Reading On Writing

Writing a review of a book about writing is one way to face your insecurities. It doesn't help that I've often heard that this particular book, Stephen King's On Writing, is the BEST ever produced on the topic. So I'll try not to be overly long and I promise to ruthlessly eradicate any superfluous adverbs I have the misfortune … [Read more...]

When to Follow the Dream (and when to give up)

Bloody serious I lived in fear of having to clap. Flamenco, that passionate, heartbreaking dance was kicking my butt. A dream since I was a teen had been to learn this exotic dance. And here I was -- I knew the steps, but the rhythms were an unsolvable mystery. My worst nightmare became being asked to do palmas! I had started taking flamenco dance classes before a trip to the Andalucía region of Spain … [Read more...]

Classic Books by Classy Dames

On Sunday morning as I was lolling in bed feeling half asleep and not at my best (the cliché "I can't party like I used to" had revealed its poignant truth), an interview on CBC Radio with Rebecca Solnit clicked my brain to the "ON" position. In the interview, she said that empathy isn't an emotion, it's an act of the imagination. She explained that stories are what help us to become empathetic … [Read more...]

Happy x-mas for Freaks!

Yay Halloween, it's my favourite holiday. New Year's Eve comes in a close second with its promise of new beginnings, but Halloween wins on the strength of its extravagant strangeness. I've always loved dressing up. I remember my first day in kindergarten; many kids were upset, crying, and wanting their mommy. But I was positively joyful! My teachers were my mom's friends (she is a kindergarten teacher to this day) so they weren't frightening. And I got to spend the entire half-day in the dress-up centre. When my parents arrived, I didn't want to leave! I want to stay with the costumes, please. … [Read more...]

Bjütie will save the world! [maybe]

The gloomy Russian author, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, is credited with floating the idea that beauty will save the world in his story, The Idiot. Full disclosure: I've never read Dostoyevsky (bad librarian, bad!). But I love this idea that beauty can perhaps conceivably change the world for the better. … [Read more...]