Slept very little. From after 2 am til about 6:30. Tossed and turned. It’s hard to function properly in heat. I’m such a winter girl! Yesterday a reporter from one of the daily papers contacted me to interview me about . . . THE WEATHER! She was looking for an enthusiast, and somehow found me. Weird, huh? I mean, yes, I’m a watcher, but to be interviewed for an article. That’s just too weird. Anyway, I didn’t have time, so don’t go looking to see me as the freaky weather lady in today’s paper.

I’ve got the place closed up today, trying to keep the heat out. I don’t know if it’s working or just making my life worse. I desperately need to do some housework. I have a houseguest arriving later and I promised some cleanliness. Think of the calories I will burn in this heat!! Yeah, that’s good motivation . . .

Mood: ready to get sweaty
Drinking: black coffee
Listening To: uncle johnny, the killers
Hair: loosely knotted

Return to Oz

Like the phoenix from the ashes . . . blah, blah, blah, lets not go cliche crazy. I’m alive, nuff said.

We’re in BnM production. Yes, again, so soon. June was late, August is almost kinda sorta early, which is to say, right on time. And I am all over October. I don’t know, could it be after a year of this, I’m getting into the groove? August was painless, no blood, very little sweat, zero tears. It doesn’t seem right. Of course, my house looks like a bomb went off and I’m completely off all my personal development stuff and I’m completely blowing off the half dozen guys chatting me up for dates and I’m working till 3am and sleeping in past 6am . . . oh god, it’s hot, eh? Sweltering like in my place. All I want to do is eat fruit and drink chilled wine and water. But the wine gives me an instant headache in this weather. So, I’m sucking back water.

I was really sick all last weekend. Dead knackered come Monday morning. Feeling much better heading into this weekend. My last home for a bit as I head upriver for family events and a bit of house/kitty sitting. Going to a bbq tomorrow afternoon. Looking forward to it, think it will be fun. Heading to Kouchibouac on Saturday. Should be a good weekend. NO WORK!! Seriously, none. No computer only for fun stuff like watching Big Brother or the Sopranos or listening to tunes etc. It’s a NO WORK WEEKEND! For real. And I can! Because as I’ve already said, we’re on time.

Got tix to see Matt Mays at Harvest Jazz fest in Sept. He doesn’t come on til after midnite. Staying over at a b and b. Should be a lot of fun. An opportunity to wear my new shoes! Perhaps.

I feel like I’m all over the place here. Scattered. Brain is a bit fuzzed for sure. I watched the first season of Dirt from F/X with Courtenay Cox. LOVE IT!! Can’t wait for the second season! Watch this show! It’s good. Watched Evan Almighty. I actually liked it better than the original Bruce Almighty. I liked it a lot more than The 40-year-old Virgin. Maybe because I didn’t like either of those things so I had below zero expectations it made the movie easier to like . . . or something. Anyway, bic runga started to get into my head. Time to get myself into bed.

Mood: moodless
Drinking: water, both red and white wine earlier
Listening To: sway, bic runga
Hair: strands beginning to escape from this evening’s severe ponytail

Self-Imposed Blogging Break

So I haven’t blogged all week, not since last Friday. I’m really busy with work and feeling a bit under the weather besides. But still here. Still around. Just taking a bit of a self-imposed blogging break.

This weekend I had wanted to go to the Irish Festival, take my nieces and nephew (if he was interested) but mostly my nieces who love music and dancing. I wanted to take them to see the Nelson Doyle Dancers in particular. I thought it would be really cool if we could all go, the whole family, including my parents. Because we are, after all, Irish, and the festival at the LBA during the day is really inexpensive at $6 a head and kids free, and I know everyone would really have a great time and enjoy themselves . . . once they got there. But everybody else had zero interest, and you can’t have fun if it’s like pulling teeth to get people to go, so that idea went out the window.

So then me and S were going to do our road trip to Kouchibouac this weekend instead. But then some stuff shifted and she wanted to switch to next weekend, which initially conflicted with the long-awaited much-anticipated Fundy trip . . . that got canceled this week. Yeah đŸ˜¦ Honest to God, the only reason for me to ever get my driver’s license is so that I can frigging go to Alma whenever the hell I want. It’s the only time the thought ever crosses my mind. But there you go. Now, I’m free to go on the annual day trip with S next weekend. That’ll be fun. We always have a good time.

I really want to go camping this summer. I have nobody to go camping with though, so it’ll likely not happen. I really wanted to go camping last summer. Didn’t happen. I really need a friend who is single and doesn’t have children and likes to go places and do things. Making friends seems to be hard to do though. I make acquaintances easily enough, but those deep friendships . . . never easy.

