Category Archives: Art

Something to Show for Each Year

I am frequently asked why I bother writing my various books. I don’t have a huge audience to satisfy like Stephen King or J. K. Rowling. In my case, my books sell sporadically and I don’t know there is a … Continue reading

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Hostile Architecture 2

I have commented before on hostile architecture in Winnipeg, but now that I have collected a few more examples, I thought I would share what we walk by every day and ignore. Perhaps our own privilege blinds us. For if … Continue reading

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Ancient Science at the Planetarium

Whenever we think about our ancestors we are inclined to imagine them as moronic, backward troglodytes, dragging their knuckles through lives as brutal and stunted as themselves. In our rather short-sighted and ungrateful vision, they do not hope to compare … Continue reading

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Gaming Grand Theft Auto

One of the most popular games of all time is Grand Theft Auto. The game features particular missions, in which the characters, or you—depending on game setting—navigate a fictional world to accomplish a goal. Many people play the game “properly” … Continue reading

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Fifty Shades and a Silo of the Publishing Industry

The so-called vanity press has changed little in the public imagination until very recently. Traditionally, paying to have your book published was seen as synonymous with junk novels and sentimental and self-indulgent poetry. The only route to acceptance by the … Continue reading

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Writing is a Poor Person’s Art

Writing is the poor person’s art, just like soccer is the poor person’s sport. All you need to play soccer is a will, for a ball can be made out of torn nylon stockings, my friends from Chile tell me, … Continue reading

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An Authorial Dream of Wealth and Success

Perhaps because my latest book, Not Quite Dark: A Post-Apocalyptic Adoption Story is doing well in terms of sales, I had a strange dream about being a popular writer the other night. I dreamed that Obama had unwittingly endorsed my … Continue reading

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Science Fiction and the Literary World

In her condemnation of contemporary novels, Linda Miller’s “How Novels Came to Terms with the Internet,” makes several arguments that many novelists—actually she argues all novelists worthy of the name—avoid the implications of the internet in their work by confining … Continue reading

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The Type of Material for My Class

I often assign in-class essays for my foreign students and I spend a lot of time trying to figure out what might be the most effective exercise for their skills. To be fair, or perhaps just, I try to avoid … Continue reading

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The Palimpsest that is Our Lives

I was listening to the radio today before I got out of bed and it was one of those days of poor reception. I was tuned to CBC in the foreground of the transmission, while in the background, for all … Continue reading

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