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July 30, 2007

RIP Ingmar Bergman 1918 - 2007

At age 89, one of the world’s most prominent film-makers has passed away.


I first became aware of Ingmar Bergman through “reading” his work Wild Strawberries (film still below) during my introduction to film class in my second year of university.


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July 26, 2007

Our chicken at 23 months


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Horse Races in Tibet

Everyone likes getting dressed up before a special occasion, especially when the occasion is as special as the traditional Horse Racing Festival, which takes place at the end of July every year in Yushu in western China. Here Tibetan riders pose for a photo in their traditional costumes before the festival begins.

horse races.jpg

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July 25, 2007

Breathing Space

breathing space.jpg

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Thursday Thirteen # 22 - There's a nym/name for it


For this week’s Thursday Thirteen, I bring you 13 words containing the root “nym,” which comes from the Greek onoma meaning name.

1. acronym : word formed from initial letters of another word

2. allonym : other person’s name used by an author

3. autonym : a writer’s real name; work published under writer’s own name

4. caconym : wrongly derived name

5. eponym : personal name from which another name is derived

6. euonym : a pleasing or beautiful name

7. exonym: name for a town or country in a foreign language

8. heteronym: word having same spelling but different sound and meaning

9. metonymy: figurative use of word to name an attribute of its subject

10. metronymy: system of naming after the mother’s or female line

11. onymous: bearing the author’s name

12. paedonymic: name taken from one’s child

13. patronym: name derived from father’s name

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!


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July 24, 2007

In the name of research

I’ve purchased more books: recent winners of the 3 day novel contest to help prime the writing pump.

I’ve read 2 of the 5 and am amazed at both the quality and diversity in tone, language and subject matter. In a blinding flash of the obvious, I came upon the working title of my novel.

And so I am motivated to begin my morning pages once again.

Book 1: Socket by David Zimmerman socket.jpg

Book 2: Struck by Geoffrey Bromhead struck.jpg

Book 3: Love Block by Meghan Austin & Shannon Mullally love block.jpg

Book 4: Dayshift Werewolf by Jan Underwood dayshift werewolf.jpg

Book 5: The Convictions of Leonard McKinley by Brendan McLeod convictions.jpg

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Do you know Jennifer?

The art of Jennifer Collier is beautiful, delicate and whimsical. I am (particularly) enamoured with her travel stilettos and miniature dresses.



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July 20, 2007

In Memoriam


It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.
~ George S. Patton, Jr.

I’ve not felt like blogging lately.

Have been dealing with the loss of my dear uncle, who passed away on Tuesday while vacationing in Greece. The funeral has taken place on Rhodes, even though he lived in Vancouver for most of his adult life and was a Canadian citizen.

My tears, like the rain, fall intermittently.

Good night sweet uncle, good night.

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July 15, 2007

List # 21 - Unconscious Mutterings


Playing along with Luna this sunny Sunday morning: she says and I think …

  1. Situation :: Uncomfortable
  2. Theme song :: Anthem
  3. Kelly :: Bag
  4. Club :: Country
  5. Swerve :: Bend
  6. Couch :: Recline
  7. Bigfoot :: Myth
  8. Arbitrary :: Rule
  9. Inventor :: Alexander Graham Bell
  10. Blazer :: Uniform

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July 14, 2007

delicious ambiguity

delicious ambiguity.jpg

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July 12, 2007



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July 11, 2007

And because I've got books on my mind . . . a quiz

You’re One Hundred Years of Solitude!
by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Lonely and struggling, you’ve been around for a very long time. Conflict has filled most of your life and torn apart nearly everyone you know. Yet there is something majestic and even epic about your presence in the world. You love life all the more for having seen its decimation. After all, it takes a village.
Take the Book Quiz at the Blue Pyramid.

Don’t know how Marquez would feel being part of Oprah’s book club … However, this does happen to be one of my favourite books.

Found this quiz on Dew’s site and decided to play along. What book are you?

