Wednesday, July 22, 2015


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.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Disruptions, distractions and bedevilment

Ten whole days since I posted. A week ago I was in the truck with Ron making our way from New Brunswick to northern Quebec. Now, I'm finishing up my first week back at work and it seems like my three weeks home never happened. Life is a dream - sha boom sha boom.

The trouble with vacations is that one's routine gets disrupted. I had been getting up at about 5 or 5:30 in the morning to work on my revision. Since I've been back I haven't done that. I was going to say that I haven't been able to - but how could that be true? Of course, I could. I just haven't. While I was away I did some work on my ms - I had a hard copy of most of the revision with me and worked on Ron's laptop. But it wasn't very satisfactory - hard to work without a desk or even a table. I managed to stay in touch with my work though and felt that was good. Until the last week - then it all went away. Too much disruption, distraction and bedevilment.

Now, how do I get back on the path? I plan to work on it this weekend. No reason why not - I have some chores to do and an art show to help prepare for (a group show where I'll have some photos) but I should be able to put in at least four hours.

The weather is crap. Cold and rainy. I think they had summer here while we were in Nova Scotia where it was cold and rainy. I'm trying not to be sooky but damn! I want some beach. Anywhoozie - good for writing.

It was truly fun to see Death, the Musical performed in Chester. The actors all did an amazing job and the music was heavenly. I saw lots of old pals - some that I hadn't seen in years.

Hope everyone is having a lovely summer (or winter for those of you in the southern hemisphere) and I'll see you around the water cooler.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Insecure? Who me?

There's a lot going on today. First and foremost it is Canada Day. Yay Canada! We stand on guard for thee. Do we? Maybe not so much. Right now a fair number of Canadians aren't feeling so proud. We aren't proud of our government's stand on the environment, and how our aboriginal people have been treated and indeed, continue to be treated. We aren't proud of the lack of support for our veterans, or the cavalier attitude of big government and big business in regards to the responsibility to those less empowered. On the other hand, we are still allowed to express such disappointment and not be thrown into jail. That's big. We still love our national parks and our desire for peace. We still desire our government to actively reflect who we are as a people and I haven't given up all hope that we will get there. I think it is in our grasp. So Happy Birthday Canada, with all your warts and all.

Secondly, a play I wrote with some friends is opening tonight in Chester, Nova Scotia at the Playhouse and I'll get to see it. Malcolm Callaway and I wrote the libretto back in the nineties, while Dawn Harwood-Jones and Jim Henman wrote the music. It's called Death, the Musical - karaoke at the Afterlife Bar & Grill.  We call it Death for short. We put it on at the Playhouse in 98 and then the following year it made it to the mainstage of the Neptune Theatre in Halifax. That was one of the highlights of my life for sure. So now, sixteen years later, it is back in Chester. I look forward to seeing it and will happily stand and take a bow when my friends and all shout out 'authors! authors!'

Thirdly, it is a meeting of the Insecure Writer/s Support Group once again. Hit it to find more of us!

I have to admit - I don't feel that insecure today. Last night I met with my insecure human's support group or The Babes as we like to call us. I'm in Nova Scotia for a short visit and meeting with them as often as possible has been my mandate. We had such a fabulous get together and one of the things we did is do a go around with these two questions - "What did you want to have accomplished by now and you think will not happen in this lifetime?" and "What seems like it might still be in your grasp?"  That brought up conversation that was wonderful, searing, heart-breaking, funny, and all that one can hope for in good company with friends of thirty years or so. The next round we asked for everyone to look at their first answer and see if they could see how their desires had manifested in this life. Was it true that they hadn't attained what they thought or was there a way that they had? That was astounding from my point of view.  My answers to both sets of questions had been about my creativity. I feel that having a book of mine published is within by grasp. And I'm good with my crazy life - I cannot be a Hilary Mantel or a Margaret Atwood  - I don't have enough life left but I make a hell of a Jan Morrison! The answer to my first question was that I thought I'd be famous by now. Not like Madonna but that I'd have earned famousness. Shallow stupid but true answer. When I went deeper I realized I am famous with those that I want to be. Tonight I'll get to take my bow and be famous in Chester. Next week I'll walk down the road in Sheshatshiu and a gang of kids will yell out 'Jannie Bananie! Wait for us!' and I'll be famous there. I do love my life.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

5a.m. revising

I'm getting used to getting up at 5a.m. and making a small French press of coffee, firing up the system and working away. Yes! I now have one complete edit of my ms and there will be more to follow. This is enough for now. I want to work both on the micro and macro so I am. My hope is to revise 8 to 10 pages a day but I got behind because I lost the weekend. I'd done everything I could but G. had lost his connection so couldn't send it til Sunday evening. I'm at about page 70 and will work tonight on another ten to twenty pages. I can't be totally accurate as to how long it will take me. Some chapters are not marked up much - others have a forest of comments to wade through.

On the macro side I need to do some characterization work. One fella is practically a ghost, not even saying boo. And there is another I want to give the p.o.v. to for at least one chapter. This is a suggestion by G. and the weird thing is that she had her own chapters during one version of the story but I thought it was too confusing to have so many people with p.o.v.'s. I like it when it is handled right so I guess I'd better learn how. Now's the time. I'm also going to set another chapter or two in Nova Scotia. My gang all up and heads off to New Mexico and then the Grand Canyon but I want a firmer base in the South Shore community they live in so the contrast will be more... uh... contrasty.

Okay, it is after six and I need to get dressed, make my breakfast and my lunch. I'm taking my bike to work this morning. Yee haw.

Here I am on my bike a few days after I got it several weeks ago. You'll be very glad to know the snow is finally gone and beach season has arrived. Kind of.