Author Archives: Nor

About Nor

I'm a creative non-fiction writer, with a special interest in memoirs and obituaries--life stories, local histories with flesh & blood anecdotal details. I'm also beginning to create podcasts of people's stories and expanding their audiences. I'm a diarist, an editor, and a political activist. I live in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and spend days tapping keys or staining my fingers in ink.

Sammy Yatim and Toronto’s finest

I have to interrupt the flow of my posts to write about the murder of Sammy Yatim, the young Toronto teenager who “drop(ped) the knife” (these were his last orders) only when he was shot nine times and tasered once by … Continue reading

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How funny is death? SPOW Conference Part Two

Or is that really the question I want to ask? I am forever niggled by something having to do with writing obituaries and it has, partly, to do with the reactions from womenfolk and menfolk, children folk too (although less … Continue reading

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Timbits and dinosaur poop

Writing the lede to a piece of journalism can feel like dangling from a rope over the abyss. I’m there now, puttering up to write another obituary, sitting in a Queen Street coffee shop while rain thunders down, trying to … Continue reading

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Society of Professional Obituary Writers # 1

Chris is not an anachronism, although he looks to have stepped from the pages of a Hardy novel and named Jude or some such. No, not Hardy and not Jude but Chris, circa 2013, printing copies of William Lyon MacKenzie’s … Continue reading

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Yvonne Brill and the Stroganoff Debacle

There was controversy in the obituary world last month following the death of pioneering rocket scientist Yvonne Brill.  The debacle was discussed in “What’s an Obituary For?” an article written by Megan Garber and published in The Atlantic. I’ll borrow generously from … Continue reading

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A toast to James Pon’s grandfather

James Pon’s grandfather filled my mind during this rail trip from Montreal to Toronto last month. It was he, along with hundreds of other Chinese workers, who built this railway–although on the other side of the Rocky mountains. Last month, … Continue reading

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Society of Professional Obituary Writers

June 7-9, 2013, Toronto Here in Toronto we are thrilled to be hosting the fourth conference of the Society of Professional Obituary Writers (SPOW) We know how much fun they are. We know how important they are. And we know we need to … Continue reading

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