LATEST Feature Articles
by Wednesday, November 11, 2015-
When I was coming of age the women's movement had already been in full swing for almost two decades. I was reading Germane Greer The Female Eunich and watching 2001: A Space Odysseyy. The pill was widely available and abortion could be safely obtained so there was relative control over one's reproductive freedom. Once you were married and pregnant however, the work/stay at home dilemma was still a mine field. I look at my daughter's generation today who feel that a good education and job are a given, and all the typical milestones of marriage and babies are being deferred a decade later than in my generation, or they're not sought after or expected at all. It's not a shock to simply remain single and devoted to a career, or announce you are LGBT.
So to be told that Gloria Steinem, the icon for the women's movement, has just turned 81 sends a small lightening bolt through one's skin. And her interview on NPR radio with broadcast journalist Terry Gross of "Fresh Air" shows us how much more outward thinking within countries around the world, that women's issues, their rights and concerns have become. Gloria's list starts with domestic violence in North America against women being number one; the most dangerous place is in a woman's own home perpetrated by a man known to her. Then there is FGM (female genital mutilation) and female infanticide. Child brides risk of death from sex and childbirth under these extreme forms of patriarchy. And last, the widespread use of violence and rape against women in conflict zones. Women need to stand together around the globe, and that is just what Gloria Steinem has been doing.
Steinem's latest book, My Life on the Road (published Oct 26th, 2015) and a New York Times Bestseller • "GS—writer, activist, organizer, and inspiring leader—now tells a story she has never told before, a candid account of her life as a traveler, a listener, and a catalyst for change." ...More >>
LATEST Author Interviews
by Wednesday, November 18, 2015-
Jamaican born Marlon James was only 6 years old when his country's iconic singer, Bob Marley, faced an assassination attempt in his home by seven gunmen from the burrough of West Kingston, Jamaica. The fact that the author's mother and father were both police officers at the time leads you to understand Marlon's fascination with the details surrounding the case. His mother went on to become a prominent detective, his father became a lawyer, and Marlon James went on to become the winner of the 2015 Man Booker Prize on October 13th with wide audience approval for his 704 page, sprawling character-driven historical fiction. It's titled, A Brief History of Seven Killings (published by Riverhead Books). Listen to this interview with Miami Book Fair host Jeffrey Brown who asks James about his relationship to the story, how it ended up so long, his use of characters and distinct dialects, and the tie-in to the Cold War era involving the CIA as well as the intricacies of criminal justice and political system in Jamaica during the period.
MBooker's describes "A Brief History" thus,
"On 3 December 1976, just weeks before the general election and two days before Bob Marley was to play the Smile Jamaica concert to ease political tensions, seven men from West Kingston stormed his house with machine guns. Marley survived and went on to perform at the free concert. But the next day ...More >>
Feature Articles >>
Sunday, September 13, 2015
The CBC is one of Canada's best cross-country resources for promoting Canadian talent. In 1979 they began to offer literary prizes in the categories of short fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction for, get this, as yet unpublished works. Past winners include Michael Ondaatje, Carol Shields, Michael Winters and Camilla Gibb. Here is the CBC Creative Nonfiction Prize longlist of authors (30 of them) competing for the 2015 as announced on August 31. The shortlist of 5 will be unveiled on September 14, (same link as above) and the winner will be announced on September 21, 2015.
The winning author will receive $6,000, have their story published in enRoute magazine and they will attend a 10-day writing residency at The Banff Centre for the Arts. The 4 runners-up will receive $1,000 each from the Canada Council for the Arts.
