wrapped

It's not hard to be optimistic this time of year. At this point, everything is still a possibility, from the presents wrapped in shiny paper, to the new year looming just ahead. 

Some of the stories I've written recently look at those issues too. This piece, for University Affairs Magazine, looks at the decisions admissions officers make to let students into their programs. 

For Maclean's, I also looked at some students who are creating new and innovative ways to make roads safer. 

And for Huddle, I talked with a local business that just wants everyone to sit and relax, with a good book. 

2017 has been a tough year for a lot of people, and personally, I find some comfort in looking forward to the possibilities that lie ahead. 

Happy holidays, and I hope 2018 brings you joy. 

twinkle

I love this time of year.

Let me clarify - I love this time of year from the comfort of my living room. The lights on the trees, the crisp night sky, that cozy feeling of wrapping up in a blanket...that's all fantastic. But put me outside for more than three minutes with a harsh wind and I positively wilt. 

That's why I like cozy activities in the winter. I wrote about heading to a pub for a silent reading night, and a new take on A Christmas Carol, the classic stage play. Both of these are great winter activities! You barely have to set foot outside!

But the best thing to do when the weather gets cold? Movie marathon. May I suggest The Fast and the Furious?

fall

I LOVE back to school season. I have always loved back to school, even when I was of an age where I actually had to go back to school. 

I didn't always love the school part - but the school supplies? Oh man. Get me some multi-coloured sticky notes, some fresh pens, and some crisp notebooks. I would spend hours organizing my backpack and making sure everything was just so. 

I still love office supplies, and have an unhealthy addiction to file folders. I don't even have that much stuff to file! I just can't get enough. 

So this season, as we all say goodbye to the summer sunshine, focus on the things you love about the season. Are you a fan of sweater weather? Do you love crunching leaves? Maybe you love taking foodie tours in new cities - in which case, you'll love my latest for the Globe and Mail Travel section. 

Whatever gets you through the fall transition, embrace it. And feel free to join me as I stock up on new notebooks. 

bright

If you'd like to feel inspired, or perhaps just incredulous, you should spend two weeks talking to a bunch of high school valedictorians. 

This grad season, I interviewed 12 valedictorians from high schools around the Saint John area of New Brunswick, talking about everything from where they hung out at their school to the best way to use highlighters. 

More than half of these kids wanted to go into medicine, and about a third are attending university on an athletic scholarship. At least half said that either math or physics was their favourite class in high school, but all of them are really, incredibly, stinking busy. 

These kids work hard for the sake of it, pushing themselves to achieve more and be better. They have big dreams, and most of them are excited for their future. They're not weighed down by pressure and expectation - instead, they are bursting with energy, and ready to enter a new phase of their lives. Talking to them was like drinking a sugary cola while a cartoon unicorn sang to me; their energy and positivity couldn't help but rub off on me. 

Or at least, it dented my sarcastic armour for a while. 

What can I say? The future is bright with these kids at the helm. 

buzzzzzz

I've never understood the phrase "busy as a bee." Bees don't seem particularly busy to me, just industrious. They're hard-working, sure, but they're not overloaded with tasks. Bees are just the Type A personalities that you would try to have in your study group in university. 

I am not a bee. 

I am busy these days. Not merely productive, or hard-working, I'm busy. And that's partially because I am working on my procrastination (who wants to work when the new season of OITNB is out?), and partially because I have a  hard time turning down work. You never know when the work will dry up, so I say yes to too much, and get overloaded. 

Over the summer, things are going to be pretty full for me. I have a few longer features that I'm working on right now, as well as a bunch of side work with local outlets. I started a part-time on-air gig with CTV Atlantic (which is so awesome!) so I'm back in the TV game. And I have to find time to take my dog for walks and occasionally see my husband. 

Time to take a cue from the bees. 

 

 

the rock

I can finally cross all ten provinces off of my list. 

I spent last weekend in St. John's, which means I've officially visited Newfoundland, and thus all the provinces in Canada. (Now on to the territories.) 

St. John's was gorgeous, and I had a great time. I was there for the AJAs, and I took home a shiny silver award for this article. I got a chance to meet up with some wonderful media folks, eat too much dessert, and wear a slinky dress. I also went on a tour to Cape Spear, held a piece of an iceberg, and ate fish and chips with dressing. 

All in all, a perfect weekend away. 

Now that I'm back home, I'm working on some cool stuff. There's an upcoming story about a family-run bee business, plus I'm putting together a feature about some of the toughest university programs in the country. And I'm even imparting my wisdom to you all, on how to travel with your parents. 

Learn from my mistakes, kids. Safe travels!

nugget

For the past two weeks, I've had to push myself to get any work done, and this is why. 

This little monster has come to live with me, and I can't seem to tear myself away from her adorable face. I mean, look at that face. Look at that ridiculous face. I can't stop!

I'll get back to work soon (check out tomorrow's Globe and Mail for a travel piece by yours truly!) but for now...I'm stuck right here. 

pop!

I'm going to start by bragging.

I'm thrilled to say I was nominated for an Atlantic Journalism Award for Best Arts Reporting for this piece. I had such fun writing it, plus I actually learned about history. Not bad at all. 

The award ceremony is next month in St. John's, and I'm going! I've never been to Newfoundland. I'll be there for a long weekend, and I'm looking forward to it all. It's past cliche at this point, but it really is an honour just to be nominated. 

I also had a chance to speak with the co-founder of the Maritime Bhangra Group, who is one of the busiest and most genuine people I've ever met. We spoke for an hour about dancing, activism, and being a student. You can read all about it here and here

Next month, I'm going to drive a race car, learn about Tai Chi, and even work on a secret project. I'm so excited to share it with you!

 

stories

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a novelist. I wanted to write books, and tell long, sweeping stories, and spend my days in a quiet library with overstuffed cushions and lots of snacks. 

I never considered I would become a journalist. But what do I do with my days now? I spend most of the time working from home, in a quiet room with overstuffed cushions and (too many) snacks. I talk to people, and I tell their stories. 

Some are stories that span forty years, like this recent piece on Maritime photographer Thaddeus Holownia. 

Some stories don't have an ending yet, and they'll be told and retold many times before they're resolved. This article on doctor shortages fits that bill. 

And coming up, I have a chance to tell even more stories. I have two interview-driven pieces that are in the works that I'm very excited to share. Plus, I have a chance to branch outside of the reporting gig for a while, and try out my skills in the world of copywriting! There's a lot to be excited about this spring.