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February 2010
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April 2010

Now Write! -Exercise 1

I blogged a while ago about a new book, Now Write!, by Sherry Ellis. It's a series of exercise from various authors on elements of writing, such as characters, plots, and description. It all looks like good advice, unfortunately there's nothing magic in there about beating procrastination. But, finally, here's the first exercise.

Instructions were to find a wedding picture and write a one page fiction inspired by it. I chose my grandparents' photo, form 1913. Some is fact, as I know the date and their backgrounds, but some is fiction added to the day. I didn't do a full page, could have added more fiction as to how they got there, where/when it was - maybe I will add later. Here's what I did so far, with the picture.

Continue reading "Now Write! -Exercise 1" »

Sparkly things for newsletter -some arts info

A local group I'm in has a new newsletter editor, so in a show of support for her foolishness bravery I agreed to send her a column on the sparkly things in my life. You know, all those distractions that keep popping up in front of us, luring us from the dedicated path of the protestant work ethic.

I decided to write about the internet, tech toys, interesting links, new tools that are changing political coverage and commentary, my favourite iPhone "apps", and some edgy arts musings and info. The last to add a bit of a hip-hop flavour, since that seems new to many in the group. 

But that list didn't really narrow things down, before I knew it I was over 800 words. So - once more in my life I'm telling myself to focus! 

Here's this months submission - with some minor edits. Next month will grab another topic. 

For now I’ll just point you to a few local locations for art and dance with a hip-hop flavour. There’s an artist list run via, that sends out notices several times a month related to the local arts community. It’s a simple mailing list, free to receive or submit to, so it tends to get the smaller and edgier events in it. I’ve made some interesting connections through there over the years. For example, a couple of galleries with newer and unusual artists are La Petite Mort (306 Cumberland) and Canteen (238 Dalhousie). Norml Clothing (184 Rideau) also has some showings, in fact there’s one until April 30th of art done by a Toronto friend , graff artist Elicser.  If you’re looking for dances with a good DJ beat, with mixes of techno, junglist, and hip-hop, check out the Mercury Lounge (56 Byward Market Square) for regular shows like Myafrofunkode. Or drop by on a Wednesday for We Love 2 Hump ( A bit to the west of downtown is the Eri Café, hidden upstairs at 953 Somerset, just past Preston. Home to great Eritrean food, and, on the third Friday of the month, to the DJ spins of Timekode. If you’d like to hear their DJ’s mix there are some great and free downloads at Another local DJ, CPI, offers even more mixes to download from her site,  

Elicser Art Exhibit @ Norml March 20th

On March 20th, Toronto based graffiti artist Elicser brings his surreal works to Norml art gallery for a six week show. Elicser_norml posterF (Medium)

Armed with only spray cans, Elicser transforms canvases and walls to blend into figurative works of art, utilizing vivid characters and scenic landscapes. This gallery showing will be a combination of canvas works and pieces painted directly onto the gallery walls. 

Here's a link to many photos on Flickr of his murals, including some of my pics.

And here's a link to some of his earlier art, at

The Elicser exhibit at Norml opens on Saturday (20th), but on Friday the artist will be painting art on the walls in preparation. Drop by to watch him work, have a chat, admire his work, and buy some for your own walls. A good range of prices, for the starving student or the serious collector. 

The show will run from March 20 to May 1. 

Norml is at 184 Rideau street in Ottawa, and on Facebook as Norml Clothing. For more info call Norml at (613) 562-2043. 

Changing times

Note - Saskatchewan readers can skip this post.

Hopefully we've now changed all our clocks and are springing forward to longer days, the promise of less snow, the fresh smells of spring. And more rain of course, to wash away all the doggie-doo and some of those smells. 

It's certainly simpler now to take care of all the clocks in our lives than it was in them olden days. I used to wake up in the morning with different times on the clock dials around the house, having changed some and not others, and of course forgotten which ones. I'd have to take a moment to figure out which way they were supposed to have gone, and thus which were right. Some of us would take all day to notice we were out of phase with the rest of the world. A few (never me!) would not clue in until we sat on the Monday morning bus and wondered where all our regular fellow riders were. Now our lives are all digital, and linked to some master clock at  24 Sussex Drive, so that the time changes automatically on the cell phone, the cable box, the TV, the fridge computer. And for those of us with a VCR still, it doesn't matter, as we've long since learned to ignore the blinking, and wrong, time display. 

At the end of the 10 o'clock news this morning the announcer helpfully reminded us all of the time change, saying we should all have changed our clocks at least an hour ahead. And then she quickly corrected herself, with a bemused tone of "why did I just say that?". Perhaps she was thinking for a moment that Newfoundland would need to add an extra half hour. 

I didn't bother to call my kids to remind them, they are more in tune than we ever were. Although, for their kids, it will be a challenge to explain just what clock-wise means - surrounded as they are with digital displays.

ps - I did mention to someone yesterday that we'll lose an hour's sleep. As a mother of a toddler, with another one on the way, she just laughed.