That’s what I look like?

February 2023

That’s what I look like?


Apparently so. Because that’s a freeze frame from a new video.

The filming was done in October 2021.But I thought (or rather hoped) maybe I was younger than that. Alas, so it goes.

The video is entitled “Woven Stories” and will be released in the weeks ahead. It is 18 minutes long and tells the story of the PEI national historic site known as Skmaqn-Port-Joye-Fort Amherst. I am one of several talking heads.

Some may recall that SPLJFA is the same site Jesse Francis and I wrote a book about recently. I also contributed to the site’s new outdoor exhibit, which will be installed this summer.

Tricky Memory

January 2023

Memory can play some odd tricks. Blur and invent, to name two.

And sometimes disappear.

I received an email a few days ago informing me that a film I was in (as a historian talking about the Sieur de Mons and the early days of Acadie and New France) will soon be screened down in Annapolis Royal.

I had no recollection of ever being in such a film. My curiosity was piqued.

Then Christine Igot, author of the initial email, sent me a newspaper story with a photo showing me (and Theresa Bunbury, Wayne Melanson and others) taken during the film shoot in 2001. The documentary film was released in 2002, and seen only in France.

And that seems to explain why I have no recollection of the film. I had never seen it. If I had, I might have remembered my small part, filmed in the fall of 2001.

In any case, the film is to be screened in Annapolis Royal on Feb. 22, 2023, and I’m going to go see it. Details are on the poster.

New Book Coming

January 2023

Hard to believe!

That our regular game of Scrabble would lead to the title of my next book (Into the Wind) and some key words related to the story.

Yes, hard to believe.

I’m guessing the author was looking to do some early publicity for the book. (Coming from Acorn Press in the spring.)

There’s writing… and then there’s writing

January 2023

There’s writing, and then there’s writing.

The focus in the 18th-century Diderot and d’Alembert “Encyclopedia” — the world’s first such compendium— was on the technical aspects of putting words on pages with quill pens in the most attractive way possible. It was not about how to generate especially meaningful content in engaging ways.

Nonetheless, are these not beautiful engravings? I dearly wish that my posture at my writing table matched what is shown here. But then, I’m much happier using a computer than a quill pen.

Thinking of Louisbourg

January 2023

I’ve been thinking about the Fortress of Louisbourg of late. I haven’t worked there since 2000 but I still have enormous affection for the place. I also know that its challenges are many. I would put rising sea and sinking land in that area at the top of the list.

I stacked up the books I wrote (or co-wrote) about Louisbourg just now and it makes a pretty good pile. And then there would be an awful lot of articles and manuals I produced while I was there.

I’d like to think that all my material — and other works written by Ken Donovan, Sandy Balcom, Anne Marie Lane Jonah, Christopher Moore, Brenda Dunn, Bruce Fry, Gilles Proulx and others — helped establish Louisbourg’s place in the history of Canada and the consciousness of Canadians.

The reality, of course, is that history and consciousness are ephemeral.

I wish the current staff at the Fortress of Louisbourg the very best as they do their part in protecting and presenting a place that had some fascinating and remarkable stories. 

October 24: Booktoberfest

October 2022

Click on the link below for all details.

Booktoberfest! (featuring 50+ NS authors) – Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia