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You can’t handle the truth

I have this tendency to want to know the literal truth. Yeah, yeah, that fish you caught was 10 feet long, but how long was it really? I love metaphor and story and ambiguity and shades of grey, but if something's presented as truth I generally want that truth to be...

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June 29 – Actor/Author Q&A for Kids Help Phone

Over a year ago I sort of accidentally held the first TV, eh? charity auction, raising $6800 for Kids Help Phone. When people told me they'd be happy to donate next year, I decided sure, I guess should do it annually. At least, annually-ish. I didn't do it late last...

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The gift of the benefit of the doubt

If you haven't seen the video of David Foster Wallace's This Is Water, an abridged version of his commencement speech at Kenyon College, then you have obviously just emerged out from under a fallen bookshelf and have not been able to access the Internet in the last...

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The Story Of Ourselves

I've been experimenting with some online animation and presentation tools, ultimately to use for work but I'm learning the tools by making samples for myself. This one was created with Powtoon (as they will yell at you at the end), which has a greater learning curve...

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Postcard story: Settling in

I'm one of seven billion people in the world -- in the universe, as far as I know. One of 25 million in this city. One of one in this apartment. How is it possible to be lonely in a city of 25 million people? The toilet runs constantly, a whispery shhwshhwshhw all...

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Writing Exercise: Opposites

This last writing exercise (see first and explanation here) was probably my least favourite, because it felt the most artificial and restrictive to me and results in a kind of inscrutable poetry. But the intent is to generate interesting phrases and images that...

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That’s dreams for you

So I decided I'd write some postcard stories - micro pieces of fiction or creative non-fiction inspired by a photo - as part of my effort to move away from this having turned into My Poor Dead Brother Blog lately. And this is the first one I came up with. I promise...

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Writing Exercise: Illot-mollo

Elee explained this as a dadaist group writing exercise where we begin writing from a provided phrase and every 15 seconds the next person in the circle calls out the last concrete word she'd written (we disqualified things like "the", "be" etc.), and we'd all use...

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Writing Exercise: Titles

Another writing exercise Elee shared with us (see first post - these are meant to spur creativity) was to provide a list of 14 random book titles and have us write as many of them as we liked into a piece of writing. She just had a poem created through this method...

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Writing Exercise: My Inner Critic

Every now and then the thought crosses my mind that since I've moved away from wanting to regularly write personal essays suited for this blog -- for many reasons, including laziness, the lack of anonymity, and did I mention laziness? -- I should consider putting...

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Chase That Happy

When I'm sad, I generally want to sadly rip the head off anyone who tries to cheer me up. A well-meaning impulse often feels like an attempt to invalidate a well-earned emotion. Sometimes life is unbearably sad. Sometimes sitting in bed with a tub of chocolate ice...

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Small moments, big changes

I meant to write about how Vancouver TV writers and wannabes should come to the Writers Talking TV event I'm moderating with creator/showrunner Simon Barry of Continuum on Tuesday, but it sold out quickly (well, free-ed out, since there's no charge). That's a...

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Back to Basics

A few years ago I gave a coworker's wife a ride to her hotel and we got to talking about the differences between her native Czechoslovakia -- she left back when it was still Czechoslovakia -- and Canada. About how life was more difficult there. She wasn't talking...

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Arctic Air writerly discussion and screening

On Tuesday, October 16, I'll be moderating a discussion with Arctic Air writers -- series creator Ian Weir, showrunner Bob Carney and screenwriter Sarah Dodd. The Writers Guild of Canada puts on these Writers Talking TV events in Toronto (podcasts of past events are...

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Giving Thanks

It's Canadian Thanksgiving. A couple weeks after the death of my brother, a couple days after his memorial, and the point at which I had decided to make myself resume a normal life (normal for me, anyway). I feel especially thankful today that even now I feel an...

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My big brother – 1968-2012

This was going to be the summer I had back-to-back adventures, working in London for the Olympics and vacationing in Iceland. In addition to the former and instead of the latter, this was the summer I watched my brother Steve die, in the last couple of weeks helping...

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On sleevelessness and toothlessness

I say this with only the tiniest trace of bitter jealousy: Kirstine Stewart, CBC's Executive Vice President of English Services, is a beautiful woman. The kind of woman whose immaculate appearance makes me feel like I have a piece of broccoli stuck in my teeth. But...

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The Accidental Auction

Sometimes I think if I planned my life better, I'd never do anything. I'd be paralysed with indecision and see too clearly the reasons not to do something. Whereas now I can look back and think, yeah, that's exactly what I meant to do. In retrospect. For example, if I...

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