The Antilibrary

Have you heard the term “tsundoku?” It’s a Japanese term “describing the habit of acquiring books but letting them pile up without reading them.” This can also be called an “antilibrary,” as Nassim Nicholas Taleb writes in The Black Swan about Umberto Eco and his books: “A private library is not an ego-boosting appendage but a research tool. Read books are far less valuable than unread ones. The library should contain as much of what…

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On Building Community

Last week I wrote about the community support my mom has to help her after the passing of my dad. Some people thought it was a sad post, as I noted that my husband and I don’t have the same bonds with our community. I actually meant it to be a reflective post, to understand the importance of ties to people other than family. So how does one build community? My dad used to canvas…

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Leaving Science Borealis

In December of 2012 I posted a comment on a blog post by Maryse de la Giroday (Frogheart). She had just summarized all the science blogs in Canada and had included my brand new blog. She had also wondered out loud whether anyone would be interested in developing a science blog network. I posted in the comments thanking her for including my blog and expressing interest in a blog network. I wasn’t the only one…

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The Former Scientist

This past weekend I read Lynn Martel’s new book, Stories of Ice, and really enjoyed the focus on glaciers of western Canada and the adventure, commerce, and creativity they inspired. There was one section on people who study glaciers, and many of my former colleagues were featured. They are studying glacier change, glacier runoff, microbes on glaciers, and more – all things I used to study and read about when I was still an academic.…

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On Staying Home

I wrote last week that I would do something interesting to report back on this week, and I’m sad to say I haven’t actually done anything differently since last week. It’s probably just as well, as we’ve seen a persistent increase in COVID cases here in BC (1000 new cases over the weekend), and the Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, has warned people that we have to go back to how we behaved in…

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Filling Your Creative Well

Every week I write a Wednesday blog, and every week (recently) I struggle with what to write about. Not the garden (again) or mental health (again). Not the dogs (again) or writing (again). Not drought (again) or wildfires (again). I realized that one of the reasons I’m having a hard time coming up with blog ideas is because I’m not doing enough things to talk about. It’s what Julia Cameron talks about in The Artist’s…

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Filling Your Creative Well

Every week I write a Wednesday blog, and every week (recently) I struggle with what to write about. Not the garden (again) or mental health (again). Not the dogs (again) or writing (again). Not drought (again) or wildfires (again). I realized that one of the reasons I’m having a hard time coming up with blog ideas is because I’m not doing enough things to talk about. It’s what Julia Cameron talks about in The Artist’s…

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Structuring Your Memoir

Lately I have been thinking about my book proposal again, which is a good sign to me that I’m perhaps lifting a little bit out of the depression that’s been holding me down for over a year now. I saw a notification for a course taught by Allison K. Williams entitled: “Nail Your Memoir Structure by Thinking Like a Novelist.” Unfortunately, I couldn’t attend the course itself. But it sparked some ideas in my mind…

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