Article Writing Samples

This post is for you CBR. The first article I wrote as part of a course I took at George Brown College. The second article I wrote was a review that I wrote under the pseudonym, Rebecca Lillian. I chose to write under a pseudonym in case I hated it and the creators came after me – which is how I felt when people wrote bad things about stuff I did. Are you impressed yet?

Article 1

Candy Crossbones:

Riding a wave of awesome

By Alexandra Lean

Through wind, snow, sleet and rain, Candy Crossbones leads her team – CN Power, to a swift and mighty victory against the Killamazoo Derby Darlins. CN Power is comprised of the twenty toughest players in Toronto Roller Derby (ToRD).  The all-star team.  Ms. Crossbones, a.k.a. Saira Peesker, speeds past the crowd in a mess of hot pink and hot pants. A black star on her helmet ordains her: jammer.  In order to score points Candy must skate through the pack and complete as many laps as possible.  Each stride is made with the power of her tough, competitive focus.  She has her eyes on the prize.   CN Power dominates the game: 197-35.  Candy Crossbones literally skates circles around the other team – 197 times to be exact.

Off the rink, her sharp features soften.  She wears make-up and her blonde hair is straight and layered.  She smiles and seems more approachable and open to conversing with just about anyone.  This is a good thing because everyone wants to talk to her about the win.

“So much of success in rollerderby is working together,” she said. “We’re underdogs trying to make good this year, I think this is our year.” 

Saira is an active part of the rollerderby community and co-captain of another team Chicks Ahoy.  With two team practice schedules, typically meeting three times a week she has the rest of her days to fill with the a busy reporter lifestyle.   She has worked for CTV and CP24 and currently writes for the blog, The Torontoist.   

Saira played a lot of sports growing up.  It seems her journey to roller derby was an inevitable one.  Saira always had a willingness to hurt people and get hurt without taking it too seriously. 

“I tore three ligaments in my knee… I was like, I guess I should go see a doctor,” says Saira.

“Why not (roller derby)?” Saira’s responds with a fire in her belly that screams of her passion for the sport.  “Plus when do girls get to be super aggressive…There is an attitude in certain circles that think girls shouldn’t be like that and I say, ‘fuck those circles’ it’s sort of nice to be in a circle that values that.”

The future looks bright for Saira Peesker, Candy Crossbones and her league of extraordinary roller derby clan.   “I’d love roller derby to be part of the Pan-Am games. Wouldn’t it be amazing?”  But first Candy Crossbones and her team CN Power are looking forward to December when Toronto hosts the Roller Derby World Cup.  When asked about how she feels about being among the best players in the world to complete she replies: “awesome…it’s like riding a wave of awesome”.

Article 2

Coma, an undead family drama

Rebecca Lillian

It’s Halloween weekend.  It is a time for all kinds of undead stories. The play, Coma, is a good choice if you are: a) fed up with the usual ghoulish undead type of stories (ghosts, vampires, zombies, etc.) and b) are looking for something a little less horror and a little more family drama.  Coma is a good drama about serious issues.

I typically don’t do dramas.  Drama’s can be relentlessly boring. However, in this case, the characters and story were endlessly interesting.  The premise: a mother, Nana (Lorraine Klaasen) trapped between life and death. She is unable to communicate with her children. The relationship between siblings Ifueko (Bridget Ogundipe) and Osasu (Wale Ojo) developed nicely and to me it is what brought life to the play. The siblings navigate between right and wrong and family secrets are exposed.

Ifueko, (Bridget Ogundipe) is the daughter who has been taking care of Nana (Lorraine Klaasen) despite how unfairly she has been treated by the Nana, who she calls mother.  Nana’s son, Osasu (Wale Ojo), who has been living in Canada with his new family, fly’s into town for the weekend to pray away his mother’s condition.  When Nana doesn’t wake up because Osasu prayed it to be so he concludes that she wants to die. And so the debates between brother and sister about God, life and death continue until family secrets are exposed.

There are moments that sometimes feel like a dramatized essay on the moral dilemma of the play. It felt slow at times but then again it’s a drama. I was pleased that even though it was serious subject matter there were some comedic moments.   It is set in a hospital room and there is a white curtain that Nana walks behind singing, praying and lamenting. 

There was a lot of singing.  I mean, I get it when you have a cast of talented singers you make ‘em sing even if some of the song feel out of place and disconnected. It’s just one of those glorious theatre moments that make an audience member keenly aware that they are watching a play.

Overall, Coma is a good pick if you like drama.


About Alex Lean

I am just another dreamer trying to wake up
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