Monthly Archives December 2009

New Year

“Books say: she did this because. Life says: she did this.” - Julian Barnes Friend S gave me a rush of delight when she announced to me her New Year’s resolution. She plans to read only Canadian fiction, at least for a time. I’ve offeredS unlimited access to my Canadian fiction bookcase  (and S feels the same way as I about the sacredness of borrowed books, so I feel safe in doing
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Christmas Eve List

“T’was the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.” - Clement Clarke Moore - Tree trimmed and lit: check - House fragrant with balsam whiffs: check - Modest-sized pile of Thoughtful Gifts wrapped and set under the tree: check - Ribbons tied round Thoughtful Gifts and low-branch ornaments shredded and battered by Resident Feline: check - Elf
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Surprise Visitor

“Begin at the beginning and go on ’til you reach the end; then stop.”  - Lewis Carroll There I was, bracing myself for a short story. Instead I was visited by a story that, while short, isn’t quite what I’d expected. Inspired by a little something I was told by one of my four favourite aunts (I have four aunts and they’re each my favourite), earlier this
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Nothing Like a Good Book

“I don’t think I would have been a writer if I hadn’t been a mother. I wanted to construct something that contained some of these feelings that I had, some of these discoveries or revelations.” - Carol Shields A few blogs ago I mentioned my discovery of the Canadian author Nino Ricci’s work. I had just embarked on reading his Lives of the Saints and was filled with bemusement that I
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Holiday Things Noticed

“Go tell it on the mountain, over the hills and everywhere…” - Traditional gospel 1 http://bambawefushia.com/elite-singles-no/. The way a certain little neighbour of mine lit up the Nutcracker pit when she peered down at us during intermission and announced, “I want to come down there!” I guess the shiny tympani and gleaming brass instruments were hard to resist. One little sparkly-silver-shod foot managed to squeeze through the railing and
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Glad Tidings

“Always dream and shoot higher than you know how to. Try to be better than yourself.” - William Faulkner There must be something in the Atlantic air. Colleagues from my orchestra world are launching CD’s left and right. Both left and right, in fact, and they’re both GORGEOUS. Herewith, in no particular order, a few Glad Tidings: 1. Blue Engine String Quartet, four immensely talented musicians and longtime pals of
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Legends

“All that mankind has done, thought or been: it is lying as in magic preservation in the pages of books.” - Thomas Carlyle Last week I visited a Halifax nursing home, where I met a lovely group of women who listened with interest while I told them about Harbour View. We were all a little shy with each other at first, and I was glad of the notes
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Excerpt

“Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.” - Gloria Steinem Not long after the Toronto launch of Harbour View, Editor J told me a surprising thing: It seems Harbour View is Quattro Books’ top selling Phase 1 novella (Phase 1 meaning the time surrounding the launch). Much of that, I’m certain, has to do with the devoted readership of my little blog. So
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Treasures Within

“Every great and original writer, in proportion as he is great and original, must create the taste by which he is relished.” - William Wordsworth The Non-Resident-Non-Teenager (NRNT) recently bestowed on her mother (me) a lovely book, Stuart McLean’s When We Were Young, an Anthology of Canadian Stories. Well. Treasures within. McLean has selected his favourite stories of childhood, many of which are old friends and some of
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