Yesterday, rode in the sun to the farmer’s market for the first time in months – a heavy loaf of oatmeal raisin sourdough (devoured instantly), almonds and mixed nuts from the nut lady (“I’ve missed you,” she said, and the feeling was mutual), meat from the Mennonites, Empire apples, local garlic, all my favourite things. But today, after many days of heaven, it’s dark and wet. How lucky we’ve been. My friends in B.C. and Newfoundland have had little but cold rain, and we’ve been basking in unusual heat for April. I put some of the wintering plants out on the deck and had to bring them back in for fear of burning their leaves.
A long solitary Sunday ahead – Jane’s Zoom class at 1, some TV tonight, otherwise, silence. We’re not allowed to go anywhere; the province is in crisis, hospitals overwhelmed, variants stalking us. So – talking to you.
Yesterday, I witnessed sexual congress in the garden – the female cardinal was on a high branch singing an insistent song, and then the male flew over, mounted her for 3 seconds and flew away. Mission accomplished? She sat ruffling her feathers, no song. Sex in the afternoon. Baby cardinals!
A realization: a number of interesting craft websites post daily or near daily to my inbox – LitHub, Advice for Writers, and others. They pile up; I can’t delete until I read them but reading them takes time, not to mention the other sites for writers I follow on FB and Twitter. I’ve also been going through many pages of notes taken at writing conferences. Yesterday, I unfollowed several sites and have resolved: no more writing conferences except, of course, CNFC’s. I’ve spent decades compiling information on how to write. I know how to write. What I need to do is stop reading about how to write and write.
Revolution! Stay tuned.
My students, however, are writing. Brad keeps getting more stuff published. A U of T student from the class that just ended wrote that one of the stories we workshopped in class is to be published. Thank you for all your guidance in making this story happen – you suggested eliminating the “runway” which made a huge difference in the flow of the story. You also made me feel confident in submitting, by saying it is ready and suggesting where to submit it. I really appreciate all your help and support.
On one of the sites I read, writers were asked what they’d like about a world without the internet. One said he’d like to go back to actual newspapers, write real letters, and have an answering machine, so people could call and leave messages. I have never given up any of those things, internet or no. Dinosaur alert!
Last night, an unexpected treat: the film Misbehaviour on Crave. It’s a true story set in 1970 at the dawn of the feminist movement, when a motley group of angry young women decided to disrupt the Miss World pageant in London. Hard to remember how unapologetically sexist was our world fifty years ago. What’s great about the film is that it portrays all sides: a moving scene where a fierce feminist’s mother (the superb actress Phyllis Logan who played Mrs. Hughes on Downton Abbey) struggles to understand a new way of being a woman in the world; the beautiful woman from Grenada who won that year, telling a young white protester what this win means to her, giving her choices she wouldn’t have otherwise. Not a polemic, just a well-written, produced, and acted (except for Keira Knightly, as wooden as ever) exploration of a dramatic moment in time – my favourite kind of movie. At the end it shows the real women on whom the characters are based, now. Strong, beautiful old faces. Tears.
Going through files: Anna drew this when she was 6 or 7. Agreed.