January 30, 2017

happy new year?

I wrote most of this post last night, then rewatched some 90s comfort television, then tried to go to sleep. A little after one in the morning, I checked the news and saw what had happened in Quebec City, and then sleep was no longer an option. I honestly thought I could not feel worse about the state of the world last night than I already did. Every day brings some new horror. I wish for the naivety of just a few hours ago.


The end of 2016 was full of work of all kinds, including a few things I'd never done before. Lots and lots of intense writing and editing. I received a lot of requests about manuscript consultations and writing coaching, but I had to put everyone off until the new year. And I still haven't gotten back to everyone as I still don't have time to do the work, which I feel bad about. I'm thinking of putting such work on indefinite hold for the year unless I can find an established press or a writing program to work with...i.e. somebody else outsourcing manuscripts for professional edits for a set, flat fee.

The highlight of fall 2016 was teaching in the Emerging Writers Intensive program in Banff. Banff is a magical place, not just for its incredible beauty but for the special alchemy of a place dedicated to art and creativity.

My students were amazingly talented, kind, insightful, and generous. I hope they don't mind me posting this photo here from our last night in Banff. (If you're in it and hate it, let me know and I'll take it down!)

2017 has started out in such a frightening way. Like most people I know, I find the news these days to be a constant horror show, and yet I can't look away. I don't want to start writing about it now, as I'm not sure how to start...or stop.

David Sipress, The New Yorker

What else? There's never enough time to do all the things I want to do. I feel like I have a pretty good handle on time management, but it's never quite good enough. One of my resolutions for 2017 is to blog more, but this is one I have rarely been successful at fulfilling.

My other resolutions are modest. I want to have people over more often. Please, if you know me, invite yourself over. This is a link that was going around about hosting that I found inspiring:

How to Host a Crappy Dinner (and See Your Friends More Often) 
by Kelley Powell 
(who, I just realized, is a novelist who lives in Ottawa. I have her book around here somewhere)

Just know that there are piles of books and magazines and toys everywhere. We desperately need to vacuum. That is just the way things are. Maybe someday it will be better.

Little L is growing a lot. Ninety per cent of photos of her are blurry as she's always moving. And she is funnier and sillier every day. I've called her a silly goose so often that now when she erupts into giggles at her own antics, she always yells out, "Goose!"

Here she is on her birthday: