Showing posts from January, 2014

When It Snows, It...Blizzards?

Lots of fun opportunities have come my way recently! And, as is often the case, several have appeared at once. Last night, I read from a new-ish short story. The reading series, sponsored by NOWW  (Northwestern Ontario Writers Workshop), is supported by the Ontario Arts Council , which also supported the work I was reading. The night was cold (minus a million in F and C) and the attendance somewhat more sparse than usual, but the listeners who did turn out were warm in their appreciation. So thanks, NOWW and OAC and all those who came out! Speaking of NOWW , it publishes a magazine several times a year that includes writing, member news--and this month, the annual  contest rules  (deadline March 15; entry fee $10) with information about the awesome judges: Ania Szado (fiction) , Robert J. Sawyer (speculative fiction) , JJ Lee (creative nonfiction) , and Roger Nash (poetry) . The upcoming issue of NOWW Magazine also features one of my essays, and some wintry photos my husband and

Because I Need Another Project

But this time, I really do, and I was kinda doing it anyway. The full title of this new project is "Books: Where do they come from, where do they go, and why do we have so many?" Part 1. One activity for this project is tracking the books I read. I've been doing this since 1996, just writing them down on paper I keep in my Filofax. Actually, I started before 1996 but my Filofax was stolen in 1996 and I started over again. From this exercise I have discovered that I generally read (mostly for pleasure) 25 to 30 books in a year. For what that's worth. I recognize that this activity doesn't correspond exactly to "where do they come from," but it is a measure of reality--whatever I plan when I buy a book, this list shows what I actually read. Part 2. The second part of this project is tracking where books go when they leave this house. I've been slowly but surely culling the bookshelves--selecting from the books I moved here from Colorado nearly


In 2013, I knew I wanted more music in my life, but I wasn't sure how. So I tried a few small things. In the car (when I remember), I've been listening to music radio stations (for example, CBC Radio 2 vs. Radio 1) more often. And on occasion, I've driven in silence! But that's another post. This fall, on an evening trip home from somewhere, I caught part of Randy Bachman's Vinyl Tap program. (Yes, THAT Randy Bachman .) He was talking about (and playing) one-hit wonders, and hearing a bunch from the 1970s and 1980s took me right back. It was extremely conducive to reflecting on who I was back then and (most important) why on earth did I believe that what happened at the time was so important? Since then, I've tried to be a little more intentional about listening to Bachman's Vinyl Tap. I enjoy the themes: songwriters, for example, or sax solos. It's engaging to *listen* to instead of simply experiencing it as background noise. I highly recommend th

Backward, Forward

Although the beginning of the school year FEELS more like a new year, I can't argue with the calendar. Today is the second day of a new year. So it's time for resolutions and all that. Last year had lots of fun times and some times that weren't so fun. But one of the best things I did all year was this "great moments" jar. Except I didn't use a jar, I used a coffee can because we create an empty coffee can every week. (Yes, coffee in a can; that's a discussion for another day.) So. This is what my "great moments" jar looked like last year: I was not an art major, y'all And I have a similar one for this year. The idea is you write down great moments on a slip of paper and put it in the jar. Of course, I didn't put in a slip of paper every day; I often went months without even thinking of it. (Another example of transcending my upbringing--when I realized I hadn't done it in awhile, I didn't castigate my