Tuesday, November 27, 2007

How Do I Avoid Thee. Let Me Count The Ways

It is the last week of November. If I could, I would get rid of November altogether. November is far too dreary with its short dull days and long dark nights. There is no hope of weather that would require shorts and tee shirts, but my summer wardrobe didn't get packed away until yesterday. Was I hoping for a summer day to appear in November? No, I was just avoiding the task. I'm good at that.

For instance, it took me about a year to decide to contact O****d magazine about a submission for which I had received no reply. I sent the magazine an email and then two weeks later another email. After no response to my emails, I sent them a letter. It, too, has not been answered. It occurred to me that perhaps I should send them an - I withdraw my submission - letter. But that would be pointless, so I can avoid doing that. Instead, I decided to revise the story, and I started to do that, but other events interceded. It's on the work list, but not yet completed.

I needed a new coat last year, and the year before that, but I postponed shopping for one and by January, all the medium size coats in my price-range had disappeared. Avoiding things has its benefits. I saved money and finally, two weeks ago, I did find and buy a coat. It was a close call though. If D. had not been with me I might have resisted because I didn't want to carry the coat home on the bus.

I have quilts that I need to take to the laundromat since they are too large for my small washer/dryer. But now, there is snow and ice on the ground. I think I'll wait.

There is a flu shot clinic today and I can't avoid that since it is the only one in my area. However, before the day is over, I'm sure I'll find something else to avoid. As I said, I'm good at it.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

My Work/Play Ratio Might Need an Adjustment

Maybe it's the grimness of November, although we had sun yesterday, or maybe its simply the arrival of my second childhood, but in any case, I spend much more time at play than at work.

Yesterday was a productive time. I finished final revisions to a story, wrote three letters, sent the story to three places and finally showered and dressed at noon. I could feel virtuous about that, except; I goofed off all weekend and so far today, I've played Scrabulous, ordered Christmas gifts, bought a lottery ticket, surfed the Internet and had two cups of coffee. I am also reading a Quintin Jardine mystery and Novelist's Essential Guide to Crafting Scenes. Evidently, I have a lot to learn in that department.

D. will be here for tea and a chat this evening so now I must find the top of my desk and tidy my apartment. How did I generate so much mess in one day of work? Would I ever be able to find anything if I worked more often?

Play has it's benefits-- I've learned that qat is a valid Scrabulous word. But now I must make a list of things I have to do. Drat! Second childhood interrupted.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Remembrance Day Thoughts

Sunday is Remembrance Day.

I wondered what I could say as the day brings so many people to mind. Let's remember those Canadians who are currently serving in Afghanistan and around the world, as well as all the veterans.

A few people from the many I'll always remember.

My grandfather, John Wesley A. who served in World War One in the British Expeditionary Forces (from Canada) and never revealed the horrors of his four years in the trenches to us.

The men and women who lived in the Veterans' Wing at Sunnybrook Hospital.. I knew so many of them but some stand out in my mind.

Allistair H captained a destroyer (WW II) and liked to paint silk scarves.
Fred LeF volunteered before he was of age (WW I) . He had the world's biggest smile and adored I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles
Connie, nurse (WWII) couldn't talk but could sing as loudly as Ethel Merman.
Fred K (WW II) loved to work on the potter's wheel, though he had Parkinson's disease and sometimes got stuck in one position for several minutes.
Arthur B. (WW II) the shortest man in his regiment. He wore the biggest hats and spent his time building beautiful doll houses and drinking smuggled-in wine, when he could get some.

The veterans I worked with at the community centre and through the CNIB.
Vi (WW II Women's Army Corps) lost almost all her vision but none of her memories.
Claire H. (WW II) a gentle man who reminded me of my grandfather and who coped with his infirmities with infinite grace.

The list in my head is much longer, but I cannot write all the names down,

"We'll Meet Again"

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Great News and Grumbles

It's always best to start with good news and I have better-than-good news to report. It's terrific news! My friend Lori Hahnel's short story collection, Nothing Sacred, will be published in autumn 2009 by Thistledown Press. I'm delighted for her and know how long and hard she has worked. Talent, luck and pluck (bug the people who have your work) have finally paid off. This is her first book and there will be others. I plan to buy every one. Lori has also kindly said that I'll be named in the acknowledgements. Actually, she said I'd have a whole page, but that decision will likely rest with her publisher. I plan to have my own celebration when the weather obliges and I can walk to the store and purchase a small libation.

I'll try to make the grumble shorter than the good news. Why the heck is Mr. Harper running negative ads about Dion already, and who is funding the cost of those ads? What is he afraid of? The Liberals aren't chomping at the bit and ready to run another race. Maybe Harper thinks that he should call an election while the Liberals are still locked behind the starting gate. He'd better think twice about spending our money on that. And furthermore, a reduction in the GST is not the best way to give us folks on the bottom rung of the economic ladder a break.

That is more than enough about federal politics and although I have many more complaints I'll save them for another time.

In the last little while, I've acted as first editor for a friend who is writing restaurant reviews for Real Women Canada.(Although the review that is probably posted on the site by now was not seen by me due to a mysterious email glitch.) That means I'll be treated to lunch soon. I'm planning to have something decadent and be unrepentant.

That's about it for this post, except for this.

Three cheers for Lori!