November 27, 2019
It was a delightfully sunny ten degrees on November 26 (!!) and I got to chat with CBC Radio’s Metro Morning’s Matt Galloway about how to max out this unexpected November gift.
My tips? Take off your hats and mitts and turn your face to the sun. And picnic. I wouldn’t be the unofficial Metro Morning picnic correspondent without mentioning a sunshining picnic!
And then, even though it meant working long into the night, I took my own advice and biked down through High Park to the lake (max sun + sparkle!) and sat in a lifeguard tower and revelled in the glorious sunshine. It was magic!
AND I was rewarded en route home with a sundog! I haven’t seen one since I was doing a residency in Saskatchewan!
November 25, 2019
I have had the great privilege of leading a creative writing workshop with a group of Grade 6 students this fall through Word-Play’s Writing In The City program. We meet every week at TYPE books and explore all sorts of different ideas, including making zines!
The students were hesitant at first, but then got *really* into zine making and we ended up with over 40 in our zine library!
Outside of our zine creating, we explored characters, setting, plot building, conflict, pacing, and figurative language. It was such an amazing nine weeks.
We also had the most incredible celebration on the final day of our fall term. We PACKED the basement of TYPE books and unveiled our zine library and some students read stories they worked on over the course of the fall. It was truly an extraordinary evening.
October 2, 2019
One of my very favourite days of the year is always the day Word On The Street takes over the harbourfront! And this year was no expection – SO many books! SO many people who love books! And a whole pile of thoughtful love letters written at the Learning Station.
Check out a few of them:
And if that wasn’t wonderful enough, I got to meet (and interview!) Sharon and Bram:
September 25, 2019
I knew that female-identifying politicians get hate mail, but I had no idea how awful, how consistent, how non-stop it can be. Vitriolic, abusive, horrific messages over email, Twitter, and in the mail. Months ago, Gabe Thirlwall and I wondered what we could do about it. So we teamed up and made postcards (so they knew at first glance it wasn’t hate mail…!) and decided we would cheer them on and thank them for their service.
After a roaring success from our first event, Gabe and I joined up with Lori Neale to send encouraging letters to progressive female-identifying MPPs. The Queen’s Park postcards were designed by Gabe and over 30 people of all ages wrote and coloured 40+ postcards, and shared stories of our progressive female leaders. It was a really inspiring night, our attempt at countering the flood of hate that women politicians receive daily.
We want to do it again! Let us know if your Ontario town needs an event.
(Check out letters from our first event here!)
July 29, 2019
I had the best time at the Word on the Street tent at the BIG on Bloor festival! It was hot as can be, but we hung out in the shade of the tent and wrote so many love letters to Toronto and it was just lovely!
And then we hid some love letters for people to find:
The Dufferin Station tiles are my favourite!
I just called to say I love you…
July 15, 2019
Join me on Saturday, July 20, 2019 at the BIG on Bloor Festival. The festival looks AH-MAZING, and I’m so excited to be part of it. I’ll be hanging out at the Word on the Street tent (in front of 1140 Bloor St, just west of Dufferin) from 3-4pm – come write a love letter to this wonderful city we share!
July 15, 2019
It’s no secret that swimming in the summer is my very favourite thing to do (followed closely by picnicking, then a tie between eating ice cream and eating BLTs…), so when Metro Morning called and asked if I’d be the first guest in their Enthusiast series, I jumped at the chance.
The outdoor pools in Toronto are free (FREE!!!!), and they are the most incredible public spaces. Of course I think the best pool in the city is probably the one closest to you, but I will admit I am partial to this one…
You can listen to be wax poetic with Matt Galloway about why I love swimming here!
PS: I’m also creating a crowd-sourced user guide to Toronto pools here (help out if you can! Or pass it along to a maybe-swimmer!)…AND my mid-July swimming update. Spoiler alert: There’ve been some gold start swims so far!
June 13, 2019
Female-identifying politicians get hate mail all. the. time. Vitriolic, abusive, horrific messages over email, Twitter, and in the post. I can’t even imagine. BUT imagine if they received postcards (so they knew at first glance it wasn’t hate mail…!) thanking them for their service and cheering them on. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?
Cue Gabe Thirlwall and I teaming up last night to send love letters to progressive female-identifying MPPs with a big room full of wonderful people. We wanted to counter the flood of hate that women politicians receive daily – a teeny, tiny act of kindness in super messed up times. Gabe designed the postcards of Queen’s Park and we coloured and wrote and swapped stories of our progressive female leaders. It was a really exceptional night, filled with support and generosity.
We want to do it again. Let us know if your Ontario town needs an event.
June 13, 2019
Since the mid-March, I’ve spent Monday nights leading a writing workshop with the most inspiring, generous group of writers at High Park Library. We met each week and wrote about our city, the neighbourhood of Parkdale-High Park, creating characters, and reading poems about the neighbourhood, as winter turned into spring, turned into almost-summer.
On our final night, we ate chocolate cake and piles of chips and shared our work, cheering on each others’ characters and wondering where they’ll end up. What a privilege it was. I had such an incredible time.
I am so grateful to the Ontario Arts Council for funding and High Park Library at the Toronto Public Library for support. And for the inspiring writers who showed up week after week. Thank you.
March 24, 2019
I had the most wonderful mid-March afternoon love lettering at High Park Library! It’s such a beautiful space and the patrons and staff were so warm and welcoming! We wrote love letters to the neighbourhood (and then I saw a few hidden for strangers to find on my walk home!!)
And when I saw Kerry Clare’s novel on the shelf in the glorious early evening sunshine, I couldn’t help but leave it a love letter:
Aaaaaand, if you’re interested in a *free* 8-week writing workshop, join me at High Park Library this spring!
Writing the City is an 8-week writing workshop where we will find our creative voices, inspired by Parkdale/High Park.
Adult workshops (18+)
April 1, 8, 15, 29 | May 6, 13, May 27 | June 3
with an optional public reading on June 10.
Please register for the free workshops in person or by calling High Park Library at 416-393-7671. High Park Branch: 228 Roncesvalles Ave.
More info here!
Funded by the Ontario Arts Council’s Community Art program.