Storyphile | Your life. Your story. For the people you love.

Why We Tell Stories

I recently came across this quotation by Brandon Sanderson: “The purpose of a storyteller is not to tell you how to think, but to give you questions to think upon.” Truth be told, I’d never heard of Sanderson. (He’s an American fantasy writer.) But his comment made me think about storytellers and stories. I agree … Read more

More on Grandmothers

My late mother-in-law, Lillian (née Winters) MacLeod, grandmother par excellence.

I heard an interesting idea on CBC Radio the other day, on one of the summer reruns. Canadian novelist Katherena Vermette was talking about her latest novel, The Strangers, which I liked a lot. It’s about family—grandmothers, mothers and daughters—and the complicated ties that bind generations together. Vermette made the point that girl babies are … Read more

Crosswords

I’ve been a word nerd for as long as I can remember. And I’ve been a cruciverbalist—a crossword fan—since at least junior high. That’s when my big sister started buying me Dell magazines, which had crosswords of varying difficulty plus many other kinds of puzzles: logic puzzles (You solve a problem by deciphering a series … Read more

In Praise of Grandmothers

I’m a baba. Truth be told, I’m a proud-as-can-be, floating-on-air, tickled pink-and-blue baba who thinks her grandson is the cutest, brightest, smartest little boy in the whole wide world. Other babas are free to make the same claim. I don’t mind. It’s a baba’s prerogative. My babas were certainly proud of me. And I was … Read more

More Mysterious Little Birds

My recent epiphany about the folk song “Alouette” brought to mind some other bird songs from my childhood—folk songs my Baba Fill taught me in Ukrainian. One was an action song about a chyzhyk—a siskin or a finch*. Again, in the bliss of ignorance, I didn’t know what a chyzhyk was until I looked it … Read more