Monthly Archives: February 2010

Bamboo People

Ten years ago I told the story of Captain Albert Mah and Captain Cedric Mah, Chinese Canadian brothers who had amazing adventures flying the Burma Hump during the Second World War. I know that this is a different world than the one Mitali Perkins visits in Bamboo People. I say this only because my research [...]
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The passenger pigeon

“I was born in Manitoba and came to Portage la Prairie about 1853. I was then only about six years old, and as far back as I can remember pigeons were very numerous. “They passed over every spring, usually during the mornings, in very large flocks, following each other in rapid succession. “I do not think they [...]
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Prince Rupert This Week

There will likely be a number of things that end up in the Solid Gold Box that were written during my three years at This Week. Quite simply, of all the newspapers and magazines I’ve worked at, some much bigger and shinier than This Week, it was the most fun. We did some great things. [...]
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Between the pages

A couple of days ago ran a neat article about items found in antiquarian books. Boy, could I ever contribute to that discussion. I could never tell you all of what I’ve found in over 30 years of collecting and dealing in books. I’ve saved only the odd thing. I can certainly tell you that [...]
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Adrian on the prairies

Here is the second lost picture book, Adrian on the Prairies. In this case I began by sorting out page shapes on little index cards… Then began scribbling out thumbnails and ideas: The next step was to write the ideas in script form, some of which I still have: One day Adrian woke up on the prairies. The first [...]
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The lost zzicks

Allow me to indulge myself… One of the biggest reasons I decided to create this Solid Gold Box section was a disastrous study flood in 2005. My study at that time was partially below ground level, and a water pipe blew. The flood was caught in time to save my books, so the only real loss [...]
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The Song My Paddle Sings

West wind, blow from your prairie nest Blow from the mountains, blow from the west. The sail is idle, the sailor too; O! wind of the west, we wait for you. Blow, blow! I have wooed you so, But never a favour you bestow. You rock your cradle the hills between, But scorn to notice my white lateen. I stow the sail, unship the [...]
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The Japanese fisherman

Near where the Yellowhead Highway ends, on a low cliff above the Prince Rupert waterfront, there is a Shinto shrine. It houses an elegant little Japanese fishing boat—at once both alien in this setting, and perfectly appropriate. At 0900 on March 26, 1987, on a westerly swell, the Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) patrol vessel Sooke [...]
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The writer and the reader

I’ve been thinking about a blog post by Molly O’Neill, who is an Assistant Editor at Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins. Her post was inspired by Janet Reid of FinePrint Literary Management, who was in turn inspired by a Slate article. This same Slate article has had me thinking for the past couple of weeks. It was written [...]
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Make and Break Harbour

In Make and Break Harbour the boats are so few
 Too many are pulled up and rotten
 Most houses stand empty, old nets hung to dry
 Are blown away lost and forgotten Stan Rogers, “Make and Break Harbour,” Fogarty’s Cove, (Fogarty’s Cove Music, 1976).
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Sunshine sketches

Many of my friends are under the impression that I write these humorous nothings in idle moments when the wearied brain is unable to perform the serious labours of the economist. My own experience is exactly the other way. The writing of solid, instructive stuff fortified by facts and figures is easy enough. There is [...]
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Profoundly human

Twelve hours later, I’m still processing the Opening Ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympics. This is not the first time I’ve realized that what I saw before me, on a television set, had just become one of those “moments” that shape my personal awareness of my country. I was one of those kids herded around black-and-white screens [...]
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Chaos theory

If Chaos Theory is correct, and a butterfly flapping its wings on one side of the world can cause a hurricane on the other, then two alert boys, filled with the perceptiveness and inquisitiveness of youth, can help turn around a town’s fortunes with their discovery of a dinosaur trackway. Much has been written and [...]
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The Black Joke

One wind-whipped summer day in the year 1735, a black-hulled ship came storming in from seaward toward the mountain walls which guard the southern coast of Newfoundland. All the canvas she could carry was bent to her tall spars, and she was closing on the rock-ribbed coast at such a furious pace it seemed inevitable [...]
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The old scrivener

I vaguely remember seeing a particular episode of Murder She Wrote years ago. A character was trying to sell Jessica some sort of plotting software. This got caught in my mind because the idea of plotting software (in the mid-‘80s) struck me as both frightening and magnetically appealing. For anyone who knows me, it will come [...]
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Bruce Wishart
Whimsies. Sometimes about writing.
Sometimes about folklore. Sometimes
about the sea, or life on the coast.
And sometimes not.