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Tracey Arial
Helping people create sustainable communities and notable nonfiction
Helping people create sustainable communities and notable nonfiction


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Jesson Lesson

I’ve been nibbling away at one of my many brick walls, and felt that it was time to write something up. People performing pre-civil registration research in England and Wales will easily relate to the problems I describe here. Although solid progress was made, there are still parts for which I feel that I may be painting a story rather than uncovering one — you be the judge.

#Genealogy #England #Leicestershire  

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My blog includes a post about ten people who improved the world by writing at:

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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone.

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I've interviewed four of the eight candidates running to represent Verdun in the provincial legislature and my article on the Verdun by-election appears on the front page of the Suburban this week.

Six of the eight candidates met with residents for breakfast last weekend at Baobab (4800 Wellington).

The crowds were bigger for Liberal candidate Isabelle Melançon and CAQ candidate and former Verdun borough mayor, Ginette Marotte. Local Richard Langlais, who is running for the PQ and co-owns the aux purs delices bakery on de L'eglise with his spouse Micheline Lefebvre, also drew several people as did Véronique Martineau for Québec solidaire and Frédéric Dénommé for Option nationale.

David Cox, for the Green Party of Québec, brought his daughter to the event and was greeted politely.

David Girard for the Équipe Adrien Pouliot - Parti conservateur du Québec, and Sébastien Poirier for Équipe autonomiste did not attend.

I have recorded interviews for my Unapologetically Canadian podcast with:

Isabelle Melançon,

Ginette Marotte,

Richard Langlais,

Véronique Martineau,

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When #LouReed inducted #LeonardCohen into the American Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2008, he described Cohen as belonging to the "highest and most influential echelon of songwriters." Cohen’s musical roots are inextricably linked with his hometown of Montreal, of course, where he attended Herzliah High School (where his literary mentor, poet Irving Layton, was a teacher) and Westmount High (today home to the Leonard Cohen Poet-in-Residence program). Canadian folk icon #PennyLang—who sadly passed way earlier this year—told me in 2006 about the time she got a phone call from Cohen asking her to teach him how to play guitar: "Not today," Lang (who was bipolar) replied to Cohen. "I’m very depressed."

Some years later I actually stepped inside Cohen’s #Montreal Plateau home to interview his then-partner #Anjani to preview her concert that my friend #RubinFogel was promoting at the now defunct (and much-lamented concert venue) Cabaret. Cohen’s home was spartan, which made sense, since he had spent several years in a Zen Buddhist monastery. When I asked Anjani if she was getting a rough ride from the #Montreal media, she replied, "Leonard and I were talking about this and Leonard said, ‘Remember when my album #VariousPositions (with the song #Hallejuah) was released (in 1984), CBS didn’t even release it in the States. And 20 years later it's considered a masterpiece. You know, it takes 20 years for my stuff to get into the consciousness.’"

Today, well over 2,000 renditions of Cohen’s songs have been recorded. In the Oct. 17, 2016, issue of +The New Yorker  showcasing Leonard Cohen, no less than Bob Dylan sings the praises of Leonard. In that must-read story, Cohen sounded like he was tying up loose ends, which makes me wonder if he knew the end was near: "Maybe I’ll get a second wind, I don’t know. But I don’t dare attach myself to a spiritual strategy. I don’t dare do that. I’ve got some work to do. Take care of business. I am ready to die. I hope it’s not too uncomfortable. That’s about it for me.”

Mr. Cohen was 82. Thanks for the amazing songs, Mr Cohen. Sleep well ❤

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This is the 4th video in my Write2Grow series. In this series, I inspire you to write a profile about yourself the way a journalist would.

These kinds of profiles work really well if:
- you’re an entrepreneur and you want to be featured in your local media;
- you’re a business owner and you need a good biography for your website or social media;
- you’re in transition and looking for your next adventure;
- you dream of writing a book someday and want to get started; or
- you aren’t a writer, but you have to submit a biography or profile as part of an important project.

If you are working on your own profile but you need help, consider registering for my Write2Grow course. More information is available at:

If you've written your profile, I'd love to see it in the comments below.

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In honour of veterans who kill themselves, 22 days of 22 push-ups. This is day 4.
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