I haven’t been updating as often as I would like to this week. Yesterday afternoon, another little person came into my life in the form of Kase William Owen. Luckily, this little nephew of mine is also a very good looking kid, because there is nothing worse than an ugly baby everyone has to pretend is cute. And while I’m on the topic of Seinfeld, the line he used in one of his standup routines plays in the back of my mind: “They’re here… to replace us.”

Last night after we came back from the hospital, I finished A Star Called Henry by Roddy Doyle. I have been hearing great things about Oh Play That Thing, so I had to read this one first. I was trying to find a review link for the latter book, but the stupid Globe and Mail Books website makes you pay to access their archives! Boo! And its not like Amazon needs me to direct anyone to their site.

Anyway, A Star Called Henry is just one of those incredible stories, told by a storyteller whom the reader can trust to take them somewhere. And the language! Reading his work, especially an epic tale like this one, you see how much language and images can be played with – without feeling “overwritten”. There is a real sense of sweep here, as Henry grows up in the slums of Dublin, becomes an IRA revolutionary in his teens, and… I won’t give away the ending.

Its cool how a writer can create such a strong fictional character and surround them with true historical figures. I have to respect the amount of reading and research and travel that goes into a novel like that. Then again, it also makes me ball up my fists and despair of ever having that kind of creative power and craftsmanlike discipline.

At the very least, I am grateful for a room with a door that closes to write in, a place to be surrounded by books and implements of possibility.

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