Four Decades of Writing

For the first decade, my professional pen
launched into a nautical career,
while the
past three decades have sent me on more

venturesome forays both aloft
and ashore:
creating travel journals, navigating human rights causes, discussing parenting, writing for education, co-authoring a book on saving farmland (fighting for real food), building websites and 
messing about with poetry.  The muse ~ umm, the cat ~ keeps my words purring along ever faster. 

Phase One: Boats, Boats and More Boats

Magazine Articles on Yacht Design

From 1971 to 1983, under the name Robin Roberts and Robin (Roberts) Benford, I wrote, co-authored and/or edited over 100 yacht design articles. Varying from ½ to 5 pages, they appeared in the design sections of the following magazines:

Canada: Boating News, Canadian Yachting, Pacific Yachting
U.S.A.: Boating, Castoff, Cruising World, Lakeland Boating, Motor Boating & Sailing,
Nor’Westing, Pacific Skipper, Sail, Sailing, Sea, Woodenboat, Yachting

Overseas: Caza Y Pesca (Brazil), Die Yacht (Germany), Sea Spray (New Zealand), Yachting Monthly (England), Yachting World (England), and magazines in France and Norway

A few oldies from my scrapbook

A Small Sampling of Some of These 'Oldies-But-Goodies'
Full Feature Magazine Article

The Natural Look 2 pages, Yachting magazine, Ziff-Davis Publishing Company, New York, N.Y., USA, April, 1983. The company whose marine oil I featured in this article asked permission to reprint thousands of copies of my article as an explanatory brochure.

The Perils and Ploys of Northwest Navigation 4 pages, Cruising World magazine, Newport, R.I., USA, January, 1981. This article seems now to me so sweetly innocent of all the high-tech aids to navigation that followed.

The “Best” Of Vancouver Island, A Cruising Philosopher’s Sampler 5 pages, Sea magazine, CBS Publications, USA, August, 1980. A time of reflection which makes me realize that my desired essence ~ connecting with nature ~ remains my dominant, driving force today.

Puffin...Toppling Some Concrete Myths 7 pages, Boating magazine, Ziff-Davis Publications, Inc., New York, N.Y., USA, April, 1973. I couldn't resist flipping you back to the opening page of my scrapbook and my very first, published, full-feature article.

Some of the old books & journals


Boatbuilding & Design Forum, 12 issues, 16 pages each, Benford Publishing Corp., 1973. I was editor, chief writer and layout composer. Subscriptions worldwide; compiled as a 192-page book at year’s end.


Cruising Yachts, co-authored with Jay R. Benford, 200 pages, Tiller Publications, P.O. Box 447, St. Michaels, MD. 21663, USA, 1983.
The Benford 30: A Philosophy and a Yacht, 24 pages, Jay R. Benford & Assoc., Inc., Friday Harbor, WA. 98250, USA, 1977.
Cruising Designs, 84 pages, Jay R. Benford & Assoc., Inc., Friday Harbor, WA. 98250, USA, 1976.
Practical Ferro-Cement Boatbuilding, editor, co-authored by Jay R. Benford & Herman Husen, 216 pages, International Marine Publishing Company, Camden, Maine 04843, USA, 1970-72.
Cruising Boats/Sail & Power, with Jay R. Benford, 76 pages, Jay R. Benford, Friday Harbor, WA. 98250, USA, 1970.

Ad Writing:

Our Affair With Deks Olje for The Flood Company, Hudson, Ohio, USA, 1976 through 1983. This ad testimonial, written at the company’s request, was used as both a hand-out brochure and a full page ad, including back outside covers, in the following magazines: Woodenboat, Sail, Cruising World and Yachting.
Dozens of Ads and Brochures
Between 1971 and 1986, I wrote ads and brochures for the yacht design office of Jay R. Benford, several production yacht companies and a wooden toy manufacturing company.

Phase Two: Into This Century

New Book!

