Writing Community Manager at Suite101

I think I’ve been accepted as the new Community Manager for the Writing Centre at Suite101. I’m excited and just a bit intimidated. Who do I think I am? Then I think, that’s silly. Either way I think it’s an achievement and I will let myself be proud. If I get it. I will know for 100% sure when the results are posted in about 2 weeks.


Reading the boards at BackWash and deciding that I should leave there once I finish making back up copies of the newsletters and columns I have written. There seems to be a two year itch for most websites I have written for. BW made it a bit past there but it’s definitly showing signs of implosion now. Dying from petty back biting from inside. So, I may as well get out.

The question is… where to next? Always another adventure around the next corner. 🙂

Words Hounding a Page

I haven’t been too chatty lately. For the past week I felt I was losing my rockers. My Dad is having a quadruple by-pass, tomorrow they say it will be now. It was going to be Monday then he had some more heart attacks and they had him on a nitro drip. So then it was going to be today but now I hear it will be tomorrow. They told him he had 80% blockage. You don’t get that by living sensibly. Is it cruel and insensitive to say he deserved it? I am his daughter. Who can be cruel and insensitive if not your daughter?

He has always been stupid about his health. He eats garbage and he loves to yell and spaz at us. It’s definitely cruel to say that some part of me is saying “nah, nah, nah” all the time in the back of my mind. I once wrote about calling the men in your lives ‘bastard!’ and I know I was thinking of him as much as my ex-husband. I’m not sure who I was angrier at then. Now the ex is fading into the past. But, my Dad is always lurking around. Ready to snap at me, blame me, tell me what a loser I am. Anyway, nah nah nah! Bastard.

Yes, it’s horribly rude, cruel and disgraceful of me. But, there you go. I never aspired to perfection. Being perfect would be boring and lonely and far too much work. So I will happily be imperfect and partially messed up.

I can live with it.

He might die. We don’t know anything for sure. I don’t wish for him to die. But I admit I do like the idea that he is going to get a little misery back for all he has inputted all these years. I wonder what will happen next time he tries a spaz attack. Usually his eyes bug out, his face turns red then purplish and his voice blows hot wind over your general environment. Pollution, the pollution of years of violence suspended. No, he seldom hit me or us. But the verbal abuse was more than enough pollution. I can’t fully get over it. No matter how much I tell myself nothing he said matters, that he never got to know me so his opinions carry no weight. Still, it all sunk in too deep too long ago. I can’t get over it or around it and I can’t seem to get past it.

I don’t know if you can make yourself believe in yourself just cause you say so, to yourself. It does seem there has to be someone else to back it up. Not even that. Cause anyone who tells you how good you are gets qualified. Your brain is geared up for qualification so well, it can do it on auto pilot. Tell me how well I write and I know I’m only faking it, or I’m not getting paid or I’m really not even putting my full effort into it. So, how well am I writing really. Qualifications make the grrl drag on. I don’t get things done, I procrastinate cause I’m afraid to even start to try.

It’s all so silly cause I know I can do it. I know I can write. I love to write. I love watching my words take shape on the keyboard. I love the sound of my own words as they fly out on the page. I love words and I love writing them, giving them order, purpose and style. My style!

So, what holds me back. I’m not always sure. Fear of failure, fear of having someone confirm that I really am just a phoney after all. For, once someone does that, there will be no hope at all. How can I overcome someone confirming what I’ve been afraid really is true all along.

What a lot of words on a page. Isn’t that the whole point of a journal? A chance to let your brain stop holding back and just release the hounds! Let them see what they can catch today. So the hounds were out there. I don’t think they caught much. But it will be interesting to see what kind of soup it will make when it all gets cooked up.

Happy day!

PS- Today I found out that I did get the days off to meet Eric in Ottawa! Great news. Now I can start being happy again and planning the trip. 🙂

That much closer to 'over the hill'

Soon I’ll be 39. How does stuff like this keep happening to a nice girl like me? Isn’t 38 old enough? Someone should really put their foot down and stop this whole getting old thing. It’s a really bad habit.

Ok, back to reality. Thought I couldn’t find it, eh? Fooled you.

It still hurts to laugh. Have you ever puked so hard and so deeply that your rib area is sore two days later? I was not drinking and having a hangover. I woke up with what I’ve been calling asthma headaches and soon after I was puking over the bathroom sink. Couldn’t even keep the Tylenol I’d taken for the headache. After trying to distract myself with mindless cartoons on television I finally went back to bed. Donating the last of my stomach lining to the kitchen sink first. I’m sparing you more details but I had a shower to clean myself up after the first round. Aren’t you so glad you’re reading this now? Doesn’t this sound like some old lady talking about her hairy toes, her gout and her arthritis?

I don’t want to be old. People still say I look like I’m in my 20’s. I laugh. Then I laugh some more. Well, not today cause it hurts too much to laugh.

