2016! Time to do things!


Why not go on an adventure like dog sledding? (Photo by Karen K. Ho)

Christmas is definitely over, and many people have bought things they either didn’t get or forgot they wanted on Boxing Day. Today, many others are a) thinking about the booze they need to stock up for New Year’s Eve celebrations tonight and/or b) thinking about all the stuff they did this year and how next year can be better. This is the start of peak new gym subscription time, after all.

If you’re a Type-A overly critical person like me, you already know all the stuff you screwed up. This week is also a great time to remember you probably did a lot of good things too. Continue reading “2016! Time to do things!”

2015: The Year I Wrote My Guts Out

Before this year, I wasn’t sure if I could call myself a writer or a journalist any more. I had barely written or reported anything in almost 18 months, except for three short blog pieces. In January, I was working at a television station as a broadcast associateThe entry-level job offered almost no opportunities to write, and I was discouraged from trying anything beyond my assigned duties. I had a freelance contract for a feature in a major magazine, but it involved a long trial and I only worked on it about once a month.

It is completely cliché to say that everything changed for me soon afterwards. But it’s true.  Continue reading “2015: The Year I Wrote My Guts Out”

30 things I miss about life in Toronto, despite their (sometimes many) faults

Discovered while cleaning/packing: Toronto media feels.

A photo posted by Karen K. Ho (@heykarenho) on

This listicle is simple: things I miss about my hometown. It’s full of good things, stupid things, and things with complicated feelings. I often think about them while walking around Yellowknife. Continue reading “30 things I miss about life in Toronto, despite their (sometimes many) faults”

A Dot in the Knife: My First Four Weeks in Yellowknife

Some days, it feels like I never leave.
Some days, it feels like I’m always here.

“It’s 11:30 pm, Karen, and we are leaving.”
“But I still have so much to do!”
“You can do it tomorrow. We’re going to get a beer.”

It’s the night before my first deadline day filing for both NWT News/North and Nunavut News/North, and I’m trying not to panic. In a few hours, I have to file four more business stories and two collections of briefs. I am still desperately emailing people for interviews for the next morning and already imagining giant holes in the paper. But at this point, my brain is already fried and my handling editor, Josh, has other ideas.

Continue reading “A Dot in the Knife: My First Four Weeks in Yellowknife”

Choosing which ball to drop

(Photo credit: Karen K. Ho)
From the Museo de la Revolucion in Leon, Nicaragua. (Photo credit: Karen K. Ho)

I got a new job a few weeks ago. After the initial period of worrying I wasn’t learning fast enough and trying not to have panic attacks all the time, I’m finally starting to feel like things are manageable.

But in the seven weeks since I started, I realized I have a lot of uncomfortable questions about how to be an early-career writer with a pretty-consuming day job in media, and no one seems to have a really good answer for them. Continue reading “Choosing which ball to drop”

When you suddenly realize you are running out of money

The fear of being broke creeps in slowly. Stress about what you can and can’t afford, the “daily deals” emails you automatically delete, the sudden tendency to never leave the house because then you won’t be at risk of accidentally spending something extra while wandering through a grocery store.

That used to be my favourite way to kill stress. Continue reading “When you suddenly realize you are running out of money”