Winter + Spring 2017 Reads

I’ve had some pretty memorable reading experiences in the last four months. Here’s a roundup of a few of them. Swing Time by Zadie Smith I’ve only just started Smith’s newest novel and I’m already liking it a lot. Lately, her short stories and essays have been appearing more widely than ever. So while, perhaps, I’m just more […] Read More

Year in Review: 2016

While many people are bemoaning 2016 as the worst year in memory – with numerous celebrity deaths, Brexit and America’s electoral self-mutilation – the year was pretty decent for me, professionally speaking. Here’s a quick look at a few career highlights from the past 12 months. Freelance to Full-Time After a year of dedicating three days a week […] Read More

Leonard Cohen is Dead

I knew this one would be inevitable. Leonard Cohen couldn’t possibly live on forever. I heard he had collapsed during a performance on tour a couple of years ago. But then he just released a new album last month, and there were even rumours of a final tour. Maybe even hope for a new book […] Read More

The Beauty of Flawed Storytelling

A lot of my favourite books and films feature “flawed” storytelling—whether it’s suddenly ending a story without resolving the central conflict (Abbas Kiarostami’s Like Someone in Love) or abandoning a protagonist through sudden, off-screen/off-page violence mid-way through (Michel Houellebecq’s The Map and the Territory or the Coen brothers’ No Country for Old Men). These techniques, if they can be called that, are […] Read More

Little Men’s Blind Spot is a Little Unsettling

Spoilers abound in this post, so if you haven’t seen Ira Sach’s latest film, I’m about to ruin the ending for you. Okay? There were about 15 minutes left of Little Men when I thought to myself, “This indie flick totally measures up to the glowing critic reviews—it’s subtle, complex, and focuses on a really relevant […] Read More

George Saunders on Writing Well

I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of listening to George Saunders talk about the craft of writing or his own creative process. As a recovering screenwriter, I’ve spent years on projects where it seemed like everyone involved wanted to impose rules onto a story, to make it into something that checks all boxes and […] Read More

Dostoyevky’s Lumbering Karamazovs

My recurring suggestion that novels should have a bit of ‘flabbiness’ in them in order to highlight the author’s vision or personality—to convey what their open world looks like, to borrow a gaming term—has been successfully countered by Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov (published 1880). While I lamented the absence of this quality in otherwise solid books […] Read More

On Tarragon Theatre’s You Will Remember Me

During a recent performance of You Will Remember Me by François Archambault at Tarragon Theatre in Toronto, I realized that I’d make a terrible theatre critic. The production is solid and I have few disagreements with this review from Glenn Sumi, my colleague at NOW Magazine, and yet I couldn’t help thinking about how the play could have been better, despite all its praiseworthy aspects. […] Read More

My Winter 2016 Reads

This past winter—it feels good to say it’s in the past—I dedicated a lot of time to reading magazines and newspapers, but I still kept reading books when possible. Here are a few of the ones I enjoyed over the last few months. Undermajordomo Minor by Patrick deWitt I really enjoyed deWitt’s The Sisters Brothers, a book that took a […] Read More

2015 Year in Review

Each year, I post a round-up of the major changes, projects, and milestones in my writing career. As with previous years, 2015 was chock-full of creative development and surprises. Here are a few of them. New Writing I completed a six-month creative writing mentorship through the University of British Columbia, during which I was able to create a “proof-of-concept” […] Read More

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