Archive for June, 2012

Lose me and I’m yours. Powerful words welded into sentences, zigging here and zagging there, spinning me in circles and propelling me through mazes hoping to never find a way out are on my Goodreads list.

Compositions making me forget that our (stupefying) Visa bill is on its way or that I’m waiting for the dryer to finish its cycle will forever hold a special place in my heart.

Passage into an imaginary world is largely due to description. In my (humble) opinion, it’s almost all we writers have when trying to entice readers into our wildly whimsical minds.

Description is kinda my thing. I can get very caught up in explaining how “the freshly painted wooden stool glistened in the sun like a shiny, red-skinned apple against a soft carpet of moss-green grass.” Some could say it’s overkill, but poof…there it is. You see the stool, don’t you?

I could have said; “The stool had just been painted red and someone had set it on the grass.” You may still be able to see the stool, but not quite in the same way and your mind would have to do most of the work.

Not that working your mind is a bad thing, but reading (for pleasure) is supposed to be effortless and having to do too much of the imagining is sort of redundant. You may as well write the book yourself.

I’ve heard people say; “Ugh, the description went on and on. In the end, I just skipped through it.”

What a shame. The author has taken what should have been an all-consuming, riveting experience and turned it into an arduous, irksome chore. It hurts my heart.

Descriptives should have us eating words slowly, savoring the different tastes each one leaves behind. We should feel like we just watched a really great movie and didn’t realize there were subtitles. Good descriptives should leave us praying there’s always one more page.

I write to find myself, but I read hoping to get lost. I leave the (mind-numbing, oppressed) map in the glove compartment.

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One by one, overhead fluorescents were snuffed; computer screens extinguished, corner office doors shut tight for the night. She sat on, her screen now the only light in the room, its bluish blaze illuminating her paper-white skin and inflaming her tiny cubicle.

She sipped at her green tea, now cold, while going through case upon case, hi-lighting important points and snippets of court transcripts that may have otherwise been overlooked by the distracted lawyers she worked under.

She massaged her sleepy feet one toe at time, while scrolling through site after site, researching proof for each red inked comment she’d written in the sidebars of every document.

When the last smooth, manila folder thwacked the pile that had mounted on the grey-carpeted floor, she stretched her arms up as high as she could, the skin on her hands protesting as the cracks widened with the pull. Handling paper in a dry office all day long took its toll; the raw, tiny slice on her right pointer finger squealing just enough to make her wince.

She got up and wandered slowly; a laze in her stocking’d step, through the grid of carpeted, shiftable dividers across the office to the glamorous window engulfing the entire West-side wall of the firm. It framed the charcoal city skyline etched against the cobalt sky.

Entering the office at nineteen, it had been the first thing to catch her eye. A window to a world she hadn’t really explored, and even now, at twenty-nine, she still came up short.

But, over the years she’d spent in that office she’d acquired her tiny, but decorated just the way she wanted, apartment in Yaletown and a wardrobe that boasted not one, but two little black dresses. Although they’d only been worn, covered with a blazer, to the office so far. A freezer full of Lean Cuisine, a little grey cat that she loved to bits and out one of her windows she could see a corner of the Keg rooftop patio which provided her with hours of entertainment on a Saturday night.

Exhaling, she turned away from the view, knowing it was time.

The sleety kitchen tiles filtered their cool through her nylons, her feet gliding over each one frictionlessly. She took a shiny, white mug from the cupboard and garnished it with a silver stirring spoon and the content of two brown sugar filled envelopes. She plucked a mandarin from the fridge and a packet of shortbread cookies from the drawer beside it. Snatching spray and paper towel from under the sink, she headed back out to the cubicles.

Coming to his, she stopped, heart thudding, imagination conjuring up his kind, green eyes and bobbing Adam’s apple.

Carefully, she set her supplies on his chair and went about wiping his desktop and dusting his screen; the floral smell of potpourri scented cleaner filling the space as she sprayed.