So as I sit here this week watching my summer fall apart and knowing now that I won’t have the opportunity to do anything until the middle of August, I’ve started looking at the possibilities, opportunities for me i.e. places I can go on my own, alone. Sigh. Yeah, I can stay home for that one, I know, but a change of scenery is definitely in order this summer. I considered Shediac for a few minutes. Bus goes there. Touristy place. Beaches and all that. Or the Island . . . not big on the Island though, there’s touristy and then there’s TOURISTY . . . and the Island was too much so for my liking 20 years ago, I doubt it’s gotten anything but worse. NS doesn’t really appeal to me. I considered Grand Manan even. Bus will drop you at the ferry terminal. But somehow it just seems so pathetic to go do any of these places alone. They seem like couple or family places. No, an alone adventure needs to be different.

So, I’ve started thinking farther afield. I’ve always wanted to cross Canada on the train . . . I have a bunch of frequent traveler points I can cash in. There are organized tours in the Rockies via train. Even without organized tours. I am perfectly capable of crossing Canada on the train on my own. And you know, I don’t think I’d even want to do that with anybody else anyway. That’s the kind of trip that could destroy a friendship or other relationship. Think of the writing I’d do! Think of the things I’d observe and the people I’d meet! What kind of an adventure might that be?! Of course, this I can’t possibly afford as early as next month. But you know, if I saved my money, if I socked away my 10% regular-like, there’s no reason why I couldn’t do this next spring, summer or fall. I need to stop waiting for someone to do things with and just go do stuff. Maybe I’ll go to Moncton or Fredericton or Saint John or someplace for a weekend soon, just some time in a hotel, in a different city (it seems more okay to be alone on vacation in a city than at the ocean for some reason) some time away from myself and my pitiful little life. But set my sights on something bigger for next summer. Forget about everyone else, (I mean I hardly think I come into anyone else’s mind when they’re making summer plans) and just make my own plans, go on an adventure alone. Cross Canada on the train. Go on a writer’s retreat to Ireland. Take a women’s tour of Italy.

If this is my life (and after seven years, I gotta think this is indeed my life) then I just need to get on with it . . . that is all. We now return you to whatever it is you were doing, self-imposed blogging break to continue.

Mood: excited, and afraid
Drinking: coffee, black, organic, fair trade, dark roast, fresh ground
Listening To: sirens, there are many sirens in this town
Hair: surprisingly clean after a week of no poo

My Lucky Day

Happy Friday the 13th! I worked pretty late last night and slept on the futon for the first time in months. It used to be a weekly occurrence back in Sackville. Of course, things were more scrunched up then, sleeping on the futon was mostly just to get a better view of the tv or in hopes that some morning sunshine might creep in through the skylight and hit me the next morning. Now, my tv is in the bedroom and definite walls separate rooms. Still the morning sunshine happens with the futon because the sun rises over the river. So that’s where I laid down for a few hours this morning, so the sun would wake me after a cat nap and I wouldn’t have to deal with a blaring alarm and a comfy bed.

This week’s humidity has wreaked total havoc on my body, inflaming and swelling. Weeks like this it’s hard to work. Everything takes ten times as long because I’m in a perpetual state of pain and fog. My legs have been so swollen! It’s hideous. And it hurts, you know. I sit at my keyboard and I feel a sharp burning in my thighs. My knees ache and lock, like an un-oiled hinge. Calves and ankles disappear as everything swells to the same size. There’s a sharp pain in my hips and I’m constantly fidgeting to try and get into a more comfortable position in my chair. All the little bones in my hands burn, like I jammed my hands in a slamming car door. My wrists ache. Finger co-ordination becomes difficult because my fingers are stiff and swollen. I make more mistakes when I’m typing. I type more slowly. I take more frequent breaks from the computer to stretch and walk around the room. I couldn’t go for a walk outside to the cove or the wharf in this position. It would be too painful. I would swell too much. And I worry about things with swelling, like blood clots, so yes, while I do have a high tolerance for pain and I probably could force my way through it and into a walk, I try not to promote the swelling, I try to keep it to a minimum. So a stiff jaunt down the few stairs to my mailbox, and many slow moving walks about my apartment are all I can do in the high humidity. I’ve spent most of this week in an almost zombie state, never quite asleep, never at full conscious, but in that grey place between life and dreams. Chronic pain puts you there.

