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  • Workshops | Shirley Jean Tucker
    shape and secure your content The Day Book Approach The careful planning method based on Aristotle s Poetics New Available May 2011 2 Four Ways To Improve Your Reading New Material Available May 2011 3 Page to Sage Workshop Five Step Method Presented at the Shuswap International Writers Festival May 2005 4 Playwriting 101 4 week introductory course Sponsored by Okanagan College and Shuswap Theatre March 2006 5 Improvising a

    Original URL path: http://www.shirleyjeantucker.ca/workshops (2015-11-17)
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  • Blog | Shirley Jean Tucker | Canadian Playwright | Page 2
    that they would not only hike across the continent in record time but would also pass Burkman and Carr before they reached Montreal Quick to recognize the advantages of a competitive hike over a leisurely walk the Herald agreed Wentworth Station January 21 1921 Burkman and Carr again experienced bitter winter conditions in their walk from Londonderry to Westchester that day leaving only the hardiest Nova Scotians on high alert to encourage them on their hike to the west coast In Folly station master Fraser raised their flagging spirits with beefsteak sandwiches dill pickles and mugs of hot milk While they made quick work of their food their eccentric host banged out a medly of old country tunes on the piano The hikers made only one other quick stop out of the blinding snow at Westworth station with John Doyle before arriving cold and weary in Westchester That night having come to accept the miserable walking conditions the men planned a record breaking 26 mile hike to Spring hill for the next day and fell into an untroubled sleep never dreaming that the dynamics of the great transcontinental hike were about to change January 20 1921 It did not take TransCanada hikers Burkman and Carr long to discover that tracking down officials to sign their travel books and selling their personal pastcards although necessary would be time consuming The day s business finally done the men set off from Truro to Londonderry smack into a resurgent storm Despite the wintry ordeal the men reached their objective a 5 30 p m claiming now to be 81 miles from Halifax A mere 3 564 miles left to Vancouver Carr Scoffed Not much when you say it quick Burkman laughed Stanley House Truro 1921 January 19 1921 If Burkman and Carr still had any illusions that the cross country walk would be a pleasure stroll they vanished on the third day Wednesday January 19 when the temperatures drop to 10 F and a fierce Atlantic storm kept them sticking close to the rails Their spirits were lifted however by the slap up feeds they received along the way We breezed into the Stanley Hotel Stanley House in Truro and were taken by storm The manager said that he wouldn t take a cent for their board and room that night Burkman and Carr were enjoying the benefits of their alliance with the Halifax Herald January 18 1921 The Amazing Foot Race of 1921 from Halifax to Vancouver in 130 days began when William Leighton announced in The Halifax Herald on December 13 1920 that he intended to hike to the west coast in the winter of 1921 On December 16 1920 the Halifax musician told the newspaper that 19 year old Charles Burkman was to be his walking partner There were no further references to the event in the Halifax Herald until January 15 1921 when the paper announced that Charles Burkman and his second partner Sid Carr intended to leave the city on Monday January 17 at 10 a m after promising to telegraph exclusive daily articles of their adventures back to the newspaper William Leighton the man who inspired the event had faded into the eastern port city background Posted in Blog Comments Off Historical Fiction Posted on January 18 2012 by shirleyt Just how much is an historical novelist allowed to make up Phillipa Gregory suggested in an interview with Kate Taylor that too many critics think of historical fiction as flawed and unreliable history written by an author too lazy to check the facts Others condemn it for being insufficiently imaginative written by authors too lazy to invent Tomorrow January 19th I am going to begin a review of the highlights of the Amazing Foot Race of 1921 Halifax to Vancouver in 130 Days You can decide which category my writing falls into Posted in Blog Comments Off The Amazing Race Posted on January 5 2012 by shirleyt Since The Amazing Race was published last Spring several things have occured that have given me pause People connected to the story s heroes have gotten in touch some from rather exotic places some with information I wished I d had while researching the material some with questions the book did not address The e book version has resulted in a recent e mail from a reader who has lived abroad for the past 12 years She wrote from Asia I just wanted to drop you a line to say thank you for writing the book My great great grandfather was one of the participants Years ago I visited the Nova Scotia Archives and it was fascinating to read some of the news articles about the race I remember one where an 80 year old Indian somewhere in Ontario paddled over 200 miles down a river in order to meet John and Clifford Behan and once he said hi paddled all the way back again quite a distance for a 10 minute chat My father received your book as a Christmas present and told me about it so I immediately went to the amazon web site I have downloaded it and look forward to reading it and telling my young son all about this amazing feat that his ancestors accomplished I am sure that post publication comments will continue to come in every time I give a reading either inciteful questions or little gems of information inspire me to think more about a follow up article I have heard from Jenny Dill s daughter and granddaughters I have received inquiries and an invitation from a Nova Scotia museum one of whose members stumbled upon Jenny Dill s headstone and sought elaboration for its rather cryptic inscription I know there is an essay in here somewhere Stay tuned Posted in Blog Comments Off Inspired by History Posted on November 15 2011 by shirleyt For the past 11 years all my writing has been inspired by historical events When I am asked

