May 2012

The sardine retreat

Turns out I’m driven. Turns out my fears were unfounded. I don't need a big fat bureaucracy, or my father standing over my head with a megaphone he can do without, to impose structure and deadlines. Turns out I won’t always abandon projects I claim to hold dear leaving a wake of false starts. Turns out I can be alone. Turns out I’m a writer.

Harper's War on the Environment

If someone were proposing a toxic dump on the property next to mine, ignoring the scientific studies indicating it would poison the ground water and give me and my kids diseases (all the while telling me it was the key to prosperity and competitiveness and that I was anti-Canadian for opposing it) I'd be up in arms.

Even if it was going to employ 50 people.

The Pitch

I recently met with a columnist who’d generously agreed to let me pick her brain. I was nervous and excited and did more nattering on about what I was up to, than I did effective mining of her resources. She did say that her own tips and particular journey might not be that helpful to me. She’d taken a traditional route – journalism, internships at magazines, national newspapers. My route - decades as a bureaucrat followed by the canon ball jump into writerly waters, was another thing altogether.

Should you ever take the reader to the toilet?

I got my novel back the other day. A close friend read the first draft and while she liked many things about it, even found herself caught up in the page-turnerness of certain sections, she felt it needed a trim - a shave? a diet? The story is too fat. As someone who struggled with body image and eating disorders my whole adult life an overweight story is a scary thing.