Giller Short List

Giller Short List
French Exit by Patrick deWitt, Songs for the Cold of Heart by Eric Dupont, Washington Black by Esi Edugyan,Motherhood by Sheila Heti and An Ocean of Minutes by Thea Lim

Writing Guild Call for a New Member

Wanted: one new member for the Thunder Bay Writers Guild. The Guild is a well-established writing group of 12 members who meet monthly to critique each other’s work and to support and encourage each other in the writing process.

Requirements: to be actively writing and able to produce a polished piece of work (fiction or non-fiction, not poetry) to be critiqued every few months. Able to attend meetings at the college on the 2nd Monday of each month.

Interested? Please send 2 pieces of your work (fiction or non-fiction—between 1,500 - 3,000 words, no poetry) to Jack Shedden at

Deadline: Wednesday 31st October 2018

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Sandra Brown Describes Winter Flyers

Delivering Flyers and Singing
by Sandra Brown.
I have two flyer routes. There's no real point to this except that this is a slice of life. There are a lot of folks delivering flyers today. I have 125 houses in probably the hilliest part of Port Arthur, lots of steps up to houses. It’s a bone cracking cold, frost bite on my toes and a red nose that might fall off kinda day - especially after that wind kicks in.

It takes me about 2 - 3 hours of walking every Thursday. I move slower when there is ice (Paul Pugh the city sidewalks are great - say thanks for me to the workers). People's sidewalks and stairs - not as good. I fell 5 times last year - no injuries but I am now not in a rush. And I bought some diamond level Yaktraks. Lifesavers those.

At 70 I might just be the oldest flyer delivery person in town. It's been a couple of years now. It started because I retired from a desk job and just could not seem to get off my butt. I needed an exercise plan that would not allow procrastination, lethargy and Asian Dramas to deter me. Hence flyer routes. I have done these many times over the years when we or the kids needed some quick cash. Rodney Brown and I did one in Vancouver on a vacation. Talk about hills! And rain.

I take my Walkman and sing and dance and stretch up and down these hills and stairs. I have singing lessons on my Walkman (Tara O'Brien, Donna Diamond, Rose Anne Archibald, Christine Simard-Chicago.) It is one of the benefits of getting older and knowing who you are and not feeling like you have to worry about what people think. There is a part of life that is just theatre.

A lot of the people on the route have become friends of sorts. The postie today asked me if I was enjoying myself and we chatted. I have taken grand-daughter Aesha Ito Kyoko Ito on route with me and introduced her to some of the folks. With this chatting, some people have become aware that I collect clothes for the north so they put out bags for me with a note. (I have 8 bags of clothes and bedding in my car right now that I am willing to deliver if someone wants them).

In general I get to know the neighbours and their ailments, their travels and their families. I actually know of one diligent postie who was able to spot a case of identity theft by just knowing the people on his route. There are already many stories that make up this larger neighbourhood and for that reason I enjoy the routes. In general, despite the sorrows in the world, despite the inequities and the challenges, we are alive because we love the moments we are in.

And today I got a tip. I was at the end of my frigid route and there was a neighbour waiting for me. "Happy New Year" came with 2 slices of processed cheese, a banana, a Diet 7 and a great big smile. My bones mended; my toes and nose thawed and I smiled back! Life is good.

And then I look out my second floor window. Some bird pooped and the wind planted it (splat) on my window. I will procrastinate on that cleaning - at least till spring. Maybe some strong wind/rain event will do the job for me. lol
A Car Full to Go

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