    Original URL path: http://www.shirleyjeantucker.ca/blog/page/2 (2015-11-17)
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  • Gruelling Finish: Winning by a Nose | Shirley Jean Tucker
    a race June 9 1921 Haig Agassiz Harrison onward the Behans struggled barely conscious of where they were and too tired to give a damn Waterfalls gushed off the Coast Mountains overlowing with spring runoff but who noticed The same day Burkman reached Kamloops where he put a new spin on the outcome of the competition If all the reports of flooding in the Fraser Valley are true and if the floods are near where the Behans are camped it may yet be possible to catch them The Herald was happy to add speculation about floods to the mix The headline on Saturday June 11 was GREATEST CONTEST IN THE HISTORY OF PEDESTRIANISM WILL CLOSE MONDAY Will the Dills Steal a March on the Behans Will Burkman Make One Last Spurt and Head Off His Rivals June 8 1921 Past Cherry Creek Spences Bridge Kanata North Bend stumbling along railroad ties and weaving across narrow bridges across the turbulent Thompson and Fraser rivers the indomitable Jenny and her Frank charged into Spuzzum only to find the Behans a full day ahead For the second tine since we left Halifax we today pulled into a town that the Behans had left the same morning Jenny said We made 47 miles today and if we have to walk all night tomorrow we will still be within reach Anxious exhausted and psychologically frazzled Jenny was no longer certain they could beat the Behans across the finish line but it was impossible to beat the Dills in terms of days on the trek With the deafening roar of the Fraser River in their ears the Behans were sometimes so distracted that they scarcely had time to leap from the tracks to safety when an iron horse thundered past The sleep deprived father and son were tortured by visions of a relentless Jenny Dill cracking her whip at their heels they took to walking day and night They wanted the ordeal over and they did not intend to be beaten by the Dills June 7 1921 Reporting from Spences Bridge on June 7 Jack Behan struggled to be objective It has been very hot all day with the sun dancing on the rails You can see for miles ahead still in the dry belt but we hope to be out of it tomorrow Rather than pay for a night s rest the pair curled up in a hillside burrow outside the village for a few hours of uncomfortable shut eye Weary as they were a cacophony of coyotes encouraged by the howing of village dogs kept them tossing and turning Morning light found them limping toward Spuzzum British Columbia is not at all as liberal as the other provinces Jack complained when CPR officials at Lytton refused to buy their postcards There are not many places where we can sell cards to pay our expenses therefore we are putting up with every imaginable hardship as we near our finish The same day as the Behans

