June 17, 2013

Half marathoned




I was shooting my mouth off before the race, talking about the full marathon in 2014. Then I nearly slowed to a walk at 19K because I was done, there was nothing left. Except some guy sitting on the side of the road who yelled, "Don't give up, keep running!" Ahem. Sir. You're a jerk. And thank you. 

So I don't know about the full next year. Though I do have 363 days to train...

June 13, 2013

My many, many moves | Frogbox Blog Contest

Baden Soellingen, Germany

I'm a base brat or for you civvies out there (that's civilians to... civilians), I'm a kid who grew up on military bases. My father flies jets for the Royal Canadian Air Force.

The main pro of that upbringing? Being able to top the threat of every other kid in the schoolyard.

Him: Oh yeah? Well my dad drives a truck and he'll run you over.
Me: Oh yeah? Well my dad drives a jet and he'll bomb your house.
(awed silence)

Cold Lake, Alberta

The con? Moving. A lot. I relocated to new towns five times growing up, which isn't too many compared to some of the other brats I knew - they seemed to move every six months - but it was enough. Enough to disrupt my friendships. Enough to foster a sense of always being on the move, never really settling. Enough to make me jealous of people who have "childhood friends."

I wish I hadn't moved so much as a child. Now, of course, that I'm an adult who's curious about the world, I'd love to move more. I want to go exploring. But as a kid, I wanted my friends, hard won through a strong effort to overcome my natural shyness.

Lazo, British Columbia

The act of moving is disorienting. Five times (OK, I don't really remember my first move. As an infant, I packed light) all my stuff was jammed into boxes. What felt like the sum total of my life was compressed into a few square, badly packed feet.

Gahd, it was stressful. And that's from a kid's perspective, I can't even imagine how rough it was for my parents to organize an entire household, pack the kitchen, pack the livingroom, sell old furniture, pack three kids' junk, unpack to find the one item the oldest daughter needed, repack, unpack to find what the younges daughter needed, load it into a truck destined for a new town only Dad had visited...

Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan

Which brings me to Frogbox, the North American company that supplies clean, reusable packing containers to people on the move - dropping them off at old house and picking them up at your new home. (They're running a blog contest right now, more on that below.)

In the stress of moving, there were moments of comfort and fun. Always eating out, because all the kitchen gear was already packed. Friends and neighbours dropping by to help with the move. Finding the long-lost book you thought was gone for good. These little perks in the midst of unsettling times helped a lot. They were little golden moments along the path to a new town.

So cheers to Frogbox for helping make moving easier, cleaner and more environmentally friendly. I wish I'd had you along for the ride when I was a kid beyond the obvious reason of building the ultimate Frogbox fort.


As I mentioned, Frogbox Winnipeg is running a contest through their Facebook page. Just write a blog post that touches on Frogbox. It can be about moving. It can be about how you try to be environmentally conscious. It can be how you'd like a Frogbox as an ice box for your summer brews. Anything.

There's some sweet shwag you can win, but more so, you're helping get the word out about a fun local company. Deets below.


June 8, 2013


I'm back at the Free Press copy editing and writing headlines this summer while I look for a permanent job. The first couple weeks have been a sharp reminder of a hard truth I learned last time around: I'm not really a copy editor.

I don't have the depth of grammatical and linguistic knowledge my coworkers have, not to the level it takes to be a really good copy editor. More than that, I struggle to rearrange other people's writing to make their stories really sing. There are a couple colleagues whose skill at storytelling is impressive - they're the secret weapons of the Winnipeg Free Press newsroom. Me? I can hack it out, but I'm not great.

Every now and then, however, I redeem myself with a good headline.

June 6, 2013

Summer reading lists

I just finished an article for The Winnipeg Review (fantastic Prairie lit blog you should subscribe to) about summer reading lists, asking local authors for their thoughts on the matter. And most don't buy into them; they either have a list they plug away at throughout the year or they read a la freeform. There was even a hint that summer reading lists are a media/pr creation (read the article).

So, to open this up to everyone, here's the 39-chapter question: Do you have a summer reading list?