The Man in the Pictures

By Chelsea Mark “Hard to look at these, I miss him still.” My mother’s sad tone seeps through as I read these words in her e-mail, accompanied by photos of a man who wears the same smile that she often does. The build of his body is similar to that of my Aunt Joan – tall and lanky. The man sits surrounded by friends in the myriad of photos, drink in one hand, cigarette in the other. Family is a topic that sets off a range of emotions in individuals. When I ask my mother about her dad, … [Read more...]

The Youngest Ventriloquist in the World

By Alexandria Stuart The air in England’s West Midlands in 1907 was thick with the dust of coal fires. Once-white bedclothes, hung to dry, took on a shadowy tinge of grey. In a Birminghan home, in a spartan bedroom, the figure seated in a straight-back wooden chair towered over Ivy Johnson. The little girl stretched to reach her arm into the slit at the back of its shirt. Her small hand worked the lever, squeezing it to make the mouth move. Down the hall, her grandmother heard voices … [Read more...]

Home Again

By Alexandria Stuart Nanaimo was in the middle of a heat wave as my boyfriend Sean and I set out on our "nearcation" to northern Vancouver Island, A/C on high. The familiar landscape of coastal British Columbia flew by: Moss-draped forests alternated with scabs of clear-cut, blanketed in pink fireweed as the land tried to heal itself. It was the same scenery I’d been looking at my whole life. A "nearcation" is a variation on the "staycation"; we would travel  farther north on the Island … [Read more...]

Home Again (Part Two)

The village of Sointula, Malcolm Island’s main port, looked like something out of a Dr. Seuss book. Brightly coloured sea shacks dotted the waterfront and the homes lining the main street, sitting on small, tidy fenced lots, were gaily painted. Sointula, meaning “place of harmony," was settled in the early 1900s by Finnish immigrants fleeing the harsh conditions in Nanaimo’s coal mines. They envisioned a utopian socialist society with communal property and equal participation/equal voice for … [Read more...]

Seizure Salad

By Katelyn Ross Looking at the calendar, I’m reminded it’s been a stressful month. Many of the days when I should have been at school are marked with a yellow highlighter. The semester is ending and I’m under pressure and scrambling to catch up. I’ve missed my Creative Writing class almost every week. Today I don’t need my highlighter because it has been seizure free. The First One I was 8 years old, playing, laughing and showing off. I was attempting a backflip off the monkey bars … [Read more...]