The Maritime homing beacon

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“What is it with you Maritimers?” asked a friend born and raised in Calgary. “You always want to go home.” Home. Home, to Maritimers, can be Nova Scotia, New Brunswick or Prince Edward Island. Three provinces with proud distinctions on their own, but together, together they are a tight-knit community unfurled on the Atlantic ocean. When we were born, somehow, … Read More

Don’t be ashamed of indie publishing

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I read an article by author Ros Barber on the virtues of traditional publishing versus self-publishing. Barber said she would rather be poor than publish one of her novels independently. She went on to make a lot of absurd generalizations against indie-published writers. (Such as: the only thing self-published writers talk/tweet/post about are their books.) Her judgment of indie publishing … Read More

Festival Time

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It’s April and the month full of festival events for This is My City Calgary (TMC). TMC has music, theatre, visual arts and stories for you to experience. TMC is a volunteer-run, non-profit society that brings art and people together no matter what income bracket or social status. The festival is made up of different events taking place around the … Read More

Golden moment

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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 … Read More

Come to the festival!

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Since 2012, This is My City Calgary (TMC) holds a festival in April full of music, theatre, visual art and stories. TMC invites you to see what it has going on this year. TMC is a volunteer-run, non-profit society that brings art and people together no matter what income bracket or social status. The festival is made up of different … Read More

A Heart for Kristy

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When meeting Kristy Thackeray, the first thing you’ll notice is her big smile. The second thing is how friendly she is to everyone: she really cares about people. Kristy was a participant in one of my Chinook Learning Services memoir writing classes last fall and she went out of her way to comfort those who got teary-eyed while sharing their … Read More

La cervix

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It’s the first French class of Grade 11. I’m sitting in a small beige room with about 18 other students. Since it’s high school no one feels cool but we’re all trying to impress each other with our Beaver Canoe sweatshirts and high-end binders. Heck, even intelligence counted a little bit. Madam L.W. asks us, in English, if we know … Read More

Where to go from here

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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 … Read More

From idea to business

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Capital Ideas is a community of business owners, helping business owners. Recently, they asked Calgary entrepreneurs: How do you know when it’s time to launch your business? Here’s my answer: http://bit.ly/1K6AFyX *There a lot of factors at play when deciding it’s time to launch a business. But there is no one right time. Of course, you can conduct research and … Read More

Playing with words

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We all have stories in our lives that we wish we could change. A new workshop by This is My City Calgary (TMC) gives participants the chance to do that with Write /Rewrite: a do-over. TMC is a non-profit organization that puts artist-mentors together with marginalized people. I volunteer as a memoir writer and Patricia Lortie is a visual artist … Read More