Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Debra Purdy Kong and Campus Crime

 Those Pesky Campus Crimes
By Debra Purdy Kong

Although I haven't experienced a murder on campus as Evan Dunstan does in Dead Man Floating, I was a security guard and, like Evan, encountered my share of crime on campus. Sometimes, I'd come across something while patrolling, but most of the time dispatch officers would send me to investigate a complaint. When I later worked in dispatch, I encountered many events through phone calls and in-person visits at the front desk. It also became clear that certain incidents were more common than others.

Mischief was at the top of the list. Let’s face it, some students truly believed that graffiti and stink bombs were funny. Others pulled a fire alarm or phoned in a bomb threat in a desperate bid to avoid an exam or express anger.

Laptop and electronics topped the theft list, and students weren't the only victims. Instructors and staff who left their office doors open even briefly had occasionally found their wallets, purses, or phones missing.

Misadventures with vehicles was also a common problem. Keyed cars didn’t happen nearly as often as busted windows and stolen property. Most of these incidents occurred during September and October when the lots were busiest. BC weather is often warm and sunny in the early fall, and too many students forgot to roll up windows or lock doors. As a bike patroller, Evan would spend a lot of time patrolling the lots and dealing with this type of incident.

Aside from the campus pub and the dorms, drinking on campus was a strict no-no, yet we had more than our share of this behaviour. Once I was sent to investigate a rowdy classroom full of students consuming beer and hard liquor as they celebrated the end of exams. I and colleagues had to record every name and ID number into our notebooks and then write them down again on a handwritten report.

Of course, conflict on campus occurred, and most issues centered around students who didn't get along. Sometimes, the was rivalry over a woman. Other times it was a bullying issue or alcohol-infused drama of one type or another. On rare occasions, a female instructor faced unwanted attention from male students.

Assault threats also occurred now and then, but I didn’t experience this directly, not like Evan will. In fact, his security career is going to be one heck of a ride.

Propping the kickstand, Evan removed the small flashlight attached to his belt then stepped nearer the water. Oh shit! It was a hand! A freakin’ hand! And legs! He moved the flashlight up the body until he spotted the grey fringe circling a bald head that glowed like a moon. Evan shivered. Was the guy alive? He wouldn’t have to perform CPR, would he? That first-aid course last year didn’t go so well after he broke that manikin.

Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Dead-Floating-Evan-Dunstan-Mystery-ebook/dp/B014K0UY1A

Author of six mysteries and over fifty short stories, Debra has won numerous awards for her work. She conducts workshops, is an administrative assistant at Simon Fraser University, and also works as a substitute facilitator for the creative writing program with Port Moody Parks & Recreation. More information about Debra’s books and her blog can be found at

Also visit Debra's FB Author Page

Friday, September 18, 2015

New Carmedy & Garrett

 Coming in November from Imajin Books

Last month Kate Garrett was a Police Detective. 
Now she’s a Pet P.I.?
An Imajin Qwickies™ Mystery/Crime Novella

Stay tuned for more soon...

Monday, September 7, 2015


“[T]hat old September feeling, left over from school days, of summer passing, vacation nearly done, obligations gathering, books and football in the air …”
Wallace Stegner

September 21 may be the Autumnal Equinox, but for those who still live to the rhythm of the school year, Labour Day marks the end of summer. Summer, that seemed to stretch endlessly ahead on the first of July, now flows behind us like Superman's cape.

No matter how much I complain about the heat in summer (and I'll admit to complaining quite a bit) and how much I look forward to cool autumn days, I hate letting go of that last day of summer holidays.

 “And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.” 
F. Scott Fitzgerald

For me, summer is more about beating the heat than basking in it. It means beach days on cold lakes and watching summer blockbusters in air conditioned cinemas. Ice tea, ice espresso, ice drinks at discount prices from MacDonalds take the edge off days when the humidex is ten degrees above the temperature.

“It’s summer and time for wandering…” 
Kellie Elmore

I remember summers spent going from friend's house to friend's house, games of tag and hide and seek, Popsicles from generous parents and calling home to find out what was for dinner so you could decide whether or not you should accept your friend's mother's invitation.

“The first week of August hangs at the very top of the summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning.” 
Natalie Babbitt

Then there were summer trips. Every year, before Mum went back to work, we'd spend a week or two with our cousins in Beaconsfield, Quebec. They lived on Lake St. Louis and had a sailboat so boat trips and swimming were always on the agenda. This is where I learned about lake-effect temperatures. In the backyard, on the lake, it was always several degrees cooler than the front yard on the street.

Then my aunt and uncle would pack up the kids and pets and come to visit us for a week or two in Toronto. We lived in the Beaches and Kew Beach Park and Lake Ontario were just down the street. If we had family visiting from England, we could also count on a trip to Niagara Falls

“Summer’s lease hath all too short a date.”
William Shakespeare

It's funny. With all the travels and wanderings, we still got bored without the regimen of school and looked forward to seeing our school friends again. Yet, the closer we got to the first day of school, the more we long for summer to stretch out a few more days.

I suppose I'm just as bad now, complaining about the dog days of summer and still being nostalgic about it.

Thanks to Sunny O'Bosky for sending me these wonderful photos of my son Sam and his BF (and her brother) Zack taken on his visits to New Brunswick. They capture the best of what I remember of summer.