ted Nisker, Keith Cains, Daniela Hassman, Susan Isaac and Odette LaRoche) who encourage him to explore art as a new hobby. He visits studios, speaks to some of their students and has hands on experiences with sketching, painting, blow art and traditional acrylic painting. With fingers crossed, they are awaiting acceptance to a variety of film festivals.

Personal Life

MC currently lives on Bear Mountain, 25 minutes outside of B.C.’s capital city of Victoria where she spends her time writing, reading, traveling, working out and working as a casual banquet server at the Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort and Spa.

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