On Monogamy

Dear Future Publisher,

I’ve been cheating on you.

But here’s the thing.  I never promised to be exclusive.

I love what we share.  I love weaving worlds with the written word.  I love everything I do for you, for us.  Every minute of it.

But when I swore I was passionate about this, I never promised I had no other interests.  I didn’t vow to be monogamous to writing, to put it before all other interests and deny myself all other pleasures.  I didn’t say, “I will love this and only this.”

I want to please you, but I also have to please myself.

I know what you’re thinking – what is she getting at?

I cheated.  It’s true.  I cheated with theatre. Continue reading


On Vision, And Not The Metaphorical Kind

Dear Future Publisher,

It’s like being a child again, full of wide-eyed wonder at the world.

The trees, even the ones in the distance, have distinct individual leaves that move with the touch of the wind.

There is depth to the world.

Patterns crystallize into their true form, with each detail vivid and bright.

Words spring forward, easy to read even at a great distance, sharp and precise and legible.

Houses have roof tiles and brick work and delicate wreaths on the door.

People’s faces are masterpieces of individuality, with little wrinkles and freckles and other textural oddities that don’t disappear into the flesh-toned blur of obscurity.

It’s that new glasses feeling. Continue reading

On Typing

Dear Future Publisher,

I’m pounding the keys with a relentless driving force, going, going, steady and fast and then all at once in a flurry, a burst, a sudden surge of letters after which I must pause, exhausted.

My fingers, slim and delicate, pushing and prodding the buttons with a practiced expertise, rushing along the keyboard, fingers stroking, fingers flying, fingers stretching, fingers probing. Continue reading

On Cynical Romantics, Modern Vices, and Burny Drinks

Dear Future Publisher,

I am not without my vices.  We all have them.

I’m not a drinker.  I mean, I enjoy the occasional rum and coke or a shot of Bailey’s in my coffee, but at a rate of less than one a week (and at times less than one a month), that hardly counts.  And most alcohol is just icky and burny.  Beer tastes like what I imagine pee must taste like, although that is not based on any practical evidence, if you know what I mean.  Wine is just grape juice that tastes bad. So alcohol is not my vice.  That doesn’t make me a bad writer, for the record.  We don’t all have to be Hemingway. Continue reading

On The Promise of Spring

Dear Future Publisher,

Spring is in the air.

Which in my little part of Canada means that it is a little above the freezing mark, so yes, if you’re wondering, we are having an unseasonably warm spring.  For one thing, the snow all melted during the tail end of our unseasonably warm winter (global warming is real, people), and there is hardly any snow and/or freezing rain forecast in the coming weeks.  It almost certainly won’t reach the ground.  At least, it won’t stay.  We won’t have to shovel.  So, yes, the weather is, well, beautiful. Continue reading

On Dinnertime Woes

Dear Future Publisher,

I have a confession to make. I would get a lot more accomplished if I didn’t have a cat. Now, I would never not have a cat, possibly because I’m a masochist who doesn’t want to have nice things.  But the point remains: without my cat, I would get so much more done in a day.

Let me give you just one example of what it is like living with a cat.

I am sitting, writing.

Things are going well.

And then, the cat suddenly appears at my feet.  He stares at me.  I try to ignore him.



On the Need for Speed

Dear Future Publisher,

I work my magic quickly.  I write in bursts, intense spasms of creative fluidity, short-lived but transporting and productive.  Sometimes I get into a rhythm and just pound out the words, but even when I am feeling uninspired, I am, on the whole, a fast writer.  I don’t agonize too much over the words, and focus on trying to get the ideas down.  I can edit later, but for the time being, the important thing is to keep moving forward.  I usually work in an overlapping pattern – start a couple of pages back in my work, reread and edit a little, and then forge ahead from there.  It helps remind me where I am coming from, and gives me a chance to work on any immediate problems that jump out at me.  The end of a day’s work (when I am starting to fade) gets a second look with a fresh mind, and I situate myself for the new day’s work.  I can pretty easily cover a fair bit of ground in a day, especially if I don’t have other tasks.  Continue reading

On Squishbutt and the Doofi

Dear Future Publisher,

One of the incredible things about writing is the astonishing variety of our language.  So many diverse words and terms can be used to refer to the same thing, and can bring to the fore different aspects or elements of that thing.  This can make choosing difficult, but it can be thrilling to delight in the options before me, to seek the one with the perfect nuances and connotations, and to try to pick the one that you – and future readers – will like best.

You again? Okay lady, but make it quick. I have sleeping to do.

Continue reading