Category Archives: Writing

Finding my way out of writer’s block with photography: a photo journal

    I’ve been trying to puzzle out why I haven’t been able to write much in the past year or two. What is the cause of my writer’s block? There are all kinds of uncertainty involved. I have nothing … Continue reading

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Eleanor Wachtel in conversation with ex-Marine Elliot Ackerman about modern warfare and grief

Elliot Ackerman is a novelist and an ex-Marine who was an active duty officer for eight years, including five tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq. He also spent three years as a journalist in Syria, covering that country’s civil … Continue reading

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Javier Marías with Eleanor Wachtel: how imagination enriches our life stories

Eleanor Wachtel’s interview with Spanish writer Javier Marías, which aired on CBC Radio One on October 15, 2017, was another Writers & Company interview that connected perfectly with my own current preoccupations. Marías is billed as “Spain’s most celebrated contemporary writer,” … Continue reading

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Eleanor Wachtel interviews Caribbean poet Derek Walcott: “That resolution into light”

Every Sunday I listen to Eleanor Wachtel interview writers on CBC Radio’s Writers & Company. Last Sunday, when I heard that the guest was a poet, I was mildly disappointed. I don’t read much poetry. I’ve concluded that I can … Continue reading

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Vancouver’s collective depression and another hypothermic bike ride

I woke up this morning a little before 6:00, and registered some good things about the day. First, it was already starting to get light out. Secondly, it was a holiday—that meant no traffic noise. Instead, all I could hear … Continue reading

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Book review of My Struggle 2: A Man in Love by Karl Ove Knausgaard

I’ve just finished reading A Man in Love, book 2 of Karl Ove Knausgaard’s 3,600-page, 6-volume autobiographic “novel,” My Struggle. This work was a sensation in Norway, where one in nine citizens has bought a copy. My Struggle has been … Continue reading

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The art of writing short stories: masters of the form at the 2015 Vancouver Writers Fest

Note: This article was first published a year ago on the West Coast Editor blog. My thanks to Meagan Kus for copy editing. For many years, I’ve been an eager attendee at the Vancouver Writers Fest on Granville Island. (2016 … Continue reading

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Spiritual peace: December 2015

Why am I posting this article now? There was a week in early December when I experienced a rare inner peace. I was bursting to write about it, but the season’s general busyness prevented it. There was no big change in … Continue reading

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Little pieces: why write vignettes?

What is a vignette? The Canadian Oxford Dictionary (2nd. ed.) says: vignette 1a a brief descriptive account, anecdote, essay, or character sketch. At times I’ve questioned whether or not I should publish a piece of writing on my blog. I’ve … Continue reading

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Anaïs Nin describes her LSD trip, natural highs, and the transformative role of the artist

Reading The Diary of Anaïs Nin Volume Five 1947–1955 Recently I finished rereading the fifth volume of The Diary of Anaïs Nin.  I had picked it  off my bookshelf months ago when I had nothing new to read; perhaps I … Continue reading

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