COWDY HOUSE, an imprint of Upstart Press in Kingston, Ontario, works for local authors first, enriching the local arts community. Our books are distributed through local bookstores and writers festivals and can be found in libraries and on bookshelves across Canada. Cowdy House's lead titles for 2015-16 include three standouts: Alena Schram's Ephronesque essay collection, The Opinionated Old Cow; John Boxtel's STUDIO, a full-colour reprise of 60 years (and counting) of the sculptor's work; and Maureen Garvie's literary mystery Withdrawn from Circulation.

Cowdy House's editor and production manager, Christina Decarie, teaches communications at St. Lawrence College in Kingston. Her fiction and writing have appeared in Business Communication Quarterly, Quill & Quire, Profile Kingston, Pottersfield Portfolio, Antigonish Review, All Rights Reserved, and other publications, plus the anthologies Writing on the Edge and Lake Effect.

Darryl Joel Berger designs Cowdy House books. See samples of his work here.


Alena Schram

Alena Schram, The Opinionated Old Cow: Ruminations from the Field
Kingston, ON: Cowdy House 2016  ISBN: 9990049696283 / $20 paper

After a lifetime of enforced good diplomatic conduct, Alena Schram has begun venting her opinions on subjects dear to the dicky hearts of baby boomers, from the perils of Facebook, the annoying tendencies of husbands who co-shop, and the defective rearing of grandchildren, to sports cars for the menopausal, bras that winch, and chin hairs with minds of their own.       

Alena (aka the Opinionated Old Cow) grew up and attended university in Toronto. She has spent a lifetime trailing her husband John, a retired Canadian ambassador, around the world. Together they served in seven overseas capitals and raised three children. Still married to each other (and in perpetual, perfect harmony), they live on an island in Lake Ontario, where Alena spends her time writing about – and alienating – her family, friends, and neighbours. Her Opinionated Old Cow column appeared in the National Post, and she has written for other Canadian newspapers and magazines as well as the International Herald Tribune (now the International New York Times).   

ALENA WRITES: I’m a 70-year-old reasonably attractive woman with a good education, a lifetime of experience, and all my original organs, lenses, joints, and teeth. In more than 46 years of marriage, I’ve lived in eight countries, seven of them as diplomatic appendage to my husband, a retired – and very tolerant and accommodating – ambassador. We have three grown offspring, all married, and five grandchildren. I have a wide circle of friends and probably an equally wide circle of people who can’t stand me. And I live on an island, in a very small but interesting community.

Rated  4.43 stars out of 5 on GOODREADS

To purchase a copy of The Opinionated Old Cow: Ruminations from the Field in Kingston, visit Novel Idea  • 156 Princess Street • Kingston, Ontario, Canada • K7L 1B1 • Tel. 613-546-9799 •

In Ottawa, try Books on Beechwood • 35 Beechwood Ave., Ottawa, Ontario • K1M 1M1 • $20 + GST


OTHERWISE (CDN $20 + $5 shipping;
US $18 + $9 shipping through Pay Pal)

Also available as an ebook from the usual sources.

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