Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Intrigued By Inukshuk


Inuksuit fascinate me. Inuksuit is the plural form of the word inukshut (pronounced en-NUK-shook). Inuksuit are stone markers that have been used by the Inuit, the first people to inhabit portions of Alaska, the Canadian Arctic, and Greenland, for generations as guides or directional markers.

Inukshuk means "that which acts in the capacity of a human" in Inuktitut, the language of the Inuit. An inukshuk can be small or large and consists of several rocks balanced on each other. Because it is built from whatever rocks are on hand, each one is unique.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Two Year Blogging Anniversary

This week was the two-year anniversary of my blog. I didn't know where I was going when I started my blog and certainly had no idea I'd still be blogging two years down the road. But I am. And as I look back over the past 2 years, a random list of things I've learned comes to mind.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Fall Supper

Turkey dinner plate

It's fall supper time in Manitoba. From early September to mid-November, community organizations and church groups across the province host feasts as fundraisers. October is the prime month.

Roast turkey and stuffing are standard fare, but some dinners feature other main courses, such as roast chicken, fried chicken, ham, or roast beef.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Seeking Arizona Winter Rental Accommodations?

The greater Phoenix area in Arizona is a popular winter destination for Canadians, particularly for snowbirds, who escape from the winter cold to warmer climates for months at a time. Although many own vacation properties there, there are also many winter visitors who rent accommodations. In the past few weeks, I've heard stories about difficulties in finding winter rentals in the greater Phoenix area and past experiences where the rental unit came with a few surprises.

Having spent two winters in the area and about to embark on a third, I can attest to the difficulties in finding rentals. Based on what I am hearing, it's possible it is more difficult this year than in previous years, but I cannot definitely confirm that. I don't have any magic answers, but can share what I've discovered about ways to conduct one's search. I can also provide a few tips about what to ask about to know what you're getting.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Inside Human Rights

After years in the making, on September 20, 2014, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg, Manitoba opened its doors. Six of the eleven galleries were still under construction, but group tours provided visitors access to the five completed galleries. I was on one of the tours and found the experience inspiring and thought-provoking.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Human Rights Museum

On September 19, 2014 I watched the Opening Ceremony for the Canadian Museum for Human Rights on television. The museum had been in the works for 14 years and it was hard to believe it was finally opening. The moving ceremony was held on the grounds outside the building in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

The museum is the first national museum to be built outside the capital region and the first museum in the world dedicated solely to human rights.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Fragments of Writing Wisdom

Writers' festivals offer opportunities for writers to read from and showcase their new works. They offer opportunities for readers to discover new writers and new works from favourite writers. The festivals can also be places for writers to learn from other writers and to find a connection with another writer's perspective or process.

I recently attended several events at the 2014 Thin Air: Winnipeg International Writers Festival. I picked up a few nuggets of writing wisdom. At an afternoon book chat featuring writers Guillaume Morissette and Diane Schoemperlen, there was a discussion about fragments. Both their recent works rely on telling the story partly through fragments, which can be a powerful way to convey a sense of person and place. Guillaume's characters are young and active on social media. We gain understanding of them through brief online messages. Even outside the short and immediate confines of social media, life and stories sometimes appear as fragments, tightly or loosely connected. I picked up fragments of information on writing over the course of the week, fragments that will somehow get woven into the fabric of my understanding of the art and craft of writing.