Thoughts on Returning from Aquaman

Scene: Lindsey and Tech Support driving home after seeing Aquaman Lindsey: I want my very own angry seahorse. Tech Support: I thought you wanted a bioluminescent octopus to play the drums for you. Lindsey: Yes. To play the drums while I ride my angry seahorse. Tech Support: Like Guitar Guy from Fury Road. Lindsey: Exactly. Tech Support: And all the manta rays are yelling “WITNESS ME!!” This is why we’re married. The post Thoughts on…

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Tidying Secrets I Did Not Learn From Marie Kondo

Like most people with a social media account, I’ve been exposed to a lot of Marie Kondo over the last couple of weeks. Since a high proportion of my online friends are either writers or avid readers, a lot of that reaction has been on the negative-to-downright-enraged side, due to the rumour that Kondo will only let you keep your 30 favourite books. She never actually said that. She did say that it’s not for…

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Why I’ll (Probably) Never Write a “Real” Book

“So when are you going to write a real book?” Children’s writers in my audience are probably groaning right now, because this is a question we’ve all been asked at least once. Most of us come back with an expression of comically-exaggerated confusion and something along the lines of “As opposed to all of the imaginary ones?” Inside, though, we are typically seething with rage or welling up with existential despair, because what the questioner…

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Happy… Middle of January

2019, huh. So far, gotta say, not lovin’ it. To be fair, it’s been an especially challenging two weeks. We opened the year with a funeral for Tech Support’s mother, a wonderful woman who is already deeply missed. Air travel and stress led to illness, which led to cancelling my first school visits of the year… and also attempting to write while my brain was cocooned in bubble wrap, thanks to manuscript revisions that had…

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A Sleighful of Science About Reindeer

by L. E. Carmichael No matter which winter holiday you celebrate, I wish you the very best of the season. For those raised in the Santa Claus tradition, here are some festive facts about reindeer! 1) Reindeer and caribou are the same species, Rangifer tarandus. Some people use the common name “reindeer” for the European subspecies, and “caribou” for the North American subspecies. Others prefer to use “reindeer” for domestic herds, saving “caribou” for wild herds. For…

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How You Can Tell It’s the Holiday Season at My House

I switched from “all season” Bath and Body Works products to Twisted Peppermint, which smells exactly like candy canes and is therefore just plain weird at other times of the year. I’ve also been listening to John Denver and The Muppets. And The Muppet’s A Red and Green Christmas. And the soundtrack to A Muppet Christmas Carol. Because nothing puts you in the holiday mood like The Muppets. Yes, it’s a little early – I usually…

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Halloween: The Rise of the Chocolate Mafia

Ah, Halloween. When I was a kid, it meant three things: 1) Trying to come up with a costume that would fit OVER my parka, because it’s cold in southern Alberta after dark at the end of October. One year, my mom got free boxes from the grocery store, cut arm and neck holes, and painted them – my brother was a die and I was a domino. We were the hit of the neighbourhood.…

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Earl Bakken: The Man Who Changed Our Hearts

Earl Bakken passed away last week at the age of 94. Not many people have heard of Bakken, but he saved millions of lives all around the world. In 1949, Bakken founded Medtronic, a garage-based medical equipment repair shop that made $8 in its first month of operation. In 1957, an infant with a heart condition died after a blackout disabled her plug-in pacemaker. At her surgeon’s request, Bakken invented the world’s first portable model,…

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Witchcraft: Only Illegal If You Fake It

The phrase “witch hunt” has been tossed around pretty casually lately, but here’s a case where it might actually apply: an Ontario psychic has just been charged with practicing witchcraft. Or, more accurately, with pretending to practice witchcraft. Fun fact: the actual practice of witchcraft is legal in Canada. Faking it for profit, not so much. That’s what our psychic is accused of – telling customers she will lift the curse upon them, provided they…

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Randomly

So far this week: Found a $5 bill blowing down the sidewalk in Ottawa; found a $20 bill in the laundry two days later. Let’s hope this is the start of a trend. Took a tour of Parliament. May have spotted an MP. Experienced major library envy. Huddled in sweater, wool jacket, scarf, gloves, and touque while watching a guy in a kilt play the bagpipes at the cenotaph. Marvelled at his fortitude. Listened to…

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