Lunch break

Image result for Incredible Good Fortune Ursula K. Le GuinIn the used bookstore at lunch escaping my work computer loaded with musts and shoulds, I am conscious how I stick out among the jean clad students cramming and the time-served retirees relaxing. Students slouch over tables their coffee mugs steaming industriously. Two older-than-me women hold down the wing chairs in the window, displaying leisure. One holds a pink highlighter uncapped and clamped between her index finger and thumb, cocked and ready to mark the noteworthy on the page in front of her. Her cup is not steaming. She sips anyway. Continue reading


Reading legacy

On the phone my cousin asked me “What are you reading?” and I was stunned into momentary silence because this isn’t a question I’m often asked. Knowing his reading is as vast as the prairies I was afraid to answer “short stories” for the only form less appealing to the reading world is poetry.

“Truth is like poetry and most people fucking hate poetry.” – from The Big Short

I’m also reading poetry but I didn’t tell him that.  Continue reading

Don’t quote me


They have been at a great feast of languages, and stolen the scraps.
from Love’s Labour’s Lost – Shakespeare

Advice I am ignoring: Read widely.

According to literary pundits, reading widely will make me a better writer. However, if you work full time and have a few kids to raise, and take seriously the other pundit proclamation that to be a good writer you must write – a lot – what’s a body to do? Continue reading

Movie star mom

Mom – 1940-something

Summers brought activity in the house to a boil. University aged children – offspring of family friends – came to work on the docks or in the fish packing plant run by my father. They lived with us and were looked out for by my mother who also cared for me, my sister, two brothers and my dad. Mom and my sister made lunches for all, assembling three or four thick sandwiches for each young man, enough to last the whole day. Continue reading

Litter alley

When dead hot, make your own shade.

It was already hot as I walked the dog at 9:30 this morning along one of our customary routes on a wooded path that follows a creek. Not Bermuda-in-July hot, but hot enough that the little beast began to pant by the time we reached the end of the front walkway. Hot enough that the birds had already taken shelter deep in the musty interior of cedar hedges.  Hot enough that I grew a sweat moustache. But not Bermuda-in-July hot.

Our destination was a loop around a small duck pond, perhaps a distance of ½ a kilometre (about 1/3 of a mile for the non-metric ). In that short distance I could have filled a kitchen sized garbage bag with pop cans and bottles, Styrofoam fast food containers, take-out coffee cups, cigarette butts and empty packages, plastic grocery bags, and water bottles, a pink cardigan, a toddler’s sandal, a bathing suit, a baseball hat, and a bicycle tire inner tube. Continue reading