Some quotes from Leslie Hall Pinder’s work:

Mother-Daughter Dynamics

“About an hour later, she said, ‘A penny for your thoughts?’ She used to ask that all the time when I was a child. I never wanted to answer. A penny didn’t seem like money now, the smallest amount of money; instead it represented a real desire to know and be known by her through a currency that had no equal.”

Bring Me One of Everything

“She’d always been a little scornful of my accomplishments, and I wondered if she’d eventually call on an ancient fidelity between us, an early, unspoken pledge every daughter has to make: that I wouldn’t venture beyond the limits she set by her own achievements… Out of low-grade allegiance was I now breaking the pact I would not go beyond her?… To speak about this to my mother, to seek confirmation of the dynamics between us, would be to acknowledge a secret system that kept the planets on orbit.”

Bring Me One of Everything

Love Gone Wrong

“For some reason, now, I keep expecting you to come around the corner or
just sit down at my table, as someone would do, long absent. Take it as a
sign of peace that I think this, or the begging side of joy.

And sometimes still, lying on my back on the grass and looking up through
the leaves the way that light looks down, I think there is no reason I do not

35 Stones, Prose Poem

Love – Sex

“He touched [me]. My cells lit up as if the breaker box for an entire city had just been flipped to ‘on.’ It hurt to be so wide awake. All the dams along the main-stem of the Snake River were breached, drawing down reservoirs held back until even the spillways were submerged. He decommissioned all the dams. I had a full continent’s response to the ending of a drought.
I started to chuckle because of the extravagant metaphor. ‘Now barbarous in beauty, the stooks rise.’ I quoted the lines in the midst of laughing…
‘I don’t like being laughed at.’ He dressed.”

Bring Me One of Everything

“And I think, given that we’re destined for ruin, that for absolute certain our earth is going to ‘end up in the sun,’ what else is there to do but to love one another? Before it’s all blasted away into something so violent that, although that violence might create more earths, they will have nothing to do with you and me… This is our hey-day. Come along, then.”

Website, Catches


“Maude Mason was losing her place.
Time was melting and mixing like a thick liquid. At the beginning of her sentence she was married and at the end she was widowed. Sometimes in the very midst of things she fell asleep: between lifting the tea cup and it reaching her lips, she drifted, waking with the cup at her mouth. It startled her, so that delicate drops of tea spilled.”

Under the House, revised 2012

“I have forgotten everything at least twice.”

“June Brides” in Women & Words The Anthology 1984

End of Life

“Theodore leaned against the railing of the balcony at the front of the cabin. There were stars, haphazard, strewn across the sky, the debris from an explosion long passed coming to him as light which had already gone out. How sorry he was that it had gone. And, if that light tried to turn, to go back to its source, it would wander aimlessly, having itself become what remained of home.”

Judge Theodore Selbie in On Double Tracks, 1990


“To live life at a pitch. Not to be half asleep.”

Lucinda Yates, The Indulgence

Hitting bottom

“If she were a vessel, if the self of her were a boat rather than a body, if her soul were a steel-hulled ship, then she’s been floating in a dangerous, destructive element. Until something deep strikes something deeper. Something metal hits something more solid, like the rock of the ocean floor. She hits bottom.
The shock of it goes through her spine, ricochets into her chest, careens into the marrow of her bones. It buckles her.”

Lucinda Yates in The Indulgence


“It’s too conventional for you. Isn’t that what you’re really saying about your life-style, your sexuality, your ‘originality’?” She accelerated her pace. “It’s too common to rely on the authorities, the family system, it’s too straight, because you consider yourself to be above it all.”

Her bespangled questions, a tease, a thing Lucinda could destroy with the bat of her eye. “What you’re saying is such rubbish. The Ryder family is a family of shirkers.” The prosecutor smiled. With each lunge at her taunts, Lucinda was doing her bidding. She had to break this hold.”

Lucinda Yates on trial in The Indulgence

“He wondered whether the Chief Justice had assigned him this trial because he would be more balanced toward this material than his colleagues. Judges tended not to be scandalized by murder, robbery, violence of all sorts. But the inner workings of a woman’s mind, talking of love? And what sort of love was it?”

Judge Semple in The Indulgence

On Land Claims

“As lawyers we don’t have to take any responsibility to construct a world. We only have to destroy another’s construction. We say no. We are the civilized, well-heeled, comfortable carriers of no. We thrive on it. Other races die.”

“The Carriers of No — After the Land Claims Trial,” READ MORE

“If a negotiator walks into the room who doesn’t understand the constitutional imperatives of the law of Canada, doesn’t believe in the rights of First Nations, wants to load the record with mountains of written material whose real purpose is for the end of the game, not for the present moment of dialogue — if such a negotiator walks into the room, tell them to go away. Tell the government of Canada to send in someone else.”

“Now What? The Continuum of Sentimentality and Violence”
Paper presented to a conference on land claims hosted by the Sto:lo Nation and the University of the Fraser Valley, 2014

On the Writing Process

“I was just a young writer then, finished university, traveling in Europe, determined that I was going to shape my experiences and be an artist. I was following the advice of others: that there is nothing to be done but to write, every day without fail, and ‘the rest is not our business.’ I was lying on the cot in the small — very small — hut we had rented on the Greek Island of Cos (the rumor was that the hut had once housed a cow). I had my eyes closed; I was thinking about a man I had met in the village that day, deciding how to describe him. As the thoughts came in words — what he was wearing, the color of his hair, how he spoke — I discovered that there was in my mind a picture that was seemingly unrelated to the words or to him. It was of a windmill. At first I thought that the image was a distraction breaking my attention and I tried to shoo it away like a buzzing fly. Then for some reason I shifted and began to explore the possibility that there was relationship between this man and — the windmill. Indeed, he seemed imposing, powerful, generative. He was also too fixed, patriarchal, unrelenting. He depended, in ways I had subconsciously discerned, on the affections of others and on his good reputation in the community. He depended on all of that like breath, like wind.

The image was a gift, seemingly non-rational, that gave me a clue to his essence.

I had discovered image making: not quite a simile or a metaphor but a kind of uber-metaphor. I believe the capacity for tapping into this source of creativity and originality is in most of us. As with dreams, relied upon it can flourish. It is an offering not a command; it is an inspiration.

Frequently when I am writing at the computer I close my eyes and while I continue to type I try to see this screen which portrays something essential for my characters or the story, something that seems to come from another world — from the gods.”

Published in Epiphanies, ed. Sheryl Dunn

“Metaphors: golfers know the experience of hitting a shank. Suddenly the ball has gone off at right-angles to the direction you wanted. Into the rough, the forest, the bush. Hard to know where it’s gone. Hopefully you didn’t hurt anyone. This morning writing a novel seemed to me like hitting a shank.”

2012, Tweet