I’ve come to realize there’s nothing to be done about these flare-ups. I mean I used to be much worse. I’m doing all that I can and I’ve made huge leaps and bounds. I have movement and flexibility. I can do things I couldn’t before, like walk miles and miles. I no longer take any medication and am mostly pain-free. But when you have arthritis there is no cure, there’s only management, a life without pain no longer exists for you. All my flares are triggered by changes in the weather. When seasons shift from higher to lower to higher temperatures. When summer humidity soars. When freezing winter temperatures rise above zero. I eventually acclimate to seasons changing, to rising winter temperatures. I have a painful week and then my body adjusts. That doesn’t seem to ever happen with high humidity. There is no adjusting to humidity in the 80s and 90s percentile. The agony continues steadily until the humidity breaks. Which can make for the occasional exhausting hell of a week.

Luckily for me, it broke sometime last evening, and now it’s below 60%. I’m still aching, I will ache for awhile until my body readjusts, but every hour it gets a little bit better. As long as it stays relatively steady, I will be right as rain again within a few days, by Monday. So I should be able to make up any ground lost this week on the weekend. And did I ever lose ground?! The perpetually tidy kitchen I’ve enjoyed for the past two weeks seems to have taken its summer vacation . . .

Mood: improved
Drinking: coffee, black
Listening To: birds singing, saws whizzing, kids laughing
Hair: pushed up and back in a black/white headband

Water Water

I’ve started drinking tap water. The plastic jugs are over-running the apartment and starting to drive me crazy. Note to visitors — if you want bottled water, from now on bring your own. FYI. Yes, the tap water is a bit skanky. I will probably invest in some sort of filter to put right on the tap or at the very least a Brita pitcher. But I never really liked water anyway, it’s purely for health reasons that I drink it at all, so why not suffer for it? Think of the money I’ll save! And the room!

Yesterday I wrote a scene, fleshed out the notes from the day before. That’s pretty cool. I’m shocked the boy has started talking again. I’m shocked to be seeing these folks again after such a long period apart.

I thought the writers’ group meetings were finished for the summer, so I was pretty surprised yesterday to get a call seeing if I was going to go. I guess the Sackville group must be the one that takes summers off. So, my new thing is not to turn down any opportunity no matter how busy I am (which is a struggle I don’t always win) so I said sure, I’d go! Then I scrambled to find something to share. The new stuff seemed too raw, plus there’s not much of it yet. I went into Gun Play (the Katt’s Lives stories) edited somewhat, added some character names, but couldn’t get it to within sharing distance. So I opened the only other thing I had on my computer that I hadn’t shared with this group yet, 3:33. I took some time to change it from third person to first. I’ve been doing a lot of first person writing lately. Experimenting. I’m still not comfortable there. I still don’t feel I’m very good at it. It’s easier to take a third person and put it into first than to start from fresh in the first. 99.99% of people/writers would likely disagree with that point, I would think. Most people start out writing in the first person because it is easiest and then move into the thirds as their skills develop. Not I. Exact opposite. I have yet to meet anyone like me in that way.

Anyway, I changed the point of view on the story, took it, and read it to the group to much praise and compliments . . . but I still don’t know if it works or not. That piece is over-written. On purpose. I wanted it to be a bit over the top, melodramatic, etc. because it’s about a woman’s unhealthy obsession with an ex-boyfriend, her first true love. You know, she can’t get him out of her mind, and all the memories of him are wonderful, idyllic, perfection! Until the last, when he suddenly goes off to marry someone else. So I deliberately overwrote it . . . which in the third person, I gotta say, confused the crap out of a lot of people who know the way I normally write. I mean I’ve got alliteration up the wazoo in this piece! “…snuggled satisfied in the sagged centre…concealed in the cedar scented shadows silently waiting…” That’s some kinda wordy overblown stuff for me to be spouting there! So, the third person totally didn’t work because it just looked like I didn’t know how to write. I put it into first and I still don’t know. The small group last night thought I was brilliant, but I gave a reading of the story, which meant I could add subtle nuances and cadence with my voice . . . would they have had the same sense if they read it on their own? I don’t know. I mean, maybe the story is done. Maybe that’s it. Send it off! To where? I’m not sure. But maybe I need to give up on the theory that the overwriting adds something to the tone, strip it naked and just let the story speak for itself. Or maybe the story isn’t strong enough to stand naked and just be told? Maybe there’s not enough to care about there? Maybe I’m just not interested in telling this particular story anymore? I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know.

Maybe I need to let someone else see it in its current state. Aha! There’s a plan.

Mood: pondering
Drinking: coffee, cold, black, and water, chlorinated from the tap
Listening To: church bells announcing noon
Hair: pushed off my forehead

Just Another Day

I am gradually discovering the world of internet television. It is interesting for sure.

