Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The corners of my round brain

 There are many corners in my round brain, where sparkling objects lie covered in others of similar vein

 they wait patiently to be lifted and held in the light, dancing and weaving dreams of delight

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A writer's day ends at last

Well, here it is 1:32 a.m., technically tomorrow, but I have never been entirely partial to the cold precision of science.  As I have yet to to go to bed, it is still today.  I left off many hours ago and am a bit too tired to detail every part of my day since then.  Let's just say that the day was a mix of housework, taking the car for an oil change and to have its heart checked which was a bit of a break for me as I could sit and play on my iPhone while I waited.. then some small things to get at Denninger's, the Austrian/German deli. I returned home and spent time grading assignments..

I didn't have to cook much as the chill con carne had been bubbling merrily all day.. just heat some commercial frozen garlic baguette.. and eat.  Unusually I had two, or rather 1.5 helpings [there!  I can be scientifically precise!].  I paid bills too - always a wretchedly stressful activity in these days of too many expenses and too small an income.

The evening dog walking was pleasant as it is cool and there was a light rain which felt good.....

From 11:30 to just a few minutes ago I worked on finishing grading so I could have some free and clear time tomorrow to write - or rather to finish the editing of Apple a Day.

Anyway.. my writer's life today consisted of about a total of a half hour writing in this blog.... out of a 17 hour day....... not good!  But.. unless I win a lottery i must have my day job!

Night all.....

A Writer's Day

Well, this writer's day, he said ungrammatically, but authentically.

10:26 a.m.

A reasonably successful day so far.  I went to sleep just after 1 a.m. and woke around 8.  I groaned and rolled over trying to return to my dream.  It wasn't a particularly happy dream, but even my less than joy filled dreams are preferable these days to waking reality.  I did get up at about a quarter after eight and went downstairs.  My wife was still sleeping in her hospital bed in our former living room. Hmmm, it is now, in fact, a living room - the room where she lives and commands all those within her range.  Anyway, I tidied the kitchen, made a pot of coffee, reheated the one mug's worth remaining from yesterday, made my usual breakfast of multigrain toast and sliced cheese-like substance.  Then I made a large pot of chili con carne, fed the dogs and PC our cat.  I found time to check and see if our pension payments were in the bank [hers for disability, mine - I started collecting my government invested pension as I know I will never retire] - they were. I let the dogs out, and went outside myself, still in my pjs.  There is still one rose in full bloom, despite the very cold night time temperatures, and a few buds that may  or may  not survive to bloom.  I uprooted the radish plants.  The soil  here is hard clay - I have added a few loads of good, black topsoil over the years but it is still not enough for root crops.  No radishes, in short.  It is nice to breathe the clear, free air if only for a few moments.

Back indoors,  I made a shopping list of odds and ends to  pick up as I have to go out and get an oil change in the car at 1....I put Classic FM on my iPad [a London England classical music station I prefer brought in by a lovely little app called tunein radio].  My old iPad version 1 is not much use anymore as fewer and fewer things work properly on it, but it serves for music or for reading eBooks still.  Oh, and it works nicely for a new writing app called - I have put a few poems up on that neat little program.  They promise a multi-page format soon... I look forward to that!

What else have I done in these past two hours or so?  Oh, yes, my day job!  I am a part-time instructor at the University of Guelph's History department, and in the Electives area at the University of Guelph-Humber.  I spent a good half hour grading essay proposals - which reminded me of an amusing little 'card' I shared on Facebook yesterday:  "100 years ago we were teaching Latin and Greek in High School, today we teach remedial English in college' - amusing, but not terribly good for the future of writing!  And not terribly good for my mental health while marking assignments.

My wife woke up just around 10, and I made her breakfast - coffee from the pot, cheerios as she was so late she didn't want too much to ruin lunch at noon.... and I checked and stirred the chill... oh, yes, and I put the laundry in for a second rinse, then into the dryer.  I hear that the dryer has stopped now...

Time to finish my morning routine .....

Ciao for now

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Apple a Day

I am half way through a close edit of Apple a Day (a history of health care in Canada) - the mss. had been professionally edited but I didn't own the rights to virtually all the photos.  So I replaced them with copyright expired pictures, mostly from Library & Archives Canada.  Then I started to read carefully through to make sure the pictures were placed as I wanted them, and also came across a very few spots where rewording was needed or preferred.

Once this intensive read through is done, I will do a quick read - then begin the task of teaching myself how to use Smashwords to upload it as an eBook - as well as placing a print book in the lulu marketplace.

Alice Munro

I just had to purloin this from an interview done with Alice Munro in the 90s - -she describes the suburbia I grew up in - not for me North Vancouver, but rather, South Windsor [Ontario] - she, even in speech, has a writer's eye.  She claims she could never write about North Vancouver but in this excerpt she does, capturing North Vancouver and South Windsor .. and all the North Vancouvers and South Windsors of the world

Was Vancouver less useful for material?
I lived in the suburbs, first in North Vancouver, then in West Vancouver. In North Vancouver, the men all went away in the morning and came back at night, all day it was housewives and children. There was a lot of informal togetherness, and it was hard to be alone. There was a lot of competitive talk about vacuuming and washing the woolies, and I got quite frantic. When I had only one child, I’d put her in the stroller and walk for miles to avoid the coffee parties. This was much more narrow and crushing than the culture I grew up in. So many things were forbidden—like taking anything seriously. Life was very tightly managed as a series of permitted recreations, permitted opinions, and permitted ways of being a woman. The only outlet, I thought, was flirting with other people’s husbands at parties; that was really the only time anything came up that you could feel was real, because the only contact you could have with men, that had any reality to it, seemed to me to be sexual. Otherwise, men usually didn’t talk to you, or if they did they talked very much from high to low. I’d meet a university professor or someone, and if I knew something about what he knew, that would not be considered acceptable conversation. The men didn’t like you to talk, and the women didn’t like it either. So the world you had was female talk about the best kind of diet, or the best care of woolies. I was with the wives of the climbing men. I hated it so much I’ve never been able to write about it. Then in West Vancouver, it was more of a mixed suburb, not all young couples, and I made great friends there. We talked about books and scandal and laughed at everything like high-school girls. That’s something I’d like to write about and haven’t, that subversive society of young women, all keeping each other alive. But going to Victoria and opening a bookstore was the most wonderful thing that ever happened. It was great because all the crazy people in town came into the bookstore and talked to us.