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  • Blog | Shirley Jean Tucker
    he said Few Continue reading Posted in Blog Leave a comment Within Striking Distance Posted on June 4 2012 by shirleyt May 26 and 27 1921 After an astonishing 52 mile hike from Gleichen to Calgary the Dills were only 41 miles behind the Behans Quick to anticipate disbelievers Jenny told the doubting Thomases to check the milage on a Continue reading Posted in Blog Comments Off On To Alberta Posted on May 17 2012 by shirleyt Mr Mrs F Dill Reach Med Hat Halifax Hikers Slowly Gaining on the Behans in the Race to the Pacific May 20 1921 Looking fit and well Mr and Mrs Frank Dill of Halifax transcontinental hikers left Medicine Continue reading Posted in Blog Comments Off Dills Overtake Burkman Posted on May 9 2012 by shirleyt May 11 1921 DILLS OVERTAKE BURKMAN AT BROADVIEW SASKATCHEWAN Husband and Wife Hikers Make Wonderful Showing and Continue Pursuit of Leaders When the Dills reached Whitewood Burkman s birthplace the operator was waiting to connect them with the lone hiker who was Continue reading Posted in Blog Comments Off Hide and Seek Posted on May 4 2012 by shirleyt April 30 1921 By all accounts the great transcontinental race had turned into a serious battle of hide and seek by April 30 A gruelling contest wrote a Herald editor While this is a race of Continue reading Posted in Blog Comments Off Winnipeg Posted on May 2 2012 by shirleyt April 20 1921 On Wednesday April 20 Jack and Clifford Behan completed a triumphant 37 mile lap and became the first of the hikers to enter Winnipeg Manitoba At last we sat down on the banks of the Red Continue reading Posted in Blog Comments Off Marching Through March Posted on May 1 2012 by shirleyt March 31

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  • Into the Rockies | Shirley Jean Tucker
    has been a hard long lonesome grind and many times I felt like chucking the whole thing up I would have felt different if I d had company but I decided to stick and I will until I reach Vancouver Fuelled by adrenalin and bouts of anger Mrs F C Dill was too obsessed with beating the Behans and winning the race to Vancouver to concern herself with the latest musing of Charles Burkman We have gained back at least half of the lost time on the Behans she mused and I hope by Sunday June 5 we will have gotten the other half day Meanwhile the Behans had fallen ucharacteristically silent When The Herald finally tracked down the father and son on June 2 with the help of telegraphers at Revelstoke the news as feared was not good CLIFFORD BEHAN IS FORCED TO TAKE TRAIN AFTER GREAT HIKE OVER CANADIAN ROCKIES Son of Hiker Admits That Pace of Dills is Too Strong and Obeys Doctor s Orders In Revelstoke Clifford saw a doctor who diagnosed a cold in the back and advised him to lay up for a few days but according to Jack he said nothing doing The spunky 24 year old took the No 4 train going east got off at Albert Canyon station and started walking back to Revelstoke in the pitch dark It was the most lonesome walk I have had since leaving Halifax I arrived back in Revelstoke at 7 00 a m tired but feeling better May 29 1921 As the race tightened leaving competitors muscle sore and foot weary with nerves frazzled and minds bitter the levity in Jack s night letters was much appreciated We had a very comfortable time at Lake Louise he wrote Took the soft side of a

    Original URL path: http://www.shirleyjeantucker.ca/blog/into-the-rockies (2015-11-17)
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  • Within Striking Distance | Shirley Jean Tucker
    No Frank I said I m hungry to win this race and remember there are BEANS ahead Alright girlie he replied I m after the BEANS if it takes all the PORK off me The Dills entered Morley the same day the Behans left the town for Banff After hiking the taxing 41 miles from Calgary a disgruntled Jenny tried to enjoy the rousing reception prepared for them Things had not gone well in Calgary where Jenny s worst fears were realized The boys from Halifax had succeeded in whisking Frank away to the Kiwanis Club for a publicity stunt just as the couple was about to leave town We lost nearly a whole day and allowed the Behans to get out of our clutches for the time being she pouted Feeling depressed and irrational Jenny spent the night brooding over Frank s lapse of judgement It could cost them dearly and she knew it May 25 1921 Unusually hot temperatures continued to distress all the hikers Even so the Dills were able to creep up on the Behans Jenny s euphoria over their consistent gains was compromised by the niggling fear that Frank had plans to waste time visiting his pals in Calgary In Calgary the legendary western cowtown Jack and Clifford glad handed their way through the dirty streets predicting a comfortable win over all rivals boasting that they would reach Vancouver in 15 days and it would be all over Meanwhile the hapless Burkman had reached Medicine Hat the previous day protesting that he was still very much in the race True the other hikers had passed him leaving him to plug along alone but he put a brave face on it it was important to remember that the trek across Canada wasn t just about winning

