Atwood, Oprah & Jesus

How lovely.  The writer of “Ramblings of a Mad Kat” nominated “Pin Up Picks Pen Up” for The Liebster Award.


What an uplifting moment that was.


The night before I found out about my little prize, I had written exactly one line.  The blog was a place I used to come to.  There was a period where I was cranking out daily postings, my brain was a buzz with activities and ideas. My office was the first place I’d go to in the morning, coffee cup in hand, CBC2 in the background.  I would fill my notebook with ideas for future pieces, I used to work every day…sometimes in the morning, sometimes in the afternoon, and late into the night, words tumbling out of me, fingers feverishly accosting the keyboard, pounding out phrases.


I entered a couple of writing contests, and I was never considered.  I got a little discouraged, got incredibly busy, and then…now, enough time has gone by that it’s gotten weird between us.  Like running into someone you used to be close to, there’s history there so it’s hard to be casual.   Or like when you bump into someone you know at the grocery store.  Say, you once took a class together, or worked at the same job one summer.  You like and respect them, wish them the very best.  You say, “nice to see you…we should really have coffee sometime”.


“Absolutely” they say, nodding earnestly. Boy is it a nice idea, chipping out a little time for this old friend, grabbing a latte and catching up.  But let’s be honest.


I hear you girlfriend.  That’s how I feel about the blog these days.  But I want to get back to that place.  Without the blog, without the creative outlet, I feel a little lost…a little deflated.  I’ve been through a trying couple of weeks.  I’ve gotten into a bit of a slump.  I’ve been feeling gold medal, black belt levels of the blahs.  Today I called my best friend, organized my closet, got a hair cut and bought a few new items for the winter season.  I spruced up a little; wore a dress and boots to the mall, and left feeling much lighter.  My husband and I visited with friends, and now I am at home taking the time to visit with an old friend of my own.

I’m to answer these questions about myself, so here goes…

1.       If you could be any animal, what would you be? 

My husband calls me ‘goat’, because I am stubborn, small and have been known to head butt .  I call him Bear because of his stature and magnificent beard.  In the animal kingdom we would be a goat and a bear and we would still be best friends.


2.       Invite three people to dinner, living or dead – who are they? 

I wish I could honestly answer this question more academically, Margaret Atwood  Oprah and Jesus and whatnot…but I’d have to go with Audrey Hepburn, Nora Ephron and Tina Fey. 


3.       What’s the best Christmas gift you could get?

Plane tickets with a big red bow. 

4.       What is your favorite blog entry you’ve written – please, post a link for us to read.

Oh I’m sorry…did you say my favorite five…no it was ten? Okay then!

5.       Who is your greatest inspiration? 

Nora Ephron, David Sedaris, Tina Fey, Elizabeth Gilbert, Barbra Streisand, Meryl Streep and Audrey Hepburn.

6.       Most embarrassing moment (that you are willing to share) 

Good Lord, how much time do you have?

7.       Name one thing that you wish you had done in your life thus far.  

Traveled to Europe.  To me, Paris is a necessity. 


8.       What’s your favorite food?        

I love food in general; curry, satay, pasta…I prefer vegetarian but I eat a little meat.  I’m more savory than sweet.  My death row, last meal would be various kinds of bread with lots of things to dip into. And french fries.  Yes, definitely french fries.  And then I’d have a latte.     

9.       Cheesecake or Cake?   

I can appreciate both, but wouldn’t turn down an exquisite slice of cherry cheese cake. 

10.    Favorite Olympic sport?     

Ha ha, bitch please! 

11.    If you could ask your great grandparents one thing, what would it be?

Were you happy?

I’d like to pass the award onwards to some of my favorites.

1) An Opinionated Girl VS. The World.

2) Entrepreneur by Nurture.

3) Vinyl and Pearls

4) Lonely City

5) Vodka, Unicorns and Lincoln Logs

There are so many great blogs out there, and I wish you the strength and perseverance to continue…no matter how busy life gets…cause once in a while you get a little reminder about just how fabulous you can be.

oscarpix17f-2-copyImages Courtesy of Google

Chateau Marmont in the Middle of the Night

While riding bicycles in the park with my husband, my mind was spinning along with the wheels beneath me.  Now, sitting in my rarely used office, I am staring out the window, watching one dark and stormy cloud crawl in front of a marshmallow patch of white.  Suddenly the thought of writing something is like catching butterflies in a net…during a hurricane.  What was I thinking about as I rolled along the pathway, with summer extended into the middle of September, the temperature still blazing at times.


I really anticipated that September would be a change of season, the leaves would turn, the air would crisp, and I would start to wear cute boots and light sweaters.  My life would just melt into a new routine, and I could mold my time into what ever shape I needed.  But then I got sick.  The first time I’ve been sick since I’ve been in Canada, the sickest my husband of three years ever saw me.  I continued with my life on a strictly skeletal basis.  I never missed any work or deadlines, I just ceased to participate in anything social.  I was running on empty, chugging along for far too long.  But it was in the middle of the night,  every night for weeks now, waking up at three in the morning, writhing feverishly, my head feeling like a balloon about to burst; my neck tense, brittle and burning.  There have been very few times when I felt badly enough to think I would never get better.  I began to feel this way within the last few days.  Will I ever be able to shake this cast-iron-clad feeling, dragging it around like a prison sentence?

