About Me

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If who we are is what we do, then like most people, I am a mixed bag of personas. Writer, bookworm, friend, are what first come to mind. Equally apt would be potty mouth, dog walker, Guinness drinker, swimmer, storyteller, political animal, baker and proud Canadian. Mostly though, I consider myself simply insanely lucky to have a small posse of near and dear ones who put up with me and my curvy, creative, curly haired, opinionated self. I started this blog several years ago with the idea to challenge myself in a myriad of ways. Years in, despite the sporadic entries, I still like to muse about the absurdity of life, what inspires surprises and angers me, books and other entertainments, my menagerie, my travels and any other notion buzzing round in my head.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


I find great comfort in the universe’s ability to right itself; to maintain harmony; to counterbalance each action with an equal but opposite reaction. I can tend to forget about life’s splendid capacity for symmetry while wrapped up inside my head, particularly when my thoughts are darker than usual.

Until now I have made a point not to write about love here much because, frankly, I suck at it. My ego doesn’t like me to be that exposed and would prefer I stick to chat about things I have or wish to accomplish, issues that I need to rave about or in the telling or retelling of tales funny, curious or moving to me. In retrospect though I see how flawed this thinking is. I began this blog with the goal of discussing not just my book lust but also my struggle to get more active, lose weight and improve my health. Talking about being overweight and how that feels is about as personal as it gets. It’s not easy. I often feel awkward and raw around the topic.

But as tough as that might be, it ain’t nothing compared to how writing about love feels to me. So one might wonder, why bother?

First and foremost, it is important to note that writing is how I process. It is my chosen and most comfortable form of expression, and a sorter outer for me as I communicate the good the bad and the ugly of life.

Secondly, I am certain I cannot be the only one who feels from time to time that they have a defective love gene. There must be others who think that this isn’t how it’s supposed to work. Case in point, I stumbled upon this commentary from the eminently talented author Neil Gaimon earlier this week.

“Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn't it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses, you build up a whole suit of armor, so that nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life...You give them a piece of you. They didn't ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn't your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you crying in the darkness, so simple a phrase like 'maybe we should be just friends' turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart. It hurts. Not just in the imagination. Not just in the mind. It's a soul-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain. I hate love.”

Paints a pretty sad picture eh? My soul-hurt isn’t as dark as all that. It’s more just a disappointing ache. A realization that things are not what I thought them to be. But, man! Gaimon’s description is emotionally visceral. I loved tripping into it so much that the drama queen in me could not help but reread it over a few times and then share it with a friend or two, relating my situation to that which is described above. A bit of wallowing ensued.

And then, just like that, the very next day the universe righted itself. Perspective was restored and a wonderfully dynamic group of people in the form of a new writers group entered my life. Something good, something creative, something to remind me of the beauty of being me doing the one thing I love most.

I still do not feel all that comfortable writing about love. Maybe that is because I am not that comfortable in love, generally. But if I know one thing for sure, it is the more comfortable I am in my own skin, the less it matters. The emotional ebb and flow is fodder for my writing. So in the end, it all balances out nicely.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


A pestering friend (cough...Marc) recently pointed out that coming up next week it will be a full three months since the last time I blogged. Over the past while I have had more than a few gentle nudges to continue blogging. So here I am.

It’s not so much that I have given up on blogging. It is more that mired in amongst all the day to day stuff of work, my writing, spending time with friends and family, blogging just seems to have settled quietly into the backseat. I once read a statistic that more than 60% of people who start blogging, fall away from regular entries within a year. I suppose I am more average than I would hope to be... at least in that regard.

To prime the pump some and get me back to it, I’ll start with the highlights. The past three months looked something like this.

November was all about NaNoWriMo. Setting my ongoing writing project aside, I tried my hand at a new genre, the murder mystery. Basil McNabb’s A Fair to Remember was such fun to write. Coming up with a reasonably plausible way to kill off my characters and layer in deceptive red herrings here and there as I attempted to weave together a plot was challenging. I enjoyed the experience immensely and was super proud to finish my 50,000 word story just in the nick of time on November 30th.

While creativity was my focus in November, December was more about sharing my time. It’s no secret that Christmas is not my favourite holiday season. This year I spent time as I have done in the past working on our outreach program to aid over 100 families in need with food, gifts and basic household items. This year’s Caring & Sharing program was a big success; a testament to the spirit of generosity alive and well in our community, even in these tough economic times. Beyond the outreach program, I spent some wonderful time with my closest friends Christmas Eve and had a lovely and laid back Christmas Day and Boxing Day with the family.

Somewhere in January a shift occurred and I began to reprioritized things on quite a seminal level. I am not one to make New Year’s resolutions. That is not what I am talking about. More than ever these days I am aware of how quickly time passes. It’s not a new observation for sure, but one which inspired me. Beyond my normal internal musing over my life, I was recently given a series of philosophical questions to ponder. It’s Oprahesque stuff, absolutely. But that aside, the one question that haunted me was… is this what I want to be doing? The notion is not just directed towards career. It is about life. How my day to day unfolds. How I interact with people. How I feel physically. How I spend my time and with whom. Big concepts, but fundamental ones. After some navel gazing on my own, I was sharing some of my insights with my friend Greta who asked me simply why I don't just take a year off to pursue my writing and whatever else I feel like doing. It got me wondering what was holding me back. I cannot really afford a year without pay, but the idea resonated with me so strongly I knew I was on to something. And so, I have arranged a three month leave of absence from work this summer. I plan to write mostly. But I also do so very much look forward to having the unhurried time to think, to read, to travel some if I choose, to soak up the sun and lay in a hammock, to drink pints on a patio, to swim, to play catch in the park with Murphy and Matilda.

Marc pointed out to me that it has been over 90 days or in other words 2,160 hours or even 129,600 minutes, which is remarkably more than 7 million seconds since the last time I blogged.

Seems like the blink of an eye to me.

In another two blinks, I’ll be enjoying my much anticipated leave. Another blink after that and I will find myself back to work again.

Life is like that. But given that I cannot slow the pace of time marching on, I now fully intend to get as much out of my seconds as I can.