Vicki McLeod and David Aston will be the featured readers at Electric Mermaid on March 19. (SUBMITTED PHOTOS)

Vicki McLeod and David Aston will be the featured readers at Electric Mermaid on March 19. (SUBMITTED PHOTOS)

Non-fiction writers take a turn at Electric Mermaid in Port Alberni

Live reading event from Char’s Landing is scheduled for Friday, March 19

A pair of non-fiction writers will be taking a turn at the next Electric Mermaid live reading event in Port Alberni.

The next Electric Mermaid: Live Reads from Char’s Landing event is scheduled for Friday, March 19. In addition to reserved open mic readers who secure five-minute spots to read, the Electric Mermaid sea of Zoom attendees will hear from two non-fiction authors.

Vicki McLeod of Parksville, B.C. is the author of four books, a TEDx speaker, coach, presenter, consultant and an award-winning writer and entrepreneur.

Her books include You & the Internet of Things, Digital Legacy Plan, #Untrending and From Chaos to Peace: A Simple Program to Clear Your Clutter & Change Your Life.

For more than two decades, through her consultancy Main Street Communications Ltd., McLeod has helped organizations, governments and small businesses create conversations that matter with clients, customers and stakeholders. She has coached and mentored leaders, executive teams and individuals to take inspiration and turn it into strategy.

She is a graduate of the Writers Studio at Simon Fraser University, and works in nonfiction, fiction and poetry. As a certified coach and process facilitator, McLeod is a catalyst for transformative change-making, dream-doing and deep-diving.

In a Jan. 6, 2020 column in the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News, McLeod said in her coaching practice, she’s worked with hundreds of people in visioning, goal-setting and evaluating success.

“In my experience, people don’t really have to be particularly smart, assertive, or ruthless in order to be successful. They simply need to take themselves, their ideas, and their goals seriously,” McLeod said.

“Most of us will only put our time, money, or energy into something we honestly want,” she added. “If you’re not doing that, then there may be more profound issues at play. What you think you want may not be in alignment with your deeper longings. You may be setting goals based on the expectations of other people, or outside influences. Or, even more simply, you actually don’t want whatever it is, all that bad.”

The second featured reader on March 19 is David Aston, who is a personal finance and investment journalist. He has an M.A. in economics, a Chartered Financial Analyst designation and is a Chartered Professional Accountant. He published a new book, The Sleep-Easy Retirement Guide, in 2020. It is available in bookstores across the country.

On in January 2020, blogger Jonathan Chevreau asked Aston what inspired the book’s name.

“I wanted to evoke the concept of achieving a level of comfort with the most difficult and challenging questions related to preparing for retirement,” he said. “The advice one commonly sees on the internet about it tends to be fragmented, may apply to one situation but not others, and is often conflicting. So I wanted to provide a helpful and consistent guidebook for people who are trying to navigate their way through these complex questions,” he said.

Aston said his reading for Electric Mermaid will include practical financial advice for those looking to prepare for retirement.

A Toronto resident, David has roots in Port Alberni, BC, where Char’s Landing is located. His grandmother, Laura Vowel, was a longtime Port Alberni resident from the 1950s on, and Port Alberni was a familiar vacation destination for him.

Electric Mermaid: Live Reads from Char’s Landing happens the third Friday of each month on Zoom via a link from The host is Derek Hanebury and the moderator is Karl Korven. Artistic director is Jackie Carmichael.

In addition to two national feature readers, there is a curated open mic with spots of up to five minutes in length. Poetry, fiction and non-fiction readers are welcome. Writers interested in reading their work can email

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