Friday 31 July 2020

Time for a Break

Did you know that I have been writing this blog since 2011? 

That's a long time—and for all of you who have stuck with me, I can't thank you enough. I was scrolling through some of my old posts, and wow, we've sure covered a lot. From book launches, to fun facts about canola and Canada, to tips on writing, and so much more. 

I've participated in seven Blogging from A to Z challenges, launched 16 books, and shared hundreds of pictures, recipes, and craft ideas. It's been a great run.

But, I've decided to take a break. It's not forever, I don't think, but I want to focus on my short stories, taking pictures, practicing for track and field—or maybe even trying something new. Don't worry, I'll still be writing—being an author is one of my BIG DREAMS. 

You should keep writing too. Or doing whatever it is you want to do. The first book in the Superman Duffy series of graphic novels, FIELDS OF HOME, is about canola, yes—but it's also about chasing your dreams. 

The world is a different place right now, and if the past few months has taught me anything, it's that anything can happen. There's no better time than the present to do what your heart tells you to do. For me, that means taking a bit of a break on blogging, and putting that creative energy into something else. I can't imagine all of the things I'll do!

Thank you so much for being part of my journey. May YOU always follow YOUR dreams. 

Gotta jet! 

~ Chase Superman Duffy

Friday 24 July 2020

Reading: It's Good for Your Health

You probably think that headline is a joke—I mean, sure, reading is a great brain activity, and if you want to be a writer, it's vital. But I'm not kidding—research shows that reading is a more effective stress reliever than listening to music or going for a walk—even more effective than doing yoga. (That fact got me out of following one of Mom's online classes last week.)

It's not that I'm overly stressed—but I admit, this pandemic is weighing on me. I can see it weighing on my parents too. Mom isn't back at work fully, and she's worried about us going back to school in September. Not to mention the weather. Wow, have we had a wet summer!

The weather is also stressful for my grandparents, who could use a little—okay a lot—of sunshine right about now. Flooding could be an issue this year...every time we get a downpour, some of the streets by my house are like rivers.

Sometimes I love running in the rain, but not with these storms! So what better way to spend a rainy day than immersed in a good book? Not only is it good for my brain...but it's good for my overall health. Imagine that!

Gotta jet! Have a good weekend...regardless of how you spend it.

~ Chase Superman Duffy

Friday 17 July 2020

A New Training Partner?

Yikes! The weather has not been the greatest the past couple of weeks. Between hail in the southern part of the province and heavy heavy rain in the North (did you hear that Rogers Place—the arena where the Edmonton Oilers usually play—flooded?), it's pretty wet outside.

Mom says her gardens are getting too much water, and Grandpa has some concerns about his canola. But the worst part of all is that all this "wet" means that when it stops raining, the mosquitoes come out to play.

And by play, I mean annoy.

Oh sure, I've sprayed myself with repellent. But it's not working—I'm still covered in bites. Grandpa says I need to use it to my "advantage." He thinks I should...

...outrun the mosquitoes.

Even though I don't know what school will look like in the fall, or if there will be a track season, I'm training as if there will be. That means trying to outrun my personal best...and if I'm lucky, being faster than those darn mosquitoes.

At the rate they're out, I should shatter my record. You know what they say—to win, it takes blood, sweat, and tears. I'm fine with that, but I'm going to make those pests work for my blood.

Gotta jet! Grandpa says the ground is dry around his field now—but who knows for how long Better start running!

Have a great weekend!

~ Chase Superman Duffy

Friday 10 July 2020

It's that time of the year again!

It's that time of year again! No, not Halloween or Christmas or back to school (who knows what that will look like in the fall?!), but CANOLA time. That's right, the fields across the province are starting to bloom with those beautiful yellow flowers.

Canola fields are the perfect backdrop for pictures. No seriously, Google Alberta canola fields and you'll see thousands of images. We have many pictures of canola fields in our house. Some with sunshine. One with a storm. A couple with interesting clouds or sunrises and sunsets. It's a picture we never grow tired of.

And sure, I'm lucky because I have access to a canola field any time I want—my grandparents are canola farmers.  But I realize not everyone has a canola farmer in the family, and so I thought this would be a great time to remind you that as amazing as those fields can't just go IN them to take a picture. At least, not without permission.

Traipsing through those fields can ruin the crop, plus, it's trespassing. You wouldn't want someone rummaging through your bedroom just to take a picture of your prized Star Wars Lego, or something, right? (But if you have a prized Star Wars Lego you should send me a picture.)

Anyway, I can't wait to strap on my camera bag and head out with my dad to take some canola field pictures—we always give Grandpa one that he can frame for the house too. An entire wall in the living room is dedicated to pictures of the canola farm over the years. It's pretty cool to see how much the farm has grown.

Have you taken a good picture of a canola field? Put it on Instagram and tag @SupermanDuffy — or email it to me at Maybe I’ll publish it on my blog!

Gotta jet! Have a great weekend—and stay safe!