Taking the mug, she set it to the right of the monitor, its spoon clanging as she put it down, plastic crackling as she laid the cookies and mandarin beside it. She scrawled a happy face on a post it with a Sharpie and stuck it to his mug.

Finished for yet another night, she was, as usual in a hurry to leave. The laze gone, she now scrambled to put away the cleaning supplies, sort the manila folders into organized piles on her desk, grab her coat and whip on her flats.

Out in the fresh air, inhaling deeply, she smiled knowing there’d be a few people adorning the Keg deck on this beautiful night, her kitty would be waiting at the door and tomorrow, he’d be wondering, like he had every morning for the last three years since starting at the firm of one hundred and twenty employees, who the crazy nut in the office was.

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It’s a cozy little place, this blogosphere. At first, I was tentative, holding out. Afraid of scrutiny and criticism yes, but exposure…now that was the scary, no…terrifying, Walking Dead zombie, trapped in a sinking car, hanging off a ledge clinging to a loose rock kind of fear I had of this place…this place, that I now think of as home.

Inhibitions on the back burner, I feel excited to cast out my thoughts and words. My heart pounds as I click my stats and wait for views to appear. It skips a beat when that icon turns orange showing I have a new comment, like or follow. Yes, I admit it. I post. I wait. I hope.

But, like everyone else, I was once unsure. It’s a very bizarre conundrum; loving… longing to write but scared shitless someone might read it.

I’ve come a long way. When I was a child I scribbled stories and ripped them up, afraid, even to keep a journal. Not for fear of my thoughts being read, but that someone would know I’d been writing. The confusing feeling haunts me to this day.

A couple of years ago I did the NaNoWriMo challenge. I wrote and I wrote. It was a huge part of my life for thirty days. I could in fact say that it consumed me. But…I didn’t tell anyone. Obviously, I had to explain to my immediate family why I was less than present, but besides them and the one friend I was taking the challenge with, I told no one else. And, I did not, could not even tell those few who knew about my undertaking what I was writing about. I wrote sixty thousand words and each one of them, my spooky little secret.

I have a similar squeeze when I finish someone’s make-up. When they look in the mirror or stand in front of the camera for the first time, my body seizes and I feel despair that my art is about to be unveiled and subsequently, examined.

Now, I’m posting for the world (hardy, har, har, I wish) to see.

Yes, I’ve come a long way.

The fear has subsided. I still flush as I hit publish, much I’m sure, like a performer about to hit the stage for the…what number is this…twenty-fifth time, still slightly wet behind the ears, but bolstered. Bolstered, thanks to viewers, screaming fans, readers, commenters…pick your poison. They’re all reassuring.

One of the first people to throw my name and “writer” together was P.C. Zick and I am truly grateful to her for that. I am also very grateful (in no particular order) to the following bloggers for many different reasons; their friendship, their support, their writing, their endeavors and their honesty, just to name a few:

1. P.C. Zick http://pczick.wordpress.com/

2. Saige Wisdom http://saigewisdom.blogspot.ca/

3. Lesley Richardson http://www.standingnakedatabusstop.com/

4. Year of Austere http://yearofaustere.wordpress.com

5. Nicole Jane Home http://blog.nicolejane.com/

6. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot 4 http://whiskeytangofoxtrot4.wordpress.com/

7. Sylvia Behnish http://www.thecreativenesswithinme.blogspot.ca/

8. Lewis Thomson http://lth0ms0n.wordpress.com/

9. TK Butterfly http://teekay16.wordpress.com/

10. Rachel Carter http://rachelcarter.me/

11. Ashley Jillian http://ashleyjillian.com/

12. http://secretdiaryofadublincallgirl.wordpress.com/

13. Bethany Lovell http://froggology.blogspot.ca/

14. Adam Martin http://livelikeagrownup.wordpress.com/

15. Carole Bell http://ringmybell-cybell.blogspot.ca/

Write it – Walk it – Own it

Surprisingly, I’ve been nominated for the Inspiring Blog Award and the above fifteen bloggers are my nominees for the same. The named fifteen are now asked to pay it forward, so to speak. Write a post citing your nomination, a link to my post, fifteen nominees of your own and seven things about yourself. (although mine aren’t in bullet form, I believe I’ve woven at least seven in there somewhere, and if it’s less, don’t rat me out)

Thank you Patricia for the vote of confidence and for inspiring me to write today.

