Thursday, July 10, 2014

Checking In

Hello dear peoples,
I am just checking in so you won't think I'm a dead person, a sick person or a mental person. Well, I could be the last one. Here's the poop on my writing life:

I'm not writing.
I'm thinking about writing and I'm even meeting with other writers about writing but actually
Here are my reasons - not excuses for they aren't - they are reasons.

  1. I met two days ago with a creative friend about the Labrador project. It was good and I'm dreaming about where to go next. We will keep meeting and keep each other on track. Both our present projects are similar and require much space and consideration. We are both fine about this. We aren't even quite sure what these projects are - poetry, graphic novels, short short stories but we both know they are some form of memoir.
  2. I got my notes from the Tartlette back on Bright Angel. I was going over her last book of the series with a fine tooth comb and sent it back to her today. I haven't opened her notes to me (other than the general ones so I know I don't have to discard it) because I didn't want to until I had sent her her notes and because...
  3. I don't have my office available. It is full of boxes and boxes of boxes. I am clearing out this side of the duplex (the side we live on) so we can rent it furnished come September. While I'm doing that with some occasional help (thank you Gwen!) the fella is renovating the other side that has been rented without break for years and years and needs lots of work. How I'm doing this side is by initially cleaning out the third bedroom completely (did I say thank you Gwen?) so it can become the storage room. It has been cleared out but that meant that lots of unsorted boxes of crappola (step-dot? where are you?) has to be painstakingly gone through. Lots of that is happening in my office. Also, the fella didn't think I'd need internet (hello???) so gave me a computer that doesn't have the wifi converter. I have told him that I don't need to be in my office - I can be in the one he usually uses which is the rec room. I have a good feeling about that space. I wrote most of a novel there once many years ago and, even though it has nothing to recommend it as a writing space, I like it. Plus it is a heck of a lot easier to just move the computer to the wire than to put another part in it. But he can't move it until I get the junk out of my office that is in the way. Truth is...
  4. I'm not going to have lots of writing time. I'm here to get this place in order. The fella would have been happy to just rent one side of the house out and I went ballistic (in an artistic way) and said that was the kind of ditzy casual doings that got us into this financial hell-hole that requires us to work in the north and be cheerful living in dumb houses (and I assure you I don't mean the North West River house which I love even if it has none of my stuff in it) . None of that is exactly fair but it would be insane for us not to rent this place out or at least attempt to while we are in North West River. If we aren't going to do that we should sell the joint and this is a bad time in the economy of this region to sell a place.So I agreed that I would take on clearing this space out while he does all the dirty work next door.
And there you have it. Having said all that I would like to get going next week. I'm seeing clients tomorrow and buds on the weekend but think I could do some clearing and some writing so will make that my goal. I especially want to think about the Labrador project while I have someone who really sparks my creativity around to bounce ideas off of. I also am looking at where I might send Bright Angel - agent, publishers, Canadian, Amurican, YA types, general fiction types and so forth. Gwen is coming next Tuesday for a regular writing day and we'll only do a little junk schlepping. The rest will be all writing!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

back in Nova Scotia

We're home...or at one home! Haven't slept since Sunday night so just saying here, safe, blasted with beauty and more later. If you are family or bud from nova scotia let me know you saw this if I didn't send our summer cell.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Road Trip!

Oh I love a road trip! The house is upside down as we prepare to leave on midsummer's day. We need to neutralize the house as other members of my fella's family will be taking up residence in the summer. That isn't so difficult - we didn't bring too much stuff and we can put most of it away somewhere. We took down the table that I use for a desk that was in the dining room and set up my computer on a small table in the laundry room where I'm working today. There is a window looking out on trees but it is behind me not in front of me so that is different...but other than that it is no big deal. The dryer is going as I write this with the small thump thump of the wool balls I put in instead of those despicable dryer sheets. It is pouring today and I simply have too much laundry to do to wait for a sunny day. I am thinking as I write here about Stephen King who wrote for many years in his laundry room. May it shine on me like it did on him!

I will attempt to finish this attack on Bright Angel so I can get it off again to my reader - she stopped reading it so I could go in and do some major jigging around. I feel pretty pumped about it so far. I have about fifty pages to finish and think I'll be done tomorrow if nothing stops me. In between bouts of writing I 'll clean and pack.

We leave early Saturday morning (have you ever wondered why Saturday gets a capital but morning doesn't?) and will travel to Red Bay, Labrador. I'll post later on my Labrador site - Sojourner - the route and recent pictures so check there from time to time if you are interested. Red Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of the Basque Fishing Museum etc... We stay there one night and then take the ferry from Blanc Sablon to St. Barbe on the island of Newfoundland. There we will travel down the coast staying one night along the way (hopefully near Gros Morne National Park) and then taking the ferry from Port Aubasque to North Sydney, Cape Breton - then zoom down to home (about 5 hours to Prospect) hopefully stopping on the way to see dear buds of ours.