Saving Farmland, The Fight for Real Fooduses storytelling to explain why and how we need to save farmland in a sustainable manner to feed current and future generations. Ethnobotanist professor Nancy J. Turner commented “I could scarcely tear myself away from this book. It is compellingly personal and yet universal in its message… Anyone with an interest in food and the future will be inspired by it.”

A practical book teeming with fascinating history and facts, it helps readers transcend the paradox of people creating the problems—but also the solutions. It introduces readers to stories of lost farmland, bees saving lives, the consequences of industrial farming, sustainability, ecosystems and biodiversity. It describes overcoming obstacles, choosing models, identifying vital farmland, building community and fundraising. Concluding stories of commonly shared land, international trusts, regained farmland and several heroes provide ongoing inspiration.

Backed up with scientific details and links to videos, websites, articles about farms, farmers, chefs and their sources, Saving Farmland is a practical guide that's bound to make a difference to all foodies and their sources. Read Amy Reiswig's article in Focus magazine's September, 2015 issue (pages 34 & 35) -- interviewing us and our thoughts behind Saving Farmland.  For more reviews or to purchase either paper or electronic formats of Saving Farmland, The Fight for Real Food, see publisher Rocky Mountain Books.

Publishers Rick Wood & Don Gorman, of Rocky Mountain Books, with Co-Authors Robin Roberts, Sophie Wooding & Nathalie Chambers, at the Book Launch for Saving Farmland -- The Fight for Real Food. Bolen Books in Victoria, B.C. hosted the event for an overflowing crowd on June 30, 2015.


Teacher’s Manual for Tutorial Self-Access Centre, 88 pages plus computer disc, for the English Language Centre, University of Victoria, 2000.


The Date of Our Lifetime, published in the anthology, Best Date Ever, True Stories That Celebrate Lesbian Relationships, 2007, edited by Linda Alvarez, published by Alyson Books, New York, USA.

E-Zine & Web Articles

Helping Your Kids Handle Homophobia, 1800 words, Mommy Queerest, Toronto, Ontario, Summer, 2003, pages 18/19.

Interview on B.C. Queer Marriage, 8200-word dialogue written for the website about the B.C. fight for same-sex marriage in Canada.

Newsletter Articles

Making It Long Term: Honouring the Grey, 1800 words, OutViews, Bleeding Rose Multimedia, Victoria, B.C., June, 2003. This article discusses the courage it takes to move from the rigidity of a black-and-white view of the world to the flexibility of the grey, in order to succeed in a long-term relationship.
Appealing To Family 1800 words, OutViews, Bleeding Rose Multimedia, Victoria, B.C., February, 2003. This article shows how we create a 'family' in various arenas in our lives, and in this case, how our B.C. 'family' of equal-marriage litigants survived in the B.C. Court of Appeals.
Why Same-Sex Marriage? 2400 words, OutViews, Bleeding Rose Multimedia, Victoria, B.C., September, 2002. This article was written in response to some in the gay community who question the desire for marriage.

Conference Presentation Writing

Love or Labels, Inclusion or Exclusion ~ Written for Father Antonio Orsorio's Presentation & video given at a Meeting of Anglican Bishops and Clergy in Sorento, B.C., July, 2003. The purpose of this article was to help bishops and clergy imagine what it means to be homosexual in the current Anglican climate, and to contemplate the kinds of messages they truly wish to spread.

Brief to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights Regarding Marriage and Legal Recognition of Same-Sex Unions ~ Printed in French & English. Distributed in Vancouver, B.C., during Oral Presentation March 6, 2003. After I gave this presentation to attending Members of Parliament, one MP made the effort to seek me out and personally thank me. He told me had, until that moment, been sitting on the fence, but my brief and my oral presentation helped him make up his mind in our favour.

Writing In Progress 

In addition to the published articles and books mentioned above, I'm currently working on a series of non-fiction books on positive communication and a travel book about a year exploring Greece, Turkey, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy and the UK with our children when they were 10 and 11.  




Writing is like Echinacea: a total necessity in the garden of life.