From politics to food: 5 P.E.I. blogs to read now
'It's such a great medium for self expression'
Find out what your neighbours are thinking by reading what they're writing about.
- 5 P.E.I. blogs to read now
Check out these five P.E.I. bloggers's sites.
1. 24STRONG Girls
Lacey Koughan may be just 18 and fresh out of high school, but she knows what she wants — everyone along for the ride on her adventures.
She's recently started a blog for her new girls empowerment group, 24STRONG.
"I've always been a writer," she said. "I believe my experiences have taught me some big lessons and have introduced me to situations that most people my age, 18, do not experience."
I've always found it easier to be vulnerable in writing... rather than talk about it.— Sophia Ball, blogger
Koughan is also a dancer, and has moved to Toronto to further her dance training as well as develop 24STRONG on a larger scale.
"I will be back for sure, but its time to try something new. Bring on the challenge," she said.
While many people follow her Facebook and Instagram posts and enjoy her photos, she said she wants to go deeper in the blog.
"I blog because I want to inspire and I want to make people think," she said. "My writing expresses my authentic self and I believe that sharing authenticity is beautifully unique."
She's doesn't yet have a button to subscribe to the blog, so for now you can reach it through her website at 24stronggirls.com.
2. The Little Island Kitchen
"The Little Island Kitchen is an utterly selfish passion project," said blogger and writer Paige Matthie. "I love food, and I love Prince Edward Island. Luckily for me, this island can easily be described as a million-acre farm, home to dozens of committed organic farmers, sustainable fisheries, fearless foragers, inspired and pioneering chefs, and countless dedicated foodies."
Matthie is a young home-chef with a passion for organic, local produce. On her blog she shares her recipes with lots of mouth-watering photos.
She also has a way with puns. Some post titles include Turnip the Beet! and Gouda Meet You.
"Trained at my Oma's knee, and with memories of frolicking through my father's professional kitchen as a child, good food is in my blood and I take care each day to ensure that I make the most of my meals, balancing flavour and old-school nutrition in each mouthful," she said.
"I have a few philosophies about food, but the most important are that I will try anything once, a little bit of what you fancy does you good, and that wastefulness is a mortal sin.
Her blog is her contribution to the food scene on P.E.I. — a glance at the markets, producers and chefs, and seasonal ingredients that inspire her cooking each week, as well as discussions about issues surrounding food on the Island.
3. The Lazy Historian
The Lazy Historian is one of four (!) blogs Jilliane Hamilton writes.
It's a fun look at history that interests her, especially British and women's history, and the title pokes fun at her lack of formal education in history (she studied journalism and graphic design at Holland College). The tag line is: "History, but without the boring parts."
"I'm a web designer, so part of the fun for me is designing the blog, making sure the content and images look good. I like giving the reader something nice to look at while they learn something," Hamilton said.
She separates her blogs by topic — history, writing, serious, and crafting/personal — because her first blog in college a decade ago taught her the importance of niche writing — readers will keep coming back if they know what kind of content they'll be getting, she said.
"It's such a great medium for self expression," said Hamilton. "Posts can be long or short and they don't have to take much time to write."
The Lazy Historian also reviews books, movies and TV shows, poking fun at historically-inaccurate costumes and bad accents. She even posts history-inspired DIY projects and interviews with historians.
By day, Hamilton, 29, is a graphic designer at Revolution Media in Charlottetown. She's also an author, having penned the Molly Miranda action/comedy thief trilogy.
4. Stories From the Far Side of Normal
"Blogging has catapulted my life off in all these incredible directions," said Sophia Ball, 31, of Charlottetown. "It has opened many creative doors for me, and built my confidence as a writer."
Her blog Stories From the Far Side of Normal includes the tag line: But who are we kidding? Normal's overrated anyway. It boasts 837 followers.
"Through it, I was able to reframe how I saw myself and build my confidence as a creative individual. None of it would have ever happened without the blog," Ball said. She has won an Island Literary Award for creative non-fiction.
Ball started her blog a couple of years ago after the death of her mother, and calls her style eclectic.
"I've always found it easier to be vulnerable in writing, to put what was in my head onto paper, rather than talk about it," she said.
"But it took a while for me to work up the courage to talk about a topic that was so personal, so I started writing silly, everyday funny stuff. I make fun of myself a lot. So the blog evolved naturally into a place that is mostly goofy, and occasionally serious, which is a perfect balance for me."
Her blog includes plenty of cursing as she discusses subjects from grocery shopping to sex to to politics and how she fixed her own cellphone.
Ball will be on stage as an introductory storyteller for an upcoming Small Halls show, and is launching a podcast this fall with Tamara Steele called Coffee Shop Confessionals.
5. The Island Heartbeat
The Island Heartbeat is "not a conventional blog," says Allan Rankin, an Island musician, storyteller, former senior civil servant, and now blogger.
His present website/blog "kind of morphed" from the original website he had as a musician and singer-songwriter. It's been online for about a year, and depending on the content, brings about 800 readers per week.
When he began writing a weekly column for the Eastern Graphic newspaper, Rankin decided to design something new that would incorporate his music, his newspaper opinion pieces, "as well as other observations I might have on Island life," he said.
Rankin writes about politics, business, economic development, history and more, with his tongue usually firmly in his cheek. What adds to the interest is his awareness of back-room politics and bureaucracy, and an intimate knowledge of many of those still in powerful positions. That's why the tag line is: "P.E.I. from the inside out."
Most recently, Rankin has have begun to record original stories and podcasts.
Rankin doesn't have a "subscribe" button on his site yet, but promises to do so soon, so you can get The Island Heartbeat delivered to you email inbox for free.
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