Wednesday, May 27, 2015

It has come - the work commences!

Yesterday morning I got the first two chapters of my ms back from my mentor - filled to the brim with red marks and notations. Totally expected and desired - I am thrilled with how much time he spent on every word. Last night when I got home from work I spent two hours on the first chapter. I felt totally engaged and think I can do this. Many of the suggestions are tightening and brightening types but there are some structural questions too - should I start with this chapter? Do I need so many voices (three) - that I will ponder over the next bunch of weeks. And of course there are the highly expected notations on my bizarre relationship with commas - I swear it is a sort of dyslexia -  and subsequent love for the hyphen, which I'm sure readers of this blog are well aware of.

Mostly I'm going 'duh' and hoping he isn't fed up with how inconsistent I am. Occasionally I'm in disagreement - why should I make double quotations my standard? Or - he doesn't get how teenagers really talk. The main thing is that I'm back in the action - engaged and ready to wrestle this baby into shape.

I was struck down by a flu over the weekend. Although I wouldn't wish it on my enemy I do appreciate what a bout of sickness does to the mind. It is like I was reminded (and not gently) at how precious health and our bodies are. And I need to be healthy right now. I have my work which I love, and this project which I've invested a fair bit of time, as well as my joyous juicy life. So...I will take less, bike and walk more, enjoy the beauty of this land.

How about all of you and your projects? Mired? Engaged? Treading water?

Here's a photo of the lad and the dog on our trip last year down to Red Bay. Hope to go again this summer...

Thursday, May 21, 2015

still waiting

I'm early at work so thought I'd write a post. I'm still waiting for my manuscript to come home. I'm working hard at my job - a bunch of dogs just strolled by as I look out the window at the SNOW coming down. Gah! Ah well, surely this is the last of it. My dear pal came and went - we had a delicious visit of doing nothing. We like to offer vacations here that are jam-packed with nothing. It is our specialty and we do have repeat visitors! Nothing as an activity is a very radical idea and we think quite under-appreciated. It isn't easy to sustain a daily schedule of nothing but we did our best. We ate, talked, snoozed, read, walked a bit and ate some more. We did visit the two museums in North West River - the Labrador Interpretation Centre and the North West River museum in the original Hudson's Bay Store but that was it. Four days of barely making it off the couches. It brought me back to work full of beans - ready to implement ideas and go forward.

After I finish this small post (this is my writing site and I really haven't been writing or revising so...) I'm going over to my Sojourner in Labrador blog and writing a bit about my days working here. I want to remember the variety and the impressions I have as I only expect to be here at this job for a year.

Last year I did a year long self-learning course about the land. Now I'm doing the same about the people.
And what have you been up to in this post A to Zed lull?

Thursday, May 14, 2015

A Sort of Limbo

I'm in a sort of limbo as I await my edited manuscript. What will I find? I know the person who is doing it says he marks up manuscripts heavily so not to be concerned. After all that is what I want - don't I? Then I will be forced to carve out some time to work on making the changes. How will that work? I've never had a job that engaged me on so many levels - my time - more than full-time, energy (working with all ages of kids and adults) heart (so much trauma) and soul (children! parents!)  So it won't be at work that I take time. I think there will be nothing for it but to get up each morning by five and get an hour in before I start to get ready for work. I leave the house at 7:30 for 8 A.M. and when I get home I am bushed. I'm often in the tub by nine and bed by nine-thirty. I never liked writing at night unless I had a heavy-duty deadline and even then in the last few years I simply couldn`t do it. On the weekends I`ll be able to do a bit more but not a lot more. Weekends are now laundry, chores, shopping for groceries, housecleaning and a tiny bit of entertaining. Oh and cooking. Cooking I love even if I have to and I never have to. I have a fella who also loves to cook.

So all that is rumbling around in my brain pan.
And I`ll be in limbo until I know how it will pan out!

Meanwhile the bay is finally starting to break-up - yay! Soon we`ll be going to the Ice to Water Dance. Double yay! And my buddy Deb is flying in on Saturday and we`ll hang out for four glorious days! Triple yay!
This photo is of the bay before it got all friz up.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Meeting of the IWSG

Here we are! Gathered together for another meeting of the IWSG. ( go here and find others!) I hope everyone has their pen and notebooks ready. I'm at my wee desk in the laundry room. Yes, I am. I moved the huge honking ugly table out of our dining room lately because:

  1. I'm using my Galaxy pad thingy
  2. I'm working all the time
  3. It took up too much space
  4. I don't feel like a writer
There - can you feel more insecure than that? On the up side I still remember that Stephen King wrote quite a few stories and novels jammed into his laundry room so ...there!