Thank you Bloggers, for overcoming whatever challenges you face in creating and relaying your craft to others. It’s an inspiration to us all.

Thank you readers, for perusing my murmurs and mutterings and making me feel like they’re worthy of a tiny piece of this sphere.

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Trust me?

I worked like a dog today. Do dogs really work that hard? I know mine doesn’t! (What is that quote about anyway?) But I did. I didn’t sit down all dang day, stopping only to have intermittent bites of the banana I chose as a quick, convenient (not all that satisfying) lunch. (Well, I could’ve had potato chips, so stop looking at me like that)

Yes…as soon as I got in from a leisurely, hang out till you can’t hang no more breakfast, I worked hard.

Oh. Now I’ve lost your trust. Okay, I did go for breakfast, but I swear, when I got home, I did a week’s worth of work over the next nine hours.

I cleaned bathrooms, vacuumed carpets, washed floors, built a piece of furniture, gutted kid’s rooms, disemboweled a (very constipated) closet, ran eight loads of laundry (amazingly easy to accumulate that amount at my house), sorted paperwork (also stupefyingly effortless to accrue here and, hands down, my most dreaded chore), let pets in and out of what they believe is a never locked, always available revolving door and I, the doorman at the Hilton. (If only this were the Hilton – Hawaii, take me away)

Am I winning you back yet? Trust me. I worked and I worked. It paid off too. Now, I’m only slightly behind for tomorrow as opposed to flailing moat deep like I would’ve been if I’d have, say, gone out for lunch today as well. Tempting, but no.

I watched Love Actually the other (much more appealing) night (the luxury is a distant memory), and I have to admit, I envied (cursed) Colin Firth as he hired a ‘house girl’ to look after his needs. (No, not like that. Well, at least not right away anyway) He sat at his typewriter, gazing out at the calm, Willow-brushed water, writing his latest, greatest novel while she cooked, cleaned and ran his errands. (I may have to stomp my feet for just a minute)

As I type this, I lay propped on several pillows, a heating pad scorching the undercarriage of my torso and a pillow supporting my screaming knees. Ahh, it hurts so good, or should that be bad? I’m delirious.

All right, I’ve had my fun. My rant has come to an end. An end yes, but not a bitter one.

I’m counting my blessings; I own a heating pad, I have a bed to lie on, there is a (brand new cedar) roof over my head that I am grateful for (even though it will take the next ten years to pay for), my children lay sleeping in their beds, I own a laptop, not a typewriter (Take that, Colin), I was able to bang out a post that I never thought possible today and…wait for it…I got to listen to Adele for nine hours straight. Who could ask for anything more?

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I am overly emotional today, so I feel that a post with an Adele reference is in order.

Don’t worry – we can still get along. I’m sure we can agree that the woman’s got pipes, regardless of how we may feel about her personally.

So, yes…Adele. She’s got pipes, but it doesn’t end there. The girl’s got guts. She has the backbone it takes to write down her deepest, most private thoughts and feelings and send them off into the universe for all to enjoy…and judge. Oh, guts I tell you.

I’ve probably listened to way too much of her and don’t lie; you have too. We’ve all done the Rolling in the Deep” sixty times in one day, thing. I won’t force concordance; I will simply overlook any denial. (If I weren’t such a professional, I might insert a winky face here with a dash of LOL)

I stumbled upon a snippet of her ‘live in concert’ last night as I was heading to the dinner table. Of course I’ve seen it before, but last night, this particular part stopped me in my tracks.

