life rattle Radio show no. 1165

aired on CKLN Sunday, August 14, 2011


Hosted by Victoria martinez


"From a Mountain Top"
by Geoff Thomas

"Dinner and a Movie"
by Virginia Ashberry

"Memère Rosa"
by Monique Nadeau Massabki

tonight's writers and stories

Tonight's program, the second last program on CKLN, features three of Victoria's favourite Life Rattle stories.

Geoff Thomas is married, and has two young daughters (including a two week old). He attends teachers college at OISE , dabbles at writing between diaper changes, and hopes to return to his alma mater, U of T at Mississauga, to teach writing. Geoff owes a great deal of thanks to all the professors in the PWC program, where he learned to write powerfully, embrace risk, and violate convention.

Virginia Ashberry, born in Toronto in 1952, says that life was good until age five, when things went downhill until she took charge of her destiny at 40. Ashberry has been writing for six years and works for the city of Toronto.

Monique Nadeau Massabki was born in 1966 in Toronto, the oldest of two children. Her father, a retired shipper-receiver, and her mother, a devoted stay-at-home mom, are both natives of Sudbury. After a couple of moves (first to Georgetown, then to Mississauga), the family settled in Schomberg, a small town north of Toronto; a place that Monique still thinks of as home.

Massabki speaks fluent Frenglish (a bastardized hybrid of French and English, widely spoken in Northern Ontario) where her parents and brother now live. Massabki worked in funeral service for twelve years, where she observed human nature at its most vulnerable moments. When asked if it was a depressing job, she is quick to respond with a firm ‘no’. “I went home every day,” she says, “knowing that I helped someone through one of the darkest times of their life. It was very rewarding.”

Monique Nadeau Massabki is drafting her first novel and also writes short stories on her blog under the pen name Monica Manning which, she points out, is much easier to pronounce.