August 7, 2020
I’ve had the great honour of being a part of Word On The Street for the last few years and it is a highlight of my every year, and I’m so excited to be part of this year’s virtual festival through their Summer Spectacular – TWO WEEKS of free virtual events for kids and teens. The programming is AH-MAZING. (AND I just found out my childhood neighbour, Ted Staunton, who was the first *real* writer I ever met, is doing a program for 3-8 year olds!)
I’ll be hosting a Love Lettering Project/place-inspired interactive workshop for kids 12+. It’s going to be so much fun. Spread the word!
When: Friday, August 21, 2020 from 1-2pm
Where: Wherever you want to be + Zoom!
Cost: FREE! (But you need to pre-register)
What do you love about where you live? Share your answer in this interactive workshop with Lindsay Zier-Vogel of the Love Lettering Project. Familiarize yourself with your neighbourhood and think more deeply about the space you occupy & who helps you live there, through the creation of a neighbourhood map.
Explore your imagination at The Word On The Street’s Summer Spectacular! This FREE series of online activities for kids and teens runs from August 17-28. Join us for activity-based learning, readings by featured authors, writing workshops, and more.
April 2, 2020
These are, to say the very least, bewildering times as we all self-isolate and try our best to keep COVID-19 at bay. I was out on a millionth walk of the day when I got a call from CBC’s Metro Morning asking if I’d like to chat about finding goodness in these challenging, social-isolating, bizarre times. Of COURSE I said yes, and so on Friday, at Galloway o’clock, I was up, waiting in the Metro Morning “green room” (aka my kitchen) ready to chat about finding the joy these days.
My tips? MAKE LISTS! My spring checklist is giving my life the way it does every year, and this spring I’ve made an additional list— a list to look at when the chips are down, when we’ve all been stuck inside for way too long, for when the anxiety of the state of the world threatens to capsize me. And so far, it seems to be working…
March 10, 2020
There is something truly transformative about making a hand bound book. There’s this moment where it goes from a bunch of paper and illustration board, to, *boom* a book. Just like that. After all these years, it still fills me with deep joy. And this joy was compounded when I made books with my Word-Play kids, and then if gorgeous hand-bound books wasn’t awesome enough, they they filled said books with extraordinary myths they had written over the last few months.
We had a final celebration and we shared our books and read our myths for a generous and packed house, and ate a lot of chips and it was a perfect end to a most wonderful year, my first as Word-Play’s Writing In The City program director. I can’t wait to start back up in the fall!
(This is what we were up to in the fall!)
February 11, 2020
I HAVE THE MOST EXITING NEWS!!!!! Book*hug Press
is publishing my letter-filled novel, “Letters to Amelia” – a novel about Amelia Earhart – and I AM SO THRILLED! It’ll come out in Fall 2022 (which is both forever and a hot minute from now) – mark your calendars!!
I’ve been working on another novel recently, and I must admit, I’ve been missing Amelia. I am so excited to dive back into the manuscript with my editor, Meg Storey. Eeeeee! I am really just so over-the-moon thrilled.
PS: Some early incarnations have been published in The Letters Page
, Taddle Creek
and the temz review
February 11, 2020
One of my favourite things about 2019 was creating Thank You Letters to Heroes, a project with Gabe Thirlwall in which we ask people to write thank you postcards to progressive female-identifying politicians (to counter the vitriolic, abusive mail they get all. the. time).
To kick off 2020, we did an event with a local Girl Guide troupe! The Guides were so thoughtful and wrote such supportive letters and the politicians receiving them are so grateful! It’s all super inspiring, and we’ve received such incredible feedback from a number of politicians who’ve received their thank you notes. IN fact, Bhutila Karpoche even brought up the letter she received during her International Women’s Day speech at Queen’s Park.
She wrote: “Thank you for this deeply impactful project. Your determination to share positivity and warmth moved me, and I know that my colleagues who have received these postcards feel the same gratitude I do.”
And Doly Begum, MPP for Scarborough Southwest, received one too:
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…