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Write On Ottawa: Maggie’s Choice and the vagueness of memory

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Filled with a sense of national pride and duty, when the war effort for WWI calls for nurses to work on the front lines, Maggie O’Conner answers. However, as she watches the war exact it’s price from friends, family, and John Hardie, the socialist recruit she falls in love with, she comes to realize that her motivations are more complicated than that. However, even when the “war to end all wars” comes to an end, the fight is not over for Maggie, not when the people she has worked to... | Continue reading article

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Fellowship: Ottawa’s Lounge Lizard – JOHNNY VEGAS

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Ottawa's Lounge Lizard: Johnny Vegas is created by Kristopher Waddell, Art by Tom Szyc and Colours by Kelly Tindall.Ottawa's Lounge Lizard: Johnny Vegas is created by Kristopher Waddell, Art by Tom Szyc and Colours by Kelly Tindall.

We’re delighted to have Kristopher Waddell as our newest fellow. A longtime member of Ottawa’s comic book scene, Kristopher has been involved with all aspects of the trade – from creating comics to publishing books. In regular weekly installments, Kristopher presents his take on the life and times of Johnny Vegas, who has been performing in this city for decades. Ottawa’s Lounge Lizard: Johnny Vegas is a perfect wrap up for all us who ended up in Maxwell’s over the years and heard the catchy strains of Vegas and his band.... | Continue reading article

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Write On Ottawa: These hippies mean business

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Review by Barb Collishaw Seymour Hamilton’s The Hippies Who Meant It opens at a dramatic confrontation during an anti-war rally, where we meet the three main characters, Dick, Joe and Beth. They come from widely different backgrounds and only chance has thrown them together. A brightly painted VW microbus (definitely another main character) takes them to a new life in Nova Scotia. They settle on a hillside called the North Mountain and manage to keep themselves alive and mostly happy through some tough winters and much coming and going. From a variety... | Continue reading article

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Fellowship of the blog: Introducing Kristopher Waddell

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Cropped image of page 1 of Ottawa's Lounge Lizard: Johnny Vegas. Written by Kristopher Waddell, Coloured by Kelly Tindal and illustrated by Tom Szyc.Cropped image of page 1 of Ottawa's Lounge Lizard: Johnny Vegas. Written by Kristopher Waddell, Coloured by Kelly Tindal and illustrated by Tom Szyc.

In our latest installment of the Apartment613 Fellowship program, we’re pretty dang delighted to have Kristopher Waddell as our newest fellow. A longtime member of Ottawa’s comic book scene, Kristopher has been involved with all aspects of the trade – from creating comics to publishing books. As president and publisher of Winter Star Comics, an indie comic book publishing company based here in our nation’s capital, Kristopher has been investing in the scene for many years. He’s also been closely connected to the broader culture scene writ-large, which is why... | Continue reading article

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Write On Ottawa: A western romance from a local writer

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Review by Jennifer Carole Lewis, who you can find online and on Twitter. The Doubting Heart, the second in Brenda Gayle’s Heart’s Desire series starts off with a bang and doesn’t let up until the final page. Murder, intrigue and intimidation balance loyalty, romance and some pure old-fashioned grit in a race guaranteed to get your heart thumping. Her heroine, Shelby, begins as a classic people-pleaser but with a spine of steel that she is only beginning to unveil. Her determination to solve her partner’s murder was a real pleasure... | Continue reading article

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Librarian in Residence: New year, new skills

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Jessica Green is a book addict and library card holder since the age of 3. She’s a librarian at the Ottawa Public Library and currently the Apartment613 Librarian-in-Residence, sharing a compendium of literary thoughts and tips. Ottawa is a very crafty place and only seems to be getting more so the longer I live here. If you have ever wanted to pick up anything from tatting to making pickles, there are books available here at the library covering a vast amount of creative endeavour. This is one of my favourite... | Continue reading article

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Write On Ottawa: Human by S.M. Carrière

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Post by Laurie Stewart. Human is the story of Aleksandar Svetoslav, a centuries old vampire from Eastern Europe. He’s sent to America to rebuild the territory of the last Prince and his House, after he and his entire line are slaughtered by vampire hunters. The story begins with Aleksandar’s rescue and conversion in the face of the Mongol invasion in Eastern Europe. It then lightly touches on the ensuing centuries, to cast a brief but glowing eye on pre-war Europe in 1910. Then jumps straight to present day. But things... | Continue reading article

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Write On Ottawa: A tale of a tenacious sleuth who lets nothing stop her

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Review by Molly O’Connor. A fast paced mystery with likable characters, Journey of a Thousand Steps is a valiant effort as a debut novel. Naya, the protagonist, immediately grabs the reader’s attention: she is an unusual sleuth, since she has mobility issues. Author Madona Skaff-Koren, and her protagonist, Naya, both have multiple sclerosis (MS).  Skaff-Koren describes the limitations Naya experiences and the therapies she undergoes, and makes the reader feel her character’s frustrations. Naya becomes reacquainted with Valerie, a high school friend, whom she hasn’t seen for a number of years. When... | Continue reading article

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Write On Ottawa: An appreciation of an industrious symbol of Canada

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Detail of the cover of Dam BuildersDetail of the cover of Dam Builders

Review by Molly O’Connor. In his book Dam Builders, Michael Runtz brings the world of beavers into sharp focus.  Dam Builders is a narrative, a documentary, a photo essay and a testament to his passion for his industrious subject. Right from the introduction, the reader becomes aware that this is more than a biologist conveying his knowledge and that it is not a scientific thesis. To set the tone, historical and scientific facts are shared in an easy-to-absorb manner. The reader learns or is reintroduced to the importance and symbolism this hardworking... | Continue reading article

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Write On Ottawa: A Mechanicsville coming of age story

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Review by Greg Guevara, a human being who wastes the majority of his time and money in university. He has what could hypothetically pass as a blog at Inbreak. The teenager. A fascinating yet oft-misunderstood creature ruled, some say, by 1 part logic, 2 parts emotion, and 3 parts hormones. It is difficult to find a realistic portrayal of teenagers, in books as well as movies. Too often they are depicted as needlessly rebellious, barely capable of listening to sensible adults, let alone making decisions for themselves. Thankfully, Laurie Stewart’s A... | Continue reading article

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