Brevity's Soulful Wit

I’m currently working on another non-fiction assignment, although this particular book is an extra challenge for me. It’s in the realm of “hi-low” — specifically “high interest, low vocabulary”, a type of writing for reluctant readers.

My current project is a 48 page book about a famous American Civil War battle. I have a set of spreads introducing the context the battle takes place in, a number of spreads covering the key events of the battle, and a handful of spreads covering the long-term effects of said battle. From this, I have to produce a narrative.

I’ve never done hi-low before, and let me tell you that it’s a considerable challenge. Not only must my writing be punchy and exciting, it has to be very straight and to the point. How to the point? I’m only allowed 120 words per spread. Maximum. In total. And given that each spread contains a sub-feature, a relevant quote and a definition, the number of words I have to work with is much smaller.

Some would say, “oh, this will be quick then, as it’s so short.” These people have no idea what they’re talking about. In all children’s non-fiction books, the challenge is figuring out what material to leave out; this is just like that, only moreso. But, it’s a challenge I’m up for. Wish me luck.

Cherished Presents

I should mention that one of the other gifts that Vivian received and really appreciated was a beautiful glass Christmas ornament supplied by poppa Michael, who regrets that he can’t be here. In contrast to the microphone that has had Vivian bouncing with excitement, the ornament quiets Vivian down, while she sits and admires the glasswork inside its protective velvet box. She really loves it, calls it an heirloom, and has to be ordered not to take it to school if she wants that heirloom to last long enough to be passed on to her heirs.

Thanks, Michael!

How You Know Doctor Who Has Made It


So, an astronaut walks into an Apple Store in Manhattan and is spotted trying out some of the computers there. And it makes the Apple news.

The spacesuit is part of a Mini Cooper promotional stunt, involving a new Mini Cooper strapped to a rocket, with astronauts standing about. But once it’s duly reported by the website Cult of Mac, care to wager how long it takes for somebody to bring up the Doctor Who revival’s sixth season premiere, The Impossible Astronaut?

Try comment #2.

Congratulations, Steven Moffat! You’ve definitely made it.

Make Some Noise for Electoral Reform

Finally, my latest column for The Kitchener Post is now up. Check out my thoughts on making it possible to vote “None of the Above”.

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