Photo Challenges and Life’s Ease

I’m the 4th to finish the monthly photo scavenger hunt for February.

Goose’s challenge for an Abcedarian of February for self-portraits is almost done too. W had me stuck (with visions of paper cut outs of the letter handed off to volunteers or just inexplicably saying the day was sponsored by the letter W) until I thought of the obvious — writers.

(Wait, second thought I’ll save you a click and just put that shot of the 3 readers below instead.)

It was wonky lighting, dark flashed with street traffic, with blue gel on one direction of lighting and red gel over another. I’m glad I got some useable image out of it.

And from the reading itself, it was good to be there. Lots of welcoming faces and the place was jammed with standing room only, which for the venue starts around 50 people. A good time. Too bad I can’t get back next week as well since it’s Margaret Christakos, Adam Seelig and Mark Truscott but by then Ottawa will be in the midst of VERSeFest.

Oy, I’ve had a scattered week so far as sleep. Hope to get that topped up this weekend. I can hardly have grounds for complaining in life.

milling cocoa beans
I got back to Soma and saw the cocoa butter being milled from the bean. (No relationship between cocoa and sleep I’m sure. ;p)

I was thinking as I travelled, isn’t it funny how once you figure out your logic, things are in a logical place. Like buildings. They’re often (but seemingly not always) just where you left them. Still, to be me is to have a life where one could get lost inside a small, wet paper sack. There’s no reliable knack for second guessing. Yet goodness comes in droves, like embodiment of buffalo plains of the 1700s it comes. From any direction people come to my aid, friend or stranger.

It’s been a week of good people, good conversations, good moods, good foods. Lots to do and not an overwhelming amount. The promise of various projects coming together to a sweet spot. Words even cooperating with me. Train travel and no need for gravol among all this tumult of plans. And enough fortune to make one suspicious of the next corner, but that would superstitious. So we won’t fret in that direction quit yet, right?


Have yourself a great weekend.

Quote: “Every time I see a nonprofit or company using social tools, my brain reminds me that there’s no such being as nonprofits and companies – there’s only a network of people doing work under the same name with the same goals. Social media belongs to real humans doing a very human activity – connecting with one another over shared interests.” ~ Wendy Harman

24 Feb 2011, 10:35am
Light Memes or Quizzes

13 Things, Apart from the Obvious

sign board
What’s that line about stars suggesting about friends?

  1. They look like they’re right here but actually they’re millions of miles away.
  2. They’re heavy and full of gas?
  3. It is far easier to find them in the country than the city.
  4. They tend to hang out in funny constellations.
  5. Some might actually be a world of their own, a travelling planet of unimaginable wonders.
  6. Compared to a light bulb, they may look dim, but up close they’re actually quite bright and hot.
  7. Sunny days or stormy nights, you’d better just content yourself with memories. They won’t be in sight.
  8. They might have gone supernovae long ago but you evidence won’t reach you until long after you’re gone.
  9. You have them mapped. You know where to find them and can backtrack to find out everywhere they’ve ever been.
  10. Who looks the brightest may just be bigger by proximity than actual luminosity.
  11. We’re all moving fast thru this universe, but they’re light years ahead of you.
  12. That twinkle is a special something between the two of you not anything attached to either of you.
  13. You might want to ask them, are you Sirius? really?


In truth, they are more precious the titanium they may contain, with bigger hearts than you can imagine and are more beautiful than any one of them would believe of themselves.

See who plays Thirteen Thursdays.

Quote: “A liberal man is too broad-minded to take his own side in a quarrel.” ~ Robert Frost

22 Feb 2011, 12:50pm

Pivot Reading

I’m heading to Toronto shortly to read with the Pivot Readings Series at the Press Club (Wednesday, 8 p.m.). Featuring are Jon Paul Fiorentino Carolyn Smart and myself.

Jon Paul Fiorentino is a writer and editor. His first novel is Stripmalling (ECW, 2009) which was shortlisted for the 2009 Hugh MacLennan Award for Fiction. His most recent book of poetry is Indexical Elegies (Coach House Books, 2010). He is the author of the poetry books The Theory of the Loser Class (Coach House Books, 2006) which was shortlisted for the 2006 A.M. Klein Award for Poetry and Hello Serotonin (Coach House Books, 2004) and the humour book Asthmatica (Insomniac Press, 2005). His most recent editorial projects are the anthologies Career Suicide! Contemporary Literary Humour (DC Books, 2003) and Post-Prairie – a collaborative effort with Robert Kroetsch, (Talonbooks, 2005). He lives in Montreal where he is the Editor of Matrix magazine and Snare Books.

