Archive | Creativity

Adding Compost to the Soil

Day after day of dazzling sunshine has lately lifted my spirits. It helps too that I sent off my poetry manuscript to the publisher this week and that the birds are back. Purple finches and dark-eyed juncos at our backyard feeder. White pelicans crowding the Red River. Hawks, eagles, and, of course, robins. A multitude […]

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Melt

Despite the Arctic airmass that’s been hanging over us, plunging temperatures into the minus double digits, spring is coming. The snow is ever-so-slowly receding towards the forest shadows, the geese are returning, and the other day I saw a seagull soar over our house. Mowat is also fully spring fevered, visiting Gus, the golden retriever, […]

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The Only Way Out Is Through

For the past few nights I’ve been waking up at 1:13 a.m. In the spare room, I’ve kept a sort of vigil – reading, thinking, crying, making lists of things I have to do, trying to make plans. If I’m lucky, I’ll write. On Saturday night, I re-wrote the whole plot line of my current […]

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Writing is lonely. But it’s worth it.

I’ve been returning to the roots of writing practice lately. To the book I bought and cracked open as I was crossing the Georgia Strait between Tsawwassen and Vancouver Island on my way to Salt Spring Island, circa 1993. Back then, as I read the first pages of Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg, a pair […]

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Come for Tea?

I’m stuck on Chapter Four. Partly because I’ve spent the past five days working to eradicate some of the beige that covers every wall (well, except for bathroom’s combo of ’80s aqua and stark white and the kitchen’s half-and-half neon yellow and, again, stark white) in our new-to-us home. All the while, my mind’s been […]

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Genuine Choice: Why I Quit Twitter and Facebook

The ground is under my feet. Snow turning soft, ridged snowmobile trails collapsing into black earth in the fields where we run our dog. In the early morning, the blue jays show up to eat the sunflower seeds that the red squirrel has knocked out of the feeder. Chickadees and nuthatches flit around, and a […]

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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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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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