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Thursday Thirteen # 21 - 13 recent book purchases



I admit it: I am obsessed with books.

Our home is littered with them. Crammed bookshelves; piles of books deemed requisite bathroom reading; stacks of books that need to be entered into my library thing; tall columns of books that are used as reference beside my writing table; and, new books purchased from a recent bookstore run, still in bags … shameful, isn’t it?

For this week’s Thursday Thirteen, I bring you, in no particular order, 13 recent book purchases.

When I’ll read them is any one’s guess.

1. Alexandria: In Which the Extraordinary Correspondence of Griffin & Sabine Unfolds, Nick Bantock

2. The Morning Star: In Which the Extraordinary Correspondence of Griffin & Sabine is Illuminated, Nick Bantock

3. Fallen, David Maine

4. The Anxiety of Everyday Objects, Aurelie Sheehan

5. When She was Queen, MG Vassanji

6. The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, Kim Edwards

7. The McSweeney’s Book of Poets Picking Poets, edited by Dominic Luxford

8. Housekeeping Vs. the Dirt, Nick Hornby

9. The Polysyllabic Spree, Nick Hornby

10. Robbing the Bees: A Biography of Honey - The Sweet Liquid Gold that Seduced the World, Holley Bishop

11. A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian, Marina Lewycka

12. Eats, Shoots & Leaves - The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation, Lynne Truss

13. Elle, Douglas Glover

Which one do you think I should read first?

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

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It's official: I've lost my mind

I’ve entered the 3-day novel contest; this event will take place September 1 - 3, 2007 over the Labour Day Weekend. I am one of a large group of writers worldwide who believes that it’s entirely possible to produce a novel in 72 hours.


What’s my motivation: to get the cobwebs out of my brain, shake things up and get writing again. It could be the summer heat that’s put a brake on my creativity. More likely: my monkey mind.

What’s the outcome: Well, If I win or get short-listed — Grand Prize: Publication (summer 2008); 2nd Prize: $500 cash or 3rd Prize: A great literary prize pack.

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July 10, 2007

I feel the same way about my WIP


From the Londonist.

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July 8, 2007

Do you know Vladimir?

Enter the fantastic world of Vladimir Kush, a Russian-born artist who has been promoting and selling his artwork since 1987. Part Salvador Dali and part Picasso, Vladimir’s observations of both the natural realm and the human psyche are truly amazing.


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List # 20 - Unconscious Mutterings

What on earth was I thinking when I answered Luna’s questions

  1. Happen :: Occur
  2. Terribly :: Wanting
  3. History :: Fiction
  4. Master :: Servant
  5. Petrified :: Forest
  6. 1138559827_gal_757762.jpg

  7. Moan :: Pleasure
  8. Attack :: Stealth
  9. Picture :: Clear
  10. Students :: Teachers
  11. Potter :: Clay

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July 6, 2007

What Jung Says . . .

ENFP - “Journalist”. Uncanny sense of the motivations of others. Life is an exciting drama. 8.1% of total population.
Free Jung Personality Test (similar to Myers-Briggs/MBTI)

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July 5, 2007

Thursday Thirteen # 20 - 13 random blogs I enjoy


In an effort to break-through

my writer’s block (!)

, I visit tons of blogs on a semi-regular basis. The thirteen below range from

the literary to the risqué.

The list is by no means exhaustive, it’s just mean to give you a glimpse into how I spend my time when I’m not visiting other Thursday Thirteeners!

Which blogs do you frequent?

1. Margaret Cho - Comedienne and actress

Margaret Cho

uses her blog to post long entries on everything from politics to music to her new tattoo.

2. Boing Boing - a directory of

wonderful things

3. Bookslut - Jessica Crispin oversees a

constant stream

of reviews, interviews and industry news.

4. Old Hag - Arts and culture,

book reviews


5. Post Secret - An ongoing community art project. People mail in their secrets and they’re posted anonymously. Often used as

a writing prompt


6. Dooce - Famously fired for maintaining a blog, Heather Armstrong consistently wins accolades for her


and writing.

