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White Poppy Fury

The white poppies are out again. A group of Canadian students have taken the recommendations of the Rideau Institute to heart, and are endeavoring to replace the traditional Remembrance Day red poppies with white versions that are devoted to the commemoration of peace, not war. Their implication is rather evident: that red poppies glorify bloodshed. […]

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Seeing Chris Hadfield

As regular readers will know, I made a career change last month, moving out of the post-secondary education sector I’ve been working in for about 20 years and into health care. I didn’t know it at the time, but the new position was going to give me the opportunity to attend the annual Ontario Hospital […]

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Daragh Hates You

I won’t be commenting on any of this week’s political scandals in Canada, because frankly, I’m tired of it all. Government is something I think can be a sacred calling –– a noble and vital undertaking, that gives us all the chance to do great things. This week hasn’t shaken my resolve, because apparently my […]

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Following My Own Advice

I managed to let the entire month of October slip by without a regular ‘From the Journals’ post, so I decided this past weekend that it was again time to scan the pages of my past and see if I stumbled across anything interesting. It seems that over a four-day period in 2005, sprinkled between […]

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NaNoWriMo

Well, it’s November, which means some people are getting fired up to grow mustaches, and others are hitting the keyboard –– hard. National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, is entering its fifteenth edition, so once again my Facebook and Twitter feeds are alive with pledges from writers who are hell-bent on getting a book done […]

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My Chief

I was always the Captain. This was not by choice, but at the insistence of another; he was the Chief Engineer, and I was the Captain. At the time, I didn’t understand the meaning of this –– just thought it was amazing that I could be the one in command, to have the responsibility, to […]

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Nineteen Years

On Monday evening I spent more than an hour chatting via Skype with a student from Dartmouth College who was doing research for an oral history assignment about the Alzheimer’s caregiver and family member experience. We talked about my father –– the progression of the disease, how the time period of the late 1980s/early 1990s […]

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I Know Your Dad

Last Friday was a big day for Iceberg author and longtime graphic artist Wes Prewer; he had the privilege of welcoming his first daughter, Elizabeth. Clearly, this is the most important creative project Wes has ever been a part of, and all of us here at Iceberg would like to take a moment to congratulate […]

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Stargazer Lilies

In preparation for this week’s Author Notes, I’ve been scanning my post-1994 journal entries from the month of October. As I wrote last week, the past echoes most loudly for me this time of year, and I suspected that reality would be reflected in my writing in years gone by. I was right –– while […]

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Friday Favorite – Steed and Emma

As a duo, they were simply incomparable: a nineteenth century gentleman and a twenty-first century woman who came together in the campy 1960s to fight Soviet spies, evil geniuses, and one time, even carnivorous plants, in order to save Britain from certain destruction. Before “The Avengers“ meant a God, a guy in armor, a man […]

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Echoes From the Past

Over the years I’ve come to accept that the past echoes more loudly during certain months. October is such a month for me. It starts with two anniversaries –– my wedding anniversary and the anniversary of the sudden death of our first German Shepherd, Vulcan… both on October 1st. It is the month that little […]

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Ground Covered

After spending Monday’s post making up for forgetting my tenth anniversary with the Earthers, I figure I better not overlook my first anniversary with Alex, Stephanie and Strong. Though they might be the most understanding characters I’ve written since The Destiny Equation, I can still imagine at least one of them being slightly wounded by […]

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Too Good To Be True

Yesterday Kenneth wrote about a missed anniversary. I can’t believe we somehow forgot that date, but he’s absolutely correct –– if you’re going to forget an anniversary, it’s good to know the characters involved won’t hold it against you. Indeed, the Earthers wouldn’t expect the recognition in the first place. The Equations series has a […]

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Missed Anniversary

You’d think someone as militant as me about history, and with a penchant for marking significant anniversaries, would have been paying attention two weeks ago when an anniversary of my own came and went. If you happened to be passing St. David’s Catholic Secondary School in early October, 2003, you would have seen on the […]

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Friday Favorite – Basho and Thoreau

There is a small book on one of my shelves called Morning Mist: Thoreau and Basho Through the Seasons, by Mary Kullberg. As Kullberg explains in the Preface, the book is “an open window through which the reader can look into the thoughts of two poets (Matsuo Basho and Henry David Thoreau) for whom oneness […]

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The Real Jupiteer

If the Defense Command novels of 2232 taught us anything scientific (aside from the dangers of both radiation and Phosgene), it must be that Jupiter is far, far away. Even for fictional ships with artificial gravity and the ability to cruise at 190 kilometers per second, the largest planet of our solar system is terrifyingly […]

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The Colour Red

It’s been more than a month since I’ve posted an Author Note about writing –– between my wedding anniversary, my new job and a few other things, there’s been a lot going on. But I did find time on the Thanksgiving Day holiday to go for a long walk, which provided the idea for a […]

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The Wild West

Yesterday was Thanksgiving here in Canada, so when I checked my email after dinner, I was surprised to see a message from the team at Kobo. This note alerted me to some unpleasant news: British bookseller WH Smith had pulled down its web store, because the Kobo ebook listings on that site were turning up […]

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Count Your Blessings

My grandmothers and mother, as regular readers will already know, had a robust supply of phrases available for a wide range of situations, or when a particularly vivid description was required. “Man on horseback” and “long and hungry month of March” are two. This being Thanksgiving Day in Canada, there are two others echoing in […]

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Welcome Space Man

On Tuesday of this week, the news broke that Canada’s favorite space man, retired astronaut Chris Hadfield, had landed a new job –– aviation professor at the University of Waterloo. The reports say he’s not able to actually take up his teaching duties until Fall 2014 because his schedule is so full, but he’s coming […]

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