Friday, April 12, 2013

Blog Review: The $10 Life / Rose's Cantina

Photo of Ottawa as seen from the Museum of
Civilization by wvs courtesy of Flickr
(Creative Commons)

In 2009, Ottawa-based writer Rose Simpson wrote an essay for the Globe and Mail called We're Living the $10 Life, where she described how the once promising lives of her and her husband were turned upside down, (both went from being successful professionals to working $10 hour jobs).  The piece ended up being the most read article on the Globe's facts & arguments page for that year.

Following the publication of this story, Simpson started the blog The $10 Life: How I Lost Everything and Found Myself, to provide readers with more details of her family's daily struggles.  "Don’t get me wrong; we have a lot of fun," she wrote in her initial post on April 5, 2010.  "Our life is richer than ever as we discover life beyond the material.  I’d like to know your stories, too, because I have discovered in adversity there is community."

Fast forward three years and Simpson, whose is married and has three kids,  blogs regularly on current events with posts that combine her healthy dose of cynicism, funny observations and political / social insights.  Her blog is a recognised local site, (in February 2011, Ottawa Start named The $10 Life one of 26 essential blogs in Ottawa), while she also manages another blog called Rose's Cantina, which she started in the summer of 2011.  Both of her blogs share content, but from what I have gathered, The $10 Life currently provides thumbnails for her stories, while Rose's Cantina is where readers can find her full posts.  As such, I will refer to the latter when linking to stories for this review.

Having previously written for the now defunct Ottawa Journal, the Ottawa Citizen and the Regina Leader-Post, Simpson has a lot of journalism experience.  This background clearly shows in her writing which is brilliant.  Recent posts range from the hilarious, to an eye-opening analysis of her neighbourhood, to witty political commentary, to a fantastic post on why Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield should get the Order of Canada.

Both blogs provide everything that you could want from a columnist, namely, a good sense of humour, smart commentary, a strong sense of community, lots of curiosity, and perhaps most important of all, the ability to make her readers feel like they have a better sense of Ottawa and the world around them after reading her posts.  I must confess that I did not follow either of these two blogs closely until fairly recently, which is something that I will definitely change after discovering Simpson's great writing.

No comments:

Post a Comment