Thursday, April 29, 2010

It's Finally Here

Well it's official. In the mail this morning I received my subscribed issue of Freefall magazine along with a second contributors copy. That's right. Contributor's copy. My book review on Stuart Ross's collection of short stories, Buying Cigarettes for the Dog is officially on the stands. (or all the places that the magazine goes). Though it's not my first publication, this is the first one that is going to a considerably large audience.

And in addition, I made another submission to a magazine. Most certainly nowhere near the goal I had of sending out one story a month  but at least it's something. I have some plans for some poems that I recently wrote too. Will see how that goes.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

It's Been...

It's been 20 days since my last sounds like I am at a sobriety meeting...BA...Blogaholics Anonymous. I suppose it is possible to become addicted to something like blogging. I think I was like that at first but as with many things, I take on too much and then something that I really like tends to I have been on a hiatus.
No not really.  I've been sick and busy and then busy and sick. Thankfully life is beginning to smooth out a bit and I am no longer feeling completely overwhelmed.

So I am trying to get back to the blogging...sharing my most intimate, or not so intimate, thoughts with the blogger universe.  I just wish I had something interesting to write about. But really it's just the same old stuff every single day with the inclusion of little unexpected surprises from the little one. But that's not everyday.

Like the other day when Julianne fell asleep, face down on the floor, underneath her crib. Or how she has developed this need to be mostly naked. Stripping off her pants and diaper at the first opportunity. Or there was the other day when she started walking across the dining room, stopped part way, turned to me, waving her arms and babbling something completely incoherant and then continues toward the front door, stopping and doing it again and then straight for the door. I had this vision of her at 15 all mad at me about something and storming out the front door but not before getting in the last word  Good grief. I laugh now but later I may not think it's so funny. I just hope that if it does happen I can think back and remember that day.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Have I Found My Happy Place?

Snippet of conversation that occurred yesterday, somewhat paraphrased as I really can't remember the EXACT conversation.

S: BJ and I were just saying how happy you are.

Me: You were talking about me?

S: Yes. Your husband and child have really done wonders for you.

Me: I seem happy? (thinking a little about how I didn't seem happy before)

S: Yes.  Not that you weren't happy before.  Kind of like walking into a room you just finished tidying although you didn't think it was all that messy in the first place and exclaiming, Wow, this place really was a mess. Does that make sense?

Me: Yeah, I guess so.  (I smile and nod, of course it makes perfect sense)

Now I have been thinking about this conversation since then.  There was more to it but this snippet pretty much sums it up.  All the pertinent details so to speak. 

So what has changed in the last few years to have gotten me to this so called happy place?  A place we always dream of but for most of lives seems just beyond our fingertips. We can see it, but it eludes us when we try and reach out and take hold.  Hmmm...

Let's see.  Yes I got married.  Almost 3 years ago now.  Hubby and I were just talking about that.  Joking about how it seems like only yesterday.  Or were we?  I really couldn't ask for a better husband.  So calm and relaxed, just taking each day as it comes.  Not expecting too much and accepting me for me and trying to accept the things that interest me although I know at times it's hard for him to completely understand.  And he is such a wonderful and attentive father to our little girl.

Yes, that's right.  We had a baby just shy of our first anniversary.  This little girl has brought me so much joy and frustration.  But definitely more joy.  She has taught me that all that matters is what's here and now, right in front of you.  Well, hubby helped with that too cause that's just the way he is.

Along with the having the baby came the not having to work full time.  I don't have to battle rush hour traffic any more.  Nor will I ever again unless it's by choice.  I now have a flexible work schedule that allows me to remain home with my little girl and when I can't be here, Daddy is always there to take over.  It really is the perfect situation.  I wish everyone could have that much support.

I am writing again after a long break.  I had lost the motivation and drive to do what deep down I knew I really wanted to be doing.  Thanks to the wonderful support of other writerly friends I have found a renewed passion and am branching out to try new things.  I have always thought I was adventurous but really when it came right down to it, I would much rather sit at home and relax in the safety of my own little world.

Just this year I have fully come to terms with the circumstances of my childhood.  I never really thought it was impedeing me that much and honestly had thought that I was over it.  Ready to move on.  But every now and again little things would eke to the surface and questions would arise.  Questions that I thought were better left unsaid only because I wanted to continue to believe that it didn't bother me.  When those questions were finally set free and answered, it really did feel like a weight had been lifted.  I was left with a better understanding of the decisions that had been made and why they were made in that particular way.  I even cried.  Something that I don't think I had ever done before.  That was the key.  To recognize and then mourn the loss was more cathartic than I could have imagined. 

