Saturday, September 29, 2007


This is going to be a multi-layered post! I am leaving for home this week so I need to make it good!

The prompt this week at Sunday Scribblings is 'powerful.' This is a topic that I have been mulling over an awful lot over the past few weeks. The novel that I have been working on so much has this as one of its underlying themes. It's about female power; about learning to listen to yourself and to get past some of the barriers that a shocking number of women in the western world have up around themselves. It's about where we put that power and what we allow to have power over us.

It's such an intense thing to be thinking about all of the time. A little while ago I decided that I needed to stop writing about all of the ways that I wasn't good enough. I decided to stop writing about all of the ways that I was frustrated and unhappy. Out of that decision came the most productive writing time I have ever had. Writing about power has shone a light into my own perceived lack of it and I have spent some uncomfortable moments realizing what that means.

We are surrounded nearly every moment of every day with the message that we aren't good enough. We aren't thin enough, we aren't rich enough, we don't have enough toys, enough gadgets. We aren't creative enough, we aren't eating the right foods, we aren't using the right products. We are so frightened we have stopped listening to ourselves. We listen to the false internal voices of self-doubt and the mean external voices of discontent. Happy, contented people don't buy lots of things to fill holes and gaps. Frightened, discontented people do. Marketing companies want us to be afraid. They want us to believe we are somehow lacking. They want us to spend money to make up for that perceived lack. They want us to believe that we need their product to make us feel good again. Type 'diet' into Google and you get one hundred and sixty-two million hits. WHAT are we DOING?!

I have a group of dear friends who I think are among the most beautiful women I know. They are creative and beautiful and strong and feisty and fierce. Every single one of them also worries about her weight. Not one of them needs to. If we each took back every ounce of energy that we waste being AFRAID (of being too fat, too thin, not good enough, not strong enough, not lovable, not worthy, not beautiful enough, not creative enough, not, not NOT), things would be different. We could reclaim our power. We could change our lives. We could change our world.


I am leaving for Canada this week! "Oh Canada, [my] home and native land!!" We are going home for two things that aren't happening anymore, but we are doing three different things. We are going to two huge family gatherings and spending the week in between at a cottage on a lake. I am going to lay on the dock and canoe with my parents and play with my niece and hang out with my brother and sister-in-law, and play in the autumn leaves and (hopefully) book a wedding venue (eep!) and relax.

We are kind of dashing home so we won't get a chance to see everyone, but we will be home again at Christmas for longer, so that visit will be better. THIS one is about actually having a holiday - YAHOO!! I've told you before how much I love October! When we get back it'll be my birthday and then my work changes and then before you know it it'll be time to go back again. I miss Canada with all of my heart and soul. It's been 9 months since I was there. I'm very excited to reconnect with my landscape.

I'll see you when we get back! Take care of you!


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

quickie post!

Hi there - only time for a quick post but this made me laugh out loud.

Have a marvelous Wednesday!


Sunday, September 23, 2007

Babbling about writing...

"These days

whatever you have to say, leave
the roots on, let them

And the dirt

Just to make clear
where they come from"

-Charles Olson

Forgive me for my absence and also for my complete obsession with my own words. I have been writing. Yesterday I passed an important word-count landmark. Before when I have written books, I have gone back time after time and edited. I have waited months, even years to complete a paragraph. I have wasted so much time going back and reading what I had already written that I have not finished until the story was stale. But this time it is different. This time I have just been writing it down as it comes to me. I try not to judge or to edit or to read back. I have been leaving the dirt on the roots.

I have hit rough patches. Three of my characters sat in a van for a few weeks as I tried to get them to tell me what they did next. I had to go a chapter ahead and wait for them until they finally told me how they got there. One of my characters spent the better part of a week in a garden shed before she told me that she had discovered the seeds stored in a dusty glass jar on the top shelf. She's out now and has just finished growing a garden full of sweet peas.

I've been devouring the book Fruitflesh as I have been working. So far I feel like I have been collecting the bones of my story, and with every word I read of this book I get more excited to move on from the adventure of the first draft to the juice of the second. For the first time in my life I have completely given myself over to my own words. I have been showing up at the page, listening to the whispers and allowing my writing from the inside out. I can't explain it any better than that. But that is where I have been.

