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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green christmas, white easter…

…that’s just wrong.   Snow squall warnings. An inch or so of the white stuff. Will it never end? As a merry Easter and a joyous Long Weekend to all who celebrate this particular holiday, a sign of hope from my friend Julie:     The earliest, odd-looking beginning of rhubarb in her backyard garden. Soon enough, […]

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not-so-sweet deal

Buying honey is a no-brainer. See the word Canada on the label, put it in your shopping cart, and feel good about supporting, if not a nearby farmer, at least one from the same country. Right? Not necessarily. Last year, a story I wrote for Simcoe Life about local beekeepers introduced me to a whole mess of complexities around the […]

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under the veil

The MacLaren Art Centre, a gallery in Barrie, is hosting a fantastic exhibit that J. and I saw today. Called Enduring Women: Veils of Secrecy it came to being when southwestern Ontario artists Gerald Pedros and Sylvia Curtis-Norcross “challenged one another to examine and respond to the issue of violence against women – not in […]

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signs of peace

Saturday was an inspiring day for people who oppose war.   Among the many, many rallies and demonstrations protesting the war, activists in the Humanist Movement hosted living peace signs around the world to denounce the continuing occupation in Iraq, the ongoing battles in Afghanistan and, simply, the idea that war and violence ever really answers any human need. Here in […]

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momentary lapse

Due to the fact that I quit caffeine a couple days ago and can now only sleep and pop aspirin in my spare time, this week’s post will be slightly delayed. Please do return on Tuesday for thoughts on the human peace signs that echoed around the globe yesterday. In the meantime, check out these breastfeeding images […]

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MySpace and the Case of the Breastfeeding Boobs

Boobs are bad, ladies and gentlemen. Well, not totally bad. This is okay. And this. It seems that they are allowed exposure in polite society when they are presented for gentlemanly pleasure or clasped in tight T-shirts a la Hooters. But exhibit them in their natural position – clutched in the tiny mouth of a nursing infant – […]

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the sword of damocles

Around the corner from our house is an old red-brick Victorian that’s seen better days. With three stories and a wrap-around porch, it must have been nice once.   But last winter the roof of that wrap-around porch was leaking. By January, a giant icicle hung over the front door like the sword of Damocles hovering above anyone who came in or […]

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