Ordinary Life

Coffee in a blue and orange pottery mug. The indigo sky pushing at the cold window glass. J. emptying the dishwasher. The dog dozing at the top of the stairs, waiting for his first walk. A dream drifting on the morning peripheral: a goat pestering me, persistently biting and tugging the sand-coloured wool sweater I’m […]

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Beet Juice

Create a character, I said last night, during a class I’m teaching called Write Your Heart Out! (from Joyce Carol Oates’s advice to writers). A picture of feet was up on the screen. Red converse sneakers, legs in jeans, gender-neutral. Paint what you can’t see. Follow the pen into backstory, emotions, relationships or simply a […]

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Just Knit

Seven skeins of Malabrigo Rios, luxurious merino yarn, in shifting shades of indigo, copper, violet and deep greens. That’s what I bought myself for Christmas last year, with a gift certificate my sister gave me. As any knitter knows, seven skeins is a lot of yarn. It’s a sweater amount, which is what I wanted. […]

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On Showing Up

The other day, I was talking with a friend about showing up. Just past blue Monday, in a frigid winter that’s kept us inside for days, some mornings the best that you can do is stumble over to your desk, sit there, and wait. Not for the green thrust of spring. Not even for epiphanies. […]

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Spelunking

I’m gearing up to read the draft of what’ll likely be my third novel. I put the beast aside over a year ago when I returned to the second (now done, and its news will be told as soooon as possible, I swear). My read through will begin on Monday, the day after my Fearless […]

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Covering Gound

J. and I have been journeying. Right now we are crossing the top (actually more like the middle) of Ontario. Yesterday after some messy snow along the route into the north we turned west at Cochrane and drove from town to town, Kapuskasing to Hearst to Longlac. This morning, we’ve traveled through Thunder Bay and […]

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The Need To Read

Yesterday morning, I drank my coffee in the South Pacific. On the island of Tahiti, to be exact. During a game of haru raa puu which led to a dramatic and moving conclusion for Miss Alma Whittaker, who nearly drowned, but fought the ocean’s grasp before arriving at an epiphany that made me cry. All […]

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Seeing In the Dark

So, it’s been a bit of a rough week, and I’ve got nothing to complain about. Apart from being closed up in my countryside cloister due to a broken-down car, great things have been happening. I’ve pretty much filled my pilot course (one spot is left, in case someone wants to nab it over the […]

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Motherly Advice

I’m back where I started. Staring down the bumpy road of an unfinished draft. My next novel – the big, fat manuscript that my agent says doesn’t work (which, by the way, I didn’t update you on, dear reader, after informing you I’d sent it, my ego too bruised, I suppose. Instead, I got on […]

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What I Had To Lose

When I was in my mid-20s, tired of toiling seemingly aimlessly at 6 a.m. timed writings every morning before leaving for my 9 to 5 job, I took a creative writing course. I’d published a bit of poetry and a few personal essays and done some freelance journalism, but I wanted to do what felt […]

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