December 18th, 2012

Social Media Helps Me Live in the World

“Live in your world!” is something one my high-school teachers–the music teacher, oddly enough–used to exhort us. What she meant was that to truly inhabit the world, you need to know and at least attempt to understand it. She would use this sentence when we seemed too grossly ignorant of current events–the events of our world.

At the time, I could nod sagely, because I was a pretty well-informed kid. Of course, no one actually lives in the world–we all live in our houses, and my parents’ house was (and is) one of information. While I lived there, I absorbed news because it played on the radio and television several times a day and there were always newspapers and magazines underfoot, sometimes literally. There were also books and books and books, and usually someone available to explain whatever I didn’t understand.

Then I moved out on my own, and I discovered a key way I am not like my parents–I feel no drive to be well-informed. If you tell me things, I’ll take them in and even take an interest, but left to my own devices I am comfortable in my happy bubble of friends and work and fictional characters. After I moved out, my parents would phone me and attempt to talk about current events, and find me weeks out of date–often these calls were actually my only source of news.

What have we learned here? That I’m lazy, inane, not that bright? I prefer to say passive–I’ll learn what someone cares to teach me. Which is what makes social media kind of great. On the internet, on my own, I’ll look up book reviews and personal blogs and recipes and the life stories of people I knew in high school. But I read the newsfeeds on Twitter and Facebook, at least sometimes. And I learn stuff I didn’t know I needed to know. I follow links to actual newspapers and I read the articles. It’s easy to ignore the world when you don’t know what you’re missing; it’s harder when you have to try to ignore it.

I went on Twitter last Friday to post some inane complaint, which is mainly what I post on Twitter. I started reading my newsfeed and found a dozen comments on gun control in the US. I scrolled backwards until I found a name–“Newtown”–and then I googled that and read the news articles. It was miserable reading, of course, but utterly necessary if you want to be a human being living in the world today in a human way. Really, how could a real person ever choose to ignore that kind of tragedy?

Social media brings the tough parts closer, within reach even for someone like me, who often chooses to opt out of the tough parts. It’s not a perfect system (ie., Farmville) but in no small way, social media does help me be a grownup, living in the world.

December 5th, 2011

Blog affair with the Afterword

You know how infidelity reveals itself–you get no action for ages and when you do it’s quick and perfunctory. And then, blammo, you realize that all your love and attention is going to someone else. Cheater!

Yes, it’s true, I’ve been blogging elsewhere and I wish I could say I’m sorry, but it’s been great! I’ll be pontificating all week long at the National Post’s book blog, The Afterword–here’s today’s post.

I’ll put the links here if you want to check it out. And I’ll be back full-bore on Rose-coloured by the weekend. Which if you keep going with the above metaphor, is sorta twisted. So let’s not.

June 28th, 2011

Away for a Little While

Just wanted to give you a heads up that Rose-coloured is going on vacation for two weeks…or a little less. I suspect I’ll be eager to get back to the blogosphere. In the meantime, here are some nice links to help you fill the deep dark void where reading my natterings usually goes:

The Good News Toronto is a newspaper about good people doing good things here in Toronto. I saw a writing contest they are running on places for writers and thought, “Toronto has a good news newspaper? Why don’t I know about this? …I bet it’s probably religious.” Not that there is anything wrong with a religious newspaper, it’s just not for me!

Anyway, as far as I can tell, The Good News Toronto folks are a secular and cheerful bunch and I think this paper might be a good thing to start my day with–so encouraging! (FYI, here’s the thing I had it confused with, The Good News Bible) I’m rose-coloured by nature and a Toronto-resident by choice, and I love the city I chose. It’s nice to read about others who love it too, and are working to make it better.