Out of the 30 on the longlist, here is our pick for the shortlist, and also who we predict will win:
A Girl, Waiting, by Marusya Bociurkiw is an author, filmmaker and professor based in Toronto. She has written five books, including the novel The Children of Mary, and the award-winning Comfort Food for Breakups: The Memoir of a Hungry Girl, which was also shortlisted for the prestigious Lambda and Kobzar awards. She is associate professor of media theory at Ryerson University, and director of The Studio for Media Activism and Critical Thought. She has made ten films; the latest, This Is Gay Propaganda, is a documentary about LGBT people and the war in Ukraine. (Winner) ....More >>
Book Reviews >>
Wednesday, August 12, 2015
Anyone who has ventured out of the city to spend time in the wilderness knows that it takes planning, talent and ingenuity to create an appealing meal and that some of our most vivid and satisfying food experiences are heightened during such travel. Now imagine that your voyage has taken you to the polar region of the planet and your makeshift kitchen must somehow sustain the palates of a consortium of hungry volunteer workers who have joined you from seven nations and four continents for the exclusive purpose of an environmental clean-up project. That is exactly the challenge and the feat accomplished as told in The Antarctic Book Of Cooking And Cleaning: A Polar Journey, the story of Carol Divine and Wendy Trusler's "journey through an austral summer" to a small island 120 miles off the Antarctic Peninsula.
Part travel/work log, part cook book, and part homage to historic expeditions of the past, this volume will capture your heart and your stomach as you follow the team from concept to completion (and from strangers to an esprit de corps) in this collaborative effort to return the pristine environment of one of the world's last remaining wilderness destinations. The fact that it occurred 1995-96 marks this as a formative example of the positive trend toward eco-conscious travel.
In the process we see the region's unique appeal through the principal photography of Sandy Nicholson whose images comprise: ice formations, polar landscapes, rich marine wildlife and members of the team engaged in various activities, along of course with Chef Wendy, centre stage, prepping satisfying ethnically diverse food, served in appealing rustic presentations that reflect the culinary tastes of the volunteer brigade from Russia, Canada, Chile, the Ukraine, People's Republic of China, Brazil and Uruguay. To paraphrase Carol and Wendy, "Food might not be the first thing you think of when embarking upon Polar travel - but it should be the second." Check out recipes... ....More >>
Publisher News >>
Monday, October 05, 2015
I've just discovered the most amazing publisher of books entirely devoted to diverse topics on sustainability. I want to order a dozen books immediately! Meet Chelsea Green Publishing. Founded in 1984 in Vermont, it has emerged as the go-to source for people with a serious interest in organic farming and gardening, permaculture, ecology, the environment, simple living, food, sustainable business and economics, green building, and more. They have over 350 titles in print and digital download. A scan of their new releases brings up an intriguing list of titles: The Biointegrated Farm, The Art of Leading Collectively, Make Mead like a Viking, The Book of Pears, The New Livestock Farmer, Beyond the War on Invasive Species, Trees for Gardens, Orchards and Permaculture, Start Your Own Wood, The Local Economy Solution, Will Bonsai's Essential Guide to Radical Self-Reliant Gardening, Thinking for Social Change, The Lean Farm, Two Percent Solutions for Understanding Roots, The PawPaw, The Essential Bernie Sanders and His Vision for America, and so on...
I came upon Chelsea Greens's website when looking to book a local cheesemaker, David Asher for a cheese making workshop. His book The Art of Natural Cheesemaking/a> is published by this Vermont-based business despite David Asher being located on a small island in the gulf on the west coast of British Columbia. Saltspring, home of the delicious producer of Saltspring goat cheese, is just a short ferry ride from Vancouver. People say the salt sprayed forage browsed by local sheep populations make the meat particularly tastey - we love the soft mild cheese they produce at the creamery with varieties topped in wildflower petals, peppercorns or roasted garlic! What I like about his book and the Chelsea Green style of publishing is that they are totally in sync with today's modern thinking farmers, ecologists, hobbyists and policy makers.
In 2012 Chelsea Green became employee owned with 78% of the staff owning the company's private stock. They also rely upon customers for marketing of products through social media and offer new subscribers discounts on books for posting reviews and links on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Google Plus networks. A great way to instantly reward customers and spread their philosophy of reaping benefits from our own educations on topics of sustainability.
