Adventures with Lulu Dog & The Writing Life

Last day of summer. Full moon in Pisces on the wane. These river-fed swimming holes have carried me through the strangest summer ever. I will never forget the clarity they brought ...

I’ll be reading my literary beer can story on CKUA radio tonight at 545 MDT — or listen online anytime at

Posted @withregram • @ckuaradio

This week's #SessionStory comes from #Kananaskis Country-based writer Samantha Warwick @sam_and_lulu_

Her short story "Swimming the Bow River" was inspired by the time she plunged into, and rode nearly eight kilometres of the current last summer.

Tune in to #TrafficJams, Sept 10th at 5:45pm MT to hear the story, then visit to hear all episodes of season one, and two! ⬆️

For the latest in craft beer from central Alberta, follow Blindman at @blindmanbrewery

Order your Super Sessions 4-pack, delivered straight to your door at! Collect them all!

#microbrew #microfiction #craftpoems #shortstory #riverswim #bowriver #blindmanbrewing #craft

<<sound on>>

This little video makes me so happy. The story:

I’ve only been into the city about a dozen times since the mid-December lockdown (long story)—but every time I go into Calgary I stop at Shelf Life Books. Not only to pick up my latest selection of titles, but because @shelflifebooks has been a refuge to quietly hang with Lulu for years. In the before times we co-hosted dozens of literary events here (Lu poised on the podium or in the front row while I interviewed or introduced authors). A natural host!

Early evening on Friday, August 20 I was avoiding a ‘thing’. The temperature had dropped to about 10 degrees, and I was in a mood about the cold (in spite of the fact that yes, we were all happy about the rain that week).

I decided to ditch the ‘thing’ I didn’t have the energy for and go to Shelf Life instead. Lulu was immediately cheered to see Gigi, the resident Pomeranian, and I was cheered to see Jun, Ariel and Igor. I love all the staff there.

By chance, there happened to be a videographer recording footage for a special video for the store — Thaïs @nomad_videographer_project was making her way across Canada creating a series of breathtaking videos to help promote local artists, artisans and small businesses.

As soon as I arrived, the team asked if they could record some footage of me (my legs and feet) with Lulu at my side wandering the aisles to showcase the dog friendliness of the shop. Of course I agreed. This is a very special place for both of us. What I didn’t know is that I would eventually be able to keep and share this short video of unedited footage from the shoot I stumbled into, with music! So grateful to have these moments captured.

There is a stunning video featuring Shelf Life Books coming soon & I will share that one too when it’s posted.

🎥 = Thaïs Despont @nomad_videographer_project — Thank you so much 🙏


new moon, nature therapy, namaste ...

happy national dog days of more summer please


blue moon, backstairs ...

“The dark, sinister smoke that cancelled out the sun, moon, clouds, and sky signalled a warning to everyone: welcome to the Pyrocene, the Age of Wildfire.”

From LOOKOUT — Love, Solitude, and Searching for Wildfire in the Boreal Forest by Trina Moyles @womenwhodig

This photo was taken mid-August from a high point in Rocky View County as the wind began to usher in a thick dome of smoke and yellow light that would — within hours — cancel out the sun, moon, cloud and bring our air quality index to severly high risk (again)


morning ☀️ ...

BC ferries, first mate ⚓️ ...

The smoke effect
📸 = Joao Barbosa #wildfires

Full moon, fellow traveller ...

—and WHAT have I been carrying around in my everyday backpack?

1 — wallet, notebook… ELEVEN PENS?

2 — rotating swim suits, in case I find a new swimming hole or a place to actually swim in the river YOU NEVER KNOW

3 — cooking thermometer (—was using to take wild water temperatures until mid June). The water is now generally over 15 C so taking this out now

4 — keys, sunglasses, toque, headphones, hair elastic, mask, hand sanitizer, energy bar, sunscreen YOU NEVER KNOW

5 — Dog pepperoni, Lulu chew stick + water bottle that doubles for human + flip out bowl for Lulu

6 — NOT SHOWN — leash, my phone and whatever book I’m reading at the time 💚

More on what I’ve been reading very soon!

life-dog recert going strong! ...

morning walk, old growth cedars 💚

—reading about the spiritual life of dogs from an emerald fork in the river

📸 = Lulu

Summer solstice!

Thank you @blindmanbrewery & @bellyofawhale + all involved for including my flash story in this summer’s batch of #SuperSession literary beer cans!

This is a wonderful collaboration that brings fiction, poetry & creative nonfiction into more hands + less expected places all summer while supporting CKUA programs + local writers.

Thank you @britanniawine & ALL the shops & pubs that bring in the session story cans! 🙏

Congrats to fellow writers who also have stories or poems in this batch including @dianamdavidson @kellykaur3 @heinsightis2020 and @sally_sparrowhawk

I gather there are 20 of us + we will each read our pieces for CKUA radio this summer, Fridays @ 5:45 |


It’s been 2 weeks since my in-conversation with author Anthony (Tony) Doerr. I’ve been rambling around the woods with Lulu, still preoccupied with his characters, stories, novels & exquisite way with language.

Am so grateful for the opportunity to host this talk & for Tony’s warmth, wisdom, generosity of spirit and sense of humour!

I spent 3-4 months immersed in his work first. He wrote four books before All The Light We Cannot See won a Pulitzer. These earlier books are incredible! And the ARC of his forthcoming novel (Cloud Cuckoo Land) knocked me on my actual ass! I finished the last page (page 622) & had to immediately throw myself into a glacial creek to bring myself down!

ALL OF THIS TO SAY— I wanted to honour the whole experience somehow: both the immersive reading + our interview. So I learned how to make a 59 second music video to capture some snippets

So, for friends who couldn’t be there, here’s a little window into our talk + the months spent reading. Thinking. Making fires. Reading. Standing in the river. Thinking. Reading.

Lulu was at my side through every book + she stretched out on her beanbag behind me during the live interview. When it was time for the conversation to end (😭) — I was moved by Tony’s shout out to her (!!) which is included at the end of this video. Another moment for her memoirs!

There’s so much more I could share about this full experience—too much for one post! So I will parcel out more thoughts and favourite Doerr passages over the summer.

“Eventually,” he said at one point during our chat—“you have to say: I’m not going to get everything right. I’m a fallible human—that’s what humans are. And you’re knitting together a dream. You’re not going to be able to keep every expert in the world asleep. But if we can keep 99.5% of those people asleep and believing in this dream that we’re knitting, then we have to make peace with that.”

One of many poignant reminders. On that note, enormous, warmest thanks to @anthonydoerrwriter

And also to @robinvan_eck + @dorothydbentley for inviting me to host this talk.

Cold water adventures continue. Elbow River, approx 3.5 degrees °C. Tolerance is building but still can’t last a full minute in this water! Zoom in for tiny wolf on the riverbank, always watching 💚 ...

In other news, excited to share that my flash story (inspired by an eight km swim down the Bow river last summer) will be published on @blindmanbrewery craft beer cans as part of their 2021 summer super session series!

The series is expected to launch mid-June + CKUA radio will host readings. This must be my most unconventional publication yet!

Thank you @blindmanbrewery + @bellyofawhale for selecting my story. Congrats to my fellow micro brew writers — I look forward to finding out who you are!

& to my friends at @britanniawine @bin905wines + @spiritswestmerchants — celebrate with me! 🤗 🍻

PS — wanted to get this sunny summer news out before the snow rolls back in this afternoon... ahh —

#mountainlife #riverlife #blindmanbrewing #summersession #microfiction #microbeer #creativepartnerships #ckuaradio