7. Greek Tragedy - Stephanie Klein’s running commentary on her dating life got her a book deal for

“Straight Up and Dirty.”

She’s now married, no longer living in New York and is a new mom to two beautiful twin babies.

8. Huffington Post - Part news aggregator and part group blog, Arianna Huffington’s blog features entries from the likes of John Cusack,

Norman Mailer

, and more.

9. Life Hacker - Computer downloads, websites,


: all designed to make life easier.

10. A Beautiful Revolution - Andre is a minimalist. His

elegant line drawings

and precise comments/observations on life - are jolts of electricity.

11. Mental Floss - “you know you can

feel smart


12. Confessions of a Pioneer Woman - Ree is plowing through life in the country and describes herself as a desperate housewife who channels

Scarlett O’Hara, Ethel Merman, and Sylvia Plath


13. The Saddest Thing I Own - Ongoing net art project, similar to Post Secret. ” A collection of

life’s saddest objects

, their sad stories, and our reasons for holding onto these sad things.”

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July 4, 2007

Do you know Mair?

I recently discovered the intelligent, fiercely funny and deeply spiritual Rugamuffin Diva while doing research on modern-day iconographers for my WIP.

Here’s Mair in her own words:

“An unsteady disciple whose cheese is falling of her cracker, and worse, that cheese is the processed kind that you ooze out by pressing by your finger against a nozzle on the top of the can. When it falls off its cracker it leaves a mess. Yet, she, like all of us, is made in the image and likeness of God. We are living icons, revealing an aspect of God that is as unique to us as our fingerprints. Be who you are, and be that perfectly well. God loves you.”

Mair is a talented, published author of The Amanda Bell Brown Mysteries, Howard/Simon & Schuster. Murder, Mayhem, and Fine Man coming in February 2008. Death, Deceit, and Some Smooth Jazz coming in April of 2008. And from David C. Cook: Zora and Nicky: A Novel in Black and White coming in March of 2008.

Mair has touched my heart. Her writing is smooth as honey. Blessed to be one of her advance readers for Zora and Nicky, I am falling in love with Mair’s story and its lead characters.

She was recently awarded a Rockin’ Girl Blogger Award, so you know she’s worthy of your visit. So, what are you waiting for? Go spend some time in Mair’s world.

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July 2, 2007

And the Rockin' Girl Blogger Award Goes to . . .


Last week, the wonderful, intelligent and subversive Miss Frou bestowed the Rockin’ Girl Blogger Award to me. Proud to be included in such a tribe, I immediately posted the button on my sidebar and then … spent the next week deliberating who the award should go to next.

Here’s what Miss Frou said about me:

Xine: - Queen of the short but powerful blog post. Her writing is just magical, and she has the best linkage between words and images that I’ve ever seen.

Here are my top picks for this rockin’ award:

1. Dewey from the Hidden Side of A Leaf. In the relatively short time that she’s been blogging, Dewey has created a dynamic community of book lovers. Her site is a hub of activity. She created the blogroll game and has hosted a number of carnivals. She really knows her books. I can always count on Dewey for an honest, articulate assessment of what’s going on in the book world. Visiting her site makes me feel really smart …

2. Red from Red Garnier’s Red Pages. Red has introduced me to the world of romance and erotic writing. A talented, published author and a gentle soul, Red’s blog is a place to go hang out, have fun and learn a thing or two about hot lovin’. Have you read Spin Devil yet? If not, you better hurry because Spin it Again, will be released on July 4th. And yes people, there will be fireworks!!!

3. Colleen from Loose Leaf Notes. I always enjoy visiting Colleen’s space. She’s a poet and deeply spiritual person. Her writing is crystal clear. She’s also intelligent, witty and enjoys life to the fullest. I visit Colleen whenever I need to be transported to a magical place full of wonder and joy.

Dewey, Red and Colleen - YOU ROCK! You each have made my blogging experience memorable, worthwhile and meaningful. Thank you!

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