Brand building through storytelling

Published in Chatelaine

Beauty in motion

I once thought I wanted to be a ballerina. What I really craved was the beauty of every woman who moves with assurance and grace, never mind a less-than-perfect body. An eccentric, small-town ballet teacher pointed the way.

Read more

Losing it

I once owned a man’s silk paisley scarf in burgundy, cream and navy blue. It was the kind of thing that looks expected on a silver-haired guy in pin-stripes, but playful on a 30-something woman in jeans and a T-shirt. I wore that scarf so often that it smelled of my favourite scent and felt like an extension of my skin. One day I wore it to a movie. Halfway home, I realized that I’d left it on the seat. I rushed back but no one had seen a paisley scarf. Something plummeted inside when I knew for sure that I had lost it.

Read more

The walking life

It started years ago as a multi-tasking move. With one brisk daily walk to work, I could turn my commute into a fitness program. No more jostling for space on crowded subway cars, no more sprints to the gym between meetings. Come to think of it, maybe I wouldn’t need the gym at all (no more annual fees). What a plan!

Read more

A fine funeral

Way back before anyone I knew had died, I cringed at the very thought of funerals. I pictured dark rooms, fussy floral arrangements, ministers droning pieties about people they’d never even met. I’ve since discovered that a funeral can be rich in potential—for creativity, for celebration, for a deepened connection with the world. And I’ve developed a few rough working principles about the elements of life’s most underrated ritual.

Read more

Five years old and smitten by love

Adults belittlingly call it “puppy love.” But there’s nothing trivial about the tenderness of children’s first longings for each other, or the anguish of their first heartbreaks. That’s what I learned from the five-year-old boy who named his doll Rona after me.

Read more

A word of advice

At the bottom of my purse lies a battered leather case containing a fistful of cards from people with corner-office titles: Executive Producer of This, Senior Vice-President of That, Grand Poo-Bah of Whatever. My favourite card puts them all to shame. It belongs to a much older woman who announces her well-earned role in life with one authoritative word: “Advice.”

Read more

No safe place: what the Montreal Massacre means to women

I was heading home from a Christmas party, sated on champagne and smoked salmon, when the car radio broke the news: 14 young women killed at l’Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal by a gunman shouting, “You’re all a bunch of feminists!” While I was deciding which earrings to wear with my new silk suit, they had been separated from their male classmates and mowed down just because they were bright, ambitious women intent on careers in engineering.

Read more

Hats of my life

My mother died nearly 13 years ago, but for a fleeting second recently I could have sworn I saw her striding by—a gray-haired woman in a chiffon scarf, a billowing black raincoat and her signature touch, a broad-brimmed hat worn at just the right angle. It was my own reflection, proof that after a lifetime of doing things my way (which once included going bare-headed in heat waves and blizzards), I’m not all that different from my mother.

Read more

My first love

Robbie and I were five years old when he named his doll Rona after me. We were going to get married someday. Relationships like ours are belittlingly called “puppy love,” yet there’s nothing trivial or cute about the tenderness of children’s first longings for each other or the anguish of their first heartbreaks.

Read more

Mothers and mentors

Why every young woman needs a wise female friend to cheer her on—someone who never worried about her report card or grounded her for missing curfew.

Read more
Page 1 of 3123

Stay up-to-date with Rona.

To see what’s on my mind these days, friend me on Facebook.

Miss my old site?

Visit the archive to find your favorite blog posts and Chatelaine editorials or browse my published articles. Sorry, I’m not blogging anymore.