Moments of the past and the present and the future

I recently returned from a vacation that took me to Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea. It was my first time landing in Malaysia and Singapore but not South Korea. I had been an English teacher in Korea almost 20 years ago. When I was there, I wrote a bi-weekly column for a Nova Scotia newspaper about my experiences. I’m doing …

Golden moment

It was 1996 and I was going to Ryerson University. I was in the Journalism for Graduates program and I had to write a non-fiction story for my course Magazine Fundamentals. The class was taught by writer David Hayes and he asked us to write about a “golden moment.” I wrote about my family dog, Jasper. He died not soon …

Where to go from here

When I graduated from journalism school the economy was in rough shape. It was 1997 and there was a global economic crisis. There’s a recession now too and journalism grads are in the same boat I was in almost 20 years ago. One recent go-getter grad e-mailed me and asked for some advice. I met him a couple of weeks …

Media meltdown

The newspaper industry across Canada was dealt a massive blow last week. It hit me personally as my husband was caught in the layoff tsunami. We need more trained journalists, not fewer. I know there are other sectors hurting and the economy in Alberta is weak right now. At a Calgary Chamber of Commerce event a couple of weeks ago, …

Floppy disc discovery

While home for the holidays in Nova Scotia, I found a treasure trove: some old, old floppy discs. Not those round ones that look like records but the hard square ones. I brought them back to Calgary and wondered how to get the data off them. Who has a computer with a floppy disc drive anymore? The Calgary Public Library. …

Beginning, middle and end

I instruct writing workshops and one thing I teach is a story has to have a beginning, middle and end. An easy way to accomplish this in a piece is to remember to use the three o’s: objective, obstacle and outcome. To get the point across I split a class into groups of three. Then I have everyone write an …

Stand by your (NHL) man

Don’t laugh at me but I like the Leafs. Yes, the Toronto Maple Leafs. My team hasn’t done well all year and definitely aren’t in the running for the Stanley Cup so I’m rooting for my next favourite team, the Calgary Flames. (Update: they lost last night.) My husband is a diehard Montreal Canadians fan and I’m not going there. …