« December 2007 | Main | February 2008 »

January 30, 2008

Watch: BC 150 Celebration Ad

Vote for this ad on you tube.

del.ici.ous digg reddit StumbleUpon facebook Technorati Twitter

January 28, 2008

Do you know: Yael Naim?

The song is “New Soul.”

del.ici.ous digg reddit StumbleUpon facebook Technorati Twitter

26 letters

Writers spend three years rearranging 26 letters of the alphabet. It’s enough to make you lose your mind day by day. ~ Richard Price


del.ici.ous digg reddit StumbleUpon facebook Technorati Twitter

January 25, 2008

An update

Chicken-scratch turned one yesterday and I am dreaming of owning a home. This one, in particular:


del.ici.ous digg reddit StumbleUpon facebook Technorati Twitter

Read: Adventures with Marshall McLuhan

AN ESSAY by Bob Rodgers ~ full text

A six-foot-high hedge separated me from the garden next door but not from its voices. It was my first Sunday morning in the house I sublet on Wells Hill Avenue by Casa Loma in Toronto. I couldn’t make out what was being said but one of the voices sounded familiar. I moved closer and parted the hedge just enough for a covert glimpse of my new neighbours. A middle-aged man was lying on his back in a hammock with a book held up vertically above his head as he read aloud. Next to him a young man sat in a deck chair with a book on his lap. The young man said: “Vico’s cycles.” The older man said: “Vicious Circles.” “Viscous cyclones,“ said the young man. I was awestruck. My God, I thought, I must be the only person in the world at this moment listening to what looks like a tag team reading Finnegans Wake. Later I learned I had been witness to a regular occurrence. Eric McLuhan and his father, Marshall, were reading at each other.

I was a teaching fellow completing my graduate degree in English at the University of Toronto. A few weeks after my eavesdropping in the back garden, I found myself entering my new neighbour’s house by the front door for McLuhan’s informal (not-for-credit) Monday night seminar on communications, where I joined two dozen others crammed into the far from capacious front room of the family home. McLuhan’s kids, ranging from 15 on down, kept popping up and disappearing like a colony of gophers.

del.ici.ous digg reddit StumbleUpon facebook Technorati Twitter

January 22, 2008

Read: The Taste of Silence - Adam Kirsch

The complete essay can be found online at poetrymagazine: The Taste of Silence

Ours does not promise to go down in literary history as a great age of religious poetry. Yet if contemporary poetry is not often religious, it is still intensely, covertly metaphysical. Human nature, it seems, compels us to keep asking about the first things, even if we no longer accept the same answers that our ancestors did, or even the same kind of answers. The more widely you read, in fact, the clearer it becomes that our poetry has a distinctive metaphysics, a set of principles or intuitions held in common by poets as different as Seamus Heaney, Charles Simic, and Billy Collins. This metaphysical sensibility, I think, is what will give our period a retrospective unity, when readers of the future come to survey what looks to us like chaos.

del.ici.ous digg reddit StumbleUpon facebook Technorati Twitter

January 18, 2008

Read: Elmore Leonard's 10 Rules of Good Writing

Leave out adverbs, skip description, and keep the writer out of sight.
By Elizabeth A. Brown

When my teenage son picked up Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules of Good Writing, it fell open to Rule 3: “Never use a verb other than ‘said’ to carry dialogue.”

“I wish my teachers could read this,” my son said. “They tell us not to use ‘said.’ They think other words make us sound better, like we have a bigger vocabulary.”

Which is precisely Elmore Leonard’s point: Good writing is not about the writer (and the way he sounds or the size of her vocabulary), but about the story.

The writer must remain invisible.

del.ici.ous digg reddit StumbleUpon facebook Technorati Twitter

January 17, 2008

Birth Month Traits Meme

Saw this first on Julia’s site, then on Thomma-Lyn’s and decided to play along. A Scorpio with a Libra rising and born at the end of October, I am not convinced that all these traits will align. I thought it’d be a good opportunity to share a bit about me. The complete list of traits for each month and how to participate can be found here.

Ready, set, go:

Loves to chat. I’m all about connecting with others. Conversations in person are preferable to chatting on the phone. Interpersonal communication (how we relate to one another) fascinates me. Sharing my passion and experiences energizes me. Learning and asking questions from my friends, coworkers and family rejuvenates. Meaningful exchanges interest me more than idle talk.

Loves those who loves them. This is too simple. A given. Of course it’s easier to love/adore those you love/adore you. I’m not a masochist. I place great importance on my relationships and value those whom are part of my social circle. Life is too short to TRY to win acceptance and approval from everyone.

“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family: Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.” ~ Jane Howard

Loves to take things at the center. I have no idea what this means. Next question, please.

Inner and physical beauty.
I’ll write about my need/desire to have beautiful physical surroundings.

We always splurge for flowers and like to ensure our space is organized and clean. Because we love to entertain at home our fridge and pantry is always well-stocked.

