Saturday, November 29, 2014


I really don't care what happens to any of my work. Seriously. I'm just having the time of my life writing, writing, writing.

Some of my friends request work to read, I send it on. They comment. I love the feedback. I love when they're touched. But you know? It doesn't matter how anyone 'feels' about it. I'm writing just for me really. If it jells or sticks I'll be happy. If it doesn't, oh next!

The rolling cart containing all the tools of my trade is hauled over in front of the fire every morning. I added hooks for wires and headsets and backup flash and a nice pot of pencils and pens and wee note pads and it's a ready steady go for winter writing and easily shoved out of the way.

I took a break today and went off to an afternoon tea and a lovely performance by a top notch choir. We had a charming time, meaning we had our nice manners and clothes on and were totally charmed in turn. Several of my friends performed and it was all very festive and jolly and the food was delish. And the choir were sequinned which always pleases me. Not the guys though, they looked rather drab but wore nice smiles. And one had a bodhran.

There was a cute song about Mrs. Claus doing all the work behind the scenes keeping her man on track, the unsung busy heroine. It was very well received. And understood.

There's a sprinkle of Christmassy snow on everything. I've always wondered about that, the disconnect of saying it is so Christmassy as the snow laces our trees when Bethlehem was baking in the heat back in the day and Jesus was well, brown, a desert boots kind of guy. He would not have felt at home in snow. Or in Ferguson for that matter.

Monday, November 24, 2014


A view from the Tigeen today. Gorgeous November weather.

Thanks for all the support, some private, some commenting on my last post.

I surprised myself by climbing back on the saddle almost immediately and I must say my output has been prodigious in the last while. Two short stories, one brand new and a play sent off for performance in February. Off. Did you hear that? Off.

I do apologise for not visiting all of you as frequently as I did. But amends will be made.

I have to put the head down and novelize in the next wee while as the creative juices have never been better. In quite a long while.

I wish I could bottle it when I feel this engaged with writing and over the hump of personal misery and/or writer's block you know? And give it away for free to all you toiling writers out there.

I decided to move the writer's domain out of the office and into what I call the family room (the old kitchen). I keyboard and edit in front of the fire with a rolling unit that holds printer and laptop and files and binders I can shove out of the way as needs be. It seems to really work quite well. I shut down the Tigeen today. The lowering sun does not charge up the panels in the winter and the outside rain barrel hosepipe to the sink freezes in the frost.

A friend and I are working on a small supplemental wind turbine to provide additional power.

And this, my friends, is what's happening next door. In its third month of digging. The camera can't quite capture the vastness of landscape destruction. I just about cry when I look over. So I won't.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Self Doubt

What do you do when self-doubt overwhelms you? Please tell me.

I received one of those letters yesterday. So far I only shared the contents with a friend over dinner. A friend going through her own troubles. Who couldn't offer me anything as she is riddled with SD herself.

I spent a week in September putting all the paperwork together for a grant application, excerpts, letters of reference, past successes. Wads of paper. These Grant Givers don't believe in the interwebz. I was fairly confident I'd get it. It wasn't very much, enough to tide me through final novel completion, editing, first readership feedback, etc.

I didn't expect to be demolished IF they turned me down. Note the big IF. I didn't believe that big IF for a second.

But they did. By letter (quaint, right?). Yesterday. Blah. Blah. I know the drill of these letters.

And yesterday and today I lose the faith and tell myself you are one shitty writer living in fecking fantasy land.

I am way too old to be a starving artist living in a garret reusing my teabag 99 times and fighting the dog for bits of kibble once a day.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Raining and Pouring

It has been very mild outside but the lashings of rain are matching my mood.

I've been over-peopled in the last while and desperately needed downtime so I grabbed it today.

I wanted to do mindless for the whole day. I watched Season 2 of The Good Wife and read my latest book and pushed some tiles around virtual Lexulous while looking for sheep farmers on the peninsula as a favour for a journalist friend. I never said my life was dull, did I?Through FB I assembled a whole bunch of sheep farmers, some of whom I know face to face along with their baa-baas (sorry). It's a tough business to be in and the invasion of coyotes - I hear they hang off the ferries to get here and then hide on the trucks on board - has made survival of the lambs an iffy prospect and an enormous challenge for farmers.