Here's a little bit of advice on writing (or any creative outlet really) - I HIGHLY recommend this book!! (and I just found the author's blog!!! YAY!!)

"If you find your writing getting away from you, bring your focus back to the body. Reel your words back under your skin, to what you're experiencing in the moment - the taste of sourdough in your mouth, the way the light hits the blue lip of the water glass, the scent of dirty laundry wafting across the room. Let yourself be fully present, in the world and on the page. Tell the story only you can tell, the one that hums inside your cells, the one that only you can release. Let the warmth of your body bring your words to full ripeness." - Gayle Brandeis Fruitflesh pg. 15

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

a quote

Wow - two posts in one evening! I was going to stop with one but then I found this quote and it made me want to run and dive into a pot of paint. It made me want to stay up all night creating. I made me want to call Mr. Gregory and invite him over for a delicious tea-party or home made sushi to thank him for putting this piece of writing into the world! So of course, I had to share. (This is an enormous quote and there's MORE than this! It comes from his wonderful book, The Creative License.)

"To be creative, you must be brave and allow yourself to take risks. You must also be a little crazy.

But have an appropriate degree of perspective. Reassure yourself that by doing a watercolour or throwing a pot you won't set off some chain reaction that destroys your entire universe. The whole reason you are feeling any sort of need to be creative is because you, as an organism, feel some need to adapt to changes in your environment. Your job may be too restrictive. Your relationship may be showing you new possibilities. Your daily paper may be reshuffling your deck. Your body may be changing. Or you may just be more sensitive that those around you, a canary in a coal mine, bellwether to changes that others don't yet sense.

Under all those conditions, creative change is no longer a risk - it's an imperative. Give yourself the chance to experiment and reconfigure your life. Start today. Before the volcano erupts or the meteor hits the earth, before you get hit by a bus, or your candidate loses, or your boss makes a cutback - before the changes erupt, and it's too late.
It's time to stop being a dinosaur and start figuring out how to be a bird." - Danny Gregory, The Creative License page 78.

Good night!!

a bit from me...

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us, it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." - Marianne Williamson.

This quote is one of my favorites. It's been quoted so often by people that sometimes I think we forget to read what it is saying. I know it's been a long time since my last post. I've been... percolating! I've been writing my novel (over 30,000 words now!!) I've been fleshing out another idea, I've been working on the website, and I have been hiding on the couch eating too much chocolate when the possibilities get too big. I admit that am scared of my dreams. But now I am determined to be afraid of them as they are coming true instead of being afraid of them before I have even tried. Subtle. Tricky. But crucial.


Saturday, September 01, 2007

a new year...

"Most of us miss our own lives. Most of us spend our time preparing for a moment that never comes,
while the years slip by, unnoticed, unused." - Geneen Roth

Tonight I came home from work, had a quick shower to wash off the day, and set about beginning my 'divine mojo-boost' ritual. I wasn't sure until I sat down what I was going to do, but I knew that I wanted to get the autumn started off right.

I started by burning some sage. I like thinking that I have cleansed the air of any negative energy. Then I recited the bit of Mary Oliver poetry that I feel hits exactly the note of who I would like to be. (The one on my sidebar.) And then I did what I do best - I wrote - I wrote about all of the aspects of myself that I wanted to release and I gently read them to myself over and over and over again. At first I felt quite silly, and I felt like maybe nothing was going to happen, and then an amazing thing happened. I experienced release.

I felt it in happen in my stomach, just below my chest. I felt a tight place loosen. I hadn't even really known it was tight. I felt my forehead relax and my breath deepen. I felt softer than I have in ages. I folded up the paper, whispered a gentle thank you, burned some sage again and then took my paper out to the barbecue! I lit the edge and as I watched it burn I whispered a wish to the smoke for anyone else who was doing a ritual at the same time as I was. Then I whispered a prayer for those I love, and recited the bit of poetry again.

"I feel my boots trying to leave the ground, I feel my heart pumping hard. I want to think again of dangerous and noble things. I want to be light and frolicsome. I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing, as though I had wings." -Mary Oliver

I hope that wherever you are you are feeling rejuvenated and ready for autumn to begin. Here's to a new season and a new year!

And what did you do?