Bright Angel is a book about a road trip. I grew up having at least one road trip a year - often more. We moved every couple of years (daddio being an air force guy) and when we weren't moving we still hit the road to stay in little motels ($6 a night would be an expensive one) or camping with our trusty tent trailor. I love road trips - I like starting early in the morning. I like plaid cooler bags (alas none available) and a thermos of coffee. I like pouring over maps and stopping to take pictures. I like wildlife and towns I've never been to. I adore motels and roadside attractions. I particularly love doing it with my fella - he's a polymath which makes him an ideal travelling companion. I say 'what kind of wildflower is that?' or 'when was this place settled?' and he tells me. He is my own google guy.
 here is a pic of the family station wagon at the Great Divide.
In Bright Angel there are three parts to the trip the main characters go on. They travel by air from Nova Scotia to New Mexico and then they travel from Albuquerque to Santa Fe by car down the lovely Turquoise Trail. Then they stay in Santa Fe for a bit before another road trip to the Grand Canyon. I've done a family road trip to the Grand Canyon so I know how it feels to come upon the most magnificent hole in the ground ever. I remember my mother's look of dismay and her comment 'they should put a fence around this' and my dad's 'Well, you've seen one Grand Canyon you've seen them all'. I can even remember what my mother was wearing (a folkloric skirt popular in the fifties) and carrying (a hand-tooled purse from our road trip to Mexico). I remember all the roadside attractions we went to from Colorado to California and there were a lot of them. All handy.

I wonder if this trip will make it into a novel? For sure it will make it into a poem or two.
See you on the other side - my next post will be from Nova Scotia!  

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Daddio Day

I don't have a daddio anymore - not for several years and no step-daddio or even daddio-in-law. The day would've gone unnoticed by me and probably the fella only the step-dot phoned from Nova Scotia to wish him a happy day. Then I got to thinking about my dear dear daddio - a veritable ace of a guy. How I miss him! How I imagine he would've been in full support of this adventure to the Labrador that I have been on this year.

And of course, I know, the ease at which is to transcribe one's own feelings and views on to the dead. Nonetheless I will do it.

Here is something that just came into my head - on my father's dresser (he had the tall one, my mum the wide one - is it always so?) was an ugly greenish greyish dish with a fish leaping from it. A place for cuff-links, spare change and the inevitable chestnut. I believe it was given to my daddio by either all of us or just my brother on a long ago father's day. I don't know. He treasured it, that I know and that's all I need to remember.

Here's what he liked - his family (in every manifestation of that word - the one he was born into and the one he created with my mum and the one he found whole and lovely when he married my step-mother) his work as a public relations guy for the armed forces, his country (the one he continued to serve after being a bomber pilot in WW2), national parks, walking, crows, making games out of duty and discipline, reading, writing, painting, and considering his good good luck. Oh there's lots more I'm sure - lots I don't know a bit about, for we are all alone in our heads aren't we?

If I consider him at all I consider him constantly. Yesterday I was saying to the fella about our trip home beginning next week - 'can we leave at the crack of sparrow fart? I really like an early start to a road trip.' That is my dad - into the station wagon in our jammies while he goes through the take-off list and checks the cords wrapping down our roof rack.

I made fresh pasta yesterday all by hand. While I rolled and stretched the dough I was thinking I'd done enough when into my head flew my daddio's voice 'a job worth doing is a job worth doing well'. Back to work I went.

I guess I'm thinking that every day is Daddio Day in my mind.

Oh - and since this is my writing site I must add that he was my first critic and champion when it came to writing. He wrote constantly himself and his biggest and best tip was that I should apply my bum to the chair! And isn't that the truth.

Here he is reading to one of his grand-kids - Brynn Bea!  What heaven...

Saturday, June 14, 2014

How She Goes

A week until we head back to Nova Scotia! This weekend will be full of lasts for awhile. We'll go visit the fella's mother and it will probably be the last that I see her until late August though the fella will visit her this week. We'll get a few groceries although we are trying to empty the fridge. We are going to take the canoe out this evening for a little adventure - we are taking out a Peace Vase - go here to see photos and description of one we took to Muskrat Falls - to put into Lake Melville.  This will be a first for me - going out in a canoe here. It isn't really the sort of canoeing either the man or I like - we are fond of our deep inlet in Prospect but still - it is always good to go out on the water.

As to my work - Bright Angel is chugging along. The changes aren't as onerous as I thought - alarmist that I am and it is good work. What do I mean by that? I guess that it feels like digging a garden or building a wall. It is hard but it has a logic and sense to it that keeps me working.

Yesterday most of the day was gone with me working up a resume for a job that I'm applying for. This year has been a most wondrous adventure of having oodles of time to write and wander but next year (this fall!) I must work. I will write the better for it even if it has to be tucked around the edges.

Now I must go and figure out how to transport my photo images back to Nova Scotia in their full size as I want to see about a show.

Later, my friends...
and here is a bit of evolving beach art!