head shot of John Fioravanti

As an Indie author, do you feel alone? Are you unsure about how to get your manuscript ready for publication? Are you undecided as to which distribution company to commit to? Do you feel intimidated by the prospect of marketing your new book? If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, you are in good company! Continue reading “John Fioravanti: HELP FOR INDIE AUTHORS!”


Getting Started in Indie Publishing

John and Anne Fioravanti seated togetherIndie Publishing

Prior to my novel, my two published non-fiction works, Getting It Right in History Class and A Personal Journey to the Heart of Teaching were released by Indie Publishers. Continue reading “Getting Started in Indie Publishing”

A Writer’s Escape to a Northern Paradise

Log house surrounded by trees.
Our lovely log house cottage!


A week ago we departed for Muskoka in Northern Ontario, to a cottage on Lake Cecebee near Burk’s Falls. We were vacationing for a week with our daughter, Dianna, her fiance, Stephene, our granddaughter, Lexi, and her dog, Princess Cinderella. It was our first experience cottaging in the Muskoka region, so we had no clear idea what to expect. Continue reading “A Writer’s Escape to a Northern Paradise”

Our Nigerian Connection

Joy standing with her arm around Godwin at the top of the Gorge.
Joy and Godwin at Elora Gorge.


The past seven days served as a life altering experience for Anne and I, and as with most experiences of this nature, we weren’t expecting it.

A week ago we were introduced to a wonderful couple from Lagos, Nigeria, who were visiting Canada to attend their daughter’s wedding in Ottawa.

Godwin and Joy Ashikwe were very tired from their trip from Africa, a few days of wedding preparations and celebrations, and then a long car ride from Ottawa to our home in Waterloo.

We welcomed them with refreshments and a traditional summer barbecued dinner. Continue reading “Our Nigerian Connection”

Celebrating The Boss


Aggie and Anne in lawn chairs with John standing between them.
Aggie, myself, and Anne relaxing at the cottage in Port Dover.

Two weeks after Aunt Agnes Anne Ellert passed away, we gathered in Waterloo to celebrate this woman’s life.

Certainly we entered the formal service with heavy hearts that ached with loss. Aggie never married and had no children of her own, but she was a cherished mother in all the ways that really count.

Continue reading “Celebrating The Boss”

A Valiant Struggle to 100


Agnes Ellert sitting in a chair on the back deck of our house.
Agnes Anne Ellert at her 99th birthday party.

On Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 1:45 PM, Agnes Anne Ellert gave up her struggle just ten hours before her 100th birthday.

Her favourite PSW, Tania, noticed that same morning that her eyes had changed colour, and spent the morning holding her hand. When Aggie took her last breath, she looked at Tania as if to say goodbye with a nod, closed her eyes and left.

I don’t think I ever appreciated what the Personal Service Workers do until I spent so much time with Aggie this past month.

We all told her that if she made it to her 100th birthday, we would have a party to celebrate. On one of her good days, Aggie smiled and said, “I will need a new dress.

One morning Tania came in and encouraged Aggie to stay with us saying, “Don’t go anywhere, Aggie.” Aggie responded weakly, “Where else would I go… I’ll be right here.”

Two weeks ago when we arrived in the morning Aggie said, “God wanted to take me last night, but I told Him NO – I wanted to stay for my 100th birthday party.” She never ceased to amaze us with her humour and love of life. Continue reading “A Valiant Struggle to 100”

Detours Often Unplanned

road sign says detour below a winding snakey arrow.
Some are planned… some are not…


“Are Your Students Better Off?”

While browsing a LinkedIn group for educators, the National Education Association, I came upon a provocative discussion that began with the question I just quoted above.

Herm Allen posted the discussion question to challenge teachers to reflect on the benefits students may have gained in their classrooms this year.

As I read through the short article, Mr. Allen was putting emphasis on the experiential component of a teacher’s classroom.

He linked the reader to another of his coaching articles, Experience Counts, where he spoke of his days as a student.

The thing that resonated with him the most was how a teacher made him feel as a student. That struck a chord with me, because there were a few teachers I had who made me feel worthwhile and inspired great admiration within me.

These were the folks who, quite unknowingly, helped me decide to dedicate thirty-five years of my life to educating students. Continue reading “Detours Often Unplanned”