International PEN

International PEN

Worldwide association of writers. Exists to promote friendship and intellectual co-operation among writers everywhere, to fight for freedom of expression and represent the conscience of world literature.

The funny thing about freedom is, to give freedom to one person you usually have to take it away from another.

There is also PEN Canada. Of course I had to look for the Canadian version.

Lame Pity Party, BYO… Something

It’s a nice day and people should be outside doing nice things. I’m here, sort of hiding and procrastinating, as per usual.

You can’t go back again and yet you can’t really get that far either. I’m living with my Mother. It’s not something I feel radiantly happy and proud about. It comes with a massive stigma to do with being a failure, not cutting it, etc. I’ll spare myself a few.

It really began for practical reasons. I had come back from the divorce, no job, no vehicle, all the money spent on moving. Of course, no kids and almost no debt helped too. (I’ve since become the sole support of an ancient relic with four wheels and a vast sucking thing also known as a department store credit card). At the time I was just glad to be on the north side of the border again. I found a car (the first was a grey and red, 93 Ford Tempo which did not leak gas, just ask the guy who sold it to me) then a job at Zellers in Aurora. I liked the job, it was simple and yet not boring. Minimal homework required, when I left for the day I was done for the day. Uniform was ok, no need for excessive clothes shopping and I could wear comfortable shoes, as long as they were black. I spent my working day walking around chatting up customers, walking miles down all the aisles. Not a problem, beat that as an exercise at work routine. No expensive gym membership required. The first day I was so dead tired I couldn’t stay awake long enough to finish a coffee at home. By the second week I was into it, I didn’t even have sore feet, much.

Anyway, I don’t know what would have happened if life had gone on in that steady direction. But, life is known for changes. My parents decided to move. Mom and I were looking at small, affordable (no mortgage) houses. Dad wanted something showy with the idea of having his home office there (he was a consulting engineer – Quoin Group). Since I was living pay cheque to pay cheque, keeping my Tempo road worthy and not much else, I moved with them.

We moved at the coldest time of the year, January. I got frost bite on two of my fingers where they touched the key as I started the car. (The car was having a rebellious stage then and only starting if the key was turned a certain way). Frost bite is not fun but I’m sure mine was mild on a scale of not bad to truly hideous.

After moving, I found the Zellers here was not really in need of an employee transferred from another store, but they were willing to stick me in. Only cashier was available, not my nice walking and talking job. At this point my parents were down south for the Winter and the Tempo decided it really had enough of this whole driving thing. I was house bound for a week while I tried to get the Tempo to reconsider it’s position about the driving issue. Even explaining that for a car that age the only option was work or death, didn’t help. Anyway, things resolved themselves more or less. I started working as a cashier. Canadian Tire fixed the Tempo but a day later when it was leaking coal-like fluid they politely suggested I retire the car. They gave me back $60 and change of the $300 and change repair bill I had just paid. I borrowed cars to get to work. I managed.

Then Dad died, at the end of May. I broke up with the boyfriend from BC. One of those things where the guy stops talking to you in hopes you will forget he exists if he is quiet enough. Why are they such weenies? If they just said it was over for whatever reasons that would be so much better. Why play hide and seek?

Anyway, when Dad died we had a memorial service, collected some money for planting red maple trees and used that to pay for some of his burial. Dad was self employed but seldom paid. He left the world and didn’t especially care about the mess behind him. His last words were, “Don’t bother.” Very, very, very, luckily my brother and sister had finally managed to get his taxes done before he died, just a few months before. They were so far behind it would be speaking ill of the dead to go into detail. Of course his estate consisted of credit card bills and a ton of papers, binders and a couple of drawing tables. Not much of use. My Mom gladly threw it all away, happy to finally get rid of all his pack rat collection. I’m not sure how much of that mountain of paper and binders and file folders and envelopes he ever used but it filled a shed at the back of the house here. I suppose we could have just burned the shed down with all that inside it, never thought of that at the time. It took days and days to get all of it gone. Too much paper to burn it all on the garden plot with the compost and such. We were lucky that the credit card companies ended up writing his account off. Mom had nothing extra to pay his debts with.

So, here we are, in the present. I’m still living with my Mother. The only difference is that we are both single now. Her a widow, me a divorced woman. We’re working together to keep things paid and she’s not so alone. Neither of us are clinging vines but it is nice to have someone around, sometimes. So, that’s why I live with my Mother. Sucky but true.

We are planning another move, to a smaller house without a mortgage this time. Just what we had wanted the last time before Dad decided he needed a showy place. I am not looking forward to another move. I feel like a vagabond, never really living anywhere. I have moved four times since the year 2000. Two of them included immigration to another country, just the US, but still, it did involve a lot of extremely aggravating paperwork.

Anyway, that’s about it. I live with my Mommy. She only drives me crazy when she reorganizes things for me. It’s not polite to tell your Mother to ‘back off’ though. I do miss having my own place. But, she goes down to Florida for the Winter, that’s my time to pretend I’m not a 40 year old adult living with her Mommy.

Email Lists I Don't Need

Publishing – Canadians who publish on the Internet. Whether you’re an ezine publisher, a blogger or someone who just likes to keep their presence on the web, this is the place to get together. Free ideas: share thoughts, experiences and plot out eventual Canadian World Domination through web publishing.

Publisher – Creative publishing on the Internet.

They may yet die. But, I was poking around on Yahoo Groups and noticed no one has made (had made) a group using ‘publishing’ or ‘publisher’. So, due to mental problems currently beyond my control, I had to start them.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do with them now. They really don’t fit into my plans and I want another Yahoo list about as much as I want to have turtles in my bed. (Not the chocolate kind, though they are my Mother’s favourites).

CanadianEconomist.com – The Great Canadian Blog Survey!

CanadianEconomist.com – The Great Canadian Blog Survey!

Does it give you Canada goosebumps just to think of it? I’m going in.

It was ok, I came out just as alive as I was when I went in. Not a bad record.

Only I wonder if I’m a mutant blogger. Does everyone read a lot of blogs, faithfully? I have not done so. But, I do read them as I find them. Lots of them through editing at Dmoz. There are more submissions than there are blogs listed I think. Getting hard to be sure as the blogs are being moved outside of the general Blog category. Now they will (mostly) be listed according to topic, just like any other site. Blogs are the medium, not the message.

Take the survey, it won’t bite. Aaron’s kind of cute but you won’t see his picture till the survey is done. He must be kind of shy. 😉