Are you maximizing your dream machine?

To sleep, perchance to dream. To dream perchance create. Could divine inspiration be the result of divine intervention? While watching a program on The Smithsonian channel the other night on TV, I suddenly became aware of a major missed opportunity in my life. There's increasing evidence that by not paying closer attention to our dreams we're missing out on a vital source of intelligence, inspiration and creativity. The program described how various scientists over the centuries claim to have taken intelligence that appeared to them in dreams and transcribed this…

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Ashley Madison Paris-style

Whenever I see a book recommended by a best-selling author with Paris in the title, I can't resist picking it up. Such was the case with Tatiana de Rosnay's A Paris Affair. The author of the exquisite Sarah's Key really dropped the ball on this one. Don't waste your money. Unless you also enjoy scouring Ashley Madison's pitiful list of thrill-seekers, you will find de Rosnay's book of short stories depressing and even annoying. The book is a series of short stories written in the first person, describing the discovery…

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Visiting authors down on the farm

My friend Terry and I just spent the most wonderful Sunday afternoon listening to and meeting authors in a pastoral farm setting that was total escapism. We'd read and loved books by Catherine Gildiner and Plum Johnson, were familiar with Terry O'Reilly's CBC broadcasts about the advertising biz, and were introduced to an author unfamiliar to us, Trevor Cole. As book lovers, we couldn't have imagined a better afternoon. After driving through farm country about ninety minutes north of Toronto on Highway 10, we drove into Pegram Farm, a restored…

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Who’s the boss behind the wheel?

Is it the seductive lure of the word tail that induces men to drive six inches from the back bumper of the car ahead? What seems to be a purely male preoccupation with tailgating is a mystery to most women. As we sit in the passenger seat with our right foot on an imaginary brake pedal, we have absolutely no understanding of why men do it. Perhaps it has something to do with that Y chromosome thingie. Our gentle suggestion that he back off a bit is usually met with…

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The Green Road serves up plenty of Irish angst

Irish authors have a magical way with words. When I'm reading a book by an Irish author I can almost hear the lilt in the story-teller's voice. They do, however, have a tendency to write rather bleak stories that rarely have a happy ending. Not that this is a criticism; it's just that when I read I like to be uplifted. Many years ago I tried to get through Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt. After reading several chapters of depressing narrative about dead babies, cold, damp tenant housing, starving children…

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The fashion fascists are laughing at us

Whoever those fashion fascists are who tell us each season what is hot and what's not, I'm on to their cruel joke. You know what I'm talking about. This season they told us rompers were all the rage and showed us endless pictures of anorexic teenage girls wearing them in all the fashion mags. I nearly coughed up my Geritol when I saw that one. Can you imagine an average woman with an average body strutting around in rompers? Not to mention having to get completely undressed to go to…

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