Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Writing day ....

Gwen is here and we're writing. I'm warming up by doing a couple of blog posts. One is one my new blog - Sojourner in Nova Scotia - I wanted to change one of my old ones to the new one but couldn't do it as this one - Jan Morrison, this crazy writing life  and Living the Complicated Simple Life are both managed by an account I no longer have so I cannot change any of the design - I am only a contributor and the REAL Jan Morrison won't let me in. Ha!

Today I'm going into my memoir project. I may try and mine some of it for articles to flog. I'm not sure. I like some of the writing I did around my work on the reserve school and there may be places to put that. I may just continue to refine the manuscript - it is a hot and holy mess of words right now - nearly 100,000 and truly lots of it is just moaning and carrying on in an unnecessary fashion. So lots to do - need to, as my Daddio would say, 'pitter patter fly atter'.

Settling back into life in Nova Scotia is taking me much longer than I anticipated. I guess my emotional muscles are like my body ones - not so flexible anymore. I am also wishing that I had a somewhat regular job (three days a week would be swell) but not sure how to go about that just yet.

All in good time my wise inner voice says. Like I have lots of time says my wise-ass inner voice!

Here's a photo taken recently ... we went down to Milton to visit with my fella's ex and her husband for Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Back to the future ...

I haven't spent much time in the blogosphere of late. Like most folks I know I was consumed by the great big fish called facebook. I'm going off of it - yes, again - but I think this time it will be for good. Some people can resist its mix of hope and fear, but alas, not I. So I will probably set up my ordinary blog for all friends and family who are interested, on Living the Complicated Simple Life. I will keep this one for my writing life but hopefully be more present than I have been. I missed the last installment of the IWSG but hope they'll let me back on in November.

I'm back having writing days with my pal Gwen - so might make Wednesdays my post day. We'll see. Boy, do I sound cagey! I'm not trying to - just being honest. I'm really being slow at figuring out how my life works altogether here in Nova Scotia.

Here's a photo of why I DO love home.  One is a photo and one is the painting I drew from it. This is the property in Prospect where Ron and I will begin to build next year...

Wednesday, September 5, 2018


It is September and my mother would be 102 today, were she with us! There she is in her Easter bonnet. What a babe!

And it is another meeting of the Insecure Writers Support Group!  I missed last month's meeting. Too much happening. This summer my fella, pooch and I moved two thousand kilometres with a truck, a station wagon and a trailer packed to the gills. My eldest kindly came to Labrador and helped with the moving and driving. We got to our home here in Nova Scotia and began the unbelievably arduous task of settling back into a home we haven't lived in for five years. We were only here three weeks when we went off, driving, to Ontario, to see relatives and friends, and so the fella could help my youngest with some home renovation. Now we're home for good or bad.

Now I'm down to the process of deep decluttering.  I've been sorting boxes of papers that I haven't looked at for decades. I'm determined to pare down to only the essentials. What a job it is! 

All of this is to say that , no, I have not been writing or submitting.  But I found a treasure in my sorting that I thought I'd lost. It is a letter from the wonderful writer Pamela Frankau, that she wrote in response to a letter I sent her in 1964 when I was thirteen or fourteen. It is a four page hand written letter of encouragement to a young wannabe writer. I'm now a decade older than she was when she wrote it.

I will scan it when I'm set up and share it with you. If you haven't read Frankau she is a treasure! A Wreath for the Enemy remains one of my favorite books.

On other news my dear writing pal Gwen is coming today to write! We are reinstating our long running writing group of two. We write, yack, share and eat. How I've missed her! This photo is from a visit she made to see me in Labrador.


That's it, my lovelies! Hope you are writing or getting ready to or okay with not!

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Why yes, it is another meeting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group!


Grab a coffee, a cup of tea or a gin & tonic depending on the time of day or your inclination, and sit down to read this post and others like it here, as we discuss the joys and challenges of our writing lives.

The optional question this month asks what our ultimate writing goals are and how have they changed over time? Hmmm...ultimate? The Cambridge dictionary says

most important, highest, last, or final: Your ultimate goal is to play the game as well as you can. Ultimate also means the best, most, or greatest of its kind: Some people believe that he is the ultimate painter of this century.

My ultimate writing goal is to keep writing and to enjoy the process. I would certainly appreciate outside affirmation in the form of publication, but truly, that is not my highest goal. I'm fairly certain that my monkey mind would just begin to long for the next and bigger coconut.

As we get ready to leave Labrador I've been focusing on smaller writing projects . I've polished a story that is part of my work in progress - a memoir. This story stands alone and I have a market in mind for it. I've also been writing a new series of poems in connection with a current painful issue within my church. It has been healing to work with my emotions and thinking by doing this.

Sometimes, I think that the goal of publication casts a shadow on the true reason that I write. It obscures the deep satisfaction I feel when I find the right word or phrase, or make a tale or poem that captures what I'm experiencing .  I get caught in longing for that big contract that will show those so and sos that I haven't been wasting my time. Oh, don't worry, I'll ring the bells loudly shall I get that contract - but I don't want to forget what I'm in the game for - to play the best I can.

How about you? Goals?

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Yowza - it's another meeting of the IWSG


What is this you may well ask. It is a piece I created in an art class I was taking. The upper symbol is an awen - a druidic symbol of inspiration. Below is a deer. Over top is a piece of flocked paper with a spiral pattern. I created it to remind myself to honour my own lineage of strength, grace, and truth.

I'm in a fragile creative holding place right now. Like the phase in labour called transition, it is important that I not push.  We are in our last months of being in Labrador. I will leave with several creative projects still in the womb as it were. They will have to see the light of day in Nova Scotia, but they will be Labradorian for all that. One is a mystery called Crooked Knife. One is a memoir about our time here called Ruby's House and one is a poetry collection which may be called Ballycatter.

When we are home I hope to be able to complete them BUT I'm scared. Why? Because  this place is so conducive to the solitary writing practice and home is wildly distracting.

So why have I not been writing these last few months here? Because I've been teaching grade two at the school on the reserve AND I absolutely need to in order to receive my own education on this place. I will be using it all in my memoir! Here I am with a few of my teachers.


As to this month's question which asks if it is harder for me to come up with story names or character names - it is the easiest writing job of all to name anything. I love naming my novels or poetry collections, I love naming my characters and I love inventing names for anything in my writing - coffee shops, laundromats, daycares - love it!