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Showing posts from October, 2006

it's the most wonderful time of the year...

i love telling people that when i was a child, i used to play in the graveyard behind our house. i occasionally gathered up bouquets of flowers (including those plastic ones that people leave when they can't visit very often) from the graves and bring them home to my mother. i love telling this story because it's so apt that people don't believe that it's true. (it's much more effective when my mother is around to add a chorus of "no, really, she did".) it's as if an author with a great sense of foresight and irony was actually writing my life for me. (although, if that were the case, i'd like to have a few words with him about some of the plotting.)

when i was a kid, i also loved halloween. it was a big deal for me, deciding what to dress up as. i never found it frightening, although the attendant magic of the season did tend to give me little chills. my grandmother was always surprised that i would get more excited about halloween than i did ab…

failing target practice

i've been wracking my brain, because i wanted to submit one of my short stories to a contest and it's not working. there is a deadline fast approaching and i'm struggling to come up with an entry.

it's not a matter of not having stories to submit. there are a couple i would consider entering, because i think that they're indicative of my better work. the problem is that i can't find anything that fits within the specified guidelines for length.

normally, there is (for obvious reasons) an upper limit set on word count- in my experience, about 5000 words, although there is some variance. a few have lower limits as well, but i've never seen anything quite like this one. the story has to be between 2000 and 2500 words. you have a wiggle room roughly equivalent to a typed, single-spaced page, or else your submission is disqualified.

it's hard enough coming up with writing that is worthwhile, that communicates what i want it to, that has good characters an…

brrraaaaiinnnssss... with sauce

the last few years has seen a flood of gourmet-style spicy cooking sauces and marinades to satisfy any taste. i guess it was just a matter of time before someone went after the neglected zombie market

not so down and out in paris and london

just returned from a proper (i.e., longer than a couple of days) vacation in paris, where i had never been and london, where i had visited but did not remember that well. yes, that's yours truly standing on a postcard-worthy little street in monmartre.

both cities are remarkable and not just a little overwhelming.

my first reaction paris, as well as i can recall it (not counting the reaction at the airport, which is really, really, underwhelming) was that i needed larger eyes. because, no matter how much i stretched, how high i raised my eyebrows, my eyes would never be large enough to take in all of the intricate detail of paris. geograhically small, it looks like every square inch of the place was designed with the sole aim of making the hearts of those not fortunate enough to live there flutter with joy and envy.

this sounds like a cliche. it is a cliche. the whole city is a beautiful, romantic, artistic, gastronomic cliche and every year, double the population of canada descen…

church bulletin

is your religion cool enough to have contests to mark holidays? mine is.

night of the living hipsters

one of the reasons i choose to live in cities rather than the country is because of the easy access to art. being creastively inclined myself, i enjoy the feeling of proximity to other creative folk, even though i don't always understandwhat it is they're trying to do. so i was pretty excited (as both an art fan and a night owl) last night to partake in toronto's first nuit blanche, an all night celebration of contemporary art, with installations spread over three zones of the city.

as with the most things, the first time you try something is going to be a little awkward. i hadn't done a lot of planning beforehand and figured i would want to stop in at a couple of events, rather than spending an entire night looking at the art. in fact, there were so many events that i realised the second i got my hands on a program that seeing everything i wanted was going to be an impossible proposition. because i had been under the impression that i wouldn't be spending the ni…