Archive | Contemplations

Out of the Woods

Last week J. and I drove up past the 55th parallel, climbed in our canoe, and paddled part of the Grass River. We put in at Pisew Falls and meandered downstream to Kwasitchewan Falls, on a route used for thousands of years by aboriginal people and fur traders who came in the 1700s in search […]

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Home from Former Haunts

J. and I came back to The Pas from Ontario a few days ago after being away for nearly a month. With two animals in the car – our senior, asthmatic cat and our 11-month-old puppy – we traveled over 2,500 kilometers both there and back, driving through Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, the edge of North […]

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Waiting for the Flood

Those images coming out of Calgary were something else. Roads broken, cars underwater, the Saddledome wrecked. Having spent the past several years combing through newspapers for stories of decimation and surreal post-apocalyptic destruction within North America for my novel Swarm, it brought to mind the city that I created: on the edge of collapse because […]

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Dancing Skeletons: Building Plot

I’m working on the plot of my next book these days and in the process thinking a lot about cause and effect. That E. M. Forster chestnut is on my mind. If you’re a writer, you probably know the one: “The king died then the queen died, is a story. The king died and then […]

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Considering Home in Saskatoon

Lately I’ve been hearing a lot about Saskatoon. How pretty it is; how artsy. So it was exciting for J. and I to drop Mowat off at the local kennel, arrange a cat-sitter so Griffy could maintain the lifestyle to which she’s become accustomed and head south(ish)-west for a few days over the Manitoba March […]

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Isn’t It What’s Inside That Counts?

The other day, I snuffled around a bit on my bookshelves, sticking my nose into the pages of some of my favourites – The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse by Louise Erdrich, You Must Remember This by Joyce Carole Oates, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, Bear by Marian Engel – […]

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Exposure of Another Kind

Two days ago I finished the last edit of Swarm. A friend of mine asked me what exactly that means, because it seems like over the past few years I’ve several times said, I’m done!, only to dive back in again… But this time is different. For the past month and a half I’ve been […]

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Wild, Wild West

I heard the wolves this morning. At 5 a.m., the sky studded with quartz flakes of stars, the snow creaking into the cold night. I’d just come in from letting Mowat out and heard them when I climbed back into bed. An eerie far-off howling that accentuated the silence. It seemed fitting. I’ve been thinking […]

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Learning the Land of Water

Last night I went to a book event in the cafeteria at UCN (the University College of the North). There weren’t a lot of people there – which didn’t really surprise me, as I remember doing the northern Ontario tour for Lichen Bright and sometimes we’d have, oh, about five people out for readings. I’m […]

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Cabin Fever

It’s pretty quiet up here. The usually sunny and blue skies are disguised by snow: a fine mist that lays like a fog over the river. January crawls on and I realize I have a bit of cabin fever. I’ve been doing stuff: yesterday I went skating. The day before, I stopped by the Sam […]

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