Monday, February 28, 2011

taking a break from writing to write

I've been watching the calendar, and now I'm watching the clock, with a deadline fast approaching and my typing-fingers slowing. I thought about coming here to write something, to try to open up the dammed process, but I decided to work on something else with a slightly later deadline, and came across this great poem from Tanya Davis' blog.

It speaks the things that I'm trying to speak just perfectly. Maybe perfectly enough that I can get back to work.

taking a break from a poem to write a poem

I am working on a poem with a deadline and so all I want is chocolate
Or a hug or a shoulder rub or something to take my thoughts from it
Deadlines are nice, they are like momentary bosses,
But I am rebelling, this chair feels rigid, my bum wants off of it

Poems don't write themselves though
So... I gotta keep working.

Several times this week I thought:
what if I quit?
what if I give this up and move to the hills
become really good at making soup and seeking thrills
and I mean slow thrills, like slow food, like snow falls and all I do
is watch it
Sounds kind of awesome

Oh, but I would tire of that, too
or moan and complain about my hard lot, all of my to-do's

The thing is, life won't be easy
thankfully, else I would whine about being bored
but life could be simple, no matter poetry or other chores
Take a breath and go forward

But, really, if I finish this assignment on time will you come over and reward me?
A massage for my hands that are cold and from this computer all narly
Stories of what you do so I can leave my bubble, feel more a part of things
Feel more hardy from a moment spent close to your heartstrings?

Blogs are kinda like poems
Futile, and yet important
for reasons I don't know
and I'm not much of an explorer
and so I probably won't
Not a lawyer, not a light heart with a good joke

If my purpose is to connect words and let them out
then I won't concern myself with what's the point, what's it about
I took a break from a poem to write a poem, I think that has its own story to tell

—Tanya Davis

Friday, February 18, 2011


I just got some prints back from some disposable cameras I was playing around with in the fall. I'm in love with the quirks and the graininess and the colours. Or maybe I'm just in love with that sunshine.

Here's some treats from my late-fall trip to Halifax. Mostly various types of treetops.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

drawing words

I'm taking a class at OCAD called "Comics and Graphic Novels" this winter, for the purpose of my own entertainment (I was a little hung up about having a "purpose" for signing up for the class, but then a friend mentioned that she was thinking of taking piano lessons, and it occurred to me that I'd never ask her "WHY are you taking piano lessons?" And indeed, no one has asked me WHY I'm taking a comics class yet, so maybe it's all in my head).

The instructor is Fiona Smyth, who is perhaps best known in Toronto for painting the signs at Sneaky Dees in the early 90s. She's also just published her first graphic novel, a futuristic story for young adults, called The Never Weres (she showed us some of her linears and roughs for this project - super exciting stuff).

One of the very best outcomes of this class so far is my new-found obsession with Ernie Bushmiller's Nancy comics. Luckily, there's a Tumblr for that.

PS. The only part of Canada Reads I happened to hear this week was the 5 or 10 minutes during which Jeff Lemire's Essex County was eliminated, mainly because the judges seemed to think that comics/graphic novels don't improve literacy. I really just don't even have it in me to rant about this.

That said, Essex County won the People's Choice poll with over 50% of the votes -- the people have spoken, in favour of comics!

PPS. Up top's the result of my first assignment for the class. This one here's a most recent rough/linear of a little thing I'm working on based on the farmer's market at the Evergreen Brickworks.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Some of the best blessings of existence

I am the delighted (gleeful, even) recipient of the world's most beautiful early Valentine: the complete works of Jane Austen, bound in cherry red, printed in 1975. Gorgeous, right?

"I must endeavour to subdue my mind to my fortune. I must learn to brook being happier than I deserve." Or so said Captain Wentworth in Persuasion, anyway.

*Also, the title of this post is the opening line in Emma. Come to think of it, that'll be the first one I read.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

For reals, though.

Due to my preferred costume, I seem to get a lot of remarks referring to my habit as some kind of religious statement. Questions like "How are your sister-wives?" and suggested affiliations with the Amish and the like.

In the interest of defending my own style choices, while also redeeming the reputations of the faithful, I'd like to present an alternative inspiration: the Waltons.

The long-running 1970s television series about a big ol' poor-in-money, rich-in-love family living at the bottom of a mountain in 1930s Virigina is pretty much right up my alley. We have rustic living, rural sensibilities, beautiful scenery -- all through the lens of the '70s prairie-revival.

Items of note:
  • barefeet with overalls
  • pinafore aprons
  • Mary Ellen's straw hat
  • suspenders
  • so. much. gingham.
  • braids and pigtails
  • screen doors
  • liberty print like it's going out of style (I assure you, it is not)

What's not to love?