Sick girl

I remember being young(er), and flipping the bird at my health.  I must have been twenty-one or so, and being sick for like a solid month. Like, having the worst cigarette and whiskey voice in the world, a shattered immune system and was still running around at four in the morning, kissing strange boys and never wearing a bra….like ever.  Whatever, you think you are young and free, and will live forever.  Now, in my thirties, getting back to a healthier place was my new full time job.  By the end of the first week of my new career, I woke up the Friday morning, at three am, feeling as though I was haunted by a viral ghost.  I got through the work day, and spent that weekend chiseling away at my ailment.  We are still sleeping on the air mattress in the living room and so I watched four movies, napped, took hot baths, drank fluids, and felt satisfied with my efforts.  By Sunday evening I felt as though I had licked my illness.  But, once again, three am, and I felt more haunted than ever.


This continued.  And it began to dominate my life.  I missed a friend’s birthday party, opening night of the production I worked on, a special showing of “Before Midnight” at the cinema.  I have declined a number of invitations, and was beginning to feel like the girl in the Norman Rockwell painting that my mother had framed in put in my childhood bedroom.

sickI would stare at it as a young girl, and really feel bummed out on this gal’s behalf.  Missing the big dance on account of a miserable cold.  I thought about that picture, as the clock crept past four am, five am, knowing that soon I would have to go to work.  And this job is such a blessing, such an excellent fit, such an opportunity, and by the second week I’ve arrived on the scene looking and feeling like the living dead and sounding like someone’s boozy old aunty.  To preserve my husband’s health and sanity, (as writhing and profusely sweating on an air mattress on the middle of the night is not conducive to a good night’s sleep for those around you), I started to sleep in the bedroom, taking enough cold medicine to sleep through the upstairs thumping…until I was woken in the middle of the night.  I developed the habit of sipping hot water and lemon, and reading a book on the history of the Chateau Marmont. 


In those moments, potential passages would pop in my head.  Blog topics, vague ideas, random punchlines that I could fit into something, somewhere along the way.  But I didn’t write anything down, I just let it drift in and out of consciousness, as I absorbed vintage celebrity gossip.  And each night passed, and I didn’t write.  I didn’t lie next to my husband.  I started to feel as though I was living outside of my self. And now, here we are, and I am writing after a nearly two week absence.   In case you hadn’t noticed.  And I appreciate that this is a problem.  When I lost my wallet, around the beginning of the accidental writing hiatus, my friend Sheanna reckoned that writing would bring it back to me.  I wrote, and I didn’t find my wallet, I just lost another thing.  My voice.  On a physical and metaphorical level.  That symbolism will get you every time.  Yes, I am a little lost on a creative level.  Yes, there was a time that I was pumping out a rather decent yarn of material for an extended period of time.  I was once bursting with creative juices, a plump grape surging with delicious nectar, and now it’s a little more like that last shitty raisin at the bottom of the box that you got on Halloween, and begrudgingly opened and ate well after all the good candy had been consumed.  But what can I do? Chastise myself? Torture myself? Hardly. My immune system is doing it’s part in tearing me down.  I have to believe that I will fully recover, and that I can always go back to writing, come home to the art form, no matter how many days have passed me by.

  sorry your sickImages Courtesy of Google

Mojo Rising

Okay, we’ve been dancing around it in the long time.  In literary terms, I’m not putting out the way I used to.  It was like I had a raging blogging boner, and it’s suddenly gone flaccid.  It’s disheartening, but I’m not getting down about it.  Don’t worry, I will rise again.  This week has been, as my mother would say, “hair straight back”.  And now, It’s Saturday night, the house is a mess, laundry is everywhere, and blogging is the last thing on my mind.  Well, of course I think about it, in a “this is not going to happen today” kind of way.  But as Anaïs Nin says,

My ideas usually come not at my desk writing but in the midst of living.


I’ve been busy.  Time is no longer a luxury to me.  And it’s summertime and there are events and visitors.  And those experiences take presidence over being hunched at my computer desk.   The other day I saw a good friend from a long ago time, and coffee turned into a walk, which turned into chatting and flipping through old photos on my office floor.  She left about 11:45pm, and I posted my Marilyn Monroe photo at 11:58, with the sweaty urgency of trying to detonate a bomb.  But of course, it’s not a bomb, it’s not the end of the world, it’s not as is the Blogging Police is going to come pound on my door and take away my status as an unpaid writer. I won’t be stripped from the success I don’t yet have.  The fans will not faint or swoon, revolt or protest.   It doesn’t really matter to anyone but me.  But it does feel a bit like running really fast for a long time, and then when stopping suddenly and your legs feeling like jello, and you don’t know how to walk properly anymore.


I’ve been sleeping about five hours a night, on account of the new upstairs  neighbours, who are clog dancers who pace in steel-toed boots at midnight.  Despite I’ve been going pretty strong, regardless of my sleepless nights.  Today was another busy day, and like a fool I stayed up until 2am the night before chatting with lovely theatre people.  When the alarm went off at 8:15 this morning, I very much felt like punching myself in the face and setting myself on fire.

vintage yawning pin upAnd sometime in the late afternoon I hit a wall.  You know that feeling, that sudden, yet slow motion, underwater, dizzying loss of energy, and this garbled voice inside your head that says “I am so sooooo tired“.

dancers collapsing

And then I got home, and unexpectedly got to talk to my  best friend on the phone for a solid hour-plus, plus.  And then my husband and I ordered pizza, and watched a mindless movie on Netflix. And now I sit amongst the many piles of papers and clothing, pizza boxes, the thump squad above gearing up for another night of tappity-taps.  The day will come when my new routine will feel normal, and I’ll find daily pockets of time to write.  And I will feel slightly more normal again…for ten minutes or so.  Now…it’s time for sleep.