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.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

A Bit of a Bumpy Ride

Choppy is a good word to describe this week. Ups and downs. Lots of them.
Getting used to my new routine has been more challenging than I had expected. Thinking I would simply replace a good portion of my previous work day with writing has shown itself to be anything but a successful approach.

I am writing. With the exception of one rather distracted day, I have managed a good chunk of time daily devoted to my story. I just haven’t found my rhythm; which has got me thinking about expectations and my tendency towards preconceived notions. Is there only one way to go about this? Of course not. I know that.

Having booked this sabbatical several months ago, I had many days to contemplate how I would spend my time; what it will be like to write each day with no competing obligations; how to squeeze the most out of the precious gift of this opportunity. I had a loose schedule in mind for most days, knowing I would squander a few here and there with day trips and fun sidebars along the way.

My reality has been nothing like the well disciplined schedule I envisioned.

I spent the better part of a day cleaning out the garage at the family home.
I saw two movies.
I worried about and fussed over a close friend.
I baked cookies.
I lost an afternoon surfing YouTube, tweeting and reading blogs.
I read two books.
The dogs are bathed and have been to the groomers for clipping.
Every sheet, towel, comforter and blanket in my house has been washed, dried and folded.
I pondered paint chip colours.
My unfinished knitting project from last winter has seen the light once more.
I napped. A few times.

While I wasn’t worried I would find stuff to occupy my downtime, I seem to have mastered the art of putter. I have been in staycation mode, where I feel I should be in working sabbatical mode.

Hate the word should. The implication that there is a single right way right to go about things chafes.

I have clear goals about what I want and need to accomplish these few months. That much is unchanged. I approached my work with the idea that I should (there is that word again… yikes) spend at least four hours writing or working on my draft each day.

Now a couple of things come to mind.

While there is no question that writing is really work, the notion of work as a negative, arduous endeavour is off-putting. I prefer to think of my writing time as play. Creative flow. Unencumbered expression. Fashioning. Retooling. Laying down. It is hard to do. But it is also satisfying.

This time away is every bit as much about exploring my process and continuing to hone my skills, as it is about finishing the story of Lillian Munsch. So while my best laid plans have morphed somewhat, my intention is still the same. I will come out the other side of this a better writer, with a finished product in hand. How I get there? Well figuring that out is part of the fun along the journey.

Monday, August 1, 2011


“Literature has been the salvation of the damned, literature has inspired and guided lovers, routed despair and can perhaps in this case save the world.”

Nothing like setting the bar real high, eh? But I love this quote by John Cheever. It reminds me of the affect that art, and in particular books and stories, can have on us all.

I have no idea what is in store for my novel. I do know this. As I begin my sabbatical of a few months from work, I sure intend to find out.

I’ve got a story to tell. So I guess the best thing is to get started.