telling the truth

Awhile back I read somewhere that Philip Roth would never have become the writer he was without the help of his mother. When he came under attack by the neighbours and relatives for using them as characters in his fiction, it was his mom who stood by him. It was Mom who said: You’re a […]

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busy young bees

Yesterday a shocking new Stats Canada study surfaced in the media. It found that lots of Canadian teens aren’t exactly hanging out at the pool hall, smoking pilfered cigarettes while wondering who to ask to the prom.  Instead, an incredible amount of them are a bit more like Michael J. Fox’s Alex Keaton in Family Ties: hustling around the locker-lined […]

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lauren is…

finally updating her blog! Lauren is excited. Lauren is giving her dog a cookie. Lauren is out in the garden, going to bed, packing, off on an adventure, back to work. Lauren is procrastinating.  For many of you the above claims might make no sense at all. But if you’ve been bitten by the Facebook bug, they’re probably […]

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en route to argentina

Two different trips. Two very specific reasons for travel. Here, in Oregon, I’ve spent my days sifting through some fifty years of my uncle’s writing, reading his travel journals, his letters to his mother, his poems and the work he’s already done on his book about the Manitoulin. In between slow, cane-assisted walks to and from the dinner table […]

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oregon or bust

My mother’s brother, my uncle Clive, is a writer. As a kid I knew him as Unc, the gregarious, adventure-loving uncle who’d come sweeping in from the south, from his life as an American. He was accompanied by his wife, Linda, who speaks with a charming and delicate Southern accent and our cousins, Caitlin and […]

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fiction friday

This is Jill, Mr. Brody said, smiling. He lowered his arm to his side. She’s come from Toronto. Please make her feel welcome. And he looked at me. I don’t know why he looked at me. Sarah and Jessica were whispering in the back row, their heads together, their syllables snapping like tacks tossed on the floor. […]

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one man’s junk – vince’s, actually

One of my first major publications was a piece for the Globe and Mail’s Facts and Arguments section. It was an essay about diving dumpsters – specifically the one behind the supermarket near my house. We were finding food, all kinds of it: loaf after loaf of delicatessan-style bread, pounds of butter, lots of veggies, and even, one day, a mushroom lasagna. Dumpster […]

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goodbye, ms. callwood

I wish I’d known June Callwood better. In the late ’90s, early ’00s, I crossed paths with the acclaimed writer and social activist when I worked at TERLA (The Electronic Rights Licencing Agency, sadly defunct). She was chair of the board. Every now and then she’d pop in on business or just because she was nearby.  She wasn’t like anyone else. […]

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introducing fiction fridays

This is where I come from. Outside the world shifts from an explosion of colour to nothing, a landscape void of anything but blue, grey, white and a kind of half-dead brown. The lake slowly slips into hiding, its riotous self tucked under a blanket of ice. You don’t hear it moving, not like the […]

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the importance of poetry

It may be the cruelest month, but it’s also National Poetry Month. Readings echo across the continent (make sure you go to that link above to find out where they are in Canada) and people who live and breathe the written word blog about the importance of poetry and why it matters. To American poet Robert Peake, poetry is […]

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