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The Absolutely Literate blog is for people interested in writing, editing, design, history and family history.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

So old!

"Oh my gosh, that is SO old." said my 6-year old looking at a sticker.

Terry Fox Run 2011. I chuckle but then consider that it is a good reminder to keep the perspective of your audience in mind when you are writing and editing.

Will your audience understand what a prairie blizzard is like?

Will they know how it feels to ride a Massey-Ferguson tractor in winter at 15 mph (25 km/hr)?

Do they know life without computers?

Answering those type of questions and filling in the details will bring your story to life. Make sure you add in how it smelt and felt so your content is less like reading an encyclopedia's entry and more of a sensory and emotional experience for your reader.

Know thy audience for they are not you.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Agriculture and Food

Collection of the artist. Photographer: Jenn Walton
I have just signed off on the proof for the Spring issue of British Columbia History. I am very excited about the cover painting; Split Salmon, by Vancouver-based Haisla artist, Lyle Wilson and the articles that are contained within.

This issue is all about agriculture, food, and beverages. In this age of supercentres and online shopping it is nice to be reminded of the farmers, early importers, ranchers, food producers, and brewers. Sit back with a beverage of your choice and perhaps some Okanagan fruit and learn a bit about British Columbia's history of food production, agriculture, and commercialization.

For those that are interested in seeing more of Wilson's work. The exhibition, Paint: The Painted Works of Lyle Wilson opens at the Bill Reid Gallery on Wednesday, March 27, 2013.


Lyle Wilson and the miya

by Andrea Lister
Lyle Wilson`s art has ancient origins in the Haisla artistic traditions and also honours how the miya (salmon) have sustained the Haisla people for generations.

Farming, Fort Langley, 1867

by K. Jane Watt
“The weather here has now changed at last and is now all we can desire to make hay,” writes fifty-year old Ovid Allard from Fort Langley in the midsummer of 1867.

How the Japanese Orange Came to BC

by Ann-Lee Switzer
Who brought the first Japanese orange — also known as mikan or mandarin orange — to British Columbia, and when?

Ranching at the Tranquille Sanatorium

by Wayne Norton
On the north shore of Kamloops Lake, one ranch has the distinction of having played a role in BC’s medical history.

Dorothy Britton: Home Economist

by Mary Leah de Zwart and Linda Peterat
Consumer acceptance of processed food, in particular fruits and vegetables of the Okanagan Valley, came from Britton’s grassroots work between the food industry and the home.

The Stanley Park Brewery

by Bill Wilson
The Stanley Park Brewery has achieved a near-mythical status among those interested in Vancouver history but left many unanswered questions for brewery historians.

Behind the Scenes at James Inglis Reid Limited

by M. Anne Wyness
The delicious, smoky smell created by the curing and smoking element of the food production at James Inglis Reid Ltd. is remembered by many who shopped there.

Archives & Archivists

by Brad Nichols; edited by Sylvia Stopforth
The Last Retort. The Whistler Museum and Archives has digitized the newspaper that was the voice of the squatter ski bum — the Whistler Answer.

Cabinets of Curiosities

by Andrea Lister
Andrea Lister, grand-niece of champion plowman David B. Reid, tells the tale of how her grandfather’s winning horse plow returned to win again.

Book Reviews

Embracing the works of new writers and scholars relating to British Columbia's history.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Hello Goodbye

I attended a unique and historical event over the past weekend - the Chilliwack Senior Secondary (CSS) Hello Goodbye Reunion. More than six decades of CSS grads, former staff, teachers, and their families were at the school to say hello to the new school and goodbye to the old CSS building.

My parents finding themselves and friends on the walls.
CSS opened in 1950 and the old building will be torn down in the summer. Chilliwack secondary teacher Steve Anderson and local Chilliwack musician Trevor McDonald organized a once in a lifetime event that included tours, presentations in the gym, memorabilia, photos and video.

People that had never met laughed about lining up for cafeteria food. Graduates 30 years apart  reminisced about the horrible green colour of the girl's bathroom. People poured over the graduation pictures.

Yes, up in what is now storage is where I took art history!
It was strange to go back to school with my parents and my uncle, all grads, and see our old classrooms. We shared vivid memories of the packed stairwells; none of us had any clue where our lockers had been. My strongest memories are of history, english, and art. Based on those happy memories it would seem that I am in the right career! The image to the left (photographer Darren Durupt) shows part of the special catalogue of artwork from Chilliwack senior secondary alumni that was on display.

My parents and I saw friends they had not seen in years. Goodbye to an era. Hello to new memories.

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