In 2012 Chelsea Green became employee owned with 78% of the staff owning the company's private stock. They also rely upon customers for marketing of products through social media and offer new subscribers discounts on books for posting reviews and links on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Google Plus networks. A great way to instantly reward customers and spread their philosophy of reaping benefits from our own educations on topics of sustainability. ....More >>
Whistler Reads >>
Tuesday, April 07, 2015
Our next Whistler Reads event is Thursday April 30th at the Nita Lake Lodge (Library) 7pm-9pm. (Tickets $15 Message Paula if you are a non-profit) Come meet Vancouver's new literary prodigy, fresh out of UBC's MFA program with her debut novel. Chelsea Rooney is the author of Pedal(published Caitlin Press)and named Book of the Year by the Canadian Publishing community. Now a finalist for the Amazon First Novel Award co-presented by Canada's premiere literary magazine, The Walrus!
Since its inception in 1974, The First Novel Award has launched the careers of some of Canada’s most beloved novelists, including: Michael Ondaatje, Joy Kogawa, Rohinton Mistry, Anne Michaels and Joseph Boyden." That means Whistlerites will have the opportunity to preview this talent before the announcement on May 21st. Come judge for yourselves.
I met Chelsea at a book event in Vancouver and was immediately taken by her candour and poise. Of the three authors on offer that evening, she was the most compelling speaker. Her novel deals with a difficult subject matter; sexual attraction between adults and minors, but she manages to take out the demons offering her own first person experience, effectively transformed into fiction. Her book intelligently asks questions that challenge the status quo on victimization.
We are reaching out to a few local Whistler non profit organizations with an offer to obtain copies of the book for your staff and network, and a few spaces for interested persons. Message me on our LIKE.
WGBH Boston >>
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Since 1971 the good folks at WGBH Boston have been producing award-winning series of programming for television. Their run-a-way success "Downton Abbey" took the world by storm and is now in its 6th season. Fall 2015 kicks off with a dramatic program series set in a subtropical paradise during the twilight era of the British Empire. Indian Summers explores the collision of the ruling class English with their Indian subjects, and the intricate game of power, politics, and passion that ensues. Julie Walters (Harry Potter, Oscar® nominee for Billy Elliot and Educating Rita) stars as Cynthia Coffin, the glamorous doyenne of an English social club, and is joined by Henry Lloyd-Hughes, Jemima West, Nikesh Patel, Roshan Seth, and Lillete Dubey.
Told from both the English and Indian perspectives, the drama of Indian Summers unfolds as illicit agreements, romance, and revolution abound. Though the English socialites are having the time of their lives in Simla, the local Indians have started to call for national independence, a path which is quickly rendering the world’s greatest empire helpless. As pressure builds, the two sides alternately clash and merge in a passionate and dangerous game. Indian Summers airs in nine sweeping episodes, and premieres on Sunday, September 27, 2015 at 9/8c on MASTERPIECE on PBS. ....More >>
Wine & Book Club >>
Monday, September 01, 2014
Ken Follet's new novel, the third volume in his Century trilogy is titled, Edge of Eternity, which is a bit of a cheesy sounding title but with his reputation and success as a writer and screenwriter, who are we to complain?
Though I have only read this last book in the series, it is a compelling stand-alone volume that does not require, but perhaps inspire, you to read the first two books in the series. Here is how KF's website describes the trilogy:
Throughout the "Century" trilogy, Ken has followed the fortunes of five intertwined families – American, German, Russian, English, and Welsh – as they make their way through the twentieth century. Now in Edge of Eternity they come to one of the most tumultuous eras of all, the enormous social, political, and economic turmoil of the 1960s through the 1980s, from civil rights, assassinations, mass political movements and Vietnam to the Berlin Wall, the Cuban Missile Crisis, Presidential impeachment, revolution – and rock and roll.
Growing up in the atomic era I can say that ETERNITY brought back vivid memories of my childhood and the fear we all lived under - which is something I have tried to explain to my children. The "duck and cover" bomb drills in school, the television interruptions posting the Indian head test pattern with a loud alarm tone and the announcer's words, "This is a test." etc. Every city and town block had a siren alarm box attached to the telephone poll. Living in the era of nuclear fear kept you awake at night, even as a child you had a pit of anxiety in your stomach and a sense of impending doom. The Kubric film "http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0057012/">Dr. Strangelove was an apt cautionary parody of geo-politics of the day. Now I can point my children who are each in varying degrees students of history, to this book as it captures the era pungently.
