Daredevil, Graceling, and the “Disability Superpower” Trope

I recently started watching Daredevil on Netflix (yes, yes, I am once again so far behind the curve that the rest of you are lapping me). I’m only three episodes in, and while I’m enjoying the supporting characters, I’m feeling kind of uncomfortable with Daredevil himself, because he strikes me as a perfect example of the “Disability Superpower” trope. For those unfamiliar, characters that embody this trope are given superpowers that either: cancel out their disabilities,…

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Let’s Give an Entire Nation Jet Lag, Why Don’t We?

I hate Daylight Savings Time. Hate it. My mental functioning is very tightly linked to sunlight. I want naps on rainy days, and the darkness of winter is a terrible trial for me. That’s why I celebrate Winter Solstice as much as I celebrate Christmas, and why living in Yellowknife for three years made puberty even more painful than it is for most kids – between October and January, I’d go to school in the dark…

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The Warm, Fuzzy Hug That Is Meg Cabot

When crisis strikes, where can you turn for comfort? If friends who bring you chocolate aren’t quite enough, and assuming that you’re a bibliophile like me, you’ll probably resort to one of your favourite books. In the manifestation of someone else’s imagination, you’ll escape your own life for just a little while. By the time you finish reading, the world will seem a little bit lighter. Today is the anniversary of my mom’s death, so I…

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Frightened by My Own Imagination

Writing a novel is a lot more personal than writing non-fiction. Non-fiction is external – I find and repackage information. Fiction, in contrast, comes from the inside, and sometimes what’s inside is a bit… surprising. When I first started working on my YA fantasy, I got a lot of feedback (some from professional agents and editors) to the effect that it wasn’t edgy enough. My villain, after all, is after world domination, and if he’s too cuddly,…

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Work-to-Rule Is Costing Me Money, But I Stand With Nova Scotia Teachers

Back in September, I got some pretty fantastic news. More schools had booked me as a guest speaker than any other author in Nova Scotia’s Writers in the Schools Program. Including the inimitable Don Aker, a fact so shocking I still haven’t gotten over it. I had a joyful visit at Mount Edward Elementary in October, and was gleefully booking the rest of my season when the Nova Scotia Teacher’s Union announced that, due to…

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Brick and Mortar Magic: Titles Are More Than Just Labels

After I got my PhD, I went to work at a bookstore. This was partly because my brain was fried and I wanted to relax with the pretty books. It was also because, as I writer, I wanted to understand how the retail end of the book business actually functioned – and how real humans behave when choosing new books. It was revelatory – and now I share those revelations with you. Titles Are More…

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So I Saw Dr. Strange

And I have thoughts. Thought the first. Benedict Cumberbatch should not be allowed to speak in an American accent. I’m used to seeing him in things like Sherlock and The Imitation Game, and without the British accent, I had a really hard time taking him seriously, despite the fact that the timbre of his voice remains shivery. Thought the second. This is a movie that requires unusually large suspension of disbelief, even compared to other…

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The REAL Scientific Method… And Why It’s AWESOME

Last Monday, I wrote about where facts come from. Since the post focused on the peer-review process used to check scientific data before it’s published, I probably should have called it “How We Know Scientists Aren’t Just Making Stuff Up.” Today, I thought I’d back up and do a quick review of the scientific method – the actual process by which new knowledge is created, before flint-hearted reviewers tear it to pieces and put it back…

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Should I See the Live Action Pete’s Dragon?

Want to know how to tell when you’ve been friends with someone for too long? Text exchanges like this one, which I swear is 100% true: Her: I’m in the medicentre. Since when is Elliot a girl’s name? Me: Um. Elliot is a dragon’s name, actually. Her: He has, the head of a camel, the neck of a crocodile… Me: It sounds rather strange! Her: He’s both, a fish and a mammal and I hope…

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