What do you love about your city?

February 6, 2018
by Lindsay
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New York, I love you

I love New York City. LOVE! And a year ago, Artery hosted a Love Lettering Project pop-up event in NYC. My heart still skips a beat thinking about it! In the photo above, there’s a hidden love letter, alongside the Statue of Liberty. Be still my beating heart…

I don’t really have a commute these days, as I usually work from home, but if I did, I wish it was by water taxi!


And how wonderful is the next letter, with the accompanying hiding spot??

Oh, Central Park, one day I will picnic in you again!

xoxo

February 6, 2018
by Lindsay
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Writing The City: A Parkdale anthology

It’s no secret that I had THE BEST time leading a place-based creative writing workshop at Parkdale Library last fall. I loved every second of it. And I’m so thrilled to announce that by the end of February, you too can read some of the incredible work created by “Writing The City” participants!

Two copies of the Writing The City anthology will be available at Parkdale Library (in the local history section!)

Parkdale Library: 1303 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON

The biggest and most grateful thank you to all the brave, inspired writers who contributed work. This is truly an exceptional record of Parkdale in the fall of 2017.

Writing The City was funded and supported by:

January 18, 2018
by Lindsay
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A love letter to winter picnicking on CBC

Winter has arrived, with heaps of snow and really chilly days. The temptation to burrow under the blankets for the next three months is strong, but resist! If only for a few hours. Instead, I recommend a winter picnic – my ultimate favourite winter activity! In face, I love them so much, I threw a *very* early morning winter picnic on CBC Radio’s Metro Morning and CBC TV yesterday morning. It was early, and lordy it was cold (-20 with the windchill!), but I bundled and packed hot chocolate – spiked with coffee, but Baileys would’ve been delicious – and had the most glorious morning under a huge blue sky, the marshmallows melting just so in my mug, the gingerbread a perfect second breakfast…

You can listen to my interview with Matt Galloway here and watch my interview here!

TIPS FOR A WINTER PICNIC:
1) Wear all the clothes. All of them. And then more. Double your socks. Pull out the long johns AND the leg warmers. Grab your fuzziest toque. Don’t forget mittens. Wear snow pants!

2) Picnic blanket. I made one with fabric on top and waterproof vinyl on the bottom – keeps bums free from grass-damp in the summer and snow-cold in the winter. But any ol’ blanket will do. To extend the length of your picnic, may I recommend slipping a camping mattress, like a Thermarest between the snow and your picnic blanket. That tiny pocket of air will afford you HEAPS of picnicking time.

3) Hot beverages. Load up that thermos with whatever you’ve got. Hot chocolate, coffee, (Baileys optional!), mulled apple cider (rum/bourbon optional!), mulled wine (wine not optional) If you go the hot chocolate/mocha route, don’t forget the marshmallows.

4). Food. Anything you can eat without taking off your mitts, and food that doesn’t need to be warm is optimal. Gingerbread cookies, sandwiches, skewers with pickles/olives/cheese. And chips. When I was in Saskatchewan doing a residency one winter, I learned the great joy that are SUPER cold chips. So good!

5). Weather. My favourite winter picnicking days are the really clear sunny ones. The sun can be so glorious in the winter, so bright with the light bouncing off the snow! Those days that are hovering in the -5-0 range are just glorious (though I have been known to picnic in the -20s…still wonderful in a different sort of way!)

6). Location. The world is transformed in the winter. With blankets of snow and ice, the places you know so well in the warmer months are so different, it’s magical. I love picnicking by the lake, but as I mentioned on the radio, there’s a bizarre, wonderful little park called “The Dundas Dupont Traffic Island” park (or, the DunDu as we’ve named it around here) where there are trains for the toddler to look at. Head to your favourite summer picnic spot and see how different it is (and I can almost guarantee it’ll be quiet!)

And if you do venture forth, send me pics of your winter picnic! loveletteringproject at gmail.com!

And if you’re not sold on adult snow pants, you can listen to my Love Letter to Snowpants here (from last year on Metro Morning!)

January 9, 2018
by Lindsay
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The clean slate of a new year

Last fall was so full of inspiring Love Lettering Project events and workshops and I hunkered down for the last stretch of the year to write grants for upcoming projects (then somehow managed to write a kids’ book, poof, like that in that glorious unspoken for stretch between Christmas and New Year’s). But now it is 2018, just like that, and oh, I do so love the clean slate of a new year – all blank calendars and brand new notebooks. So much potential and so many (big!) dreams!

And so, as we weather this deep freeze, I’m dreaming about LA’s palm tree-ed love letters and Florafitti‘s green placemaking.

