Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Snow Day!

Today is a snow day in North West River, Labrador and that says a lot. Isn't every day a snow day this time of year? Why yes, it is. But this is a day they've actually closed schools, govt. offices and so forth. I'm still working as a casual and filling in here and there (though it is starting to get busy) so this doesn't directly affect me. On the other hand, the college where my fella teaches is closed so it will be a different day. I decided that it was surely time for me to get caught up on my blogs. Write a little post about what the heck is going on with me so those who do check in from time to time (hello Margot, Jude and Tartlette!) will know I'm in fine fettle - just running a different game these days.

This photo was just taken out our front window - note the where the snow is up to on the fence!
My writing is fine if sporadic. I do have a wonderful writer and teacher who is willing to help me birth Bright Angel - I did get a really good crit back from my long lost friend and have changes to make from that and then I'll send it on to my mentor. I have almost two stories done for a collection I'm making. Yes, I'm biting the bullet and writing short stories (thanks to Frith and aforementioned mentor). I have one done done and one mostly done. It will be a collection of linked stories for a book but I'll be able to start sending them out soon (want two at least before I do).

I do have some poems out but not too many. We'll see what happens with them. And that's as big of an ambition as I want right now. I want to not think about all the other dangling projects - my two mysteries, my two other novels that languish in their metaphorical drawer.

It's like that in other areas of my life. I've picked up the knitting needles again but I haven't touched the rug hooking project or the quilt that is on the hoop. I'm not writing a letter a day like I did for a full year. I'm writing one once in awhile maybe if I feel like it.

I am doing my Buddhist practice and it is taking between one and three hours a day and that has a lot to do with shifting priorities. This is the perfect time and place to do significant meditation and contemplation practice - no better really - and before I start a full-time (temporary) job I thought I'd get going. I've managed to keep that practice going steady for nearly two months now - only missed one day in the midst of a terrible cold. If I can maintain even half that pace when I do start full-time that would be so great.

I'm also far more involved with the community here. Last year I hung back, knowing I eventually wanted to do something in the Innu community but not wanting to barge in like some foolish knight errant. Now I'm in. I'm seeing folks across the river (where the Innu reservation is) and finding out more and more about life there. It is very engaging, scary and well, good. Sometimes when I listen to the radio and hear stuff about the lives of people in Third World countries I want to scream. And I know I'm not alone. In North America we have lots of pockets of Third World that need help. What sort of help is the difficult question, but I'm pretty sure it isn't more studies.

one of Bella's pack came by to ask if she could come out and play...
I'm pretty sure my immersion into a different and complex society will bear fruit in my writing life - not sure how but I know it will. It is already seeping into my poetry.

So, sorry I've been otherwise absorbed - I will make no promises. I don't expect people to read this if I'm not getting around reading others but I did want to say that I'm alive and kicking.

this is three of them going down a driveway - they are now in the deep snow of the backyard right out the window from where I write!


Susan Scott said...

Lovely to have you back Jan! Loved the photos and stories of what you're doing.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

It sounds kind of crazy but I do rather miss the snow. There's something so cozy about hibernating inside on a snowy wintry day. It's nice to hear what you're up to, Jan.

Robyn said...

It is great to get an update! I have been wondering about you up there. Glad you are deepening your practice(s)..no better time like the present! xox

Liza said...

I'm delighted to hear all about what is happening with you. You sound comfortable in your place (literally and figuratively) and that's all any of us can ask for, really. Best to you, Jan.

Margot Kinberg said...

What lovely 'photos, Jan! I really do miss snow sometimes. And days like that are prefect for sitting back and taking time to reflect on where one is, so to speak. I like your approach of 'one step at a time,' in working on your writing and your knitting, and everything else you're doing. That's very healthy. I think we sometimes expect too much of ourselves.