A Novelist's Mind: Lilian Nattel Online: Gift at the Lake

On a beautiful day recently, A and I walked for 4 hours. At Sunnyside Beach, where in another time people danced to the music of big bands in the Palais Royale, I saw a swan. I learned that this is an aggressive and invasive species, unlike the native swans with their black beaks who appear ...

A Novelist's Eye: Lilian Nattel Online: Sunrise on New Moon

(click to enlarge) Part of my project for 2014 is to pay attention to the day. Every morning I jot down in a notebook the time of sunrise and sunset, moonrise and moonset, the phase of the moon, and the weather, not the forecast, but the feel of the day: cold, windy, warming, drizzle or ...

A Novelist's Eye: Lilian Nattel Online: Real Winter

kitchen window (click to enlarge) I thought that climate change would end winter. Instead it ricochets from one season to another. Everything at hyper-speed, plants, animals, viruses on the move. We’re riding the rapids. Hang on! Filed under: Beautiful, Concerning Tagged: winter photography

A Novelist's Eye: Lilian Nattel Online: Cat’s Eyes or Owl’s

Winter night It was pitch black to my human eyes, but this is the way an owl sees or a cat, I thought. The camera was on a tripod, the lens wide open for six seconds. The world was light. Filed under: Beautiful, Interesting Tagged: night photography

A Writer's Playground: Lilian Nattel Online: Creatures in Lake Ontario

Today I rambled along the boardwalk of Toronto Island and this is what I saw: Cormorant The cormorant stood drying her wings for as long as I was taking photos. Mink I never knew that mink had such cute faces. He scrambled up and down the outcrop of rock, swam alongside, caught a fish, and ...

A Writer's Playground: Lilian Nattel Online: Elephant

Toronto Zoo Click to enlarge and see her beautiful eyes as she looked at me on my birthday. The elephants are being prepared for transfer to an elephant sanctuary. It was a joy to see her before she goes. Filed under: Beautiful Tagged: urban photography

A Novelist's Mind: Lilian Nattel Online: Art in Progress

Artist at work: an Ancient Egyptian style decorative collar by M (click to enlarge). And it’s finished! Filed under: Beautiful Tagged: young artists

A Novelist's Mind: Lilian Nattel Online: Railroad Ramble

It’s been a while since I’ve had one of these. It was beautiful up there in the sun with new leaves all around. I saw so much in that peaceful one hour walk. Here’s a bit of it. (Click any photo to enlarge.) Filed under: Beautiful Tagged: urban nature

A Novelist's Mind: Lilian Nattel Online: Wordless Wednesday

Spring (click to enlarge) Filed under: Beautiful Tagged: spring buds

A Novelist's Mind: Lilian Nattel Online: Wordless Wednesday

Filed under: Beautiful Tagged: urban nature

A Novelist's Mind: Lilian Nattel Online: Starling

(click to enlarge)   This is a starling, not one of the nobility like eagle and hawk, but a common bird. I see them around here all the time. They’re extroverts, gregarious, noted for nothing more particular than their strong feet. But look at the sheen on the feathers, the gloss of purple, the blue ...

A Novelist's Mind: Lilian Nattel Online: Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera

Portrait of Diego Rivera and Malu Block and Frida Kahlo de Rivera by Carl Van Vechten (Click photo to enlarge) I am drawn to survivors whose spirit pushes through trauma to emerge in a life affirming way despite it all. In Frida Kahlo’s case, that emergence is a fireworks of colour and imagination. She survived ...

A Novelist's Mind: Lilian Nattel Online: Hanukah Last Night

click to enlarge Do you see the blue lights? And the evanescent ball hanging out with the plant? Who can say whether they are optical effects or angels? Filed under: Beautiful, Personal Tagged: Hanukah lights

A Novelist's Mind: Lilian Nattel Online: Sea Turtles Swim to Freedom

Sea Turtles Swim to Freedom – YouTube. Filed under: Beautiful, Fun Tagged: good news

A Novelist's Mind: Lilian Nattel Online: Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese

This is a beautiful, heart-breaking, and ultimately redemptive novel about an Ojibway (Anishnabeg) man’s journey from childhood in the bush to his undoing in residential school, experiences in the Native hockey league and in an NHL farm team, his subsequent alcoholism and recovery. It is a narrative as familiar as the Cultural Revolution stories among ...

A Novelist's Mind: Lilian Nattel Online: ‘Small Damages,’ by Beth Kephart

“Dreamlike” is one word for Beth Kephart’s latest novel, “Small Damages,” in which an American teenager is exiled to Spain after she gets pregnant. Her percolating story emerges through Kep­hart’s lilting prose in that same hazy way you’d meander through the narrow white streets of Seville in the noontime sun or confront the hot, dry ...

A Novelist's Mind: Lilian Nattel Online: Panda Playground

If you need a smile today, here it is: Cute pandas playing on the slide – YouTube. Filed under: Beautiful, Fun Tagged: nature videos

A Novelist's Mind: Lilian Nattel Online: My Hawk and Grad

A week ago today, M graduated from middle school (grade 8). I tried hard not to bawl as the class procession walked through the gym and that was quite a task, I can tell you. My eyes tear up thinking of it. The boys were funny, some of them attempting at dignity, others not at ...

A Novelist's Mind: Lilian Nattel Online: Heat and Skyline

Spring came early to Toronto. Summer arrived early too and I don’t like heat. Thank goodness it’s supposed to break next week. But we’re on the way to the island again. (Correction…I just stepped outside, and it’s too muggy for roller blading–it’s the mall for us. Kids just shouted hurray!) And since I’ve been neglecting ...

A Novelist's Mind: Lilian Nattel Online: Saving The Children | Tales from the Reading Room

Inside our minds great forces rage and collide and strange convoluted processes are developed in order to avoid internal obstacles and keep the status quo. Former versions of ourselves wander through the inner labyrinth, exerting terrific pressure on our decision making and often dictating reactions in illogical ways. We have this charming, quaint idea that ...

A Novelist's Mind: Lilian Nattel Online: Sunday Ramble

I can tell that spring promotion is winding down because a) I’m walking again; b) I’m taking pictures again; and c) I’m in the mood to blog again. It’s true that, like any writer, my experiences, for eg my neighbourhood in Web of Angels, end up in my work. But I wonder if other writers ...

A Novelist's Mind: Lilian Nattel Online: No Translation Needed

Fabulous images in different media from Russian artists in LiveJournal. This one is my favourite because it transcends alphabets: Тоже люди. But a close second, vivid thumbnails bursting with life on sheet music, are here. Filed under: Beautiful, Interesting Tagged: paper art

A Novelist's Mind: Lilian Nattel Online: Not From Another Era: Jalutavad / Walking

  Jalutavad / Walking – Landscape & Rural Photos – Vaido’s Photoblog. Filed under: Beautiful Tagged: rural photography

A Novelist's Mind: Lilian Nattel Online: Shout-Out to Young Women

Picture the Isobel Bolton Hockey League finals, Blue team against White. Blue had been the best team from the beginning of the season. But White came from behind, improving week by week until they were facing Blue in the final game. My older daughter M was on White; a classmate of H’s was on Blue. ...

A Novelist's Mind: Lilian Nattel Online: Spring and a Breather

It’s uncanny…I saw crocuses a couple of days ago. In 2008 I kept a daily journal of spring’s coming–it was a typical year–and the crocuses were up on April 10th a full month later. These days are precious, between the sleet of winter and the smog of summer, the sun and clear skies enticing. I’m ...