My big insecurity this month? That I'll soon be getting my edit back from the writer who agreed to mentor me and I won't have time to absorb it and work on it. I guess I have to say that I've done the thing you shouldn't do when you want to be a full-time writer. It isn't that I took a job - we do have to eat and I'll never be Margaret Atwood - but that I took a job that I love and it's meaningful and absorbing. What if I call it a year of intensive research? Yes! 

I'm learning so much about the Innu and Inuit culture - the unbelievable hardships they continue to suffer at the hands of government and corporate greed as well as plain ignorance on the side of most even well-meaning white-folk. I'm learning about the hatefulness of our arrogance - how we think we know best when it comes to everything and ignore the rich culture of other peoples. So...

Also, I'm old. I really am. Sure I just got a bike and my adventurous heart is on fire most of the time but I simply can't do what I used to do. I can't do my day job and work all night on my passions. I must sleep. 

I promise to do the best I can and I also promise to quit wasting my time worrying about it. I'll be back to comment on my next process with Bright Angel but in the meantime I'll come and hang around you guys and cheer you on if you want it.

Now I have to pack my lunch and head out...

Friday, May 1, 2015

Will I go back to Normal after this year's A to Zed?

As Bruce Cockburn once sang "the trouble with normal is it always gets worse".  After a month of daily blogs will I go back to 'normal' or am I changed? I hope I'm changed by everything I undertake - writing, meditating, making pasta, the whole megillah. Do you know what the whole megillah even is? Let me tell you if you don't already know - 

Definition of MEGILLAH slang:  a long involved story or account megillah Origin of MEGILLAH Yiddish megile, from Hebrew mĕgillāh scroll, volume (used especially of the Book of Esther, read aloud at the Purim celebration)
Don't you love finding out what phrases you might have heard or used mean? For years (until about seven years ago) I thought the word 'megillah' referred to something Scottish.  You know like 'MacGillah' - some crazy tribe that told long-winded stories. Well, not so far off as it happens.

Back to the present: am I changed? Yes, thank Buddha, I am changed. I'm changed because I strengthened my resolve by once again finishing something I started and not griping about it. There are actually people who sign up for this and then gripe and whine and bitch and moan. Why? Beats me. It isn't exactly hard and really if you don't do it who will know? No one, I'm thinking. But you know...people move in mysterious ways. They roll in ways I didn't even know a person could roll and well...I don't care. If folks want to sign up for something and then not do it - well fine. It is a drag to go to about fifty sites in a row to find out they signed up and didn't even do ONE post out of the whole alphabet but hey! Maybe their cat died or they lost their job, and all sense of meaning. Maybe they really are much more important than you or I and have lots of responsibilities that we cannot even dream about. I really don't care.

And there are lots of sites I'm inherently uninterested in - I don't care much about cute cats, vampires, religious rants, vehicles, American politics, etc... But I found lots that I didn't even know I cared about until I visited. It happens, for instance, that I care deeply about certain people who go to certain places and write about them - why? Because I already liked them and because they wrote interesting posts about their life in a very different place - hello Karen from Coming Down the Mountain! I also went to a site that was full of crazy math stories. Who knew I'd love that? But I did - hello   Tamara Narayan, Author -my new pal! I visited lots in Africa with the charming and dear Shirley at Shirley Corder. She described her part of the world in wonderful words and pictures and visited lots here. I met a fellow Newfoundlander (well she's on the island and I'm on the mainland but hey you can't imagine how close that feels!) named Christine at Mombie and I'm just getting to know her - we have lots in common that I don't even think she knows including a murder mystery business. I reconnected with the amazing Susan Scott at her blog The Garden of Eden. Susan wrote about dreams for the A to Zed and wow she is a lovely writer!
Everyday I visited our fearless leader -Lee - at Tossing it Out and read about all sorts of ways to blog (I'm a 'slacker blogger' but I can live with that) and l also hung out at my dear pal, Margot Kinberg from Confessions of a Mystery Novelist.  She didn't do the A to Zed but she is one of the most consistent posters and commenters ever. Her and my friend Elisabeth Spann Craig over at Mystery Writing is Murder! The two of them would be the polar opposite of slacker bloggers like me but we manage to enjoy ezch other. And my friend, my entire crit group in one crazy package, the delectable deario The Watery Tart  ( at Confessions of a Watery Tart) thrilled us with her wild flights of alliterative allegories!

And that my friend is my idea of a perfect party - some old friends, some new friends and a lot of chat!