Life

See America by rail: some lessons from 2016

This is the view from theĀ Amtrak Coast Starlight train as it journeys through Oregon, from Seattle to Los Angeles. I took it this summer, after wrapping up a gig with ASU’s Center for Science and the Imagination at a publishing event in Vancouver. I’ve wanted to take this particular train trip since first hearing about it, years ago. The part…

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Life

How I Lost the Weight

          I used to think that I would open this post with bikini shots. You know the ones: flabby and pale and lumpy on one side, tight and tanned and toned on the other. But that would require someone to photograph me in a bikini, or a bathing suit, or my underwear, or nude, or what…

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Life

Gifts That Writers Might Actually Need

Writers tend to get the same presents every year for holidays, birthdays, and other occasions. Those presents include notebooks, pens, lap desks, and coffee mugs. (Anything that’s in the impulse-buy section of a chain bookstore, really.) And those are good things! But you may have already gifted them last year. If you want to avoid repetition, try picking up things…

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Canadians like it on top, Life, News you can use, This is why we can't have nice things

Addicts lie: Rob Ford and the future of Toronto

“I’m just so sad,” my mom told me, when she learned Toronto Police Services Chief Bill Blair told reporters he had seen video of the mayor smoking crack cocaine. “It’s just…sad.” It is sad. It’s sad that my partner has to wonder about his mayor screaming in his face and shoving him the way he does other journalists, when the…

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Life, These fragments I have shored against my ruins

Periods, and how to write them

No, not the punctuation mark. Yes, the other thing. Periods tend not to show up in fiction, probably for the same reasons that urine and shit don’t show up in fiction. They’re quotidian elements that don’t really add anything to narrative unless they’re indicating sickness or a dramatic turn — pregnancy, miscarriage, sudden reproductive potential, and so on. But the…

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