Besides grape jelly

IMG_5272While the grape jelly lids pop and seal in the kitchen, a quick note from my desk to say what I’m up to on the writing front, as promised in the previous post. I’ve got that novel that I seem to have been working on forever more or less done (again) and cooling in a corner, but in the meanwhile have been venturing into some creative non-fiction. I’m pleased that one essay-length foray into CNF has landed on the shortlist of The Quarterly Review‘s Edna Staebler Personal Essay Contest, and will be published in that most excellent journal some time next year. It’s called “Return Stroke” and weaves together the father-in-law I never knew, lightning (he was struck by it and his mother killed), and the making of biography. Continue reading

Books “near final” and finished

Yesterday I completed what I promised to do when I applied for and got a Manitoba Arts Council grant last fall – and only one day beyond the five months (December through April) I’d projected! What I promised was a “near final draft” of [tentative name], a novel in which [one sentence description]. It exists now, a manuscript of some 114,000 words, and needs a rest. As do I, to take some distance so I can see what “final” may involve, and to gather energy for the steps beyond that, which include others deciding what I’ve got and if it’s any good. In the meanwhile, I’m deeply grateful to MAC for the financial support and affirmation, and for the powerful motivation that external expectation provides! Continue reading

That time of year

It’s that time of year when a blogger feels she ought to say something for the season. Some complaint about the rush and bustle and commercialization of Christmas perhaps, or some  contemplation of its real meaning, etc.etc. No sarcasm intended — I like a good rant or new insight as much as the next blogger — but I’ve not only slipped behind in posting, I have neither complaint nor contemplation to share. Same old, same old of the season, and not an original thought in my head, it seems. All I’ve really got  — and today’s is a personal report — is this sense of riding a huge wave of gratitude.

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