Monthly Archives: February 2016

Full Script – My Student Blog

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Feedback from 2015 Spine Awards judge, Peggy Berkowitz.

During the second year of our Professional Writing Program at Algonquin College, each student had to create a thematically-oriented student blog. I decided to make mine on the topic of scripting for comic books.

This is one of the media I aspire to write for, and Full Script was just one of the many projects I turned into learning opportunities to learn more about writing comics.

My teachers challenged me to not only write a comic book script, but to create the artwork for it too. We decided creating the first page of the comic would be enough for this blogging experience, and Full Script is the outcome of this project.

Near the end of the second year, the Professional Writing Program holds the annual  Spine Awards. My blog, judged by journalist and editor, Peggy Berkowitz, received Honorable Mention in the 2015 Spine Awards. Peggy’s feedback appears in the photo above.

Give my blog a read, and let me know what you think. Remember to scroll to the bottom of the blog and then read each entry in what appears to be reverse order. If you read top-down you’ll be starting with the last entry and working to the first.

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Fiction: In the Blood

943926_10153832730627165_8632581879542487187_nMy colleagues in the Professional Writing Program at Algonquin College and I put together an E-zine called Wordstruck during our second year, and I recommend giving it a read. There are a lot of talented people that graduated from that class.

Within Wordstruck‘s pages is a short story I wrote, called “In the Blood.” It’s a Weird West / Steampunk heist story with a twist ending. It is also built with an interesting story structure which switches back and forth between two time frames: the present moment – during the heist, and the past wherein the protagonist brings together his team.

Of “In the Blood” Steampunk Canada said, “This is FANTASTIC and far too short. Needs to be a full length novel.”

Get yourself a coffee or tea, and sit down to give “In The Blood” a read.

 

 

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The Hydra in Hydraulic Fracturing

Back in 2014, the Nova Scotia Hydraulic Fracturing Review Panel (HFRP), was accepting submissions from the public in their examination of the issue of hydraulic fracturing. While attending the Professional Writing Program at Algonquin College, I had been researching the topic in preparation for writing a Major Project on the issue in my second year.

I prepared a 16-page, multidisciplinary paper called, “The Hydra in Hydraulic Fracturing,” in which I outlined the threats that fracking presented in four major spheres of life: risks to the environment, to the health of local residents and Nova Scotians, to public infrastructure, personal property, property values; all which affect quality of life.

I chose to cover the many risks my research brought to light to ensure there was at least one paper that gathered all those elements together so that the enormity of the situation was made clear. Even so, it wasn’t an all-inclusive document as other people prepared reports that highlighted a number of issues that were Nova Scotia-specific in their scope. There were also issues related to indigenous rights and treaties that fell into this category.

Sadly, there were many aspects of the argument against fracking that weren’t picked up and discussed in the HFRP’s final report, other than to mention that the people who submitted to the panel were well-read and well-informed. The submissions, including my report, were all hosted on the Cape Breton University website, in a section dedicated to the study, for public reference.

You may review the document by clicking the following link to view the PDF:
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Municipalities: Act Now – Letter to the Editor

Back in the summer of 2014, Nova Scotia was participating in the public consultation period regarding the Hydraulic Fracturing Review Board‘s report.

As a resident of Maitland, Nova Scotia – an area targeted for high volume hydraulic fracturing operations – I felt it was important to write a response to an article, “Fracking choices need public view,”  which appeared in the August 30, 2014 edition of The Chronicle Herald.

My letter to the editor was published under the title, Municipalities: act now, in the Voice of the People section of the September 2, 2014 edition.

You can view the submission in question, here:
http://thechronicleherald.ca/letters/1233650-voice-of-the-people-sept-3-2014

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The Right To Be Cold

When I was on student placement at EarthLore Communications from the Professional Writing Program at Algonquin College, The Ottawa International Writer’s Festival hosted an evening with Siila Watt-Clouthier, author of the then-newly published book, The Right To Be Cold: One Woman’s Story of Protecting Her Culture, The Arctic, and the Whole Planet.

I attended the evening, took notes and pictures, and on the following day wrote a post for the EarthLore Communications Facebook page. The post received a lot of attention, being shared by the author herself, and by Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami. By the end of my student placement the statistics showed that the post had more than 825 viewings.

You can view the post on the EarthLore Communications Facebook page at:
https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=424568111040082&id=183775555119340

Incidentally, the portrait photo that appears on the cover of Siila’s book, and the promotional materials, was taken by me while I still lived in Iqaluit and was running Stephen Lowe Photography.

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