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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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Writing (Reading) with Soul

At the beginning of this year, I had a transcendent experience. Dark night, reading into it, I finished The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri and rolled over in bed, my arm around the book, holding it close. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt such a strong connection to a novel, this feeling like I […]

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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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Island Clearances: Behind the Poem

Last spring, I had the great privilege of being mentored by the poet Jan Zwicky at the Sage Hill Writing Experience, along with seven other extraordinary writers. For those two weeks, I sifted through a manuscript-in-process about my great-great-grandparents’ 19th-century migration from present-day St. Catharines, up the Niagara escarpment, to Manitoulin Island. Along the way, […]

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An Ode to Farley Mowat

Yesterday, Farley Mowat died. He was 92, so he had a good long go, and wrote a lot of books, and never hesitated to boom out his thoughts about the terrible mess we humans are making of things on the earth, but I fear that the world will forget him. My generation grew up with […]

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Introducing… Firelight Interview Series

I miss fires. Not for heat: we’ve got one of those burning in our wood furnace right now. Rather the kind that you sit by, feet propped up on the rock ring, a bottle of beer in the camp-chair cup holder, while the flames reflect on the faces of your friends. There’s spontaneous storytelling; laughter; […]

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“Well, the party’s over”: David Suzuki

David Suzuki’s Carbon Manifesto: For more: http://trialofsuzuki.ca/

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We Need To Talk

Swarm is set during times of peak oil. Well, post peak oil, actually. Deeply post peak oil. Very simply, peak oil is the theory that there is a peak at which we’ve tapped all the easily available oil reserves in the world. After that, petroleum becomes harder to find and more expensive to extract. You […]

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Home for a Rest

Well, I’m home. It’s snowed twice so far. J. and I are in a battle over how high to turn up the electric rads because we still haven’t managed to order any wood. There’s a need to go grocery shopping. The cat and dog are happy. Yes, back to normal, after the thrill of being […]

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Swarm: The Current Crisis

So here we are.  One reading into my book tour and the U.S. government has shut down, sending nearly a million federal workers on furlough and risking the stability of the whole house of cards. By the last day of my tour in Ontario – October 17th, the day I head back to The Pas […]

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