I’ve been thinking lately about how writers talk about discipline. It feels so important, doesn't it? I cannot tell you how many times I've heard sentences like these….Read More
As you may know, I’ve been training our newest team member for a while now, and this week is my chance to tell you aaaall about her. I did the usual things, took some pictures and wrote a bio, but for this newsletter I want to share the top 4 things that make me most excited about sharing this dazzling being with you…Read More
I’m writing this from a cottage. The porch is dripping, the sky is grey and low, my socks never dry from walking through all the puddles. Marshall is splayed out on the rag rug beside me, a pile of paws and soft breath. Ian is in the kitchen making a bacon and egg sandwich, his body rocking to the rhythm of his headphones…Read More
I was in Mexico last week, making good on a promise my sister and I made to our nephew eight years ago. We said when he was 16, we’d take him somewhere awesome. Somehow, he’s 16 now, so away we went.
I thought it would be “time off”, a rare and delicious laptop-free vacation...Read More
Old school writing teachers will tell you that you can’t start writing until you have a P.L.A.N. They’ll say that writing a story is like building a bridge; you need to now where exactly where it will land, what the structure is grounded on, and where your support is. Then you fill it in.
I have two reactions to this…Read More
It’s just so tiring — the resolutions and accomplishment-parades of January.
You know them; 9-square collages of radiant couples on the beaches of Instagram, children smiling adorably at holiday tables, lists of the best this and that. It’s always the other side of things that I find interesting. What didn’t work? What isn’t growing?…Read More
This is one of those newsletters.
By the time it’s found it’s way to your inbox I’ll be thick into a vulnerability hangover, wondering if I should have sent it at all. But honesty seems to give me power. And the most useful things I have to share start with embarrassment. So here we go…Read More
Fall is a good time to slow down. Do you feel that? All that summer pressure to go-go-go, all those photos of beaches and sunny patios on social media — they’re easing off. The nights are easing in. And here we are, with a little more darkness, a little more space…Read More
I feel like a kindergarten kid holding up a handmade tissue paper collage above my head. “It’s DONE! It’s HERE! It’s for YOU!”
Today marks the launch of Hello Writer, our brand new, nothing-like-it subscription service for people who want to reconnect to the joy of writing. Every month it will deliver thick, colourful envelopes across the globe…Read More
Sometimes a piece of news can change the shape of the world for a while.
So it was on Wednesday when my dear friend Lindsay told me that after months of tests, she’d received a definitive diagnosis. She has ALS.
There’s what you know in the moment, and there’s what you know later. In the moment I knew that I Had To Help. This is my go-to place. Feeling useful fights off powerlessness for a while…Read More
I’m sitting in the window of the studio, sipping an old school cappuccino from the Italian coffee joint a few doors down. Inside, all the guys are watching a soccer game on TV, whistling through their teeth as the tiny ball sails across the green turf. They’re friendly in there; Seb tells me how much one of the players makes (“33 million a year and he’s only 33!”) and we agree that if I made 33 million a year, I’d pay him a million dollars for my coffee. I really like people…Read More
I run. I feel weird starting there because so often stories about exercise are thinly disguised humble bragging, but I promise this isn’t that. I don’t run fast. I don’t run far. I’ll probably never run a marathon. But sometimes when I’m running I smile at strangers without thinking and I get this feeling like the world is exploding with beauty, and those runs make me want my sneakers close by. Like everyone though, I’m full of excuses…Read More
This week I had an intake call with a new class participant. It was the kind of call I know too well. She sounded nervous, like her voice was stepping out over a diving board. Wavering. Our conversation circled around for a bit while we got to know each other. And then she said it: “I’m really worried that my writing is shit.”
And we both exhaled. There it was, the central fear, the heavy truth…Read More
Last week I hired a business consultant. It was not a good experience.
I’m not sure why I did it. I suppose something in me has always wondered what all this would look like if I had an MBA. I suppose it was a way to answer that question — to have someone to look at our whole business, inside and out, the way a doctor might look over an ex-ray and to tell me what is broken. I suppose I thought I might be broken…Read More
I’m going to start with a story.
When I was a kid, maybe 11, I found out that I had a savings account and that there was a couple of hundred bucks in there. I couldn’t stop crying.
My mom explained that saving was important, and that I might need it later, but I could not digest the idea that I had something that someone else needed. I’d seen the homeless people on Bank Street and the World Vision ads on TV. I was inconsolable…Read More
You know we love words. But there are times in life when they just don’t feel like enough.
If you’ve been at an event in a university or community center in the last few years, you’ve probably heard the host do a land acknowledgement which was so flat, stilted and scripted, it felt more colonialism like than progress. Those are the kind of words I’m talking about. I’ve been thinking for many years about doing a land acknowledgement at Firefly, but I’ve never wanted it to feel like I’m just ticking off a box...Read More
When I was online dating, I was looking for all the signs.
We were both born in August! His profile picture has a dog in it! She emailed me on a Monday — I love Mondays!
I was looking for signals that this was right, because I thought that a good relationship was one where everything felt right. I didn’t think that love was a choice I could make…Read More
This story starts with a book. Over the holidays, I picked up a copy of Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less Hard by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang. Many parts shook me up, but the one that made me stop everything was when he wrote about the DMN, the Default Mode Network.
I’ll probably butcher this, but here we go…Read More
It's Labour Day and I'm thinking about the weird ways that labour works. The labour of getting up, tending to what needs to be tended to, seeing the headlines, still eating breakfast. The labour of phones peeping and toes getting stubbed and the dentist appointment that needs to be rescheduled, the guilt rising again.
I hear it constantly in my intake phone calls with new students….Read More
Last night when I was filling the kettles and getting settled to teach a Life Stories class, a burly guy walked in. I hurried over with a curt, "Can I help you?" He said "I'm from Sign-a-rama. We're here to install your sign."
And then everything changed…Read More