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On A Weekend Crusade

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The centrepiece of this packed London weekend I’ve been telling you about was two days of music with The Church at Bush Hall. I travelled by thought with The Church long before I ever set out on the road for real. I still remember where I was when I first heard their music. “Under the Milky Way” was rising up the North American charts in 1988. I was 16 years old, and sitting in my dad’s car...

New Feature: Is This The Most Popular Destination of 2017…?

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This distant northern country might be the most popular tourist destination of 2017. It’s a place where the wind gusts so strong it will literally tear the door off your car. It’s a place where the landscape morphs and changes before your eyes such that you can see geological time. It’s also the country which publishes and translates the most books per capita in the world. Yes, I’m talking about...

Printing Off Stacks of Words

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It’s been pretty quiet on the blog this year, but I’ve got two good reasons for that. One: I just haven’t been traveling very much. A visit to Japan, a short trip down to Sardinia, and a long overdue visit to Canada — my first trip back home in over 3 years. And that was about it for 2017. I’ll be writing about Sardinia soon, watch for that in my Adrift on the Continent column in Outpost. But...

Life in Berlin

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It’s been ages since I’ve published a blog. I think I’ve only written 3 this year. But I haven’t forgotten you, or vanished in a desert somewhere. It’s just that I haven’t been traveling at all. We moved to Berlin at the start of January, and I haven’t left the city since. To steal an image from Lawrence Durrell, I guess you could say we’re de-barbarizing and re-gilding after life in Malta. I’m...

Art, Man and Technology

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Okay, I swiped that title from Steve Kilbey. It’s the name of a really cool box set containing a CD of spoken word tracks that accompany a series of postcards printed from his paintings. I highly recommend checking it out — my favourite prose poetry pieces on there are The Visitor and The Lonely City. Anyway, I stole the title because this very topic has been on my mind for the past couple weeks...

Don’t Forget to Remember

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Yesterday was Remembrance Day — November 11th, the day we pause to think about all those who lost their lives in the two World Wars, and in Korea and all the conflicts that have happened since. It’s also the day we assemble to thank the remaining veterans for their sacrifice, and shake the hand of those who are serving today. When I was a child, we went to the cenotaph in my hometown to join the...

My Dad Died 10 Years Ago Today

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I still remember the moment I knew — really knew — that my dad was dying. I was in a cheap hotel in Bangkok, lying there awake trying to sleep. I’d received an email that day which said my dad had been ill, and they were sending him for some tests. One of the last lines read, “You should probably come home.” There was nothing in the message to cause any more alarm than that. But when night came...

It’s Banned Books Week — Let’s Stop and Remember

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It’s Banned Books Week. I’m sure the majority of people aren’t aware of this. And even avid readers may have missed the news. But this is the special time each year when we pause to think about censorship, and to remember all the great literature that has been banned, suppressed or otherwise made purposefully unavailable in an effort to control what we read and think. I’m talking about monumental...

Bringing Dreams to Physical Reality — The Magic of Print

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I got a sneak peak inside a crucial part of the publishing industry last week when I was given the opportunity to tour Lowe-Martin’s Ottawa St. Laurent facility — where Outpost and other fine magazines are printed. These guys work some serious magic when it comes to transforming the stories I write from ether into substance, putting them directly into the hands of my readers. Thanks very much to...

Okay, Yeah — The New Book

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A lot of people replied by email to my last cryptic “Where’s Waldo” blog… Well, the correct answer is “Ottawa”. I’ve locked myself away in semi-seclusion for a month to get a solid start on a new book. And I’m pleased to report that it’s going well. A few of you also saw my Facebook post, and wanted to know what the new book will be about...

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