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    American “literary abominations”

    September 26th, 2013

    Emily Murphy, magistrate, writer, and social, political and legal reformer, pens a tirade against a gusher of filthy, literary abominations imported from the United States. Read the rest of this entry »

    When newspapers lied for political masters

    September 15th, 2013

    From before Confederation until nearly the end of the century, almost every significant nineteenth century newspaper in Canada was owned or controlled by either the Liberal or Conservative parties. If at times it did not tell barefaced lies, the party press was “often compelled to keep the vital truth below its breath,” Read the rest of this entry »

    When newspapers where black, white and read all over

    September 5th, 2013

    Almost 430,000 copies of newspapers were circulated in Upper Canada in 1836 among a population of 370,000, of whom it was claimed perhaps one in 50 could read, Read the rest of this entry »

    Death-defying creativity

    August 8th, 2012

    I just thought right away that I wanted to work. This is a good job. It’s been a good job. Work is the most effective drug therapy there can be. Warren Zevon (1947-2003 ), U.S. songwriter, on being informed that he had mesothelioma cancer, and only months to live. Read the rest of this entry »

    When all the words mean the same thing

    June 11th, 2012

    “Do all those words mean the same thing?” gasped Milo. Read the rest of this entry »

    Robert Frost steals President Kennedy’s big show

    April 24th, 2012

    When [U.S. Interior Secretary] Stewart Udall suggested that America’s most popular poet read at John F. Kennedy’s inauguration, the president-elect’s first reaction was: “Oh, no. You know that Robert Frost always steals any show he is part of.” Read the rest of this entry »

    Writing triumphs cancer pain and paralysis

    April 19th, 2012

    Surprising how things turn out better than feared when we meet adversity and pain with courage, resolve and effort. Read the rest of this entry »

    Origin of writing lost in Iraq looting

    April 18th, 2012

    In those two lost tablets were all future writings: the Book of Job, superman comics, King Lear, the Sherlock Holmes stories, all mathematical and scientific treatises, Sappho and Whitman, and the very newspaper you are holding in your hand. Read the rest of this entry »

    Paralyzed writer blinks a novel

    April 2nd, 2012

    French journalist, editor and writer Jean-Dominique Bauby (1952-1997) dictated a 150-page book, letter by letter, by winking his left eye. Read the rest of this entry »

    Secrets of a bestseller: write, re-write, re-write, re-write

    March 22nd, 2012

    How much re-writing does J.K. Rowling do? “Loads and loads and loads,” she tells the Toronto Star. “The worst ever was 13 different versions of one chapter (Chapter 9 in The Goblet of Fire). I hated that chapter so much; at one point I thought of missing it altogether and just putting in a page saying ‘Chapter 9 was too difficult,’ and going straight to Chapter 10.” Interview, Toronto Star, November 3, 2001.

    TAGS: Writers and writing, Rewriting, Repitition, Books, Literature, Best sellers, Goblet of Fire, J.K. Rowling.


    Animal impersonations by a Mongolian comic

    March 15th, 2012

    He [a Mongolian standup comic who does animal impersonations] did a yak that had become separated from the herd, a cow stranded on the wrong side of a river, four different dog personalities, a newborn kid, a two-year-old goat, a four-year-old goat, an old goat, and a dying goat. He rounded off his routine with a camel that didn’t want to stand up and three sheep trying to negotiate a stream without getting their feet wet. The Mongolians were in stitches. For an encore he did a mare in heat.

    Stanley Stewart, British journalist and travel writer. The Empire of Genghis Khan: A Journey Among Nomads (2002).

    The TV news star who flubbed her trial broadcast

    March 6th, 2012

    When Katie Couric graduated from university in 1979, the 19-year-old headed straight for a career in journalism. A year later, Read the rest of this entry »

    Famous chicken job that no one wanted

    February 22nd, 2012

    It is March, 1974, the Friday before the Easter break at San Diego State University.  A local radio station can’t find any of its staff members willing to don a chicken costume and Read the rest of this entry »

    A vision of music

    February 20th, 2012

    You must have a vision, to believe in something. You must also have perseverance. There were times when my better sense wondered whether I should Read the rest of this entry »

    Emoticons can bite

    October 26th, 2011

    Even among serious, sober-sided business and professional people, those happy, sad, laughing, crying and other funny-faced email emoticons are spreading like a contagion, warns the New York Times, October 21. Read the rest of this entry »

    Political entertainment

    September 28th, 2011

    It has all become entertainment. In the 21st century, politics is just another branch of the entertainment industry. Journalist Joe McGinniss, author of The Rogue: Searching for The Real Read the rest of this entry »

    Just skimping by

    September 28th, 2011

    I can live on $80 million. At least, I think I can. Conrad Black (1944- ), Canadian former media mogul, on his diminished wealth, after serving 29 months of a 42-month term in a U.S. prison for fraud and obstruction of justice. Vanity Fair, October 2011.

    Service with a smile

    September 17th, 2011

    Shania Twain, country singer who grew up in Timmins, Ontario, in a family so poor Read the rest of this entry »

    Fear: the great enemy of creativity

    September 5th, 2011

    The great enemy of creativity is fear. Read the rest of this entry »