~ Chase Superman Duffy

Friday 3 July 2020

Help! I need more H2O!

I’ve been having trouble drinking my water, lately. It might be all the rain—who can think of drinking water when there's so much falling from the sky.

But I know it’s super important for everyone to drink water—especially athletes—and normally I don’t have any problem getting in my eight daily glasses over the summer. But the weather has been so strange this season that I’m not hot enough to crave it. Even when I run. (And I haven't been doing as much of that either, because running in the rain isn't my favourite.)

The thing is, I can see a difference in my performance—and not in a good way. I’m a bit sluggish, and I think I may have lost some muscle tone. I know, sounds strange, right? I thought so too, so I did some research—and I learned a LOT more about water than even Coach Taylor told me about.

Like, did you know that your brain is 75% water?

Water actually carries nutrients and oxygen to your brain and throughout your body—which of course, can help with a number of health concerns like making sure your kidneys are working properly, kick-starting your metabolism, and of course, curing dehydration.

Interesting, for sure, but I’m still concerned about how to do it. I mean, it’s summer, so I’m naturally drawn to juice, pop, lemonade and freezies. Mom says those are not good options for water intake (she keeps me on a strict freezie regiment)—not even watermelon counts, and it’s mostly water!

I’m just going to have to work harder at it.  So I've started adding flavour—cucumber slices, strawberry wedges, and lemon—to my cold water and that's a nice change.

Do YOU have any ideas on how to increase my water? How do you get in your eight glasses?
Gotta jet! Have a great weekend.

~ Chase Superman Duffy

P.S. Have your read the Superman Duffy graphic novel TRANSPIRATION? That adventure definitely talks about the importance of water—and what can happen when you have too much, or even too little.

You can order it FREE from the Alberta Canola Producers' Commission.

Friday 26 June 2020

School's Out! (For Summer)

I love school—honest I do—but the last three months have been rough. Learning online isn't quite the  same as being in the classroom with my teacher and friends. I'm pretty sure I passed everything (even Math), but homework sure took on new meaning. <heh>

So, for the next two months, I’m not even going to think about homework, or studying, or worrying about whether my internet will work during a lesson. It’s finally summer! Yay!

And boy, do I ever have a lot of great things planned.

Of course I’ll be training for track and field. This is my favourite time of year to start running around Grandpa’s canola field. By mid July, the bright yellow blooms will be out in full force, creating the perfect backdrop for my morning runs. As long as I can outrun some of the bees—but Grandpa says they won’t bother me since they’re busy pollinating his canola flowers.

I’m also go to catch up on my reading. I know, I say that every year and you'd think with the pandemic going on, I would be reading all the time. The truth is, I've been doing more binge watching than reading. Now that the libraries and bookstores are open again, I'm excited to start working my way through my TBR.

The campgrounds are also open, so Dad and I are planning a “guys only” trip to go fishing. Maybe Grandpa will come too! (I mean, if he's not too busy on the farm.)

The rest of the summer will probably be spent hanging out with my friends (from a distance) and family. And I probably have a list of chores Mom needs help with, like mowing the lawn and weeding the garden. I don’t mind, though—Mom lets me eat her peas.

Sounds like a busy summer, right? How about you? What are your summer plans? Whatever they are, make it one where a part of every day is doing something you enjoy—even 10 minutes of reading or writing or practicing hoops can create good feelings about summer. Even if it is a bit different than what you're used to.

Gotta jet! Have a great weekend.

~ Chase Superman Duffy

Friday 19 June 2020

A global celebration for Dad

Dad says he’s my biggest blog fan, which may be true since he always brings up the topics of my writing at the dinner table on Friday nights. Mom says she even shares my posts on her social meeting, which was a surprise to me.

Considering how much attention my parents pay to my blog, I won’t tell you how *I* am celebrating Father’s Day this year, because I don’t want to spoil the surprise.

So I thought instead, I would research how Father’s Day is celebrated around the world. And I learned that it isn’t the same across the globe—in some cases, it’s not even on the same day! In Australia, for instance, the day for honouring Dad occurs on the first Sunday in September. Same with New Zealand.

In Thailand, Father’s Day is celebrated on the birthday of King Bhumibol Adulyadej (that’s a mouthful) on Dec 5. The King gives a speech and many people in the country wear pink to honour him. Canna Lilies are a popular gift.

Men—not just fathers—are celebrated in Russia. The Feb. 23 holiday started as a military commemoration, and soldiers are still honoured in parades throughout the country.

Mexico honours Father’s day with a 21K Father’s Day race—thought maybe not this year given the coronavirus situation—and people in Brazil celebrate St. Joachim on Aug. 2. St. Joachim is the patron saint of fathers and grandfathers.

Interesting, right?

I’m always fascinated by how different cultures celebrate the various holidays, especially since Canada is such a culturally diverse country. What traditions do you have?

Gotta jet! Happy Father’s Day everyone—I hope it’s a special one!

~ Chase Superman Duffy