Wednesday, March 20, 2013

More About Those Essays

As I may have mentioned (a time or two) (often) (repeatedly), I have an essay in Best Canadian Essays 2012.

People up here in Northwestern Ontario are fine folks, and a couple of them have asked me about it. The anthology is available for purchase at Northern Woman's Bookstore, for one thing.

For another, I'm currently featured blathering about my essay at Literary Thunder Bay, courtesy of its purveyor, Joan Baril.

Susan Toy scooped that interview to her new site, Canadian author Reviews and Interviews.

Finally, a review is due to appear in the local paper, the Chronicle-Journal, this weekend.

That is plennnnnnty (for now).
Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Left Right Up Down

One of my favorite places to visit is Indexed, a blog by Jessica Hagy, where she explores relationships between sometimes-disparate things. She uses axes, lines, curves, and sometimes Venn diagrams. I love it.

I thought of her this morning, when I was looking at the various short stories I'm (again) trying to collect. They vary along a continuum from "raw" to "stick a fork in it; it's done."

They also vary along a continuum ranging from "I'm excited by it" to "I'm sick to death of it," another continuum from "examined" to "unexamined," another from "hardly any time" to "relatively, a lot of time," and yet another from "only tweaked" to "revised extensively," by which I mean "every freaking word has been second-guessed."

I hope that the "stick a fork in it" end goes up at the same time that "examined," "revised extensively," and "relatively, a lot of time" also go up. That is, I hope I'm not investing a lot of time and getting them farther from done.

At least I know I can say that the "excited/sick to death" line is a curve -- over time, as the story takes its final shape, I do eventually find excitement in the story again.

Meanwhile, I'll try assigning each story to a point along the "raw/fork" line, to see what my priorities need to be. Fun!
Thursday, March 7, 2013

Get on it, Dyson

I try not to be a snob about much of anything, but I do have preferences about some things, and, it turns out, I have distinct preferences about the tools I work with.

I can adapt to pretty well any kind of keyboard or software, but I'm kind of "that way" about pens. I don't write a LOT with pens -- definitely not production work -- but I do write with them often. Just about every day I do spend time writing "by hand," as we now must specify, and I sometimes sketch zentangles.

Generally, I like felt tips and fine points. In the world of ballpoint technology, I have recently enjoyed using Paper Mate's InkJoy pens (and no, they're not paying me to say so). I originally picked up the package because it had all different colors of pens in it, and it said something important on the package: Effortless Writing.

Effortless! Writing! In a rainbow of fun colors! Who could resist that?

But every time I get on a plane, my pens explode in transit. Even in my carry-on. Sometimes it's overt (and I have the stains in my carry-on bag to prove it), but sometimes the process is sneaky and the pen lies in wait for me to use it. Then I sit down with my pen and a blank page in the notebook and suddenly there's ink everywhere.

Which is NOT fun. And then I either have to hunt down my most favored pens there or make do with pens that do NOT provide effortless writing. (In my head, my mother says, "Oh for pity's sake. Does it write? That's good enough. And go sharpen that pencil." Et cetera.)

Yes, this is a small thing. Yet isn't the world made up of them?

So, what I really really want is a pen I can take on a plane. Would you get on it, Dyson?