Then I get one of those emails, you know the ones that make your heart stop. I hadn't returned a call (I am phone-phobic at the mo) and it turns out the friend who had called is facing a life and death surgery this week and asked another friend to let me know. *hang head*.

It's rough on her and on all out there who face such incredible odds.

And, selfishly, I don't know whether I can take any more of such bits of "news". There should be another word for it.

The penalties of aging.

And yeah, I know, Dad.

You did warn me.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Hit and Miss

English Harbour Newfoundland.

In my nearly 10 years of thought plops here I don't think I've neglected my blog for so long. My blog is hurt. One might say our relationship is rocky at best, distant at worse. And in the course of this flagrant disregard I'm neglecting its buddies too.

I hasten to make some amends. I miss all the readings, the debates, the differences of opinion my blogiverse offers.

Busy is a word I dropped from my lexicon. Extremely negative connotations. Not to mention how I overused it in the many years behind me.

It's meaningless and helpless and well, irritating. And I only became aware of it when others, who take on far too much, overuse it. Like I did. As if it were an answer. Well no, it isn't.

OK. My plate hath runneth over with much. Much to celebrate, and much to grieve too.

I was at a wonderful gala with Daughter and a dear friend to celebrate a wee publication. Now that was fun.

And the following day I attended a wonderful convention/retreat where my door ticket won what I thought was a basket full of all those delicious smellies we never buy for ourselves. But no it wasn't that. It was the entire enormous table load covered in goodies like movie passes and books and movies and crystal bowls and homemade scarves and socks and wooden carved treasures. I will photograph it when I lay it all out on my own large dining room table. Solstice arrived in two enormous bags. And I made a new friend. You know how that is when one is young but I am old and I made a new friend. She is nearly old too and rides a Harley and carves wooden treasures and writes. I am talking chronological age not spirit age but you know that.

I was off up north giving workshops and planning more - we are having glorious weather here on the island. Sweater weather. Hiking weather. Clean out the lungs weather. Breathe in and out weather. Gratitude weather I call it. See picture above.

And yes, working away on the writing. And the old muse, my Scriobhnarin comes and goes. But never, ever on my time table. She's aloof that way.

And my wee village is having its first town hall gathering today. I am looking forward to this open forum for presentation of ideas and connection with other residents.

And some dear friends struggle on with their health challenges. All enormous challenges. All of their precious spirits dear to my heart. And I am mindful of them everywhere I go.

I am out and about for four rather than for just me.

I love you all so very much.

Helen, Irene and Dianne.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Diamonds and Stones

I'm back again.

First of all the stone:

We had some nasty stuff happening in CBC Canada - our national partially tax funded broadcaster - when a very popular male host of one internationally popular programme "Q" was outed as a sexual predator par excellence. It turns out he'd been abusing women for nearly thirty years. Horribly. Hitting interns on the head, etc. etc., beating girlfriends around and filming the acts. It has opened up a can of worms for women very rarely seen in this quiet, polite little land of ours. I won't link to all of it here BUT if you Google "Jian Ghomeshi" you will get a shyteload of disgusting and upsetting material. Trigger Warning.

Then the diamond:

It has opened up a dialogue about the rape culture and feminism the likes of which I've never seen before. Women coming forward, like myself, to discuss their own sexual assaults, hidden because of the hopelessness of dragging the cases through court and rarely succeeding and meanwhile wrecking one's own life in the process. Some of my blog friends have also come forward. Rape and sexual assaults are breathtaking in their scope and seeing the final light of day on so much of it is validating and heartening and so very wonderful. To breathe the air of truth again is so very powerful. As is the solidarity. I truly believe I don't have one single close female friend who hasn't been sexually assaulted or molested or any one of the filthy perversions of it and just kept quiet. Often as a child. Like I was. Or as an adult again I kept quiet. We've been trained to do this, keep quiet, be nice, don't say dirty things. He didn't mean it. Or better yet - he'll make life hell for you. I wasn't believed or heard and told to shut up. No more.

This whole horrible secret and depraved sexual violence of the CBC's cash cow has been split wide open. Much like Jimmy Savile and the BBC.

We just didn't have to wait till JG was dead before it was out there for all to see.