Mon, Apr 05


Women's Online Zoom Event

APRIL YAKFEST: Monday, April 5, at 5:26 pm!

Part book club, part girls' night out, all awesome! with DARCOVA MATRICE, WENDY BURTON, FRANCINE MERASTY, and actor/ director/ novelist/ audiobook narrator HARLEY JANE KOZAK! Laughter Yoga, our 2-minute Book Review and an armchair guide to Wild Swimming, with author/ speaker VICKI McLEOD!

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APRIL YAKFEST: Monday, April 5, at 5:26 pm!

Time & Location

Apr 05, 2021, 5:20 p.m. – 6:20 p.m. PDT

Women's Online Zoom Event

About the event

In addition to the YakFest Crew:
  • Host Jackie Carmichael
  • Laughter Yoga with Ellen Everard
  • 2-Minute Book Review with Andree Bizier of Window Seat Books in Nanaimo
We have these special guest panelists for Monday, April 5 YakFest: ACTOR/DIRECTOR/NOVELIST/AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR HARLEY JANE KOZAK! started in a few dozen films (Parenthood, Arachnophobia, The Favor, and our very favourite, When Harry Met Sally), three soaps (Texas, Guiding Light, Santa Barbara), countless plays and a lotta TV before taking a 15-year maternity leave and turning to crime fiction. Her first (of 5) novels, Dating Dead Men, won the Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity awards. Her short prose has appeared in Ms. Magazine, The Sun, The Santa Monica Review and eight anthologies, including Best American Mystery Stories of 2019. Harley also narrated 7 audiobooks in 2020, and is looking to top that number in 2021!

DATING DEAD MEN by HARLEY JANE KOZAK - Los Angeles greeting-card artist Wollie Shelley is dating forty men in sixty days as research for a radio talk show host's upcoming book, How to Avoid Getting Dumped All the Time. Wollie is meeting plenty of eligible bachelors but not falling in love, not until she stumbles over a dead body en route to Rio Pescado--a state-run mental hospital--and is momentarily taken hostage by a charismatic "doctor" who is on the run from the Mob. Wollie fears that her beloved brother, a paranoid schizophrenic living at Rio Pescado, is involved in the murder, so rather than go to the authorities, she decides to solve the crime on her own. As she meets up with an array of small-time crooks and swaggering mobsters only slightly more sinister than the men she’s been dating, Wollie realizes that "getting dumped" is the least of her problems. Finding true love, she discovers, sometimes means learning how to avoid getting killed . . .

Dating Dead Men will keep readers guessing until the final bullet is shot--and cheering for the irresistible Wollie as she makes her way out of confusion and into the welcoming embrace of Mr. Right.

Author Wendy Burton (Ivy's Tree) studied English literature and feminist epistemology and taught work-place writing and adult education. She writes short stories, novels, and academic and creative non-fiction. She has had prose-poetry and academic non-fiction published over the past 20 years, most notably "Swimming Winter's Lake" in Down in the Valley, editor Trevor Carolan and "Histories of Aboriginal Adult Education" in Contexts of Adult Education: Canadian perspectives edited by Fenwick, Nesbitt, & Spencer. Ivy's Tree is her debut novel.

Ivy’s Tree by Wendy Burton is the story of a 78-year-old woman learning to navigate one of the largest cities in the world: Tokyo. With a distinct sense of place – Tokyo in the fraught economic times of 2007-08 – Ivy’s Tree is also the description of an old woman coming to terms with her relationship to her family. Summoned by her only daughter to Tokyo, Ivy is newly widowed and adjusting uneasily to life without her husband. Tokyo is a daunting city for a woman travelling alone, but more daunting is the difficult relationship between mother and daughter. Ivy has no connection with her son-in-law, a traditional Japanese salary man, and her grandsons, who do not know her.