One of my guilty pleasures is “real estate porn.” My husband and I can’t afford to make the leap into a larger home right now (with a toddler and live-in nanny our disposable income is, well, non-existent) but we both enjoy looking at/drooling over opulent and expensive real estate listings on http://www.mls.ca. Granite floors, marble kitchen countertops, ceramic sinks and lavish, walk-in dressing rooms – sure, why not? Antique auctions and cruising through furniture galleries are also favourite pastimes.

My motto: go big or go home. Lately, we’ve been going home.

Lies but doesn’t pretend.
I have no idea how to answer this. Anything I write could be construed as validating the statement. Question for you out there: what’s the difference between lying and pretending?

Gets angry often. I’m of Greek descent. I’m passionate. What else can I say?

Treats friends importantly. I’m an only child. Friends are part of my extended family and lifeline.

“We human beings are social beings. We come into this world as the result of others’ actions. We survive here in dependence to others. Whether we like it or not, there is hardly a moment of our lives when we do not benefit from others’ activities. For this reason, it is hardly surprising that most of our happiness arises in the context of our relationships with others.” ~ Dalai Lama

Always making friends.
I work as a professional communicator (public relations). I believe in treating everyone I meet with respect and kindness.

Here’s what I know:

“Relationships are all there is. Everything in the universe only exists because it is in relationship to everything else. Nothing exists in isolation. We have to stop pretending we are individuals that can go it alone.” ~ Margaret Wheatley

Easily hurt but recovers easily. I’m comfortable with the idea of rejection. I’m a writer with countless rejection slips … I’ve “embraced the suck” and treat everything as a learning opportunity. As Samuel Beckett wrote, “Fail, fail again. Fail better.”

Daydreamer. “As long as you’re going to think anyway, think big.” ~ Donald Trump

Opinionated. I’m of Greek descent. I’m passionate. What else can I say?

Does not care of what others think. Not true. In the end, we all live one life. And that life is all about the people we live with.

I’m of Greek descent. I’m passionate. What else can I say?

Oscar Wilde once suggested that if a person did what he or she loved, it would feel as if they never worked a day in their life.

Strong clairvoyance.
I trust my gut instinct and grew up in a superstitious household. I’m Greek, remember?

Loves to travel, the arts and literature.
As a writer (and as a blogger), I am a content-creator and have an innate desire to learn more. Thus, I read voraciously and widely. As well, I question everything. I’ve been fortunate in my career path to have travelled widely and my husband and have made this a priority. Arts and literature make the world we inhabit larger, vibrant, inviting, understandable and more palatable.

Touchy and easily jealous. Not so.

Concerned. Writers are keen observers of the human psyche. We have a fundamental need to be recognized and appreciated. I’d replace concerned with: what do you really want/need?

del.ici.ous digg reddit StumbleUpon facebook Technorati Twitter

Looky here: Lookybook

A FREE picture book library: Lookybook.

About: “Lookybook allows you to look at picture books in their entirety—from cover to cover, at your own pace. We know that nothing will replace the magic of reading a book with your child at bedtime, but we aim to replace the overwhelming and frustrating process of finding the right books for parents and their kids.”

del.ici.ous digg reddit StumbleUpon facebook Technorati Twitter

January 16, 2008

Read: How to Write a Novel in Two Months

Advice from Jeff Vandermeer’s Ecstatic Days Blog.

Now that I don’t have a full-time job and am approaching the age of forty, two things have happened: (1) I can put more of the full force of my attention into a novel or short story more intensely over a short period of time and (2) I’m much more relaxed and as a result my rough drafts tend to be more complete than in the past; I still do a ton of rewriting, revision, and line editing, but I find that more of the initial vision in my head is in the draft right away.

Do you think his advice is worth a try?

del.ici.ous digg reddit StumbleUpon facebook Technorati Twitter

Read: In Praise of Melancholy

From the Chronicle, an article by Eric G. Wilson on how “American culture’s overemphasis on happiness misses an essential part of a full life.”

Ours are ominous times. We are on the verge of eroding away our ozone layer. Within decades we could face major oceanic flooding. We are close to annihilating hundreds of exquisite animal species. Soon our forests will be as bland as pavement. Moreover, we now find ourselves on the verge of a new cold war.

But there is another threat, perhaps as dangerous: We are eradicating a major cultural force, the muse behind much art and poetry and music. We are annihilating melancholia.

del.ici.ous digg reddit StumbleUpon facebook Technorati Twitter

January 15, 2008

A questionnaire for January


Found in February’s 2008 Vanity Fair, I decided to play along. Won’t you join me?

What is your current state of mind?

Anticipatory – 2008 is a blank slate.

What is your greatest extravagance?

My shoe and vintage handbag collection.

What is your greatest fear?

Passing on my neuroses to my daughter.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Being a braggart.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?


If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

To have more patience.

What is the quality you most like in a man?


What is the quality you most like in a woman?


Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

Words: Actually, absolutely, epitome, egregious and hyperbole.
Phrases: “I’m being a tad uncharitable.” “Hey guys” “Let’s speculate irresponsibly”

Which talent would you most like to have?

I’d like to be able to carry a tune. I love playing the piano and singing at the top of my lungs, but my darling husband insists that I’m tone deaf …

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

I have two great loves: my husband and daughter.