Today I woke up with a scene in my head. A scene. A line. A bit of foreshadowing, some irony. And then I got up out of bed, hit the keyboard and wrote a draft. 776 words. Yay! I see this thing taking shape again. It’s exciting.

There was thunder earlier. I haven’t seen any lightning, but it’s around. I can see it on the map. I wanted to walk . . . reconsidering that.

Yesterday, I did some research on how to live a greener lifestyle. I’m doing a lot already, but I could do more. So, I did some research and have a list of things to implement. Already, I work from home and don’t own a car. Most of the light bulbs in my apartment are energy efficient. They all were in my last place but I haven’t got them all changed up yet since I moved. I only have the lights on if I’m in the room and need them. Usually I only turn them on in the kitchen because it is a windowless room, all the other rooms are lit enough by the streetlights outside my building. I unplug appliances when not in use i.e. tv, dvd player, lamps, computer, toaster, microwave, etc. I don’t have air conditioning and in the winter I keep the thermostat set at 20C, adding extra blankets to the bed, and putting on sweaters instead (which can be DAMN cold!) I cook quite a bit in the oven in winter and when I’m done cooking I’ll keep the oven door open to allow the heat to escape and help heat the apartment. I use enviro-bags for grocery shopping and use the collection of plastic bags I’ve accumulated previously to line garbage cans. I recycle paper in my printer, so both sides get used. I seldom print though. I use travel mugs and my own water bottles. I buy recycled, organic and local whenever I can. I don’t buy paper towels at all.

I guess it all adds up. But I’ve found a lot of other things that are easy to do that I’m going to start doing.

Mood: fantastic
Drinking: coffee
Listening To: brian tracey, act boldly and unseen forces will come to your aid . . .
Hair: over and out

What A Morning!

I’m having a great day! I packed my backpack with scribblers, books and pens, strapped it on and headed off over the hill. Even though I was going to the Goodie Shop restaurant, I went through the Ritchie Wharf and walked along the water for a way. Just because I like walking by the water. I should go to strawberry marsh some day and walk. I noticed the hours on the library door (closed today until 1pm) and lucked out by getting the last booth in the restaurant, the only one without a window. That way I couldn’t get distracted by passersby and parking lot mishaps.

I ordered water, black coffee, the MANGO approved omelet with onions, mushrooms, green peppers & tomatoes, and whole wheat toast, plain, no butter. While I waited for the food to arrive I opened a notebook and put pen to paper for “morning pages.” Julia Cameron talks about morning pages in her book The Artists Way, which I have yet to read. Basically it’s three pages of writing, long hand, anything that comes to your head. There is no pressure to make it perfect. It can be a to-do list repeated over and over or even your name. It doesn’t have to make sense. It’s just the act of putting pen to paper. To get going.

I struggle with that freedom, letting loose, not worrying about editing, re-writing, perfecting. It’s an issue for me. Morning pages are supposed to help. Writing the Sammy story helped. It’s kind of the same exercise. Without morning pages, I never would have finished the salmon adventure. I had to allow myself the freedom to just let fly and write whatever came into my head, push forward without thought to grammar, spelling, even making sense of the whole thing. It’s a good practice for me to get into and maintain. Especially since I want to get back to my real writing, the serious stuff, the novel, to Limbo itself and my little Irish man Callum and the leaves swirling in the lane.

Yeah! I’m ready to go there again. And how do I know I’m ready? (cuz I’ve thought I was ready before and nothing happened you know) Because when I opened my notebook and put pen to paper to begin morning pages while I waited for breakfast, without hesitation I began, “Callum met Prue at the legion. He would often go there on a Thursday night to sit and sip a beer quietly in the back corner of the pool room . . .” And I continued through breakfast and a second cup of coffee. I didn’t want to stop. I could have wrote all day. It was like I had never stopped writing. I could see him and her and how they met as if I just saw them yesterday. And the excitement! The thrill of having the words spill out and onto the page. To create on the fly and form be damned! I cannot even describe the adrenaline, how pumped I got sitting there with the waitress giving me strange looks, perhaps wondering what I was furiously scribbling. I wanted to come home and let fly for the rest of the day. (But I’ve got A LOT of work to do on other things, no time for that right now.)

It felt good. I feel good about it. I need to do more of that. I will do more of that. I will not keep myself from my true passion any longer. Life is too short. There are enough hours in the day. I can do it all, have it all, be it all. And I will.

Mood: charged up
Drinking: water
Listening To: gulls and crows
Hair: damp from sweat