Boobs Book Signing Party at Friends For Life

Maggie’s Boobs Book ‘Signing’, Poetry Reading & Friends For Life Community Engagement Party Notice

Maggie’s Boobs Book ‘Signing’, Poetry Reading & Friends For Life Community Engagement Party Notice

See about Maggie’s story below.

You’re invited to my book ‘signing’ (Maggie’s way) party for the Boobs anthology, in which my story, “Reclaiming My Thorns”, is published. You will experience ‘readings’ (recitals) from the book as well as poetry to music, while getting yourself acquainted with Friends For Life (FFL or ‘the house’ and some of its members), which supports those of us diagnosed with life threatening conditions.

You will be greeted at ‘the house’ with several treats for your senses: refreshments for the palate, music and lyrics for the ears, photo poem postcards and pictures as visuals, and lots of love for the soul!

Maggie / Margota 'Reading' from "Reclaiming My Thorns" in Boobs Book

Maggie / Margota ‘Reading’ from “Reclaiming My Thorns” in Boobs Book

This event is intended to engage the greater community around Friends For Life (beyond the current members) through mingling and seeing the interior of this beautiful heritage house in the West End at 1459 Barclay Street.

I would love to host about 15-30 guests* — and I ask for a small RSVP donation to help cover the costs of the event and give a donation to the organization, with an option to pre-pay if you wish to purchase your copy of Boobs ($25 per copy). I will have a few extra copies at the event.

* guests include current and potential FFL members, and individuals living with and without life threatening condition diagnoses

Saturday June 4, 2016

Greetings @7:00pm
First ‘reading’ @7:30pm — from the Boobs book
Second ‘reading’ @8:30pm — poetry
Farewell by 9:30pm

Please RSVP at:
(by invitation – please email me to receive yours)

If you have any questions, please see FAQs on invitation at Eventbrite or email me.

I look forward to spending a lovely evening with you!

Please feel free to follow my writing journey at

About Maggie’s “Reclaiming My Thorns” Story:

Maggie's Thorny Rose Tattoo

Maggie’s Thorny Rose Tattoo

In her story, “Reclaiming My Thorns”, Maggie Wojtarowicz (who writes as ‘Margota’), likens her life to a rose whose thorns are the challenges she has experienced.

Having lived with a movement condition that was diagnosed as dystonia when she was a child, Maggie navigated through her teens with her body increasingly restricting her ability to speak, be still, or move, without attracting unsolicited commentary – while surviving the well-intentioned but misguided treatments of her uniqueness. Believing the medical wisdom of the time, that her condition could not be organically improved, Maggie persevered in her desire to practice as a Professional Engineer, while moving on her own at 24 from Ontario out to Vancouver, BC.

When she was diagnosed with breast cancer in her mid-thirties and lost both breasts, she gained valuable insight that led her to retraining herself to speak without triggering the dystonic spasms. As part of her newly reconstructed cleavage, Maggie also acquired a rose tattoo to remind herself that even a thorny life can be beautiful.

Drawing on the stark contrast between her experiences with her cancer condition – invisible unless she chooses to share it – and her very visible neurological condition, Maggie reconceptualizes her thorny challenges to have a gentler and more forgiving side to them. Using humour, Maggie diffuses the sombreness of her conditions and shares her newly gained perspective for living an even richer life.

The story was recently published by Caitlin Press in an anthology entitled Boobs: Women Explore What It Means to Have Breasts.

More on Maggie’s story publication and book availability.

Special Dish for the Week: Raw Vegan Rainbow Pad Thai

A conversation with a couple new acquaintances from Authors for Indies event inspires this Special Dish for the Week, which I then make and share at a potluck with another new group of lovely acquaintances—many of whom easily on their way to becoming friends:

Raw Vegan Rainbow Pad Thai

Raw Vegan Rainbow Pad Thai

Raw Vegan Rainbow Pad Thai

I find a couple more foodies, recently, who also love Thai food. One of them eats raw vegan foods, which makes me curious: how does one make raw vegan Thai food?!

A quick Google search reveals that Pad Thai is quite a popular option, especially if there is a zucchini spiralizer on hand—which I don’t (yet!) have. I julienne some of my veggies and chop others—some by hand and some in my electric chopper (blender)—for varied texture.

I am reminded of the Rainbow Life Salad with Quinoa I made last year, also very delicious!

Raw Vegan Rainbow Pad Thai Ingredients

Raw Vegan Rainbow Pad Thai Ingredients

I prepare the dressing first, using the following ingredients:

  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter (alternate: almond butter)
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp Bragg soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp black sesame seeds (alternate: white sesame seeds)
  • 1 inch grated ginger
  • 4 finely sliced kaffir lime leaves
  • chopped cilantro stems
Raw Vegan Rainbow Pad Thai Ingredients Combined

Raw Vegan Rainbow Pad Thai Ingredients Combined

I let the dressing stand while chopping the following veggies:

  • 2 carrots, chopped or julienned
  • 1 small red cabbage, some chopped and some thinly sliced
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 zucchini, julienned or spiraled
  • 1 cup frozen edamame, thawed
  • 1 tbsp hemp seeds (optional)
  • sesame seeds for garnish

I pour the dressing over the chopped and sliced veggies, and mix lightly.

I let the dish sit in the fridge over night, to soften the veggies and to allow the flavours to intermingle.

I garnish with sesame seeds just before serving.

The dish turns out very delicious, nutritious and colourful—and it is a hit with the potluck guests, some of whom ask for the recipe.

Raw Vegan Rainbow Pad Thai Dish

Raw Vegan Rainbow Pad Thai Dish

Meal ideas & recipes from

Highlights from Boobs Book Launch Party at Heartwood Cafe

The Writer 'Reading' from Boobs at Book Launch

The Writer ‘Reading’ from Boobs at Book Launch

On Friday April 29, 2016, at Vancouver’s Heartwood Community Café, I did my first public book launch ‘reading’ from my “Reclaiming My Thorns” story published in the Boobs anthology for an audience of about 70 people.

My ‘reading’ was accompanied on a guitar by a musician friend, Enrico Renz of the Red Herring band—also a first for me—and it proved a great success for the audience and for me. It made my dance-like movements when I speak appear more in-place and gave gentle echos to the silent pauses in my speech.

I say ‘reading’ in quotes, because I needed to memorize the roughly 7 minute speech / excerpt reading, as my dystonia condition still does not allow my eyes to stay open and my voice to work at the same time (i.e., no reading out loud for more than a few words at a time).

The Writer Presenting 'Signed' Copy of Boobs to Beloved Reader

The Writer Presenting ‘Signed’ Copy of Boobs to Beloved Reader

But I was able to see—and with much gratitude, to enjoy—so many in the audience tear up as well as laugh throughout my ‘reading’, reassuring me that I was being heard: literally and figuratively.

I ‘signed’ my story in others’ copies of the book using my “authorstamp package” (i.e., autograph, Maggie’s way), and I had my copy signed by the other anthology contributors reading their stories with me and others in attendance.

I also say ‘signed’ in quotes, because my “autograph” consists of my “authorstamp” and a bookmark that includes a photo poem on one side and my story of why I use an authorstamp on the other.

Why Authorstamp Bookmark

Why Authorstamp Bookmark

I had a lot of fun performing at this event and feel so grateful for the table-full-and-a-half of friends who joined me and my co-contributors to enjoy the readings, the venue, and each other!

Boobs Book Launch at Heartwood Cafe

Boobs Book Launch at Heartwood Cafe