Philomel, with melody

You spotted snakes with double tongue,  Thorny hedgehogs, be not seen; Newts and blind-worms, do no wrong, Come not near our fairy queen.  My garden has been shrouded in fog the last couple of days – nature acting as a beguiling muse as I compose incidental music for Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. As I enter into my fourth week of rehearsals with the talented crew and company of players at Two Planks and a Passion Theatre, I feel profoundly blessed to be a part of their 2017 summer season. The words, characters and melodies that have lived in my

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a woman’s place

We’re about to start week three of rehearsals for “Nothing Less!” so I thought I’d share another behind-the-scenes post about the history that has informed and inspired the play. This time, I’m tackling the anti-suffrage movement and how it found its way into homes across Canada, the US and the UK. Postcards were extremely popular in the early 1900’s. People were keen to send, collect, and display them in their homes. Political cartoons were also wildly popular and often found their way from the newspapers in which they were printed, into the scrapbooks of middle-class families. Illustrations depicting anti-suffrage sentiments

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Let them howl.

99 years ago today…  On May 24, 1918, female Canadian citizens (not included under racial or Indigenous exclusions) aged 21 and over were awarded the right to vote in Federal elections.  A hard-won victory, yes, but there was still much work to be done.  We often abbreviate history into a series of sound bites, tantalizing lists, and anniversary dates. We see them flit through our social media feeds on a daily basis. We assign them appropriate emoticons, and move on. I couldn’t let this date go by without writing a few words that I hope will illuminate the history of women’s suffrage in Canada in my own small

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Advice for New Witches

Writing a novel can take years. The Witches of New York took five. Along the way, I learned a lot of things about the world and those around me, and above all, myself. One of the biggest revelations that came to me while writing this novel was the realization that magic is everywhere. And the more you’re open to it, the more it will present itself to you in ways large and small. In August, I was given the wonderful opportunity to share a night of storytelling at the Ross Creek Centre for the Arts. I was supposed to meet

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ten times round the seasons

During the big rewrite/revision/edit of The Witches of New York an important milestone came and went. I didn’t exactly miss it, I just didn’t have time to stop and acknowledge it, (at least not in any way that felt fitting or right.) Now that the manuscript for Witches has gone into “pages” (the magical process where the story gets arranged by the wonderful crew at Knopf Canada into the actual pages of a book,) I can take some time to yank the weeds from my garden and my brain, and think on all the things I pushed aside while I was immersed in a world

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filling the well

A stroll through an art gallery, an evening spent at the theatre, the sight of a glorious sunset – these things invite my mind to dance with abandon and wonder. “Filling the well,” (the seeking out of new sources of inspiration) has long been a part of my artistic process and an essential part of how I find my way through life. Moments spent immersed in another time, place or space often bring clarity to whatever I’m grappling with in the present (writing-related or otherwise.) We humans like to make sense of things, to put ideas and events into perspective,

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