Carolyn Smart‘s fifth collection of poems, Hooked – Seven Poems, was published in 2009 by Brick Books. An excerpt from her memoir At the End of the Day (Penumbra Press, 2001) won first prize in the 1993 CBC Literary Contest. She is the founder of the RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers, and since 1989 she has taught Creative Writing and Contemporary Canadian Poetry at Queen’s University.

Pearl Pirie writes from Ottawa. Her collection been shed bore (Chaudiere Books, 2010) ( chapbooks include over and chapbooks, my dead corpus (AngelHouse, 2010) and boathouse (above/ground, 2008) are in tree-print. She blogs at pesbo, Humanyms, and a few other places. Poems have appeared thru dandelion, ditch, Dusie, This Magazine, PRECIPICe, 1cent, Ottawater, unarmed, Peter F Yacht Club, pooka press and gar.

Quote: On interviewing: “as long as you’re interested, we’ll have a great conversation. if you’ll truly curious about your subject you’re going to unearth a sort of essence of them but if you go in with questions and ideas of what you want you’ll never get anything from the subject.” ~ Andrew Zucherman on advice given to him for his Wisdom Project

16 Feb 2011, 9:17pm
Events, Holidays and Festivals Ottawa Photos
Comments Off on Around Town

Around Town

You can listen live online. To what? I will be interviewed on Literary Landscapes by Kate Hunt, Feb 17th, 6:30 pm, CKCU, 93.1. We’ll talk on the subject of performance.

palms up
A bit of tropic look in winter: the gardens by the Currency Museum designed by Arthur Erickson .

bri gallery: my valentine
Isn’t he adorable? This was taken at the opening of Playlist at the Dale Smith Gallery. Interesting exhibit of words recycled into comics, album covers, posters, and other art pieces.

Quote: “On the day when a young writer corrects his first proof-sheet he is as proud as a schoolboy who has just got his first dose of pox.” ~ Charles Baudelaire

13 Feb 2011, 1:04pm
General Light Photos

Stylish Five: Favourite Things

Pauline gave me this Stylish Blogger Award. The meme says: “By accepting this award I’m to tell five of my favourite things and then pick five people to pass the award on to.”

  1. I love novel angles. Even more than an application or practicality of idea, I love a new conception of a way to frame perceptions and that satori moment of everything reshuffling to new rows and columns and out to zero gravity float. Maybe that’s filed generally under “love sensations” but it’s a specific one. Flatland is zipping straight into how I think of what I see. It’s world of pre-destiny and change among the geometric shapes hooks me better than velcro.
  2. Another favorite thing? Textures. Not the digital layers sense but varieties of surfaces…heavy denim, burlap, brocade, light linen, feathers, sequins, beads, tight cotton weave, velvet, embroidered, mesh, lace, satin. Touch can bring me to present, ground me and gives small little delights.
  3. Dreaming of people I miss. Dreams can be so vivid with sense of direction, temperature, smells, colors, particularness of people’s voice and walk. It is like a sweet visit with people out of touch or who have passed. It always feels like a gift.
  4. (Chocolate would go without saying so…yeah, too easy…um…) Heat. When people around me start to wilt in summer, I’m just getting comfortable. Desert heat or urban humidity and muggy as sloth, I’m happy. Even when its too warm to move or think, I’m content. I run baths hot enough that you may as well throw in the onions and carrots. Saunas are wonderful places. I once went in one for far to long with contact lenses in and for 3 days my eyeballs felt parched.
  5. Freedom of movement. Politically, yes, but I mean here, of the body. There are little bursts of being pleased when I reach for a cup and don’t get a complaint from the shoulder, when I realize I’ve been walking for an hour and still can freely swing my legs, when I turn my head and can look all the way right or left and not even be dizzy. No bind in back, no weight of ache, a sense of balance in my limbs so I don’t feel boxed in. I feel I may never get tired again. Of course I will but for a while, the body isn’t so much baggage as flight.

Who would I like to nominate as my 5 Stylish bloggers? These 7, (yes, 7, rebel that I am): Colleen who is forever seeing small and large beauties and presenting her life journey so beautifully and honestly, Gillian who, beyond her in person stylish flare, parses out her exploration of poetry week by week in comprehensible chunks, Zoom who balances life in the house and out about this city so well with engaging energies, Col for her pace and space of small but steady improvement to our world and her blog, rob because he sets a benchmark for style of curiosity and sharing learnings on poets and craft, Jennifer at It Ain’t Meat, Babe who makes each post a little polished beauty of mouth-watering ideas, and Brenda at Alone on a Boreal Stage because of her cool inimitable birdie-hop style.

Quote: “A problem clearly stated is a problem half solved.” ~ Dorothea Brande

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