That is the benefit of historical fiction, and why KF made the ....More >>
Author Interviews >>
Sunday, July 12, 2015
Each spring my husband and I relocate to our farm in the Southern Interior of British Columbia. While we've owned the property for two decades, we've not had the luxury of circumstance to be there until the last few years. Taking control has put us on a steep learning curve on multiple fronts. The best teacher of course is experience, and we have tried to pick off projects within the scope of our budget and energy, which of course necessitates learning by our mistakes. I don't feel we began to really take things seriously until we acquired chickens. A garden can be tilled, seeded and left for a few days or even a week with a timed water system. Ditto for a ploughed field depending on the planting and time of year. But animals require that you be there. And being present on a daily basis you learn their rhythms, their needs, their idiosyncrasies and personalities.
Chickens were the catalyst to understanding the responsibility of our farm. My book shelves are lined with titles on topics of interest. The Guide to Self Sufficiency, Back to Basics, The Organic Grain Grower, Bee Keeping & Honey, The Oxford Companion To Beer. And of course many many cook books to deal with all the bounty from the vegetable garden. There is a series on Netflix right now that connects the dots from farmer and field to consumers and their tables. It is called Chef's Table. This is where you become inspired by cooking movements around the world started by chefs who embody a philosophy of eating that is most often traced back to their roots. If you watch this series I challenge you NOT to think about food and its connection to the health of the landscape from which it derived, combined with the skill, technique, history and cultural identity of every hand that touches product from field to table. ....More >>
Technology Corner >>
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Coincidentally, I was just giving (4 of these) bits of advice to colleagues who I've asked to film a webcast for an event when this timely post came from web guru Guy Kawasaki. It's the most comprehensive, easty-to-follow guide as seen on his AllTop website. But I see the original infograph credit goes to Kate Rinsema of Mixology. In summary:
- Don't have any distracting light source behind you.
DO have natural sunlight (as from a window) or other flattering light source in front of you bathing your face.
Keep in mind what is in the background - is it working FOR you or AGAINST the vibe?
- Use ethernet cable, not WiFi - if connection fails, you've just lost your audience and possibly future opportunities Pick a quiet/comfortable place to record so your mind is not distracted
- Re-start your computer (even if it is a MAC) and close all extra windows & programs Take yourself off "network share" while recording, if you are using this (go to system preferences-network-share "off") Position yourself in the centre of the webcam screen. I always think you should also have laptop or camera at eye level or above shooting down instead of lower shooting unflatteringly UP.
GOOD LUCK ON YOUR NEXT WEBCAM SESSION!! ....More >>
Friday, July 03, 2015
Each year much of the book world convenes in London for the annual London Book Fair. LBF is the global marketplace for rights negotiation and the sale and distribution of content. This year was the largest in its 42 year history with over 25,000 people in attendance from 114 countries. Who are they and what do they do? Visitors include anyone involved with the creation, distribution, sale or treatment of content: book sellers and book buyers, small to large publishers, acquisition editors, book designers, translators, authors, agents, talent scouts, editors and digital authorities.
This year held no clear single news-maker, but two debut novels were rumoured to sell for seven-figure deals: Yaa Gyasi's Homegoing and DeSales Harrison's The Waters & the Wild. The first is an epic set in 18th century Ghana and the second is a literary thriller. It seems the most photographed personality was Austrian singer and drag-queen artist Conchita-Wurst, who gained celebrity after winning a Eurovision song contest and recently launched her book in Berlin. (Holding a copy)
Independent and self-published topical sessions were extremely popular, seeing a rise from previous years. People are also interested in e-book distribution systems and traditional publishers are looking at ways out of the "no" culture they've created with prospects who are flogging to independent methods of pub and distribution. There's talk on how to adapt to market needs with services that aid prospective writers with better experiences on the road to some form of published product.
Amazon remains the behemoth in the room with their self-publishing arm and subscription service. And last, library lending of e-books remains prickly with many authors complaining that the system lacks standardization and is difficult to find. ....More >>