Merry Christmas! (and the mystery is solved)

December 24, 2009

Here’s what I was up to on the office carpet the other day…

Merry Christmas to all my dear readers! It’s a true pleasure writing for you and I hope to see you all in the new year. Have a wonderful holiday season with lots of Family, Food and Festiveness!

Note: You’ll notice I’m wearing a different hat in the photo above… a long and complicated story. But what’s important is that the Christmas cards I sent out (featuring a composite of two of the most successfully angled images) turned out to be a great solution to this year’s dilemma: “how to rebel against my tradition of making handmade cards by making a handmade card” – gotta love technology! 

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Dear Fellow Writers: Has this ever happened to you?

December 22, 2009

I decided to sneak in a few more paragraphs of my current writing project while I was up at the front desk covering our receptionist’s lunch break today. Without intending to, I found myself slipping into THE ZONE. Even more unexpectedly, a full-on, entirely involuntary, facial meltdown hit me when I ran into the last few sentences of Chapter Four. The emotional drama of the scene was just too much – and this is someone who held out through almost the entire end-credits of Titanic. 

Tears weren’t just brimming, they were streaming down my cheeks. I blew my nose in tissue after tissue, to no avail. Even the briefest peek at the screen renewed the reaction, but I wasn’t about to back down – never when grammar’s at stake! Pretty soon my eyes were bloodshot and my face was unmistakably blotched and puffy. I was, inescapably, inexcusably, a girl crying at work.


Chillin’ on the carpet at work – don’t ask

December 17, 2009

Sometimes we find ourselves doing strange things in strange places for the people we love... yesterday morning was one of those times.

What was I up to? You’ll find out soon! Hint: It took three dozen tries to get the right angle (this one was a major miss) 


Just another Monday

December 15, 2009

Standing atop a frozen hilltop yesterday before dawn, I beheld an apocalyptic vision… a smoking, ruinous, hulk of a city lay spread out beneath me, its jagged skyline blurred by countless plumes of thick grey steam. A thousand tiny yellow licks of flame glowed bright against the blackness – a thousand twinkling windows.  Man, it was cold out.


The closest I’ve ever come to killing a man

December 10, 2009

I’d just taken off my glasses when I spotted a strange black, spindly looking speck on the middle of my bed. In one swift, automatic motion, like one of those robotic arms at GM checking a tail light, I squinted and leaned down for a closer look.

I remember that fateful day in grade six when I first discovered I needed glasses. My friend and I were running for the bus. “What number is it?” he hollered over his shoulder. I couldn’t tell him. I knew from the look he gave me after he’d turned to check for himself, that from that moment on the only 20/20s I’d be seeing would be quiz scores. Hey, we nerds have had to compensate somehow. It’s no coincidence grades and glasses go together. You wouldn’t believe how high my marks were the year I got braces!

As my nose came closer and closer to the comforter, I thought of how many times I’ve come face to face with that eternal question… dust? Or spider?  I must say though, despite all those jerk-back-and-scream moments, there’s a certain amount of empathy those of us with four eyes can’t help but feel for those poor souls cursed with eight. But, sometimes that’s not enough to protect them when the situation becomes a clear case of ‘it’ or ‘me’.

I was over at a high school boyfriend’s house in grade eleven. Even though his parents were home (nothin’ to worry about Mom), it somehow fell to me to deal with the teeny arachnid lurking over their second floor landing. I vacuumed it up with the duster extension while my boyfriend cringed behind me. I decided to have a little fun with him (not that kind Mom).

“See,” I said, swinging the nozzle round to within inches of his face, “it’s right here!”

With a wild shriek, he flung himself backwards down the stairs.

Thankfully, the stairs were carpeted. Even more thankfully, he somehow caught hold of the railing – while upside down! – half a second before his head slammed into the ground. Still, to this day, it’s as close as I’ve ever come to killing a man.

The speck on my bed turned out to be a tiny mess of thread. I flicked it into the corner, where it now lies in wait to freak me out another day. Though luckily, now I have backup.


In praise of ritual (continued)

December 8, 2009

This is my paradise. Where's yours?

After the summer tragedy of 2008, this past season’s return to paradise was truly… sublime. I ran down to the beach in my jeans and sneakers and collapsed at the shear majesty of the landscape – every shimmering blue bay and wooded point having its own private history of Felsian adventure. I lay on my back with my arms spread wide, scooping up handfuls of ground quartz and granite and letting their weight pin me to the hot sand. For the first time in my life, I recognized, and was overwhelmed by, the true ‘power of place’. I wept, as honestly as I ever have, as the grains trickled through my outstretched fingers.

Agatha Christie and Habitat Pea Soup on the porch

Agatha Christie and Habitat Pea Soup on the porch

Upstairs, in the cottage my grandparents built with their own hands, I indulged in one of my most ancient and sacred rituals: Agatha Christie and Habitat Pea Soup on the porch. I’m tearing up again looking at this photograph – even though, to the untrained eye, it’s just a paperback and some soup! Treasure your rituals, treasure your places, but most of all, treasure the homes they create.


In praise of ritual…

December 4, 2009

Vogue & brie topped blueberries for breakfast

Indulge yourself! Create a ritual around your favourites. On my latest trip back East, these three ingredients made my mornings magical: a bowl full of blueberries, a huge hunk of  brie cheese, and one mammoth September Vogue. Although I’m sure Anna Wintour would smack me upside the head for the size of that piece a’ cheese, I’ve always believed in maximizing the moment. Who says we can’t have it all! Well, at least on vacation~wink.

Bonus Link: Looking for something to wet your appetite? Try Calgary Fashion’s in-depth review of The September Issue