Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Naked Writer, The Form, And Earl

I have been reading, The Courage to Write by Ralph Keyes. If you haven't read it, I recommend it. The naked in my headline does not refer to a literal state of undress and although I often write in my pajamas, I haven't tried writing in the nude - yet. Instead, it refers to a writer's fear of revealing too much and suffering failure, censure or fill-in-your-worst-fear, as a consequence. The best fiction comes from peeling away the layers and getting as close as we can to the truth of the characters. Here's one quote I especially like -
"writers who hold their readers' attention are the ones who grab them by the lapel and say, 'You've got to listen to what I'm about to tell you.' It's hard to be that passionate. It means you must put your whole poke on the table."
And that, as they say - ain't easy because "the fear of revealing ourselves tends to be repressed." But, if we don't go into the dark places of the mind and soul and illuminate them, our writing will only feebly scratch at the surface.

I'm in one of those dark places at the moment, and maybe someday that will serve me in my writing, but right now I'm too pissed off to see that. In June, one of the staff at Service Canada assisted me with my application for the G.I.S. benefit. However, thanks to some sort of error, I've been judged ineligible. The income they say I'll get this year is almost twice what the true amount would be. So, I have to launch an appeal. I'll write all the information in a letter as well as filling out the parts of the form that I can decipher. Maybe that will work.

When I'm not doing the things I should be doing, I occasionally amuse myself by watching a certain reality television show. I could justify this to my friends who watch little or no television by saying I do it to learn about pop culture and the younger generation. That wouldn't be true though. I watch when I'm too whacked or too lazy to read or do anything productive. So, I've seen a couple of Canadian Idol episodes and I've become an Earl fan. He's unlikely to win because he's well, odd - and he doesn't look the part, but he's, like, totally real eh! It's likely that Mookie will win, but my heart is with big Earl, the goofy guy who's a true original.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Family Birthday Bashes and other Amusements

My youngest grandson chose to have a Harvey's hamburger for his birthday dinner. After we had dined we returned to the house for the birthday cake ritual. The lights are turned off, the birthday honoree is sent out of the room and when the candles on the cake have been lighted he returns as everyone sings Happy Birthday to him. The ice cream cake was delicious and S. who is now fourteen said more than three words, which is unusual, and allowed his grandparents to hug him. He received a new dirt bike a couple of days before his birthday because there is a BMX track near the family campsite. Grandparents, uncles and aunts, gave him cash and as I understand it he wants to buy a better MP3 player, or whatever it is that has now replaced that gadget.

I received a surprise belated birthday present in the mail (a gift certificate). It was especially heartening to receive it during the week when I had to have a mammogram and a bone scan. I really hate having a mammogram, not only because it's painful but also because of my family history. I'm glad to say that nothing abnormal was found. The bone scan revealed that one side of my neck has more than the normal amount of bone loss. There are no problems anywhere else and that's weird. Pass me the cheese, please and of course, the calcium supplement. (I'm somewhat lactose intolerant, but cheese has an enzyme in it which helps - too bad ice cream doesn't).

Friday, I went down to King St. to watch all the classic cars cruise by. I was a bit early and looked for a place to sit. There are benches along King but all of them had been staked out. However, one bench was occupied only by a large rather intimidating man who was sitting right in the middle of it. So, I asked if I could share the bench. He turned out to be extremely knowledgeable about the cars and quite chatty. Agreeable company, nostalgia and gasoline fumes. What else could a woman who grew up spending her after-school hours in the Greyhound bus garage want?

And, in other people's news, my friend Lori now has her own website. You can find it here

It's great!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

G 8's Policies Suck. Org

So, the fearless G 8 leaders met in Japan. They had a great honking banquet. They chastised an African despot. They ignored pleas for more aid. They asked for more oil production. And, apparently Bush called out - "Yo Harper."

Oh yeah, and they agreed that somehow carbon emissions should be cut in half by 2050. It all makes me want to scream bloody murder. And oh - Canada - how could we have elected a man who believes that the state of the economy is more important than our very lives. It isn't Dion who would screw us if we adopted some of his ideas. It's the sorry excuse for a man who currently occupies the Prime Minister's office.

Yo - Harper. Get out and talk to people. Oh, wait - minor gods don't do that. They're too afraid of what they might find out.