Onwards…

December 14, 2017
by Lindsay
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A holiday love letter

It’s my very favourite time of year – all crafting and baking and twinkle lights, gingerbread and ornaments and candles lit when the sun goes down and shovelling in the sparkly sunshine…and giving back.

A few weeks ago, I took my two kiddos to one of my very favourite places in Toronto – The Children’s Book Bank. They focus on building literacy in low-income neighbourhoods and provide books to kids and their families – every kid who walks through the door gets to take home their very own book! It’s truly a remarkable place. We took a load of book donations and my kids came home with a dino book that has been read multiple times a day since, and a copy of The Snowy Day – a perfect read for this week’s first snow fall! of the year! (They are always looking for donations, ps!)

If you’re looking for places to give back this holiday season, I’ve worked with some amazing organizations that are doing incredible, important work building strong, vibrant communities:

Having kids has made me even more aware of the need to counter all of this gift getting with gift giving, so yesterday, while my toddler was waiting for the sun to set so we could light the Hanukkah candles, we went through the SickKids “catalogue” and chose to give Holiday Cooking & Baking Supplies,Water Therapy, crayons, Arts & Craft Supplies and parking $ for patients’ families (and I sobbed the entire time!)

I also am a huge fan of the work by:

I feel so lucky and so grateful to be able to help support organizations in my very, very local community, my city, my country and abroad.

Merry merry, happy happy…
xoxo

November 26, 2017
by Lindsay
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Writing The City…fin


I just spent the last 8 weeks leading a writing workshop with 11-15 of the most inspiring, generous, dedicated writers at Parkdale Library. We met each week and wrote about our city, and Parkdale, sharing paragraphs and pages of our lives. It was a once in a lifetime group of people. Truly.

We began each week with a freewrite and used the neighbourhood for our inspiration, creating haikus and fake sestinas (faux-stinas), created maps out of words, wrote from long ago photos and from recent photos, and personified Parkdale. We used lines from inspiring books set in Parkdale and created new characters. It was so much fun. (The links are to the brilliant Angelica LeMinh’s blog!)

On the final night we ate chocolate cupcakes and shared our work and lingered, not wanting the 8-week-long bubble to burst…

I am so grateful to the Ontario Arts Council for funding and Parkdale Library Toronto Public Library for support. And for the brave, inspiring writers who showed up week after week. Thank you.

November 16, 2017
by Lindsay
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Making zines in Parkdale

It felt like second nature, folding zines, the bend and crease of many years ago, returning as if I’d never stopped making zines. And so, this week, we made Parkdale zines – mini guides to Parkdale at the library. It was SO. MUCH. FUN.  (Note to self: make more zines!)





 

November 10, 2017
by Lindsay
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A Parkdalian Portrait Gallery, maps and more postcards

One of my very favourite places in Toronto is Parkdale Library and I’ve had the great pleasure of hanging out there twice a week this fall. In addition to an adult writing workshop every Wednesday, I’ve been asking patrons to undertake all sorts of different projects eachThursday. This week, we drew  an experiential map Parkdale (more maps here!):


And we also made a Portrait Gallery of our favourite Parkdalians:

AAAAND, because I love mail oh-so-much, we made more postcards:


You can check out more Parkdale postcards and portraits here!

 

 

 

November 1, 2017
by Lindsay
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All the letters


It’s no secret that I love letters…love letters, and well, any letters, really!

For years I’ve been writing letters to Amelia Earhart, and in the last little while, I’ve been turning these letters into what one day will be a novel. AND the first letter of the project, which in all honesty is a love letter has been published in the inaugural issue of The Temz Review. You can read“You Showed Up Wearing Pants” here!

And this fall I wrote some of the hardest letters I’ve ever written. Citadel + Compagnie’s artistic director, Laurence Lemieux asked me to write letters from WWI soldiers to their next of kin in the weeks before the Battle of Vimy Ridge to accompany her dance piece, Jusqu’a Vimy.

It was brutal, reading actual letters from soldiers, just boys many of them – their optimism, their despair, their memories of home and often making light of the situations they were writing from.

I wrote letters, fictional letters based on the characters of the eight local soldiers in the dance piece. Every audience member will receive a letter when the show premieres at The Citadel in Toronto next week. You can read a few of the letters here!

P.S.: my love letter to DIY Halloween costumes was on CBC Radio’s Metro Morning this fall! You can listen to it here!)

October 22, 2017
by Lindsay
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Parkdale postcards and portraits

On Thursdays, I host a drop-in event at Parkdale Library  from 4:30-6 (c’mon by!). One week, we wrote postcards to our favourite places in Parkdale…

And last week, we created a portrait gallery of wonderful Parkdalians and made a Parkdale Portrait Gallery! The world can feel hard to live in these days, but witnessing such kindness and generosity fills me with such hope and light.