How the “F” Courses Saved Me

{Gloria Steinem 1977. Image Courtesy of Postcard Gallery} One thing I’ve always been interested in is how we, as women, shape and are shaped by society. The feminist courses I studied in university really woke me up to women’s rights and I’ve never been the same since. I loved what I learned then (my then boyfriend not so much–but as my mother always says, “Better you cry now, than me cry later,” so I ditched him and happily moved on). What I learned that really stood out for me: -Women … [Read more...]

Mala Beads

What are Mala Beads:  Mala beads are referred to as prayer beads and are made out of rudraksha beads or rudraksha seeds which are only found in certain parts of the world, including Bali and India. According to the Tiny Devotions website, "Rudrakshas are known to be the tears of Shiva. Shiva meditated on the welfare of mankind, crying tears of compassion which crystallized upon hitting the earth to form the Rudraksha tree." Mala beads have been used in Hinduism, Buddhism as well as in yoga … [Read more...]

Afternoon Tea

Coincidentally we both a rough day at work recently. The problem with rough days at work are that they often follow you home and they stay with you all night, into the next day and linger for who knows how long. Instead of wallowing in the petty details that arose throughout and were really, in the scheme of things, insignificant, we decided to shake off all the bad feelings that came up as a result of the bad day. Now the problem with living in the same city for so long is that you … [Read more...]

In Transition

Our basement was flooded due to the heavy rainstorm that hit Toronto this past July. It's hard to believe that, four months later, we are still living out of boxes and rebuilding what was lost and damaged. We are in the midst of putting our office back together (we have A LOT of books!) and it's taking so much longer than we expected, but hopefully it will all come together and be completed in the next couple of weeks. It did look a lot worse back in July when we were moving out of the … [Read more...]

Running Gear Guide Fall/Winter Edition

[Read more...]

The Alchemist

I've been teaching the novel, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho to my Grade 12 students for the past few years and find it to be a really valuable novel to study in school, particularly for people venturing out into the world for the first time. One of the main reasons I enjoy teaching it is because I find it very important to teach students the importance of following their true paths in life. They often don't yet realize that there are many things that come up in life (mostly responsibilities … [Read more...]

Happy Thanksgiving

This weekend, we are celebrating Thanksgiving in Canada. It is one of our favourite holidays as it is still the least commercial, and has remained relatively simple. We usually celebrate by having dinner with family and friends, getting in touch with nature, and of course by remembering and acknowledging all that we are thankful in our lives. Even, our protagonist Kristen, in our novel, Stargazing from Nowhere, loves Thanksgiving. She says of the holiday, "The combined aromas of squash soup, … [Read more...]

Historical Fiction

“I have been standing on the side of life, watching it float by. I want to swim in the river. I want to feel the current.” -Mamah Borthwick from Loving Frank by Nancy Horan   Ever since I read the novel, Loving Frank, by Nancy Horan, I have both loved Historical fiction. I picked it up by chance, and spent two days over Christmas break hiding from everybody, unable to put it down. Since then, I've have both read The Paris Wife by Paula McLain, and are now reading Z:A Novel of … [Read more...]

From Desire to Blue Jasmine

  Woody Allen has really grown on us lately. While he’s always been regarded as a significant filmmaker, it hasn’t been until more recent works like Midnight in Paris and Cassandra’s Dream that have made him a director whose films were not to be missed. Blue Jasmine, his latest work, is an insightful, inventive movie, even as it relies on key elements of Tennessee William’s Pulitzer-prize winning play A Streetcar Named Desire. What the film opens the curtain on, 66 years after the play’s … [Read more...]

September

We love September. It feels like a brand new year. In many ways, it is. There's something about the mood and energy of this month that revitalizes and comforts the spirit and fills it with renewed hope of what's to come. Even the crispness in the air is comforting. We wanted our protagonist, Kristen Morgan, to share our love of September. Stargazing from Nowhere begins in early September as Kristen is beginning Grade 11, and she expresses her love of the fall in the passage below. … [Read more...]