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Singing a Path Through Grief

Silhouette of woman with musical notes flowing from her head like hair

A grief storm blew into my life a few weeks back when a small bequest from my favourite uncle arrived in the mail. As I opened the envelope and pulled out an unexpected cheque, my heart was pierced with intense sorrow, guilt and regret. I hadn’t seen my uncle, or even spoken with him, in… Read more »

Let Creative Wisdom Find You


I’m always on the lookout for advice about writing. What can I say? I’m obsessed. I have a long shelf of books on writing and creativity — many of which I’ve even read. But I get a particular thrill when I stumble across writing advice in unexpected places. “Found” wisdom, if you will. Natural writing… Read more »

Is Midlife Creativity a Biological Imperative?

Ultrasound image of unborn baby, my grandson

Ever fall out of touch with a friend and then put off contacting them because you’ve waited too long? And the longer you wait, the harder it gets? That’s how I feel about writing this blog post. The priest of blogging solemnly inquires, “How long has it been since your last blog post?” I must… Read more »

Claim Your Creative AUTHORity

Sketch of creative workspace

Years ago, when I lived on Salt Spring Island, I had a spectacularly creative friend known for her sparkling local presence as an actor, director and jazz singer. Her home was a magical stage set: ravishingly beautiful, inventive, ever-changing. My home, by comparison, seemed uninspired, so I asked her for advice on how to arrange… Read more »

Calling All Artists: Get to Work!


In this video, writer, martial arts teacher and zen priest Keith Martin-Smith interviews his brother, celebrated fine artist Mark T. Smith. The brothers talk about the challenges facing artists today and inquire into what’s shifting as Millenials take on the art world. “For me,” says Smith, “art is about ennobling the public.” He bemoans the… Read more »

Why You Should Go to Pecha Kucha Night


Tonight I attended Vancouver’s 28th Pecha Kucha Night. I’ve been going to Pecha Kucha for nearly two years now, and it’s become my favourite cultural event. If you haven’t yet been to a Pecha Kucha Night, do yourself a favour and go. No matter where you are in the world, there’s probably a Pecha Kucha… Read more »

To Create Is to Start Over in a Foreign Country


Winnipeg painter and activist Wanda Koop has been making art for nearly 40 years. She is regarded as one of Canada’s most inventive artists. Koop’s mother, an oral historian, fled the Ukraine during the Russian Revolution. She and Wanda returned to the Ukraine together in 1997 in search of family roots, and Wanda captured their… Read more »

Great Writing Advice from 3 Pro Bloggers


Where do you go for great advice about writing and freelancing? Start here, with three of my favourite posts of the week, from three reliably savvy bloggers. First off is my fellow Vancouverite Daphne Gray-Grant, the “Publication Coach.” She dishes out a steady stream of sharp advice on writing “faster and better,” for both beginners… Read more »

Creativity Tips from Psychology Today


The June issue of Psychology Today presents research on creativity that lends weight to two of my recent blog posts, and a number of my closely held beliefs. Which, I’m sure, is their main purpose over there at Psychology Today: looking for solid evidence to shore up my personal theories. “The Enemies of Invention” explores five… Read more »