There she was, black dress, sixties hair, lashed to the extreme, (lovely, but extreme) the spotlight drifting down in waves, powdering her with stardust. Either that, or she was about to be hoovered up into the mother ship, although in Adele’s case, I’m pretty sure it was stardust.

However, I digress. This particular part halted me. She was singing Someone Like You. Yes, a torrid, gut-wrenching song at the best of times, but towards the end, she stopped and let the crowd sing. Now, I know she wrote this song out of heartache and heartbreak, so melancholy is an expected response, however, considering she’s sung it a bazillion times, one can only assume the wound has, at the very least, scabbed over.

No…her emotion seemed to stem from the crowd singing her song; more specifically, the crowd knowing her words. Words she probably wrote on soggy, tear-stained scraps at 3am, alone in the bleak of her grotty little flat, while she contemplated quietly slitting her wrists. But there it was; her painful story dripping off the tongues of strangers, emblazoned onto their hearts and now suspended in the rafters of the Royal Albert Hall.

(It all goes down here. Stick around till the end for the good stuff)

And, it made me think. It would be extraordinary to have people know us that way or, at least that version of us. We can give them all or we can give them bits, we can give them realities or we can give them adaptations. Whatever we’re serving, they want it. They wanna sit at our table and watch us eat, stand there as we have coffee in our robes and brush our teeth. They want to walk in our shoes. They crave our pain and desire our joy. It’s ours to give. We can hand it over. It just takes an iron gut.

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Gusts whipped through my hair, sun scorched my darkening skin and my lips caught as I attempted to close them over my wind-dried metal grin. 

Houses dripped by like a painter’s palette caught in the rain as I whirred down the long, straight street in front of my house and as I fell, I knew the searing pavement would shave a layer off my knees, elbows and stomach.


I awake the morning of my thirteenth birthday to sun spilling warm light over the sheets. I relish the glow, basking as it sidles in to loosen me from my twisted, tissuey nest. Stretching lazily amongst the sprawl, I’m like a sock unraveling as it comes out of a warm dryer.

Until it hits me…my birthday! Sluggish sock cast aside, I’m on my feet in seconds, skipping the bathroom, scurrying down the blue-carpeted hallway and hitting the cool, cream-colored lino in record time; the floor’s creviced, fine brown contours awakening the souls of my bare feet.

I eat fresh, flaky croissants; scooping spoonfuls of raspberry jam from the jar, dolloping each jewel-like glob right onto the pastry before every bite. My tongue twinges with dripping slices of citrus, their spray watering down the comic section as Garfield and Calvin blacken my fingertips. I move on to the horoscopes.

Mom flits here and there, filling balloons, attaching rosy crepe streamers from wall to wall and spraying veils of lemon polish over the rich Mahogany.

Dad is somewhere below us in the garage, perhaps tinkering, sanding or sorting nails, gearing up to cut the grass. My brother, almost seven years my junior, is off doing God knows what, starting fires or torturing the dog.

A quick fluff n’ wash and I’m out. Racquet and ball in hand I’m ready to whack a few hours away rallying off the garage door, sure to get away with it today, being the birthday girl n’ all.

The gate squeaks when I open it and as I round the corner there it is.  Balancing on a kickstand, glistening in the sun; a brand new, powder blue, Raleigh five-speed; its white-taped, ram-horned handlebars making my fingers curl, its big, red bow making my heart thump.

The garage door opens, startling me and exposing my family.

“Surprise!” all three yell, “Happy birthday!”

Unexpected tears hover just behind my lids as they all smile out at me from the cool shade of the garage, my Mom snapping away, camera in hand.

Okay, so I fell.  Only one scar lives on and even it is barely visible now. We were together, the sun was shining and I felt like I was the luckiest girl in the world.

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