Anyway, I’m not eligible to enter the contest, as it turns out, but maybe you are? Also, here’s a fun Toronto story, because it is vaguely appropriate to add one here:

Yesterday, I was on an elevator when a young Asian couple got on with a) a baby in a buggy, b) a large bulldog on a leash, and c) the woman in the couple talking on a cell. I did not pay any attention to the cell-phone conversation, because I was focussed on petting the dog (the guy said it was ok). When she ended the call, though, I realized the man and woman were talking to each other in heavily accented English. I wondered why, then realized that their accents were *different* and just because they were both Asian didn’t mean they were from the same place. Then she said that apparently, the husband of the friend they were calling hadn’t been able to talk to her because he didn’t speak English–an immigrant from a third place, married to a friend of two other immigrants. This is terribly Toronto to me, and very cool. Also, both baby and dog were adorable.

Ok, another link for you is to The Bloggess, a snarky woman journalist somewhere in the states who is really really funny. She’s also a loving mom who writes a mom column for the Houston Chronicle, so though it’s less straight-ahead sweet than the last link, this is still not a grouch-inducing sort of funny.

I have no idea why I think you need to read only cheerful things while I’m off, but apparently that’s all I can provide for you today. If you want serious/existential/grim links, you’re going to have to provide them for yourself.

Upon my return, I will give 30 points to the first person to identify the little-known but much-beloved (well, at my house) sitcom character who is quoted in the title of this post. Hint: the other catchphrase this character used to say is, “…but I’m feeling *much* better now.”

June 15th, 2010

Various Goodnesses

This is going to drive me crazy–The Literary Type is searching for a cover image for their “On the Road” issue, which is about travel and transit of all kinds, which is a much beloved them of mine (see last book, as well as the story of mine that’s actually in the “On the Road” issue). But I can’t come up with an image for them–why? Maybe you can come up with an image and solve the problem for us all…?

The National Post ran a piece We’ve Read Your Book, Now What? this weekend, about what authors would recommend people read *after* our own books. Lots of good ideas, including one from me!

I am going to see The New Pornographers in five hours. Well, that’s when the openers come on–TNP will I guess be later. I haven’t been to a concert in a couple years and I sort of forget how they work. But I’m still pretty sure I’m going to like it.

I feel less lousy on less caffeine today. The goal here, after all, is not to eradicate a nice thing from my life, but simply not to be dependent on it. And varying the time and amount of caffeine I consume is *like* not being dependent–isn’t it?

November 25th, 2008

In my salad days…

when I was green, I thought that one kind of writing was much the same as another, and if I liked to write fiction, I would like just as well to write non-fiction. More fool me, but I did briefly work on The McGill Tribune, where I was treated very kindly despite the fact that I was a piss-poor student journalist, and actually too nervous to conduct a proper interview.

Now that I am older, wiser, riper, and know better my own strengths and weaknesses, I am delighted to be writing fiction, where you never have to interview anyone, among so many other things I don’t have to do if I don’t want. And I am delighted, too, that one of the real student journalists, Diane Salema, at the Trib wrote such a lovely review of *Once*.

Cheers to full circle, or near enough.

A scapegoat falls to climb

November 7th, 2008

In the papers

Well, many great things, obviously, mainly about the American election and how this is the beginning of good things. I feel like many people are experiencing envy of Americans right now, and that is not something we experience very often. There’s a great article in yesterday’s *Globe* by Karim Bardeesy, though, about how Canadian polictics might experience a similar surge of empowerment. Dare to hope!

Also, there’s a short article about me in the current issue of the Ottawa Jewish Bulletin. It’s a good piece, but it’s not online, so this information is really of use to you if you are a) in Ottawa, and b) know where to find that paper. But still, I’m pleased it’s out there for those who meet both criteria.

Ok, so the title/theme of this post is something of a reach–I just had two disparate things to say and they both happened to be published in newspapers. But it’s Friday and I am sooo tired. A few people have asked me today if I have plans for the evening and I do–curling up in the fetal position. Week of November 3, you have defeated me. But in a good way.

You’re hot then you’re cold

So Much Love by Rebecca Rosenblum

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