Blog

A World Within

“I discovered a world within myself that I had not known was there.” So MG Vassanji began his reading at the IFOA last Friday night in Toronto. He was talking about his process of discovery while travelling in India and researching his ancestral homeland for his latest book, A Place
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Spellbound

“There is magic in storytelling.” - Isabel Allende I’ve just finished reading The Assassin’s Song, by MG Vassanji. Is it alchemy? Enchantment? Allurement? What is it about a particular combination of words that can bring a reader to tears? There I was, minding my own business reading this rich,
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Writing is Rewriting

“Half my life is an act of revision.” - John Irving As I near the anniversary of A Spider’s Tale, I can’t help but think of my mantra: Writing is rewriting. It took me seven years of rewriting A Spider’s Tale before it was ready to become a stage
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Second Round

“I’m sorry, Mr Kipling, but you just don’t know how to use the English language.”  - Rejection letter to Rudyard Kipling, 1889 Although math was never my strong point in school, I did sort of get the hang of ratios, which have their uses. For example, this morning
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And speaking of being star-struck…

“Life is lived in short stories; we live in moments.” - Unknown On the basis of fourteen carefully and beautifully written short stories and one novel, the Canadian author Alistair MacLeod has distinguished himself as one of the finest and most respected of the contemporary
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Star-struck

“Every artist was first an amateur.”  - Ralph Waldo Emerson My current favourite Internet story about the late, great Paul Newman has me thinking about being star-struck. Frankly, I’ve never minded being star-struck, and under similar circumstances I probably would have put the ice cream in my
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Culture Vulture

“Art is life seen through a temperament.” - Emile Zola For years I’ve been telling the Business Guy I need to quit my job and start getting some culture. My usual schedule of playing the viola full-time in a symphony orchestra, raising a family, and
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Violin Lesson

“Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards.” - Robert Heinlein In an earlier chapter of my life I was a violin teacher. I had forty young students, each of whom was positively edible.
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Ordinary People/Extraordinary Giving

“With ordinary talents and extraordinary perseverance all things are attainable.” - Thomas Baxton I recently attended a gala arts event. It was a fundraiser for a symphony orchestra; or to be more precise, the orchestra’s Education and Outreach program, which strives to enrich the lives of our
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Paper Clips

“Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.” - Gene Fowler I’ve just finished dusting the paper clips. Not individual clips, of course – that would be an exercise in procrastination,
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