…or any month

Photo by Manny Becerra

I’m going to begin with a caveat: I am 1) not Indigenous and 2) not an expert on this topic. However, I was born in Canada and I move freely on the traditional lands of many Indigenous nations.

I’m also curious, and that curiosity led me to books, like it usually does.

At the end of May, 215 bodies of children were discovered at a former Residential School site in Kamloops, British Columbia. …


Sheikh Jarrah, The FOLD, etc.

It has been a long time since I’ve written one of these. It’s not that I’ve stopped learning. It’s just that between trying (mostly unsuccessfully) to make things happen, and everything feeling very much “the same” all the time, I didn’t really feel like publishing. Peer pressure brought me back.

Also, I’ve decided to change the title of this series from “this” week to “last” week simply because I like how it sounds better. So there.

  1. Sheikh Jarrah Evictions
Just type in “Palestine” and check the news section

This is a tricky one to write about because (as you must know) there’s history here. But it’s also important. Without…


A Likkle Miss Lou by Nadia L. Hohn

After returning to writing and delving into publishing this fall, I started looking for community. I realized I didn’t know many Black Canadian writers, or children’s books that dealt with the experience of living in Canada.

Since it’s gift-buying season for many people, I thought I’d put together a list of Black Canadian authors (writers from Canada or living in Canada) who’ve written children’s books in English. Some are traditionally published, while others are indie authors. Due to my own limitations, this list isn’t exhaustive. But it’s a start.

Some notes: I tried to provide a mix of books so…


French Caribbean Shattas, Framing Canada, etc.

Before getting into it this week, I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who wrote me with interesting new things to explore/learn about/check out. Usually I get to the weekend and I’m squeezing out this writing, slowly and painfully. This week, my cup runneth over, so thank you. Keep the cool stuff coming!

1. Thunder Bay Podcast

Thunder Bay podcast cover art

Technically, I didn’t just learn about the Thunder Bay podcast this week, someone had told me about it in the fall. …


On NOTAmazon, Soy vs. Soya, Poisoned Antilles, Pero de Buen Rollo & Some Guy Named Audubon

  1. Not-Amazon.ca

It’s not Amazon, and it’s ingenious. Some brilliant soul created www.not-amazon.ca — a local guide to small businesses in Toronto, Halifax and Calgary. The landing page for the Toronto section says:

“Everyone in here is a very important and very dreamy small business in Toronto and the GTA offering curb-side pickup or shipping during these weirdass times.

Feel free to peruse the full list or shop by category.

I hope this in some way feels like exploring this very great city of ours!

Please submit your favourite small business while you’re here too if you’d like :)))

xo Ali…


On Copyright, Black Books, The Big Five, Somali Skincare & Indigenous Art

1. Copyright is Automatic under Law

As I’ve been working towards publishing my first children’s book, I’ve learned a fair bit about what goes into bringing a book to market (I mentioned one of those things in my last Five Things post). One day I’ll write about all the things I’ve learned in one post, but for today, I’ll stick with one more (hopefully helpful) tidbit for anyone interested in self-publishing: In general, copyright protection is automatic, provided the conditions set out in the Copyright Act are met. …


On First Nations, French, Diamonds, ISBNs & Roasting

1. Wasaya Airways: Indigenous owned and operated

Northern Ontario, by Jesse Martini

I returned to Canada from Colombia in July, and in August, I decided that my fall reading would be focused on the First Nations and their (coughcolonialcough) relationship with the Canadian government. The books I’ve read so far are Understanding First Nations by Ed Whitcomb, A Mind Spread Out on the Ground by Alicia Elliott and Seven Fallen Feathers by Tanya Talaga. I’ve learned a lot from each and I know there’s so much more left to learn and understand. One of the surprising tidbits of information I gathered from the Talaga book was that there are a number of…


Photo by Daria Nepriakhi

Some years ago, I worked with someone I knew from our days at university together. Truthfully, I didn’t know him very well when he joined the team, but by the time I left, I considered him to be a close friend.

Our friendship developed over a series of lunches. We’d eat together, do a lot of talking, and call these sessions Magic Lunches. They were oftentimes like an intense self-development seminar packed into an hour.

The greatest lesson I learned during those Magic Lunches was to water my mind garden. You know how we have that saying about the grass…


Cerro de las 3 Cruces, Cali, Colombia

As the world’s travel radar expands to include Colombia, I keep seeing the same cities pop up on these “Where to Go” and “What to See” lists. Many tourists looking for a short trip opt for Cartagena and its beaches up along the Caribbean coast. Bogota is the capital, so it’s a default “must-see” (accurate or not), and digital nomads and expats planning on an extended stay tend to head to Medellin.

Santiago de Cali (“Cali” for short) is still often overlooked.

I get that Cartagena is an obvious choice for a beach vacation, especially because you can easily hit…


Photo by Anna Pelzer

My one month vegetarian challenge began like most of my challenges do –with me running off my mouth.

I was chatting with a coworker/friend at a work mixer. He was a nose-ring-and-visible-tattoo-having, former-vegan-turned-vegetarian, and the topic was food. We joked that vegans and vegetarians had a look, and he pointed out that I also fit the bill. At that point, my friend said, “Come to think of it, why aren’t you vegetarian?” and I half-jokingly responded that I was as close to a vegetarian as you could get as a meat eater.

Although I hadn’t committed to veganism or vegetarianism…

Alison Isaac

I’m a writer and teacher from Toronto, with roots abroad and interests everywhere. alisonisaac.com

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