Wednesday, December 31, 2014


This past year I discovered several new-to-me artists.  I also used my standing desk more often than not.You put the two elements together and voila - happy writer. Or productive writer.But if one of those elements is missing, I struggle to put words on the page.

I let a lot of stuff get in my own way.  My responsibilities and obligations are more than some people's and less than others. It was more a matter of putting it all first. Now my stuff is a priority as well.  (You'll get the hang of it, Susan, I slowly am)

Music is a distraction for some but it motivates me.  Right now, I'm listening to Hozier while typing at my standing desk. I'm further into the current scene than I have been in weeks.  Partly because I remembered to just let the story out instead of worrying about how it all fits together. But also because I can lose myself in the music.  It keeps one part of my brain busy while another part creates.
May you find the things in life that bring you pleasure.  There's always something that will block that if you allow it but it's okay to put yourself and your needs first once in a while. Crank up the music and dance or turn it on low and let it mellow you out. Whatever suits your current mood and need.

Happy New Year, Friends!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas

I don't send cards, I wrap with gift bags and I find that I buy less and less stuff every year. I bake. A lot. And I share enough of it to feel like I'm not overindulging. It's good to have illusions this time of year.

My favourite gift - to give as well as receive - is the gift of presence.  The nieces and nephew get to pick one day out of the year that is devoted to them and them alone. We eat what they want to eat, spend the time however they most wish to spend it. They don't have to share with their siblings or parents. The day is theirs and we build memories. It's difficult to wrap so I occasionally hand out gift certificates or make a little toy or item of clothing.

I had tea with a dear friend yesterday and neither one of us could remember the presents from our childhood, apart some big earth-shattering gifts, but we remember family, goofy moments and food.

Boy, do we ever remember food. Oranges, apples, Toblerone and those sticky ribbon candies. Shortbread, Hello Dollys, and fudge. Tortieres, stuffing, and turkey basted with scotch. Cooking disasters like gravy made with baking soda instead of corn starch, scorched potatoes, raw turkey because the oven died on Christmas Day (the only time we grilled a turkey on the BBQ) .

What's your favourite Christmas memory?

Saturday, December 13, 2014


I'd love to say that I finished the rough draft of the wip but that would be a lie. It's close though.

I've just been overwhelmed with a restless feeling for the last five or six weeks. I've scrubbed my house, finished up lots of little projects, started some others and focused on purging stuff.

A lot of it was mental. Somewhere over the last few years my self-image had eroded. Chipped at by other people's needs, it lost all semblance of familiarity.  My identity had been reduced to that of other people's context.  I let go of the things important to me in order to do what desperately needed to be done for those I love. My time was spent on their stuff instead of my own. I saw myself in terms of other people instead of myself (except for when I was feeling sorry for myself)

About two weeks ago, I ran face first into my past and the life I thought I always wanted. It hurt. Holy smokes, the pain reverberated throughout my body.  A giant Toblerone and smaller chocolate cake later, I took a good hard look at what I'd done to myself. I was fixated on what I didn't achieve instead of all that I have accomplished.

I like who I am now, at the life I've built for myself over the years. Yeah, there are some things that need tweaking and my self-image was terribly skewed.

As I've rebuilt it, I've been reminded how much I like my own company. Odd, that. I won't list all the things that are admirable or amazing about me. Some of you have been telling me those things for years and I've ignored you.  Suffice it to say that I do like who I am and the choices I've made.  Some of them were shaky but made for the right reasons and that's important.

Intent counts.

All the reflection and re-evaluating has made me a better writer. I looked at my characters, at my scenes and realized that they were all moving towards a goal they didn't really want but thought they should.  That breakthrough is a game changer for this story and the reason I can say I'm close to the end of the rough draft.

Art and life are interconnected. You can have one without the other but it is so much better when you have both.