The novel is written from Ivy’s point of view. Armed with an old guide book, and keeping her travels secret from her new family, Ivy learns to negotiate an unfamiliar culture and a complex transportation system. Ivy’s inner commentaries, some provided by her dead husband Jack, are at times poignant and at other times wryly amusing. When her travels are discovered, Ivy is essentially put under house arrest, and further estranged from her daughter.

Francine Merasty is a Nehithaw Iskwew, Opawikoschikanek ochi, a reserve in Northern Saskatchewan. She is a member of the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation and a fluent Cree speaker. She began writing poetry in the winter of 2017 while working for the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls as both a Statement Taker and Legal Counsel. She currently works for the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations in Saskatchewan. She is a winner of the 2019 Indigenous Voices Awards. She lives in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Iskotew Iskwew/Fire Woman is a poetry collection written during a period of trauma while the author was working as a Counsel to the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in 2017. This book is about memories and experience growing up on the Pelican Narrows Reserve in northern Saskatchewan in the 1980s: summers spent on the land and the pain of residential school. With this collection, the author wants to teach and inform Canadians of her experiences growing up as an Indigenous woman in Saskatchewan. She believes it is important to share her stories for others to read.

Dr. Darcova Matrice is the prolific author and editor of a number of books for and about women, including Brains and Beauty: Profiles that Prove We are Pretty and Smart, Strut volumes I, II and III; Girl, Let the Sunshine in!: A coloring book and poetry guide.

"The most enchanting thing about her is that Beautiful Brain." ~ Dr. Darcova Matrice

VICKI McLEOD is the fascinating author of four books, a TEDx speaker, coach, presenter, consultant and an award-winning writer and entrepreneur. Vicki will show us images of her doing Wild Swimming, which involves polar bear-style dunks in the chilly waters of the Pacific Ocean! For more than two decades, through her consultancy Main Street Communications Ltd., she has helped organizations, governments, and small businesses create conversations that matter with clients, customers, and stakeholders. She has coached and mentored leaders, executive teams, and individuals to take inspiration and turn it into strategy. She is a graduate of the Writers Studio at Simon Fraser University, and works in nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. As a certified coach and process facilitator, Vicki is a catalyst for transformative change-making, dream-doing and deep-diving.

#UNTRENDING - A Field Guide to Social Media That Matters: Untrending is a mini-manifesto. It calls us to live well and live awake. With wit and wisdom, Vicki McLeod challenges us to take the long view on our online engagements, revealing how our small acts - each of our daily choices - shape our stories and the lives of those around us. It is both weighty and light, like vicki Herself, and I highly recommend it. Christina Crook, Author of the Joy of Missing Out.


Founder Jacqueline Carmichael is the author of Heard Amid the Guns: True Stories from the Western Front 1914-1918 (Heritage House November 2020), Tweets from the Trenches, and My Read-Aloud Tales about Social Distancing. She is the founder of Amazing Strong Inspired.

Women's Yakfest, now always on the First Monday of the Month at 5:26 pm *Pacific time (Vancouver time), is the brainchild of Amazing Strong Inspired, a multi-media project that is the brainchild of author Jacqueline Carmichael. A longtime journalist, publisher and event producer, she started the Amazing Strong Inspired project as a book project 13 years ago when she was interviewing (you guessed it) amazing, strong, inspired women for publications like The Dallas Morning News, Smart Business, The Edmonton Sun, and Entrepreneur Magazine.

*5:26 pm Pacific time (Vancouver time) is 6:26 pm Mountain time (Edmonton time) and 7:26 pm Central time (Texas time) and 8:26 pm Eastern time (Annapolis Maryland time) and 9:26 pm Nova Scotia time, and 10:06 pm Newfoundland time. It's also 2:26 a.m. in Paris, France the next morning, and 2:25 pm the next day in New Zealand.

For more information about YakFest, visit <3 Our events are free and non-sectarian. Views of our presenters are their own. We do not harbour hate speech; we believe in kindness and respect!

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