Where would like to live?

I adore Victoria (where we live now) but I’d like to retire to a warmer climate. If the US: Maybe New Mexico, Arizona or Hawaii (especially the island of Kauai where we celebrated my 40th birthday.) Otherwise, I’d pick an island in Greece.

What is your favourite occupation?

Being gainfully employed as a writer (which I am) – though, I’d like to complete my novel and would love to refer to myself as a novelist (in the not too distant future).

What is your most treasured possession?

The Byzantine icon of the Annunciation salvaged by my maternal grandmother as she fled Izmir during the “exchange of population” between Turkey and Greece in 1923.

Who are your favourite writers?

Too many to mention but here are some of my favourites, in no particular order: Smaro Kamboureli, Anne Carson, Odysseus Elytis, Margaret Atwood, Neal Stephenson, A.S. Byatt, Jeffrey Eugenides, Salman Rushdie, Dave Eggers, Maxine Hong Kingston, Jane Austen, Alice Munro, Toni Morrison, Nick Kazantzakis, Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath, D.E. Lawrence … need I continue?

Who is your favourite hero/heroine of fiction?

• Hiro Protagonist and Y.T. from Snow Crash.
• Calliope (Cal) from Middlesex.
• Mrs. Ramsay from To the Lighthouse.
• Nell from The Diamond Age.

Who are your heroes in real life?

My beloved parents (both now gone) who were resourceful and hard-working immigrants and made a wonderful life for us in Canada. May their memories be eternal.

What do you most value in your friends?

Their intelligence, honesty, generosity, sparkling wit, integrity and compassion.

What is your most marked characteristic?

My enthusiasm/gregariousness.

How would you like to die?

When I’m very old, at home, surrounded by my friends and family.

What is your motto?

Live and love fully and completely.

del.ici.ous digg reddit StumbleUpon facebook Technorati Twitter

January 11, 2008

The good environmentalist

How would like to work and shop in this foliage covered building in Seoul, Korea? Mass Studies Architects designed this multi-use building (shop on first floor, restaurant on second) for Belgium designer Ann Demeulemeester.



del.ici.ous digg reddit StumbleUpon facebook Technorati Twitter

January 7, 2008

Isabel Allende: Inspiration for 2008

I was born in ancient times at the end of the world in a patriarchal, Catholic and conservative family. No wonder that by age five I was a raging feminist, although the term had not reached Chile yet, so nobody knew what the heck was wrong with me. I would soon find out that there was a high price to pay for my freedom and for questioning the patriarchy, but I was happy to pay it because for every blow that I received I was able to deliver two.

Her inspiring video follows.

del.ici.ous digg reddit StumbleUpon facebook Technorati Twitter

January 2, 2008

Through the looking glass


The inspiration for this year in review came from Colleen. The instructions: take the first couple of lines from the first blog post every month, string them together and read the post as a poem.


In my dreams, on the night after mama’s passing, I had the persistent, uncomfortable sensation that someone was trying to get inside me.


Since Mama’s passing, Dev and I have been attending church services infrequently. Normally, we’d be in attendance participating in the Divine Liturgy and staying for the luncheon afterwards. Today, we were conspicuously absent. I have felt my connection to all things Greek become more tenuous …


I have much to be thankful for today: my handsome husband, our little chicken and I spent the entire day in our pajamas enjoying one another’s company. Our perfect day began with a pancake breakfast based on my beloved Mama’s recipe.


In the countryside where my grandmother and her husband settled, the hills were littered with small chapels. After her husband died and before the onset of the Second World War, my grandmother would, in her spare time, visit the various homes of Saints.


I believe one writes because one has to create a world in which one can live. I could not live in any of the worlds offered to me — the world of my parents, the world of war, the world of politics. I had to create a world of my own, like a climate, a country, an atmosphere in which I could breathe, reign, and recreate myself when destroyed by living. That, I believe is the reason for every work of art. ~ Anais Nin


At home, I told myself that I was not lonely, though surely the oldest living virgin in Western Canada. But now, dancing with Georgios, dancing in front of these men, their admiration obvious, I could see myself more clearly than before.


Last week, the wonderful, intelligent and subversive Miss Frou bestowed the Rockin’ Girl Blogger Award to me.


You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.
~ Mark Twain


We’re sleep training EM. At 25 months old, it’s time.


As I am turning 40 at the end of this month and I’ve been blogging for 10 months (!), I thought it’d be a good idea to share a little bit about me.


We are coming up to the one year anniversary of my beloved Mama’s passing on November 26. In Greek tradition, this is considered the end of the formal mourning period.


This music transports me to a small, dark cafe in Greece and washes away any worries I may have.

del.ici.ous digg reddit StumbleUpon facebook Technorati Twitter

Under the weather

I had great plans to write a best of chicken-scratch post. It seems my body has other plans. Stuck at home with a hacking cough and runny nose, I can barely muster enough energy to type these few sentences. So, I’m off-line for a few.


del.ici.ous digg reddit StumbleUpon facebook Technorati Twitter