In 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
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
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
This is an embarrassing confession: I am not well read. I used to be before I went to university. Before university, my favourite activity was inactivity: lying on the couch with a hefty book. I read Gone with the Wind and all the Narnia books; I read The Martian Chronicles and Jane Eyre. I read Hawaii and The Source by James Michener, On the Beach by Nevil Shute and East of Eden by John Steinbeck. I discovered poetry through Leonard Cohen who took my name and turned it into a song. Maybe it wasn’t a consistent canon and maybe it was the depth and breadth of a creek but it was flowing fast feeding lots of little fish and otters and watering the grass and trees on the shore. Continue reading