Category Archives: Culture

Even the Stars are a Mess

They were years of frustration, endless eons of disappointment spliced with rare bursts of pleasure, like the sudden explosion of a present for his birthday, or the sight of horses hanging their long heads over a fence, all in a … Continue reading

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Halfway Across the Country

I have driven across Canada over fifty times, although that measurement is contested by my friend. Everyone gets cranky when they are overtired or have had a bad day, or just when someone is annoying, but when some of my … Continue reading

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Retirement

The first time I encountered the notion of retirement and pensions was nearly twenty years ago when I was working at Worcester State College. I had just been hired, and although they only intended to give me full time hours … Continue reading

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Nutrient on the History Channel Show Alone

A central preoccupation of the show Alone is, naturally enough, how to get enough food to stay alive. The show has featured survivors who have made deadfall traps to catch mice, eaten slugs, and relied on seaweed to keep themselves … Continue reading

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Nepotism and the Publishing Industry

The writing community industry is small enough in Canada that even someone like me, who is tangentially related to the literary world, can often see names I recognize in literary magazines. I also check which books are published by which … Continue reading

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Teaching Farley Mowat

Farley Mowat occupies a curious position in Canadian letters. He is a kind of Ernest Hemingway of the north, but in the academic world of English study, he is never dressed well enough to be invited to the party. Some … Continue reading

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Travelling Without Geography

Most people around the world marvel when American television shows feature street geography quizzes and Americans cannot point to a single country on a map. The subsequent discussion usually centres around the failing American education system, the geographical ignorance that … Continue reading

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Six of One, Half a Dozen of the Covid

News about the Covid 19 virus has become a ubiquitous backdrop in our lives, and the media’s frenzy in our lives has become more ubiquitous than the trappings of the disease itself. More than masks and people side-eying while they … Continue reading

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Don’t Tell the Archaeologist

My friend was flanked by two Inuit elders as she repeatedly picked up and asked about bones found on the ground. “A walrus rib,” the elder would reply, and then my friend would be off after another object. She knew … Continue reading

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Writing as a Logical Series of Steps

The inevitability of plot is one of the easiest aspects of writing. As a storyteller you shove a metal key into your characters, wind them up like a toy, and watch them perform series of proscribed motions. Many of the … Continue reading

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