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Go Fish

My father told me if I wanted to catch fish I had to think like a fish except he said it with an r like frish and an extra s and h like frisshh and maybe a third h if you can stand it. We were floating in a barely curved boat. I sat on a six pack and he sat on a bigger box of beer which eventually collapsed. I noticed, among other things, that his bladder had the same capacity as a bottle of beer, and I imagined it was also the approximate shape. I was surprised how clear his pee was, nearly invisible like the fishing line, the tint likely stuck somewhere in the vicinity of his liver. He smoked cigarettes, one after the other, and spewed nonsense the rest of the time, kept offering me beer when he knew I was only eleven. When he pressed

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Learning from Old John

Growing up in Cape Breton, I found the rest of the world remote, strange, frightening. Then I met a man from Hungary who became a friend. The rest of world seemed closer then. It was only after he was gone that I discovered his last name. He was a European: Hungarian. And it was presumed his last name would be impossible to spell and easy to forget, so people didn’t ask while he was alive.  It was in the mid-fifties. It wasn’t unusual, so soon after the war, for people who were from Europe to be cautious about revealing their last names. A first name was usually enough for most. His first name was John. Or, as we all knew him, Old John.  When we finally discovered his last name, it was just as plain and easy to remember. Suto. He was John Suto. He showed up in my village

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story by Sherry

Fiction: Mistakes and Omissions

Your analogies are too cumbersome, Colin used to say. They should snap. Yours don’t snap. Colin could be a real drip. I don’t miss him but sometimes I feel his absence. He would argue that these are the same. Colin could never tell the temperature of words. I didn’t feel his absence on my birthday last month or our anniversary the other day, but last night at the beach I thought of him because he would have been overcome it was so various and beautiful. First I thought of him as I was nudging my way through all those skinny empty trees in the forest, the sun blasting in between them like a strobe light, and then on the flat beach, the horizon soldered shut and the sky bursting with every kind of cloud and all the colours including a bruise of rain over Niagara and a pink smudge over

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The power of therapeutic writing

No, we’re not talking about a gratefulness journal or a daily affirmations journal either. This about using some different writing techniques to help deal with a trauma in life, or when in a difficult time period. And fortunately, it doesn’t mean having to relive that trauma either. That said, it can open fresh wounds that haven’t been fully treated, so if you have a recent experience, it may be worth it to wait a little longer. ‘I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I write and I understand.’ Chinese Proverb A study in the British Journal of General Practice found that “expressive writing” or “therapeutic writing” helped patients in several ways, from decreasing stress and anxiety to improving breathing and reducing chronic pain from issues such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS.) Therapeutic writing also helped reduce physical symptoms of people with breast, colorectal and prostate cancer. A

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