So I can't actually say that any one thing got me to this happy place, but if people think that I am there, then I will embrace that and say, yep, I guess I have really found it.

Now the challenge will be to actually stay there.

The Poet Within

Is it possible that everyone has a poet inside them?  I tiny little monster of a million different colours that sits idly on your shoulder just waiting for the right moment to interject a little colour and life into your writing?  To help release that right brain thinking? 

I suppose anything is possible.  One class down, only seven more to go.  It seems like such a long time but I am sure the time will fly by.

I actually did my homework already too.  Well at least a first, second and third draft.  Will probably go over it again several times before I share it with anyone.  More interesting is that just focusing on a different, more colourful project for awhile, actually got me in the right frame of mind to add more pages to my novel. 

Even though I have not discovered my setting, but it is leaning more and more toward Calgary, I was inspired.  I am now over 10,000 words.  Pretty good for me I would say.  The only discouraging part is that there are some sections that I already know I want to cut and other areas that I want to change.  So if I do it now, I will be back under 10,000 words.  I suppose I could just wait until I have 20,000 words then cut some then.  Or just do it now and make some of the other changes I wanted to and hopefully still stay over where I'm at now and add more at the same time. 

Now for another part of my homework.  Must go find a poem a day to read.  I hope my head doesn't explode.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Setting, Shmetting...

It's been recommended to me that I need to have an actual setting for my novel.  Personally I never thought it was all that important.  Leave it to the imagination of the reader.  But apparently it's kind of important to at least have some idea as to where all the events are taking place.  I am finding that this is more difficult than I thought. 
So far there are elements from every place I have ever lived but do you think I can actually pinpoint a specific location?  A location to actually name in my novel.  Some have told me that from what they have read so far they felt that it was taking place in Calgary and there are several instances where that is in fact true, but there are elements that I have taken from Kelowna, (where I lived for a long time) and some others that I have taken from Invermere, (another place I lived for a long time).  Some of the events wouldn't make sense or ring true if I made the location Invermere because it's a very small town compared to the other two.  And then there are only tiny elements from Kelowna.  I have to take things like climate into consideration and the differences in those specific places.  But because most of it does seem to take place in Calgary and because that's where I currently live, it seems that would be the natural choice.  But I hesitate about actually naming it Calgary.  Why is that? 
It was also suggested that I could make up a name for a city or town.  I am thinking about this but naming is not my best quality.  I suck at it, in fact.  I even have a hard time naming my characters, how on earth am I going to come up with a fake name for a city?
Ugh...ok well if anyone has any suggestions than please send them my way.  Maybe I will even give you credit for the suggestion.  :)

On another of the things from my list, to do before I turn 40 was to take a poetry class and guess what?  That is coming to fruition.  Starting today and continuing for the next 8 weeks, I am enrolled in my first ever poetry class.  I can't really say how I feel about this.  Excited??  Scared as all hell?  I am totally stepping out of my comfort zone to do this.  Should be interesting. 

Will keep you posted.

Monday, April 5, 2010

We spent a couple of days with my Grandma in Invermere this past weekend.  Every time I go back there I have this weird nostalgia.  I grew up in this little BC mountain town and there are so many memories there but at the same time, some good, some not so good.  But each and every time there is this little bit of longing to return there and stay.  I do miss the small town living from time to time.  I remember how simple life seemed back then.  But I must not forget that I was also very young.  I didn't have to make decisions for myself.  I biggest concern was whether or not I was going to get to play with one of my friends on the weekend.  Or what to take to a sleep over. 
Not much family is there anymore.  A few of my old friends are still there.  In some ways the thought of going back and raising my little girl in a small town is appealing.  But small towns have their own problems.  Not the same as the big city that I currently live in but still problems. 
Arie likes the small town mentality as well.  But there is no work in this particular town that relies solely on tourism.  No big business to keep it thriving.  This is the same for most small towns, especially in BC, whose main source of income has been lumber for years but slowly every sawmill across the province is shutting down.  And so nothing is left. 
Then there is the problem of the taxes in that province.  There are currently two taxes on everything you purchase.  In Alberta there is only one.  And now BC is trying to bring in a third tax.  Ridiculous if you want to encourage people to come there, either to live or just to visit.   Food is already incredibly expensive compared to Calgary.  Or maybe it was just the fact that this is a small town and they can charge more cause there is no place else that close by to go.
Who knows?  I think that province is digging itself into a hole that they are not going to be able to climb out of.
So for now, I guess we will stay right where we are.  Our small corner of a big city, which is really not much different than living in a small town until you have to travel outside of it.