Archive | Writing Life

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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Alberta Adventure

J. and I took our show on the road last week and went to Alberta. We drove through crazy weather – freezing rain interspersed with blizzard – before popping out into sunshine. At a hobby farm outside Edmonton, we hunkered down and did a whole lot of reading, cooking, walking, and watching movies on a […]

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Happy Birthday, Bro

I woke at four this morning, and with night around me, the dark, quiet fields outside, I wrote for a little while. A couple of poems came out: one about the sleek black kitten who lives in the house we’re house-sitting on a hobby farm in Alberta, another to my brother whose birthday is today. […]

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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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A Poem for Solstice

Winter Solstice, 3:34 p.m.    Outside, I notice the light spread on white snow, like buttercup   petals on the skin of your chin, those childhood   games that pass so quickly by.   Night is coming and all day   I’ve been thinking of the boats you used to carve,   of the one […]

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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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