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  • On To Alberta | Shirley Jean Tucker
    an eight day start After a few days Carr dropped out returning to Halifax but Burkman carried on and was overtaken at Chelmsford Ontario The Behans accompanied him around Lake Superior and as far as Port Arthur where he rested No one seeing their cheery optimism will doubt that Clifford and his father Jack will make good The Behans pointedly made no mention of Frank and Jenny Dill The Dills raced 41 miles from Mortlach to Ernfold on May 15 They had bolted down a quick dinner at Parkbeg en route and then too preoccupied to enjoy the generosity of the host or to appreciate the admirers dogging their steps tore off to Ernfold There was a marked change in Mrs Dill s behaviour She was no longer content to accommodate people who wanted her to stop and chat or pose for pictures The Broadview takeover had given her a purpose a responsibility to win the race for her gender The Behans were already in Alberta close to the Rocky Mountains time was running out Content now with all the attention The Herald could muster rested and grateful for the good grub received and soothed by a favourable press release Jack regained his combative stance We read in the Herald he said where the Dills say we must be tied to a pole by the way they have been catching up to us For their information they will consider they are trying to stand on the equator if they think they can overhaul us Jenny Dill was all business when the Halifax Herald finally caught up to her and Frank at Hatton a whistle stop on the Alberta Saskatchewan border Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned the sports remarked after reading the daily spreads by the feisty little woman racing to close the gap between herself and the Behans We left Piapot at 8 30 had dinner at Hatton at 9 30 Now we will rest up for our hike to the Hat tomorrow made 36 miles today said the scorned woman The Dills left Hatton at 6 30 the next morning in a hard rain We got wet and dried in the sun Jenny wrote Stopped in Irvine for lunch at the Great West Café Irvine Great West at Left May 12 1921 The day started poorly for Burkman Shortly after he left Grenfell it started to rain and he was forced to stop at Summerberry and take and early dinner He didn t reach Wolseley until late in the afternoon and after sending a short dispatch to The Herald he pushed on to Indian Head ending with a spectacular 31 mile hike Playing catch up appeared to agree with him The Behans left Herbert for Swift Current and managed to enjoy a day of big sky and prairie landscape awash with Spring Passed some of the finest sheep and cattle ranches in Saskatchewan Jack said The agent at Rush Lake told us that in the Fall

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  • Dills Overtake Burkman | Shirley Jean Tucker
    of our skins Tomorrow should be a good day for us Jenny said If we do not make 42 miles we will be very disappointed We passed the point where Burkman telegraphed us from this afternoon and if he is not able to carry on because of his feet who knows what might happen As they pressed on from Moose Jaw through Mortlach and Chaplin on their way to Ernfold the Behans struggled against north winds through the dirt hills of Saskatchewan It was tough country this land the government had staked out for soldiers returning from the Great War The hikers reported feeling good about the 26 mile day that brought them to Ernfold but complained that the Dills relentless nipping at their heels was threatening to take the fun out of the race On Monday May 9 that competition intensified as the Dills moved into second place May 2 and 3 1921 Burkman broke his silence on May 2 and continued to be optimistic about his chances of winning the race Winnipeg was a goal of the past Vancouver is of the future I arrived at Brandon tonight after doing 36 miles and am still close on the heels of the Behans If I continue to make such gains I will easily make the Coast ahead of my greatest rivals Mrs F C Dill sent a saucy letter to readers from Sidney Manitoba on May 3 We made only a slight gain on the birthday boy and his son she said Intended to do 25 miles but then lulled by the delights of the day we walked 31 miles instead Frank celebrated his 45th birthday that day at Indian Head Saskatchewan Jenny was very pleased to read the Burkman had been making big gains on the Behans Her

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