Archive | Family

Where There’s Smoke

  My husband is reading The Road. You know, the post-apocalyptic Cormac McCarthy novel where the world is blanketed in ash and everything is burnt or burning. It’s a fitting setting for the situation in Western Canada this summer. To the south of us, 30-some kilometres away, a fire is burning, which a friend of […]

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Bad Dogs

Last week, J. tells me, he and Mowat were out on the trail behind our house with a few other dogs and dog owners. They were having a great time – the dogs, that is, the owners would have been hunched inside their down jackets, stamping their feet on the ground to stay warm. Then, […]

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Thanks, But No Thanks

Last week, I got rejected. It wasn’t anything personal. Except, you know, it was. I submitted a manuscript I’ve spent several years on, parts of which have won or been long-listed for awards, and the editor of the press came back to me with a thanks, but no thanks. Amid the constructive criticism, he said […]

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Open Doors: The Pas Writer-in-Residence Position

On the last Monday of my Writer-in-Residence gig in The Pas, I got locked inside the library. Not the part with all the books, but the back room, what’s called the Annex. In that space, under the humming lights, with tea made in the staff kitchen, with the sounds of snow-machines flying by on the […]

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Ashes to Ashes

Last week, the crematorium where Ulrich had been sent burned to the ground. Once we got over the shock, we said, Of course it did. That has Ulrich’s fingers all over it, my brother said. He wasn’t one to do anything ordinarily. He had a flair for the dramatic. Given the choice, he’d opt for adventure […]

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Farewell, Dr. Kretschmar

This past Tuesday, December 16, my step-father left a pot of tea steeping on his desk and went for a walk in the woods. He did not return. Out on the rocky path, under the white pines, he died of a sudden heart attack. Nobody ever thought this would happen. I mean, who does? But, […]

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