Archive | Process

Breaking Rules

Lately, I’ve been breaking rules. And not in a good way. I’ve been starting the day with my cellphone, looking at my email, scrolling through Facebook, clicking over to CBC or the Guardian to check out the news. Trump, suicide bombers, the traumatizing appropriation debate, residential school deniers, racism, rising Arctic seawater, and my own […]

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Change in the Air

So, spring. Change in the air. Our backyard a sudden chaos of birdsong: the chattering boat-tailed grackles, the red-winged blackbirds shrieking as they puff out their red patches, the sweet chirping of the robins. Yesterday, I took Mowat for a run on a dyke further up Rahl’s Island and heard the frogs, happily chanting on […]

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Poetry: What’s the Point?

It’s poetry month, and I’ve been doing NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month). Each morning, I grab my phone, check out the day’s prompt, ignore the prompt (usually) and then write a poem or three. Most of them are about my brother (big surprise) or somehow twist their way back to him, meaning, I suppose, that I’m working […]

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Circles and Loops

Grief is not linear. It does not come in stages. It loops back, squiggles forward, circles and dips. Like everyone says (everyone who’s been there, I mean), it comes in waves. Buried in novel revisions, focused on creating, I’ve been doing okay. But then I hit send to deliver my manuscript to my agent, looked […]

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Seven Ways to Stay Sane

Well, now. How’s everybody doing? A little bit of this? A touch of this? Yeah; I hear you. I’m not sure what to say. I could reiterate my own outrage; I could talk about fascism; I could point you to this excellent (and, yes,  frightening) article by David Frum (uh huh, that David Frum, who […]

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The Path

Lately, I’ve lapsed. I’ve let weeks pass without posting on my blog when, for a few years, I’ve managed to keep up the routine of a pretty regular Thursday post. But I hope you’ll forgive me. Life has been so crazy lately – with my brother’s death and my mother’s recent serious surgery (I’m in Ontario […]

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I’m Not Okay (And That’s Okay)

Yesterday, my doctor asked me if I’m “getting past” my brother’s death. It’s only been eight weeks, I said. And he was my brother. In some ways, I’ll never ‘get past’ it. Yes, she said, looking away. We keep them in our hearts. Well, duh. I don’t really need the platitude, thank you very much. […]

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To Write

Since coming home I’ve been working steadily on a novel that was always meant to be for Tim. It breaks my heart that he won’t ever get to see that dedication – for my brother – and to really get how much he meant to me and how much our relationship, often challenging, always complex, also enriching […]

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10, 9, 8…

I’m pretty pumped about Sunday – and I hope you are too. Normally my offline day, this Sunday I will be launching my first online course. Called Nine Simple Steps to a Solid Writing Practice, it’s one that I’ve poured my heart into and that, I hope, will serve many would-be writers (like you?) who […]

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Return to Writing

Last year, when Liz Howard won the Griffin Poetry Prize, she told the audience that writing saved her life. “[F]or me, poetry made life possible,” she said. I get this. I understand this a lot. Lately, things have not been easy for my family, and I’ve been at my mother’s. Before coming here, I was in […]

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