Sunday, August 30, 2015

1000 posts

Early February of 2007 I started this blog. It was called Crazy Jane after a poem by Yeats. The first year I did a total of two posts. I then started in earnest (or as earnest as I get, you all who know me) the following year. I kept up a pretty steady pace (again, considering). Seven years ago I was living with my Sweet Patootie and two step-children, a lovely beast named Hoagy, and a bunch of chickens, in a house SP had designed and built. The dog was a runaway (a good source of post angst), the chickens were delightful, the kids were teens (nuff said) and the man was, as he is now, a constant of love and joy. Over those 7 or 8 years my life has been in flux. We sold the house and moved the chickens, the kids grew up and out, the dog died, and we eventually left Nova Scotia for what has been two years now in Labrador. In that time I made this my primarily writing site while I started one called The Complicated Simple Life, that was to be more about the chickens, the knitting, and so on. When I got to Labrador I started an online diary of my adventures here called Sojourner in Labrador. The Complicated Simple Life is finished for now, and I imagine Sojourner will end with the sojourn, but really I can't be sure of that. This site is for my writing life. Not that I can keep everything nice and discrete - that is never been an ability of mine. Now, everything is everywhere. I write and draw in the dining room, meditate in the guest room and think in the tub.

As to my goals for this blog - I do believe I've met and continue to meet them. I wanted a place where I could talk to myself with the occasional friend chiming in. I've been able to support my writing discipline by making public goals and mostly keeping them. I have finished several books since I started this and am just putting the last touches on one that I really think will be published. Now, I've said that before, but hope springs eternal. The thing I didn't realize was that I would meet so many grand and encouraging friends online. I gather from reading my early posts that I was quite happy chattering away to myself (and my dear sis - who was an early and constant reader). I have met many people that I'm still in touch with and that is so amazing and lovely.

It was great reading my early posts these last few days. Of course I cringed some, but for the most part I enjoyed my ramblings, and the memories they evoked.

So cheers for the 1000 posts and cheers for the friends they help me make.
I will tinker with this in the next two days but somehow am not allowed to right now...

How do you like dem apples? I've been doing a bit of drawing lately.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Holy Dinah! I wrote an empty post...

How did this happen? I wrote a post headline with no body in the text box. Well, let me explain - sometimes the only way I can see my list of posts to edit is to pretend I'm putting in a new one. So I just fire up a fake post title and put it to post weeks down the line - hoping I will come back and fill it out or delete it. Well, we know what I did don't we? Why? Because for the last month I've been completely absorbed in a program - when not working (which has been intense all on its own) I've been taking a drawing course. When I wasn't working or drawing, I was meditating. When I wasn't working, drawing or meditating, I was sleeping, eating, bathing, or ahem, or likely, watching Nashville. I took a revision break as my mentor-editor was doing so. As of today I will be back in the saddle with lots of ideas and energy. Okay... maybe not so many ideas and perhaps my energy is a bit low - but still. I'm back. I'm not entirely sure I can revise in the morning like I was doing (up at 5:30 to revise for an hour and a half) because I'm having some health problems that are causing me to sleep poorly. I still get up but it is pretty uninspired wakefulness if you get me.
My plan is to work for at least an hour a day with a bit more on the weekends. I have that early September feeling so should be able to do this. My drawing habit is well-established and that takes me at least a half-hour a day. Meditation is between 40 minutes and 60 right now. I can do my drawing here at work on lunch-time. I will have to do this as I do have a deadline with my mentor-editor that is coming up. I'm inspired - or maybe I'm faking it until I am. Yes, that.

Next topic - home sickness.
Oh, here is a visitor to the land program I was on for 7 days ... Yep, and he was a very big fella. So big and so persistent that we all came back to base camp. gah.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Busting through Insecurity

If you are reading this, it must be August 5th and time for a meeting of The Insecure Writers Support Group. I'm trying to work with my mind on my insecurity these days. I don't find it helpful to hold a core belief that I'm "too old, too busy, too boring" to write anything worthwhile. How do I bust through this belief? I look for evidence that contradicts such a belief. I search out others who began their artistic endeavors when older than the norm. I found Grandma Moses who didn't start painting until she was 78 and ended up being considered successful by her nineties (one of her paintings went for 1.2 million a few years ago). Mary Wesley (The Camomile Lawn) had her first adult book published when she was 70. She was extremely prolific from her 70s into her 90s. That gives me hope, as I loved Camomile Lawn.
What about the core belief that I'm too boring to write anything worthwhile? Well, the truth is that I'm told I'm not.  I have led a wildly full life, travelled plenty on this continent and a bit in Europe. I've been married a couple of times, raised my own children and helped with the raising of a few others. I've worked widely too - from a nurse's aide in an old folk's home to a real lumberjack (official title - choker bunny), to a cook in a very good restaurant, to a psychotherapist, and many more in between. I've created plays and photos and gatherings. So... maybe I'm not boring, though an interesting life isn't the same as having something to say and saying it well. I suppose, when I feel the downward tug of insecurity, I must remind myself that I write because I write. I write to learn the world. It will have to do.
a photo of Prospect taken back a ways.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Cross-training

I'm part of a group show of artists that opens tonight. I have ten photos (mostly of North West River beach, all of Labrador ). It was fun to help organize (l did most of the publicity ) and definitely great to get so many images printed and up on the wall. What will it be like to be at the opening and hear folk talk about them? I'm used to pretty instant feedback from writing and directing plays, but writing novels and poems is a very private enterprise. Even when you're published you don't necessarily get immediate response except at readings.



Well,  I'll see how I am with it tonight.  Here's a photo that isn't in the show but similar!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Just Bloody Well Show Up

This ain't rocket science. It ain't science at all. It is cause and effect. If I sit down and work for an hour every day I'll be finished this revision in eleven days. Period. Then I can ship it off to the ms doctor and we can see where we're at then. At a certain point I'll be done. Yes. I'll be done. Not sort of done, or shelved for later - but done until someone who wants to buy it tells me different. That certain point will come sooner than later if I put my arse in my chair and finish this revision.

I've begun again.

The magic of those ordinary, everyday words. I've begun again.