On December 19th, 2003, I’ll become 39. I’m trying to let it sink in a bit at a time now. Like getting tiny amounts of whatever you’re allergic to in order to become immune to it. Like poison. I’m not ready to be old. I’m not ready to be looking 40 in the eyeballs. How can I be this close to 40 already?!! I haven’t done even half the things a woman my age is supposed to have done. Instead I was lolly gagging around. I wasted time being afraid and intimidated, roiling in self doubt. I’m still roiling in self doubt, it keeps me imprisoned inside myself. Everything comes out in the words as I type them. Nothing comes from my eyes, my hands, or my mouth. People see me everyday and know nothing about me. People think they know me when they read what I write but they only know the bare minimalist details. How could they know more? I don’t even know it all yet. I never will, there’s just too much inside to sort it all out and find out where it came from, how it works and what the heck it wants from me.

Do you ever think there are aliens directing you? When I’m writing I sometimes feel like it’s someone else’s brain dictating to my fingers. My fingers just keep typing without caring what my eyes think as they see it all appear on the page in front of me. Kind of like a horror story where you lost all control and can only watch while strange and sometimes dreadful things happen.

Is that bloggish enough? Blogs are so full of dramatic poetry. It’s one of their attractions. To see someone else spin away on some tangent and maybe never quite make sense or even really care to.

So, I’m still here. Still going to turn 39 in just mere weeks. Life isn’t fair. I’m not ready to be one of those older women I used to watch when I was 16.

Some New Writing Quotes

Every man usually has something he can do better than anyone else. Usually it is reading his own handwriting.
I’m all in favor of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let’s start with typewriters
–Frank Lloyd Wright (1868-1959)

Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.
–Groucho Marx (1890 – 1977)

There is then creative reading as well as creative writing
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every writer is a frustrated actor who recites his lines in the hidden auditorium of his skull.
–Rod Serling

Many suffer from the incurable disease of writing and it becomes chronic in their sick minds.
–Juvenal (AD 60-130)

My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way.
–Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961)

Writers would be warm, loyal, and otherwise terrific people–if only they’d stop writing.
–Laura Miller from a salon.com review of the movie Finding Forrester

Fame often makes a writer vain, but seldom makes him proud.
–W. H Auden English-US poet, dramatist, editor

When I face the desolate impossibility of writing 500 pages, a sick sense of failure falls on me, and I know I can never do it. Then gradually, I write one page and then another. One day’s works is all I can permit myself to contemplate.
–John Steinbeck

Writing is no trouble: you just jot down ideas as they occur to you. The jotting is simplicity itself – it is the occurring which is difficult.
–Stephen Leacock

Omit needless words. Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts.
–William Strunk, Jr.

Most writers regard truth as their most valuable possession, and therefore are most economical in its use.
–Mark Twain

Another thing that Bezard taught was how to take notes and how to set up card files that are useful a whole lifetime. If I had followed his advice, today I would have a gold mine; none of my early work would have been lost.
–Jean Guitton (1901-1999) A Student’s Guide to Intellectual Work [1951], Ch. 5:

Survival, with honor, that outmoded and all-important word, is as difficult as ever and as all-important to a writer. Those who do not last are always more beloved since no one has to see them in their long, dull, unrelenting, no-quarter-given-and-no-quarter-received, fights that they make to do something as they believe it should be done before they die. Those who die or quit early and easy and with every good reason are preferred because they are understandable and human. Failure and well-disguised cowardice are more human and more beloved.
–Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961)

I read and walked for miles at night along the beach, writing bad blank verse and searching endlessly for someone wonderful who would step out of the darkness and change my life. It never crossed my mind that that person could be me.
–Anna Quindlen

Writing is like cooking…if you spill something, you should make it look like part of the act.
–John Keeble

Writing is a lot like sex. At first you do it because you like it. Then you find yourself doing it for a few close friends and people you like. But if you’re any good at all…you end up doing it for money.

For a creative writer possession of the truth is less important than emotional sincerity.
–George Orwell (1903-1950) English novelist, critic

If the writing is honest it cannot be separated from the man who wrote it.

We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.
–Ray Bradbury

Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.
–Cyril Connolly

Nothing, not love, not greed, not passion or hatred, is stronger than a writer’s need to change another writer’s copy.
–Arthur Evans

All of us learn to write in the second grade. Most of us go on to greater things.
–Bobby Knight

Some editors are failed writers, but so are most writers.
–T. S. Eliot

This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.
–Dorothy Parker

All of the books in the world contain no more information than is broadcast as video in a single large American city in a single year. Not all bits have equal value.
–Carl Sagan

Those who write clearly have readers, those who write obscurely have commentators.
–Albert Camus

I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.
–Mark Twain

The man who doesn’t read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them.
–Mark Twain

If you can’t annoy somebody, there is little point in writing.
–Kingsley Amis

Asking a writer what he thinks about criticism is like asking a lamppost what it feels about dogs.
–John Osborne