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Book Review: The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

By in Bestsellers, Fiction, Romance | 3 comments

It’s been a while since I’ve written a book review–I must admit that I haven’t actually read a book for a good period of time, probably since last Fall. I guess reading wasn’t on my mind when I was fighting my depression. Now that things are better, though, I decided I would re-join the book club I started attending last year, so I picked up where they were. For the April meeting, the book is The Rosie Project. I guess I’m glad that I’m getting back into reading with a book like this one. I don’t think I could have handled something heavier or more difficult. The Rosie Project is a love story between a geneticist, Don, looking for The Perfect Wife, and a psychology PhD student, Rosie, trying to find her biological father. Don is a highly logical, rational man with a perfectly regimented life and penchant for alcohol. Rosie is a rebellious...

When Writing, Be Gentle With Yourself

By in Write | 2 comments

There are so many reasons to be hard on ourselves. We need to work more, to spend more time with our family, to focus more on our health. Employers, friends, family and society demand more and more of us: more attention, more focus, more multi-tasking, more time. They say “always be better, stronger, faster than you were yesterday so you can reach your goals and make a life for yourself.” The times tell us to be aggressive with ourselves, to never take no for an answer, to always look for the bigger thing, the better thing. We should never be satisfied with what we have and always strive to have more, do more, be more. I find this litany exhausting to the extreme. It implies that people have no limits. I tells us that if we’re not improving every day, we’re not really doing anything worthy at all. But is there a point where we need to–where we have to stop...

On Not Writing

By in Write | 0 comments

In 2013, I wrote a big total of 8 new posts on this blog. 8 posts. Not even one a month. 2013 was the year of not writing–at least, it was the year of not writing for me. I did write, almost every day. I wrote blog posts and web copy and feature articles. I wrote mostly for money, sometimes for myself in freewriting or journals, but rarely for my own projects. I wrote maybe 1000 words of fiction. Common advice to writers goes thus: “write every day”. I’ve seen this so many times, read it in so many books and blogs and magazine articles that it makes me sick. Honestly. If there is one inane, useless piece of advice, it must be this. I’m not saying that writing every day is a bad thing. But for some of us, saying “write every day” does not solve the problem of why we’re not writing. I wrote every day. I just didn’t write what I wanted...

The Path

By in Live, Live with purpose | 0 comments

It used to be open and clear, the path in front of me. It had leafy trees letting golden light through; it had flowers alongside it, brightening the landscape and filling the air with a sweet smell. Sure, there were thorns and branches along the way, but nothing I couldn’t just step over and leave behind. The path had a clear direction–not a final destination, not quite, but a direction towards something that would lead to more goals and more sunlit, flowered paths in the future. But then something happened. I took a side trail, an unknown path. At first, the sun remained and I thought I was heading somewhere still. But along the way, I lost sight of that somewhere. I became lost, surrounded by dark, unfamiliar things. The leaves that filtered light now blocked it completely. There were no more flowers, only puddles and dead leaves that cracked under my feet. I stopped. I...

I Have Nothing to Say

By in Live | 1 comment

These days, my mind is blank. I’m fighting the urge of an afternoon nap to write this. Despite having read numerous books this summer, despite having spent a week alone in my childhood home, despite helping a very good friend find an amazing career, I feel like none of it is worth telling. How do you know if something is worth telling? How do you decide what life lesson, thought or idea is worth expressing and sharing? As it is, I feel like none of what I felt, thought or ideated in the past few months deserves to be set on type, to be digitally engraved on some server halfway across the world and then pinged back to your screen. It’s not that I don’t care about you, dear readers. In fact, I do. I wish I had something to say to you, something insightful or funny or thoughtful. I wish I could enlighten you and entertain you and provoke emotion in you. But in the end,...

LIVE: The Stuff of Life

By in Live, Live with purpose | 6 comments

2 weeks ago, I moved our 2-bedroom apartment to a 3-bedroom townhouse. I did the packing mostly on my own, as well as the unpacking. My previous experiences with moving have been pretty easy: the stuff I own fits in a bedroom and two kitchen cupboards. Until recently, I didn’t even have furniture of my own, always moving from furnished place to furnished place, carrying my clothes, books and computer along–the only necessary things for my life. This time, though, I wasn’t just moving myself: I was moving two people with all their accumulated stuff and furniture. As my semi-bohemian life in my 20s showed, I can live with very little stuff. Entertainment and reading are digital now; I scaled down my book collection when I moved from Edmonton and have never looked back. My computer can be used as a television screen–that’s why I got it in the first place. I...

READ: The Prince by Tiffany Reisz

By in Erotica, Fiction | 0 comments

Yes. I know. There is a pattern here. I must admit: I’m a fan. As I’ve once admitted to Ms. Reisz on Twitter: “I want to be you when I grow up”. This is the third in the Original Sinners series (see my reviews of the first and second books) and it still is as original and fresh as ever. The Prince follows directly after The Angel. Nora goes with Wesley to Kentucky to try and work out her relationship with her young, virgin protégé. Back in Connecticut, Soren and Kingsley return to the site of their teenage relationship and discover a secret that endangers Nora. This book develops through three major parts: Soren and Kingsely as teenagers, Soren and Kingsley now, and Nora and Wesley in Kentucky trying to be together. To be honest, I was much more interested in the Soren and Kingsley sections than I was with Nora and Wesley. Their relationship is cute, but I have...

READ: Sins of the Angels by Linda Poitevin

By in Fantasy, Fiction, Thriller / Mystery | 0 comments

Sometimes, you read books not because they seem to your liking at first glance, but because you’ve been learning about the author for some time. Last year, when I expressed the goal to become a professional writer and maybe write novels, a friend on Twitter suggested I follow her friend Linda Poitevin, an Ottawa-based urban fantasy novelist. So after a few months of reading her tweets and hearing about her book series, The Grigory Legacy, I picked up the first of them, Sins of the Angels, from the library. All in all, this book gave me an entertaining time. Given my previous experience with urban fantasy, I wasn’t expecting much, but this book was fairly well written and had an actually interesting and plausible (for the genre) plot. Here’s an overview of the story. A fallen angel finds his way back to the human plane and starts killing humans to regain his powers....

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