Archive | Creativity

Denting the Armour

On the orange wall of my office, in black marker, I’ve scrawled the words: Don’t be careful! I got this idea from Sarah Selecky and when I first wrote it, I believed it to be about the writing, an instruction I could glance at, reminding me to go deeper, to not let that internal ever-cautious […]

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Happy Knitiversary

I passed my one-year knitiversary rather quietly. Facebook spat up a reminder, showing me the blog post that I wrote about beginning to learn, after I started taking classes in Calgary last spring while living there on a residency. It was very strange to click back and see the image of that first cowl that […]

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Mixed Tape & CanLit Collections: Christy Ann Conlin’s The Memento

Christy Ann Conlin‘s brand new book The Memento “wields a strange power and force, both psychological and emotional” writes Robert Wiersema in The Toronto Star. Here, she shares the music and artifacts that helped breathed life into this “coming of age story with elements of ghost stories, haunted houses, family curses and folk tales.” It’s rare […]

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Climbing Gear

Here’s a confession: I’m tired. Really tired. Exhausted, actually. I’m about fifteen pages away from finishing the latest in-depth edits of my book and have already told my agent to expect it in her email in-box on Monday. I’m nearing the summit, I guess, and feel oh-so-ready for a protein bar and a cup of […]

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Photo on 2016-04-02 at 6.08 PM

Finishing

There’s a moment that often comes back to me. Early autumn of 2010, at a bed-and-breakfast in Ontario’s Muskokas. I was there on a solitary writing retreat and in the afternoon, at the desk, after a few days of hard work, I typed the last words and finished Swarm. I stood up, walked outside, and […]

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New Growth

The world up here is covered in slowly thinning snow; the ice not yet sliding down the river. The sun is warmer, the ravens are talking up a storm, the crows are back, and the magpies are busy building their stick-pod nests. It’s spring, that time when whatever you plant will start to sprout. For […]

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Tough Love

This week, I’ve been practicing some tough love. My motto has been: Stop snivelling. I’ve been getting up early, hauling chunks of my draft back to bed and editing, re-writing, deepening. No checking my [fill in the Internet blank] first, no opting out. Because, as I said last week, the only way out is through. […]

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Shoe Horn

Here it is. Late winter. The time of year when the landscape alienates with its constant blankness and, as a self-employed artist, I find myself having to drink copious amounts of tea and engage in regular heart-to-hearts with the bathroom mirror about self-care and commitment and forgiveness. Okay, not really. Well, sort-of. I know I’m […]

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Mixed Tape: Erna Buffie’s Let Us Be True

Today, Winnipeg-based writer and film-maker Erna Buffie launches my new series, Mixed Tape (read about it and its sister project, CanLit Collections) with a meditation on the role music played in her debut novel Let Us Be True, and a song-list. Says Erna: The challenge of creating a mixed tape for Let Us Be True made me […]

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Making Time

It’s just before 4 a.m. I’ve woken up, my eyes springing open because a) the cat came to me, wanting to be held, and b) I think I’ve messed up my novel’s time-line. So, I’m in our guest-room, trying to unravel this dilemma, knowing the only real way to fix it is to open up […]

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